I have some excellant advice for those who are thinking to purchase a mobile phone in Spain. Now, for all of you who have lived here a while you might have noticed a pattern, it’s quite unfortunate, but it’s a big reason why most people get ripped off whilst living here. I shall try to explain what it is.
You see, in Spain, people like to be generous, very generous. They are a great people and my girlfriend, who is Catalan (a region of spain which contains Barcelona, it’s near the french border for all those who are geographically challenged), is a great example of how generous, her parents, show again, just how generous and great these people are.
But they mostly have a curse, something which plagues them and makes them pay more than they should for things which don’t normally cost that much. It’s because they are used to paying high prices, they don’t demand the price be lower. A quick headline would be something like this
If you want a brand new Nokia N95 for about 200? and 25? a month with about 500 minutes of free calls and 500 free SMS messages, STOP PAYING 700? FOR THE BLOODY THING!!!
Now, the cleverer of you might realise what that statement is trying to say, without being insulted, you see, in Spain, paying more for less is something they do all the time. I quote a recent inquiry from Movistar, a mobile opeator in Spain
Operator: We would like you to sign up for a contract with us
Me: Ok! Tell me what I can get
Operator: We can offer you some great handsets, such as <This crappy handset>, <Just as crappy handset> or <Another crappy handset>
Me: Erm, are you serious? they are all awful handsets
Operator: No no, they are the latest handsets you can get, they have bluetooth, GPRS (LOL) and a camera
Me: I shall try to explain you something, what kind of camera?
Operator: usually 1 mega pixel or something, they are very good
Me: My Current phone has a 2 Mega pixel camera, you see my point? they are awful and worse than my current phone
Operator: Well, I guess if you are more technically minded, we can offer you another
Me: Ok! Great! I want the Nokia 6288, or the Nokia N73, cause they are great handsets
we don’t have the N73, but we can offer you the 6288 for 129?Me: 129? !!! for a 6288??? WITH A CONTRACT??? Ok, it had better be a great contract
Operator: Well, we can offer you this for 15? a month
Me: Hmm, ok, sounds cheap, how many free minutes or SMS text messages
Me: <stunned silence>pardon?
Operator: They don’t come with any free minutes or text messages
Me: So what am I paying you 15? a month for? Fun?
Operator: Because the calls are cheap
Me: HAAAHHAHAHAHA (seriously, I laughed like that) Are you Serious??
Operator: It’s a really good deal, it’s cheap
Me: No, it’s not cheap, it’s expensive cause I am paying for all my own calls, look, I think you need something explained here,
I am not interested in what YOU think is a good deal, I am only interested in what *I* think is a good deal and what you think doesn’t matter at all.
I couldn’t care less, I want the following, I Want the Nokia 6288 WITH 500 minutes of calls, WITH 500 SMS text messages, PER month and I will pay you around 30? a month, plus I am only going to pay about 50 euros for the phone.
Operator: I can’t offer you that
Me: You have your priorities wrong, if you don’t offer me it, someone else will and you’ll lose a customer, forever, cause I won’t forget your attempt to enslave me(seriously)
Operator: Maybe a customer store can better help you, but I cannot offer you that phone on those terms over the phone
Me: Ok, I will goto the shop
Which pretty much concludes our trip through memory lane, I was astonished, that someone in spain would consider that a good deal, that someone might actually think, wow, it sounds great!!! Sign me up for 18 months!!! How about NO! it doesnt sound good, it sounds really awful and I am sick of it, Vodafone aint no different, although they are a huge margin ahead of Movistar, who act like the BT of old where you pay what they offer cause you don’t have a choice.
That is, my friends, where the problem comes, in Spain, there is barely any choice, therefore, companies steal your money, cause you have no choice but to either accept their terms, or to go without a phone service.
Spain needs to wake up, start DEMANDING better service and USE YOUR FEET to tell them what you think, don’t just accept the contract cause it’s “ok” accept it because you KNOW it’s a good contract and if it’s not, DEMAND BETTER!