You and the law in Spain
Here you will find articles on practical legal issues in Spain. These articles have been published in various papers and magazines.
- 04-09-2011What if you can’t pay the mortgage…
- 01-08-2011Selling your Spanish property
- 24-06-2011Consumer complaints
- 05-06-2011The “denuncia”
- 15-05-2011NIE number, residencia, registration, padrón etc.
- 15-03-2011Legal Aid
- 14-02-2011Renting out your property
- 26-01-2011Buying property in Spain
- 12-01-2011Inheritance procedure
- 11-01-2011Making a will in Spain
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.
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 can do this online or leave a copy at the shop/company etc.
The company that you complain about 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.