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Saturday, 9 June 2012

DON'T GET DONE BY DON

A few years ago I remarked to Henderson that I was having difficulty understanding how this country functions, how it works as all I could see was corruption on a massive scale and that was just the lawless hinterland I found myself in not the rest of Spain. I never imagined that it would collapse and despite the grim news I still hope that Spain can keep it together. I often think that when Franco died the Spanish went on a massive bender and only now are thinking about applying the brakes. It's as if they have just woken up and read the small print, whereas before they just shoved it in a drawer and resumed the fun and games.

We had an appointment at 8.30 this morning at our bank to do the Renta and were told to take a seat when we arrived. This was at the desk of the person who presumably would do our tax return and while we waited I noticed the back of the cash machine next to me was open and stacks of money lay next to it. The person responsible for filling the machine came along, said good morning and went about his work. I am not sure if this is just a very trustworthy place but it is the same bank that declares it has an alarmed caja fuerte or safe where the key is kept on top of a cupboard just as you enter.

Today we went to Telefonica to finally sort out some sort of contract for my mobile phone. I've been paying between 15 and 20 Euros a month pay-as-you-go and all I get is about 40 texts and a fifty second phone call to H before I get a message saying the credit is low. At first the girl told me that I might as well stick to purchasing credit as having a contract was going to cost about the same. When I pointed out that there was a deal where I could get unlimited texts and be able to navigate the web she said it would be 10 Euros or 13 if I wanted the calls to be 6 cents a minute. This all took about an hour with her talking into two mobiles at once with her arms crossed over her chest and then on a land line and then putting tons of info in a computer. This was multi tasking extraordinario and she even managed to serve someone else and have a chat with a pal on one of the phones. Of course all this infuriated H who expects things to run like Germany with the politeness and charm of the British sales man or woman wherever he goes. He complained that both the girls serving were wearing their sunglasses on their heads and then moaned about the other one chewing gum. He is definitely turning into my father. The girl who served us was very helpful but I fail to see how this sort of business can go on for much longer. The sort that takes hours and involves things that have nothing to do with your purchase. She did however tell me about Whassup or whatever it's called and its free calls and suggested I ring Telefonica to stop the 3 Euros 50 cents I have been paying for years that is apparently for mantenimiento, or maintenance as she reckons it is a bit of a con or a tonteria. I don't find it hard to believe that Telefonica has had a couple of hundred Euros out of me for nothing and I am thinking of trying to get it back. Sadly, as far as I know there is no Spanish equivalent of Dominic Littlewood or Rogue Traders to investigate this con so I will try to do it myself.


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