Monday, November 3, 2008

Telefonica: Resolution, and maybe even some extra cash

A quick update on the Telefonica business:

After receiving notice from my former Madrid landlord that a bill had come from Telefonica in mid-October, I checked my account online and got the notice that the bank had rejected Telefonica's request for payment from my account. ¡QuĂ© sorpresa! I needed to send a copy of the notice to my friend in Spain, so she could print it out, take it to the bank with the money I'd left, and pay the bill. Of course, since nothing can ever be easy in Spain, Telefonica makes the file for the online notice with some strange IBM program I'd never even heard of. I had to download the program to be able to read the bill -- very annoying. It's particularly annoying since the normal bills all come as Adobe PDF files -- why this one has to be different, who knows...

But the good news is that I just checked my online account, and the bill is paid, so I won't be showing up on la lista de morosos. Better yet -- my friend's contact at Telefonica put the baja in effect from September 16 (the day I had initially called to give my two weeks notice) rather than October 1 (the day it should have ended, had they not screwed it up in the first place). So my November bill actually shows a credit of 22 euros for the telephone line for the last two weeks of September and the entire month of October (telephone is paid one month in advance, but Internet is not). The two weeks in September shouldn't have been refunded, but I won't complain.

Of course, this is only good on paper. I have no way of actually getting the refund. Telefonica will try to put the money into my bank account, which no longer exists, even though I told them on several occasions that the bank account is closed. Assuming that doesn't work, my guess is that they will send a check of some sort to my former address, even though I told them I was leaving not just that apartment but in fact the country (the continent!) as a whole.

At any rate, I can't complain. I'd rather have a phantom 22 euros coming my way than find out a year from now that I still owe money on a service that wasn't canceled when it should have been. My advice to anyone who wants to set up home phone or Internet service in Spain: Give yourself a couple of months to cancel and resolve all final bills OR keep your bank account open until everything with the Internet company is resolved. It was a lot easier for me to close my bank account than it was to cancel my phone and Internet services.

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