Making Consumer Complaints in Spain – what are your options?

  • Pedro
    Pedro heads a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary law firm located in the centre of Torrevieja. For more than 20 years he has provided English-speakers in the area with expert guidance on such matters as property conveynaces and property law in general, contractual disputes, commercial law including business formation, as well as family law and inheritances.
  • Carmen
    Carmen is a highly experienced lawyer and leads a multi-disciplinary law practice with offices across Murcia. Expert legal advice is offered in all major areas of the law including property law, contract breach/debt recovery, family law and inheritances as well as business formation and taxation.

Every citizen, customer or consumer who believes that a company or professional whose services they hired has infringed their rights may:

  1. Contact the customer service department of the particular company or professional, if any, to explain the situation, and
  2. If an amicable agreement cannot be reached or if the solution offered by the company or professional is not satisfactory, can then submit a formal complaint via an Official Complaints Form that should be made available by the business to it’s customers. If the business does not make the Official Complaints Form available, then a written complaint with a description of the events that led to the complaint as well as the customer’s details and the solution that they wish to obtain may be signed and presented.

Together with the Official Complaints Form, the customer should add any relevant documentation that will help to clarify the situation (receipts, invoices, contracts, proposals, photos). The Complaint may then be submitted to any of the following: Servicios Territoriales de Comercio y Consumo de la Comunidad Autónoma, Oficina Municipal de Información al Consumidor or to the Asociaciones de Consumidores.

Professional Arbitration

Companies/professionals and consumers alike may voluntarily agree to Consumer Arbitration which is a non-judicial process that will conclude with a decision that is binding on all of the parties. There are companies that have decided voluntarily to have any complaints that they have been unable to resolve directly by their consumer complaints department sent to a professional arbitration panel. If the company and customer agree, they can have the arbitration panel review the complain and make a binding decision.

Should either the company or professional not agree to said arbitration, or if the mediation and management of the complain by the Consumers Association does not satisfy the customer, there remains the option of judicial proceedings.

Court Proceedings

The Rules of Civil Procedures (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil ) establishes that for those complaints where the matter under dispute involves an amount of money less than 2,000 €, the applicant can litigate without the assistance of a lawyer or procurador. That is to say that, if the consumer has not obtained a satisfactory response either via the customer services department of the company or professional that the complaint is being made to or indeed via the complaint made to the relevant Consumer Association body, then the customer may take the matter to the Court of 1st Instance appurtenant to where the business is located. thereupon it will be the Judge’s decision that will definitively decide the dispute.

It is worth highlighting that in those cases where the matter under dispute is of low value, that it is unnecessary to pay the costs of the other party where the claim is rejected by the Court.

It can therefore be recommended to make use of this option in those cases where earlier efforts via the consumer association and customer services department of the relevant business do not resolve the matter adequately (return of the amount paid for the unsuitable goods or services, the cost of repair of the product purchased, invoices improperly billed). If the consumer chooses to take the matter to court, they will not face an order for costs if they fail – an important point when considering taking legal action in Spain.

It is of course advisable to seek legal advice when drafting the complaint, with the consumer able to defend and represent themselves in court, without additional costs. Of course, this would require a high level of Spanish.

Client Testimonials

Below is a list of recent reviews received from our clients, obtained via the Wufoo client survey platform:

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    Darren & Gemma Nesbitt, Valencia
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018
    Inmaculada has been of excellent service to us, as a family and in helping to set up a business in Spain. She has now undertaking several project for us and has delivered high quality on all of them. ...Perfect service!
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    Patsy Valentin, Granada
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018
    Extremely accommodating and highly professional and very pro active. Excellent result and service. Highly recommended.
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    Jovie, Malaga
    Wednesday, September 05, 2018
    My lawyer Alvaro was extremely helpful and very efficient. I would definitely recommend his services to friends.
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    Albert Roldan, France
    Tuesday, September 04, 2018
    Alfonso was extremely helpful, particularly since we requested a quick turnaround for the 18 documents needing to be translated from English and French to Spanish.

    He was fluent in our phone conver...sations and email correspondence, he never misunderstood what our requirements were. He was was clear in explaining how this process works and what the price included.

    I would highly recommend him to anyone needing these services.
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    David Grundy, UK
    Friday, August 24, 2018
    Jose was very polite and we received an excellent service from him. Nothing was to much trouble and his communication was 2nd to none. Highly recommended!
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    Mario Klappholz, Miami, Florida
    Thursday, August 16, 2018
    Inma was very helpful, always happy to assist. I particularly appreciated her professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend her services to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Daniel Spitzhorn, Spain
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018
    Miguel in Oviedo helped us during the process of buying a flat in Asturias. He was just brilliant!
  • Default Avatar75
    Tracey Iliffe Bradley, UK
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018
    Rosa dealt with everything efficiently and promptly and went beyond our expectations by helping us to open a Spanish bank account and deal with other minutiae.
  • Default Avatar75
    Erslaan Ahmed, Bangladesh
    Friday, August 10, 2018
    Gave very good advice and provided an excellent solution. Inma is very professional in her work. I would recommend her services to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    John Ryan, Derby, England
    Wednesday, August 08, 2018
    A perfect relationship between client and professional. Nothing was too much trouble.

    Went over and above his job and more. I would only use his services if I need legal services. I were very lucky... to find Jose first time round.

    Thank you jose
  • Default Avatar75
    Robert Brownlee, Almeria, Spain
    Wednesday, August 08, 2018
    Everything was as it should be: excellent. Had to pay by bank transfer and maybe would have liked another means of paying.
  • Default Avatar75
    Delbecq, France
    Friday, August 03, 2018
    Cristina, is extremely professional, fast, responsive understand and explain well, she always found appropriate solutions and provide good advices.

    She know how to deal and negotiate, and look self...-confident, and make you feel less stress, you can trust here.

    The value for money is good, and she is up to date with technologies (mail/google app etc… very practical).

    It was a pleasure and a great luck to found here and have here at my side for my case. For anything, i should need a lawyer she will be the one I’ll work with
  • Default Avatar75
    Mohamed Nasir, England
    Monday, July 30, 2018
    My lawyer Carmen is a nice lady ,very professional. I would like to be her client again if I need a lawyer in the future.
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    Michael Harrison, Urb. Camposol Mazarron Murcia
    Friday, July 27, 2018
    Maria was extremely helpful and professional, and put herself out to satisfy my needs.

    I contacted her on a number of occasions and always had very good advise on costs etc.

    Her English was imp...eccable and could always be understood.
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    Michael Bates, UK
    Friday, July 27, 2018
    Francisco was very easy to deal with. Very professional. Would not hesitate to recommend him to friends.
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    Elizabeth Coelho, Barcelona
    Wednesday, July 25, 2018
    Oscar was very helpful and really understood my needs.
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    Janette Payne, France
    Wednesday, July 25, 2018
    Jaime was quick, made good suggestions about remembering to revoke the power in the future, very responsive - changing a meeting to suit our timetable - and even took us round to a DHL office and arra...nged for the document to be courriered after it was signed.
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    Janet/Alex Olsen, Newcastle
    Wednesday, July 25, 2018
    Overall the service provided by Oliver was exceptional.

    My mother and I couldn't of asked for more from him as he sorted out our family affairs. His attitude, attention to detail and promptness wh...ile helping us were second to none.

    His English is top notch and his way of explaining and or guiding you through what needs to be done makes the whole experience easier than expected.

    We'd recommend Oliver to anyone in need of his expertise while dealing with issues in Tenerife.
  • Default Avatar75
    Neil Linter, London
    Tuesday, July 24, 2018
    Cristina immediately understood our requirements and was essential in guiding us through a very tricky process.
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    Jason Yorke, United Kingdom
    Thursday, July 19, 2018
    Beatriz was really helpful and always kept me informed at all stages. She is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.
  • Default Avatar75
    Mr David P Robson, Valancia
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    My lawyer Francisca offered value for money and was very helpful. Will use her again.
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    Richard Day, London and Barcelona
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    My initial call to your service desk was responded to by Oscar very quickly.

    I appreciated his time as I outlined my issue, a problem with the building community and administrators. At the end of ...the call he provided clear guidance on next steps.

    Furthermore he quickly turned around the issue with an excellent drafted response for which I could not of hoped to be better worded. It was comprehensive and aligned perfectly with what I felt was needed.

    Excellent value for money and most definitely I would highly recommend Oscar.
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    Søren Aabel Hammer, Malaga
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    Beatriz was professional and quick to respond. Would definitely recommend to friends.
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    Patrick Crean, Almerimar
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    Juan was fantastic. Very easy to understand and very pleasant. I would definitely use his service again.
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    Damien Stephan, Benidorm
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    The whole process from start to finish was straightforward and well explained. I honestly cannot recommend them enough!

    They really went out of their way to be helpful and kept me up to date at ev...ery opportunity. Excellent value for money from some really nice and genuine people. True professionals.

    Wouldn’t hesitate to use again in the future.
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    Claire, Fuengirola
    Wednesday, July 04, 2018
    Alvaro assisted me during my experience at advocate abroad, and he was so kind. He answered any questions I had, and made me feel completely at ease.

    I knew I was in the hands of a professional. H...e could not have done more to help me.
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    Paul and Joyce Rose, Mijas, Malaga
    Wednesday, July 04, 2018
    Extremely helpful and very professional. Will definitely use Alvaro next time we require legal advice.
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    Nigel Whinnett, Esher, UK
    Wednesday, July 04, 2018
    Professional, friendly, efficient service, good value, a pleasure to use the services of the lawyer and his team. In depth knowledge of the relevant laws, taxes etc.

    Would highly recommend and use ...again.
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    Claire O'Gara, Fuengirola
    Wednesday, June 27, 2018
    I liked Alvaroós enthusiasm, and the great level of customer service. He always answered my questions thoroughly.
  • Default Avatar75
    Mrs Susan Vickery, Silves, Portugal
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018
    Good advice, very helpful and fast. Would definitely recommend Luis to friends.

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