Canceling Movistar in Spain

You always seem to be thrown into this game of ring around the rosy/ round robin whatever you want to call it when you need to cancel a service and leave the country soon after; there are always hoops you have to jump and you can never see what’s coming up from around the corner.  I’ve experienced this many times but most recently with Moviestar.  I think I have probably spoken to every agent English or Spanish in the Madrid area.  I have been tranfered for hours on end and by the end of the day people knew my name without even seeing it pop up on their screen or having me tell them (they must all be in the same room mocking me haha).  Anyway, my point is it is never easy and you just have to stick to your guns and you’ll get what you want, it just may take 10 hours.

Here is a run through if you need to cancel your Movistar internet/land line in Spain:

1.       . You need to cancel (dar la linea de baja) 15 days in advance.  So plan ahead.  You don’t want to cancel your internet the day before you leave town because it is quite the process.  As far as I’ve found you can only call 1004 (the free from a moviestar phone hotline) to cancel or do anything.   Call them from your movistar landline!  First off it is free, second is that it really screws them up if you call from a moviestar mobile or other phone and you will end up on hold for 6+ hours no joke.

2.     .  Apparently your internet and your land line are a separate cancelation process even though many agents will tell you they both will be canceled if you just cancel one (don’t believe them).  Even though you pay for them both in a monthly bundle the cancelation process is separate.  To cancel your telephone line it must be 10 days in advance.  I learned this the hard way even though I insisted to the agent that he must cancel both separately immediately, I ended up paying 3 months I wasn’t even in the country.  Which leads me to the next point.

3.       . Cancel your automatic deposit!  (You can only do so by calling 1004) The only problem with this is if you have to pay the roll over bill the next month.  I thought that if I canceled my direct deposit that I could pay the remainder of my bill when I handed in my router (as they said I could), no such luck.  I had to go to the post office to pay a moviestar bill, they won’t accept bill payment at any storefront.  So this complicates things especially if you are leaving the country but if you aren’t coming back then moviestar won’t chase after you (wink wink hint hint).

4.       . Return your router! If you forget or don’t get a receipt they will charge you up to and over 100 euros a month until you either cancel direct deposit or return the goods.  You can return the router to any store front but wait for the receipt.  Oh and you have to give them the long cancelation number that the phone operator gave you when you arrive with your router (don’t get it wrong!).

5.       . Expect to spend 2-10 hours on the phone most of it on hold listening to the same shitty Built to Spill song that they haven’t changed in years.  It is meant to drive you crazy and make you hang up so no one has to deal with you.  This is also why you should call from a free moviestar line.

6.      . If you want to talk to someone in English expect to wait 2 hours before you hear a human voice.  And expect to be transferred back to Spanish when you need to cancel; although the English speaking agent may be listening in to help you get out of arguments they could get  lost in the transfer so brush up on some techy jargon and grow some cojones to throw some sass back at them when it is given because it happens.

7.      . It is a pain in the ass but really depends on the agent you get and how clear their connection is. Oh and all this is worth it because no matter what any realtor/agency manager tells you, it doesn’t cost you a cent to cancel/break your contract with Movistar early.  It only takes time.

8.       . Save every statement, receipt, phone number, name etc. and don’t expect to get any money back if you end up getting scammed into paying more.

9.      .  Plan ahead; you can never foresee all the hoops you will have to jump through up to the last minute.

10.  .  After you have made it through this process you will feel like you could run this company and hell maybe you should because they run it like they aren’t an international company, although they provide the best coverage in most areas but hell they are a chaotic mess.  I can’t help you choose an internet provider because I heard they are all the same when it comes to cancelation but I can shed some light on the situation.  I know there isn’t much information out there.  So good luck and I hope this helps.


14 thoughts on “Canceling Movistar in Spain

  1. Couldn’t agree more with this line, ‘you will feel like you could run this company and hell maybe you should because they run it like they aren’t an international company, although they provide the best coverage in most areas but hell they are a chaotic mess’.

    I cancelled my contract with them yesterday, the reason being is that in May I moved from Marbella to Madrid. My girlfriend (who is Spanish) phoned up to TRANSFER (remember that, it will come in useful) my existing line to our new apartment in Madrid.

    The line never got cancelled, I was being charged for that line and here comes the icing on the cake, when the technician came to install my ADSL he made me sign a form saying he had carried out the work correctly. Well, apparently that was my new contract for my NEW line so since May 2013 I have been paying for 2 lines, one which should have been cancelled 6 months ago and the line in Madrid with the wrong tariff.

    Of course its my fault, movistar have nothing to say and when you get through to someone they think its funny to start cracking out jokes like “Luke i am your father” which under normal circumstances are funny, but after being robbed of close to 500€ and no visual end OR date as to when my refund will be made, really isn’t what i want to hear.

    So I cancelled the contract, spoke to my bank and cancelled the direct debit and managed to get the last 3 payments returned.

    I’m sure in the next few days i will be receiving a letter saying I haven’t paid the last month, they are good at catching people that don’t pay, but RUBBISH at working out if they have over charged a customer, and if so reimbursing them.

    I have no idea what is going to happen next but I know for a fact that I would get my ADSL or mobile phone with movistar if they were the last company on this planet. AVOID at all costs.

    One piece of advise, keep a note of ALL information, records, names and reference numbers as from this you can work out when the call was made and what was said vs. what was done.


    • I’m sorry you had a negative experience as well but I’m also amazed you were able to get some money back! How did you manage it? I hope more people share their experiences here so those who are already entangled with Moviestar can get out with more ease. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The refunds weren’t through movistar, if they owe you money it will be at least 12 months before they realize there is a problem, and probably another 6-12 months before you see any sort of payment. And you can bet your bottom dollar it wont be a payment in full, it will be a part payment recurring every month which arrives one month and not the next.

    My ‘refunds’ were through the bank, I went there and explained, said they weren’t authorized to take the money from my account and gave it back to me.

    It’s a scam, a huge scam. I’m now with Jazztel, paying half what I was with movistar, no contract (can leave at ANY time with no penalty), 20mbs, and people that actually make note of what your saying and don’t mess up every time. So far, so good!

  3. I thought I had cancelled my ADSL and line when I moved house. They asked me if I wanted to transfer, but there was already ADSL and a landline where I was going, so I said no.

    Without me realising (and in my defence, I suffer from very poor health, so it took a while to sport it, they continued to take the money from my bank for a YEAR after I cancelled it. This happened despite the new occupants of my former property having a new line and ADSL put in.

    Having experienced Telefonica thieving money from my bank in the past, I gave them the wrong bank account number, as I intended to pay in the Correos, after establishing the bill was correct.

    However, Deutsche bank paid them – without a correct number (it was similar, but I mixed the last 4 digits up), which is, apparently, illegal. Deutsche denied they were given the wrong account number, even though I phoned Telefonica from the bank, in front of their staff, and Telefonica read the account number they had on file – that is, the wrong one.

    This complaint is as much about Deutsche as Telefonica. I thought I had protected myself against the theft of money from my account, but Deutsche helped them do it!!!

    Nearly a year, several complaints and a denuncia later, I have still not had any money back. Telefonica is a disgrace – but we all know that. How many times have they won the dubious title of ‘worst company in the world’? Deutsche bank is no better. They had previously failed to reimburse me for a purchase via the Visa Chargeback process. They lied, provided incorrect forms and were as obtuse as it’s possible to be. They would have had to stump up 1,000 euro, but they would have recovered it from the merchant. Jyske bank reimbursed me 2,000 euro for the same purchase (I used to cards) within 3 weeks. That was in Gibraltar, though; a far less lawless country.

    Spain is an absolute nightmare for consumers, their court system is a joke, and companies like Telefonica (sorry, but changing your brand name Movistar isn’t fooling anyone) and Deutsche bank take the p*ss on a regular basis.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience! And I’m glad you mentioned that Telefonica is the big corporation behind Movistar because they are behind other brands as well. I wish I had more time to research because I know there are now enough people complaining about delays in cancelations and unauthorized continuation of payments that groups and communities have formed to help people try to get their money back…but it shouldn’t have to be this way. And don’t get me started on banks 🙂 haha. I wish I could post about a bank I’ve liked living abroad but I just haven’t found it yet.

  4. I don’t know about other countries, but there are no good banks in Spain. They literally do what they like with your money with, seeming, impunity. I eventually went with Deutsche as, on a basic level, they were more efficient – and by that I mean their staff didn’t stand around smoking and chatting to their colleagues and friends whilst a ginormous queue built up.

    However, when it came down to let companies take money from my account without the correct bank details, and not applying the Visa Chargeback regulations, they were an effing disgrace.

    Talking of all Spanish banks, look how many problems Santander had when they first set up in the UK. They thought they could provide the same level of service as they do in Spain and this would be acceptable. Until very recently they were consistently voted as the worst bank in the UK.

    And Telefonica is simply shit: end of. And that includes any product or company they have their grubby little fingers into. They only get away with it because they have the monopoly in South America and had the monopoly in Spain until very recently. Without Latin America they would have gone bust once they had any credible competition in Spain (although there were many places in the Costa del Sol – and I’m sure many places elsewhere in Spain – where you still have no choice but Telefonica).

  5. Pingback: Phones in Spain | From here to home and beyond...

  6. I personally never do anything over the phone especially not in Spain since is the crapiest crap U can ever experience and I know what I’m talking about. U need to have paper in your hand for whatever u do in Spain otherwise U are lost soon or later with no proofments what have u done what was promised etc . Bye M.

  7. I too have had an awful experience with Movistar. They sent us a bill for nearly 2 years with our agreed payment yet in addition they were charging us for movil services that were supposed to be included in our contract such as minutes, establishing a line, and sms. These did not show on our bill as we found out nearly 2 years later when we were going through our bank statements. Every time we call in regards to it we get a different story. The last time our friend who works with Telefonica got hung up on as he was trying to help us out. They told him they need to see our bills with the additional charges which we wish we had. We would have canceled with them in the beginning had they been sending us bills with all the additional charges. We are now with Jazztel.

  8. Telfonica was a pain in the ass and Movistar still is, although much less than Telefonica. However, your post is EXTREMELY exagerated. Waiting for 2 hours in line because you want to speak English? Being 6-10 hours on the line to cancel? That simply isn’t true. I’ve cancelled the line + ADSL several times, never any hours of wait or on hold. Exagerating will not do anyone good. Really, mentioning the real problems is enough: Movistar generally keeps charging your account although you’ve cancelled it. Watch out for overdrafting fees! Getting a refund is not that complicated though.

    • I appreciate your concern for not wanting to read or others to be misled by an entire exaggerated account. Looking back on the post it isn’t in alignment with other useful posts on my site. I was venting and not mentioning my own naivety and errors (like calling looking for an English speaker around the siesta when many people aren’t in the office) which led me to dealing with the issue of canceling for 10 hours (doing research, looking up account info, making multiple error filled calls etc.) and truly being on the phone at one point for 5hrs, the majority being on hold. Although I didn’t go into the details of why the phone call took so long, I did post ways to avoid some of the errors that led me to being on the phone that long (ex. Calling from a Movistar mobile vs. the landline). But it’s true, it was a rant with exaggerations.
      I actually did go back to using Movistar after this experience and wrote a rough draft that I never posted but have been meaning to post. The second time I canceled with Moviestar I was more proficient in Spanish and it was a super smooth transaction. As soon as I have the time I will finish and post the clear steps I followed that led me to that positive experience. As I learned later, not everyone deals with long hours on the phone with Moviestar worldwide and personal blogs aren’t always the best outlet for venting. Thanks for calling me out. Looking back I’m sad I posted a rant within what could be an informational post. We live and learn to edit ourselves.

  9. So true! Movistar is a piss poor company, since you have to cancel your subscription with them in the bank by blocking their access, because they just grab the money – even raise the prise for the same deal – and refuse anything in english by direct contact, by email or by phone 1004 that does work on a normal phone and they command to call back exactly 15 days ahead at 16:00 o’clock.

  10. Here there have just been a change from Moviestar to Vodafone and apparently Vodafone provides the same service just as fast but 10 euro cheaper!!

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