Consumer complaints

This information is based on the procedure in Andalucia. All regions in Spain have a similar procedure, but the forms etc. can vary .

In every shop, office, workshop etc. that goods or services to consumers you can see a poster on the wall saying:

 ESTE ESTABLECIMIENTO TIENE LIBRO DE “QUEJAS/RECLAMACIONES” A DISPOSICIÓN DEL CONSIMIDOR QUE LA SOLICITE

And in English:

THIS ESTABLISMENT HAS A BOOK FOR “COMPLAINTS/CLAIMS” WHICH IS AT THE DISPOSAL OF CONSUMERS THAT REQUEST IT.

What is it and how does it work?

The existence of this book is compulsory for every commercial activity. If you have a complaint about the price or quality of a certain good or service, you can express this to the competent authorities. The aim is to solve your problem with the help of an authority.

The book of complaint is a serious matter. Whenever you think you need to use this, don’t hesitate. It is taken very serious by the authorities. The establishment must give you the form whenever you ask for it. Not having it or refusing to give is an infraction on its own. The procedure is usually quick and free of charges. You can also download the form from the website from the Junta de Andalucia. http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/salud/sites/csalud/contenidos/Informacion_General/c_8_consumo/informacion_interes_servicios_productos_consumo/hojas_quejas_reclamaciones?perfil=ciud

Fill in the form, expressing your complaint and, if possible, also the solution that you suggest (repair/change/refund/claim for costs and damages etc.). You leave a copy at the shop.  They have 10 days (weekends and bank holidays not included) to respond to your complaint. If they don’t, or your consider it insufficient, you must send a copy to the “Servicio de Consumo” of your province. Some bigger town halls also take them. Addresses and fax numbers you can find on the Internet. When you send something by post or fax, make sure it’s registered. Attach all relevant papers (bills, letters you’ve sent etc). Within a fairly short time you will either receive a letter to ask for more information and/or you will receive an invitation for  a mediation meeting with a representative of the establishment in question, or an invitation for an arbitral procedure before a “judge” or committee. These people will help you to find a solution for the conflict and/or verdict what will have to happen.

Parallel to this procedure you as a consumer can also start a formal legal procedure as well.

If you own a business or offer other services to consumers, you can get the complaint book at the offices of the provincial “Servicio de Consumo” and pay a small amount of taxes. In Andalucía you have to pay 2 € at the bank by completing tax form number 046 (download this here: https://www.juntadeandalucia.es/economiayhacienda/apl/surweb/modelos/modelo046/046.jsp) , and you’ll be given the complaint book showing the receipt. Of course you can also download the form from the Internet, through the link shown above. Remember it is compulsory to have this book, as well as the poster on the wall of your establishment!