CEX Madrid

cexI am quite the movie addict. I’ve seen my share of classics, a lot of good, bad and some I’m ashamed to even name; but what’s great about learning a new language is that you can watch even the bad ones and feel ok about it because it’s like a form of “study” even though probably a lot gets lost in translation. The best part about watching movies dubbed in Spanish is that the dub over stars here in Spain are awesome and sometimes make the characters more bad-ass when needed; it makes the bad movies endurable.  Here is a mini example of how Spain dubs can be 10 times better than other dubs: Adventure Time Opening
I also like to watch films in Spanish with Spanish subtitles and sometimes that is hard to come across online or just a pain in the ass. So if you are looking to find a series or some films that can be dubbed and have subtitles check out CEX.
They have a range of movies and tv series which you can browse online. They also sell video games, music and an assortment of used electronics and phones. The great thing about it is that everything is fairly affordable and can be sold back for either cash or store credit. Check it out. I’ve found many useful DVDs for school at only a euro and they have come in very handy when the school’s internet doesn’t work.

You can find them on Calle de Atocha 40 and also Calle de Madrid 28,  in Getafe.

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Phones in Spain

If you have an Iphone or an Android in the states or some phone that can fit a sim card and has 3G access, bring it abroad with you. I must say I envy all my friends who can text with a keyboard or pad instead of pushing the same number 3 times to get one letter, or being able to jump online and ping your location so as to never get lost, or look up cool places and restaurants close by etc. etc. It is super helpful to have a super phone when you are living in a new city, especially when you are not used to the language yet.
As long as your phone is unlocked (a fairly easy process) you can purchase a SIM card and pay as you go for minutes and data, it is a dream come true. No more huge bills for barely using or going over your data usage, no more contracts (although you could sign one if you are staying put for more than a year).
The best bet I’ve found was Tuenti. I know it’s like if facebook came out with a phone, would you buy it? Well, it is not just a scam to hook you into using the Tuenti social network. In fact they have good service because they are hooked into the Moviestar broadband network so you can pretty much get good coverage everywhere for a much cheaper deal than Moviestar.
For 1 GB of data you will pay 7 euros +IVA but you pay extra for mobile minutes, you used to be able to get 3GB for 20 euros +IVA with some minutes included. I hardly ever call anyone, I just use whatsapp so this is a great deal for me.
There is no contract. You can quit anytime no penalty with tuenti. If you go over your data or minutes and have enrolled in auto-top up then you receive no added costs!
You can purchase the sim cards and new phones from their website and they arrive at your door via moto-delivery; they confirm delivery time beforehand via email. Sometimes you have to go to the post office to pick up your sim card.
The downer is they don’t have a storefront location for convenience but there are a couple of places you can find tuenti sim cards and you can top-up at some of the moviestar machines. Everything can pretty much be handled online and they do have an English department that will respond to emails if desperate. I haven’t had a complaint yet. Tuenti has been a great choice for me and I haven’t had to deal with any of the problems some of my friends have had with Yoigo or Orange. I’d recommend tuenti for anyone who is a temporary in España.

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.