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thisisspain

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I was recently asked why I called Telefónica "A National Disgrace"
 
My response was:
 
Hi, 30 years in telecom and I have dealt with almost all the Western European (ex-)monopolies and many of the new contenders.
 
My BIGGEST complaints against Telefónica
 
1) Telefónica abused their monopoly position to keep prices artificially high. Even when they were fined (heavily) by Brussels they refused to deregulate. When the got fined again and were threatened with the full force of EU law, they allowed one competitor and, in effect, created a duopoly. Who was the competitor? Retevision. Who owned Retevision? You guessed, Telefónica. (Board members all ex Telefónica executives) Who had the higher prices? Yes, you guessed, Retevision!When EU found out about this they fined Telefónica AGAIN and made it abundantly clear that licensed operators MUST be allowed to enter a fully deregulated market.
 
I was involved in all of this 1998/2001. DT were difficult but efficient, Telecom Italia did not seem to care. "One less client for us, one less piece of hassle." (We took 1,7 million clients from Telecom Italia to Infostrada in 2 years) BT had their moments but normally at least played clean.
 
2) Once you had been through THEIR approval process (as well as the Telecom Control Council´s) they then made it almost impossible to deal with them as a tier one licensed reseller. Uni2 were made to jump through hoops and then again to deal with even the most simple process that were fully automated elsewhere. The effect was that customers to the new carriers were getting a 2nd class service as the carrier was not able to provision, bill or give a quality customer service!
 
3) Some 12 years later they have some of the very highest wholesale prices in Europe (in fact Western World) and thus keep carries costs high, The result? Some of the highest retail CPM charges in Europe. Figures can be made to prove anything (ask Telefónica) but whether you measure the call charge as a percentage of average income, against the retail price index or the number of grains of sand on the beach Spain is ALWAYS at/near the top of telecom charges.
 
4) Technically (ironically!) they are very competent and have a good reputation throughout Europe. The obscenity is that some of this technology is deliberately held back. Their TRAC service is an insult to a post-industrialised society and their constant prevarication and procrastination another insult to their clients. Movistar is one of the most advanced networks in Europe but again Telefónica, as owners, seem more intent on profit than popularity.
 
5) Their marketing is based on ¨confusion marketing¨techniques when a huge percentage of their customers have no idea what they are paying for. I have unlimited examples of customers being charged for dial-up accounts AND 24/7 ADSL accounts on the same line.
Their claw-back techniques are at best dubious and at worst illegal (So they get fined, again!)
 
It´s no wonder that they have one of the highest retention rates of all the ex-monopolies. Nobody knows how to leave them and when they try the Telefónica juggernaut kicks in. The customer service which before was "poor" to be will now do most anything to keep the client and/or make it nigh on impossible to leave. "Yes, you can leave us today but you have a Friends and Family option that has x months to run on it ....and you will still be liable for payment."
 
6) In short, the entire culture of Telefónica compared with, say, Telia or Telenor disgusts me.
 
Why is there this culture? How many ex-presidents of BT have ended in jail in the last 20 years? NIL. How many of the last 4 presidents of Telefónica have? (The jury is out on the incumbent!)
 
I would LOVE to have the success in Spain that we have had in Scandinavia, UK, France and Italy but with Telefónica making it so difficult you can see why I (and so many other operators) concentrate elsewhere. I "thought" we had a real chance last year but sadly the whole experience left me a bad taste in the mouth.
 
I am always talking to potential operators but even the might of Tele2 (12 million customers in Sweden, with a population of just 9 million) have not broken the monolith that is Telefónica. Yes, we will be announcing something soon but I don´t expect to have a client base of 130% of the population within 10 years! Sad.


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Chocky

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Reply with quote  #2 
And they say the Nazis were scoundrels.

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Chocky

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Reply with quote  #3 
I had dreadful dealings with Movistar. A few years ago I had a mobile contract with them and I also got an internet device from them for a laptop, on a different contract but same payment method, bank details etc.

After 3 weeks they cut off the internet service saying I had run up a bill of €4,000! This was (supposedly) sorted out as it was a computer error, however I told them to cancel the service.

18 months later my mobile was cut off. This was my work phone which I spent a lot on and always paid their extortionate bills on the nose. They said they had found an unpaid bill for €4,000 under my payment details, outstanding for 18 months.

A complaint was made through the consumers association but I was told it may take months if not more for the matter to be sorted and until then my number would remain frozen. So not only could none of my clients contact me, but all my cards, price lists, advertising was useless. I could've taken those bastards to the cleaners in the UK but out here no chance. They cost me a fortune and more than likely lost me potential customers while I organised a new contract elsewhere, informed everyone and redid the advertising.

****s.

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thisisspain

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Reply with quote  #4 
Sorry, Chocky. That is pretty much 100% par for the course for Movistar.

Vodafone contact for 7 years - up to 1, 500 euros per month always paid by transfer. Smooth as clockwork.

(...and I cannot say I was huge Vodafone fan in UK)

We are just organising an affiliate site and have spoken to Orange and Vodafone. If Movistar offered twice the commissions I´d not let them through the door.

Another rant : Carrefour

 
Carrefour has a chain of hypermarkets and supermarkets throughout Spain and 2 summers ago my local branch issued all the seasonal staff (presumably students) with tabards saying in English, "Happy to help"? I just turned the corner of an aisle to see two of my friends in a heated argument. "Sue" who is a friendly but LOUD Brit of about 70 years old and who is not averse to the odd bottle of gin before breakfast was screaming at some pimply youth whilst Juan Antonio who is a section manager and who has just begun to say "fork" without embarrassing me (LOL) was saying, "lo siento, perdóneme, disculpe, tranquila, por favor" at ten to the docena." Apparently Sue was looking for clothes pegs and expected said pimply youth to know what she meant and wanted to know why he did not understand her. Pushing her finger aggressively at his tabard, she screamed, "It says "Happy to help". So show me where the xxxxx clothes pegs are." Totally unacceptable behaviour!

Now as I didn't know what a clothes peg was (being a man!), Juan Antonio did not know what the hell was going on (like a Carrefour manager), "Sue" was getting more agitated (like a _ _ _ _ _ )and PY was conjugating "to go" like some satanic chant (trying to remember whether he spoke any English or not) we weren't getting anywhere. With a bit of explanation about little "pieces of wood, plastic or metal that clip wet washing onto the washing line" PY almost ran off and came back with a packet for about 2 euros. All sorted,

Morals of the story....

(1) if you see anybody in Carrefour with a tabard saying that he/she speaks English it would be sensible and polite to say ¿Habla usted inglés? and sigh if he says "Yes"


(2) if you need something specific try looking it up in a dictionary before you go and if the worse comes to the worst write it on a piece of paper and show it to an assistant.

(3) if you don't like the fact that the assistants don't speak fluent English ....learn Spanish or at least don't be rude .....or go somewhere they do - and pay more.

(4) If they think that anybody on the "Help" desk speaks English (too logical) go back to steps 1,2,3

(5) Don't sweat the small stuff!

PS A clothes peg is "una pinza de la ropa". Now I know what it is I'll work out how I use one soon. If I haven't got any I'll go to Carrefour and find PY and ask his help. Guess he'll go to his grave knowing clothes peg in English and where they are in Carrefour. LOL

PPS If anybody can explain to me why they keep changing where they display "Sex in a bottle" (A.K.A. as Chovi Ajonesa) I'll buy them a bottle!


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