How many of you know that if you are dissatisfied with a bar, restaurant, shop, or other type of business in Spain you can make an official complaint through the Spanish authorities?
It is law that businesses have to have these books of forms on their premises and that they have to process the complaint if you make it. But really try saying “Hoja de Reclamciones” and often you won´t even need to get to that stage, because the business will not want the Consumer Office looking into their business.
So, how does it work?
You go into a business and first of all make an official complaint. You can also do this by telephone (keep a record), or by letter, best by burofax. If they do not deal with it properly after a suitable period of time, ask nicely for the Hoja De Reclamaciones. They will ask why and of course try and dissuade you. You will tell your story and if no agreement can be reached, then the forms should be produced.
The forms should be completed on the business premises, and if you can, in Spanish, but if not, in English. You state what the reason for the complaint is and what result you would like to see, a refund, or something fixed, for example. You cannot claim damages, this isn´t going to Court, it is just an arbitration procedure by the local Consumers Office.
You need to include your name and address, phone number, but they will reply by post, the dates and timing of what has happened, supply and keep copies of any evidence relating to the complaint, like price lists, invoices etc.
The business needs to tell you their official name, CIF number for example, to put on the form. The member of staff, owner or manager, might want to add some comments to yours, but usually they do it separately. Then make sure you have your original evidence, and take the top two pages (a white one and a green one). The pink one is left in the book for the business.
You then take the white one plus photocopies of your evidence, invoices, receipts, whatever to the local Consumer Office. If you don´t know where it is then go to the local Town Hall.
There are about 5 offices of OMIC in the Murcian region
On the website of the Orihuela Town hall, they say that you cannot claim against private sellers as that is not their business, nor Community issues, or against the Social Security, Treasury,etc, as that is against the Authorities.
Once you have found out where to go locally, it is best to go personally, so that you can get a stamp on your receipt of your complaint, but you can also send it through the Post office by burofax (signed for delivery).
Then the complaint is looked into and they will contact the business. You could get a result in a few weeks or a few months (you know what Spain is like!). You hear by post to your address. You must retain all the documents and the green copy of the Hoja de Reclamaciones in case they are asked for.
And if you are a business and need a book of forms we charge 25€ for these. Please let us know if you need one for your premises.
The nearest consumer office to us is in Orihuela is in Calle Jose Perez Ruiz 7, 2º.