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Getting internet and a fixed line phone

Some people won't bother, but if you need an internet connection you need a fixed line which normally means dealing with Telefonica.

From getting the schools, then we went into commercial territory for a fixed line phone. This was a real pain. We waited for four hours in Telefonica's shop on Placa Cataluyna (this is a commercial company?) only to find that to get a fixed line phone we need a phone(!) and that a UK mobile phone doesn't count, and we needed the bank account number which we didn't have. Bank account numbers don't appear on Spanish Debit cards you need a separate piece of paper.

So we needed a quick pre-pay phone (advice get a cheap Spanish pre-pay phone as soon as you arrive - you need a number to put on a lot of forms). Having got the pre-pay phone we then had to go through the same waiting process again to get it set up. We're probably mad but we did this together with 3 small children twice! Thankfully there isn't a lot in the Telefonica shop for children to break (actually there isn't a lot in there at all - certainly very very few staff on the counters).

We could have got the pre-pay phone through Telefonica but based on this experience I decided at this point to avoid anything else to do with Telefonica or it's mobile arm. If they fix their service please let me know and I might reconsider. Once this was done the line could be reactivated. This took about a week.

We then needed an Internet connection. Because we need to get hold of email etc we were actually using our local library's computers for free internet access while we were waiting so we were actually members of the library very early on.

Getting the internet connection we chose ya.com which could be ordered online and was reasonably quick - 3-4 days to supply the modem. But then took a couple of weeks to sort out problems on the line and connection itself. Telephone calls to a support line in Spanish was a hard introduction to just how bad our Spanish was, but we did get it sorted eventually (no they don't teach you this at language school and no, the service operators don't speak any English at all).

Almost immediately you get a phone line you will get telesales calls. Even from Telefonica trying to sell you their phone services (they just don't seem very switched on).

Subsequent note: If you do make and receive calls from the UK a lot, then it's worth getting the Skype (www.skype.com) telephone package. For around €3.95 per month you get free calls to phone lines across Europe and a phone number in the UK so it's cheaper for people to call you and you can redirect the Skype line to any phone number if the computer is turned off.


Previous article: Residency card Next article: Bank accounts - item one on the list

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