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Spain may fine telecos for poor service

Source: Reuters - Tue 14th Jun 2011

Telephone companies in Spain could face fines for giving poor customer service, the country's secretary of state for telecoms was quoted as saying on Monday. The industry minister had started various investigations and the results would be announced shortly, Juan Junquera said in comments to Spanish news agency EFE, reported in Cinco Dias.

He did not say which telecoms operators were providing poor service nor did the report give further details of the allegations.

"Spain, with its regulation, is leading what has to be done in Europe in terms of consumer protection and we are not going to allow legislation to be broken," Junquera said.

Spain's telecoms operators have a reputation for poor customer service and figure high in complaints made to consumer associations about problems like overcharging, dubious sales practices and a failure to resolve technical problems.

There was competition in Spain, shown by falling mobile call prices, but prices for SMS and data were still too expensive, said Junquera.

Spain's crisis has accelerated competition as cash-strapped consumers have started shopping around for cheaper prices, resulting in dominant operator Telefonica losing market share.

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