Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

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jimuazu
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Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:56 pm

Okay, how hard can it be to set up a Duo fixed line plus 2Mb internet package? The installation was fast and efficient, and everything was going fine, but now somehow Telefonica have managed to charge us 231 soles for the first month when it is supposed to be 69 soles + 2 soles installation. We filed a complaint and paid the 71 soles, but despite that today we received an automated message telling us that we would be disconnected.

Are Telefonica representatives paid to lie, or do they just lie because it is less effort than actually solving the problem? The woman who received the complaint told us that the extra 160-odd soles charge was due to fractional monthly billing. There is no way to rearrange the figures to make that make sense. Trying to sort it out with the office that arranged the original contract came up with a different explanation -- that it was due to some complicated combination of billing periods, but that it would all work out okay if we waited for the next bill. Today I registered with Telefonica online, and got hold of the original bill (which they had somehow failed to deliver to us), which shows that they charged the full price for a month in which we had only 17 days of use (full long-term price, not even the introductory price), plus a charge for the telephone which was supposed to be free. I wonder if they just try it on because a certain percentage of Peruvians will just roll over and pay rather than lose their services.

I'll go back to the original office and try again if they do cut us off, with all this information in hand now I've got hold of it.

What I want to know is whether there is any leverage I can use against them? What if I threaten legal action for not completing their contract? Is there any other big stick I can wave? Some government telecoms office that I could complain to that they are afraid of? What if they know they're dealing with a foreigner not a softy Peruvian -- will that make any difference? (The contract is in the name of my wife.) This is more than a little frustrating -- I may drop off the 'net in a couple of days.


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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby chuck » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:13 pm

I would raise this issue with INDECOPI, website here http://www.indecopi.gob.pe/0/home.aspx?PFL=0&ARE=0 .

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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby americorps » Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:55 am

Indicopi will not accept a telefonica complaint, they must go to the telecommunications office.

You must file with Osiptel, but there is a strict procedure you must follow.

1. You need to file a reclamo first with Telefonica. You have the right to do it over the phone, but it is not a good idea to do it that way because the recording of your call will get "lost" when you file the denuncia with osiptel, so instead, make it in writing and take 2 copies to a telefonica multi centro and file it there. They then have something like 21 days to respond. MAKE SURE THEY STAMP YOUR LETTER AND GIVE YOU A CODE, it starts with 2 letters followed by about 5-6 digits.

2. They are SUPPOSED to, by law, send you a letter of response to your home..not an actual response, but a latter that says they have decided on your complaint, but for details, you must return to the multi centro for the answer.

3. More often than not, they do not send you anything and when you go back to the multi centro in 21 days, they can not find anything. This is where they try to trick you. They will tell you that they can not find anything and then write a report and ask you to sign it..DO NOT DO IT. This is a new reclamo and if you sign it, it starts the clock ticking all over again for another 21 days.

4. Every step of the way, write down the name of every person you speak to, even the idiots who just transfer you or cut you off, start off each conversation with getting their name and what office they are in..noting the time and date. Take that information, a copy of your reclamo with their stamp and the reclamo number to Osiptel and they are very kind and helpful ONLY IF you have all your documents. They will then follow up with Telefonica and give them 1 month to answer then make a ruling.

Pain in the butt..you bet...worth it...hell yes. I have filed 8 denunicas with Osiptel in my home and somewhere around 12 for my former employer and I have won every single one. Not only do I get my problem solved and usually some credit off my phone bill, Telefonica gets an ever growing fine to the government and the more complaints they get, the higher the fines get.

they folks at Osiptel love me because they love to stick it to Telefonica and complain that too many people simply take it or do not bother with the process. They have power and can effect change. I would suggest you bother if you have the time and patience. I understand, however, there are time the bother simply is not a priority.

I am very clear when I have had employees who work or worked for Telefonica apply for jobs with me. I WILL NOT HIRE THEM because Telefonica not only allows for dysfunction, they strive for it. They push their folks hard to not serve the customers and they refuse to fix their dysfunction and I want none of that sickness brought to my office.

If you need help, PM me because I really enjoy it when they have to squirm and apologize after they are forced by the government to accept responsibility to provide the service contracted for the price paid.

http://www.osiptel.gob.pe/WebSiteAjax/
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:30 am

americorps wrote:You must file with Osiptel, but there is a strict procedure you must follow.


This is exactly what I wanted!! Really many thanks for this.

americorps wrote:the folks at Osiptel love me because they love to stick it to Telefonica and complain that too many people simply take it or do not bother with the process. They have power and can effect change. I would suggest you bother if you have the time and patience. I understand, however, there are time the bother simply is not a priority.


I think my wife would prefer that I was doing something rather than simply sitting here fuming.

americorps wrote:I am very clear when I have had employees who work or worked for Telefonica apply for jobs with me. I WILL NOT HIRE THEM because Telefonica not only allows for dysfunction, they strive for it. They push their folks hard to not serve the customers and they refuse to fix their dysfunction and I want none of that sickness brought to my office.


There is one guy in the office where we did the contract in Huancayo that I would hire. He is unbelievably straight, really trying to sort out our problem for us, but one guy in a small office can do almost nothing against the rest of Telefonica. He is wasted on Telefonica. I hope he finds a better career path. Maybe he should work for Osiptel!!

It is amazing how Peruvians shrug and pay up, or put up with really terrible abuse from companies or institutions (I could tell a story here). It is a pretty sad business model if it depends on pumping the weak for cash through tricks like this. Yes, I will stick it to them!!
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby agantuk » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:53 pm

exact same thing happened with us...we signed up for the same duo at S/. 49 a month (for the first 3 months) and they they sent the first bill for S/. 140 and also argued that the special rate was only for the first two months...

our contract was read to us (and recorded) over the phone because we ordered the service online...we made the telefonica people listen to their own recording and that set everything straight...telefonica chalked up the whole thing to just a *mistake*...
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Polaron » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:13 pm

There's a reason people in Spain (where Telefónica is from) call the company, "Timofónica."
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby sanbartoloian » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:36 am

Telefonica is a nightmare... if they aren't paid to lie, they should go on strike because they do it so well. I had Telefonica wars this past summer and it took weeks to work it out.

If you think Peruvian soft however, you need to get out more.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:35 pm

sanbartoloian wrote:If you think Peruvian soft however, you need to get out more.


I don't have to get out more because my wife brings all this stuff home, constantly relating the latest disasters from around her extended family. Sometimes I find it unbelievable how they let bad situations go on so long instead of standing up for themselves, defending their corner and putting things straight.

As an example, one sister is paying to have a house built. The company building it carries on taking her money every month, but the house itself should have been completed 18 months ago according to the agreement, but it is nowhere near. There are only 8 craftsmen working on the whole site so there is little hope of things improving at anything more than a snail's pace. However her situation is nothing compared to another woman we met when we went to complain, who has completely paid up her house more than a year ago, but there is nothing more than a shell there. There is a guy there paid to lie to them that everything will be done very soon. They feel powerless, accept it and carry on renting elsewhere. I can't think about it too much because I get too angry. I would be organizing a protest march, raising awareness with the council, getting things in the newspaper, looking for legal avenues, starting a strike, pushing however I could. There is an attitude of "Me han enganyado otra vez" almost like that makes them the same as everyone else, like this is normal. I've heard this from several people. Maybe this is a central highlands thing, I don't know. They feel powerless, and instead of doing something (anything!), they do exactly nothing, like a rabbit in the headlights. They are easy victims for Telefonica and friends.

If there are any charities out there who like saving people from powerlessness, there is plenty of work to do here. Education on what is reasonable and what is not, and how to fight when a company goes over the line. I could give several examples of people working for months on promises and never getting paid, guarantors of loans unknowingly becoming guarantors of future loans and getting landed with huge debts, all kinds of nonsense. How do you save a society from itself? It is more than a full-time job. It's almost like something fundamental in the cultural psychology has to change. Maybe this can be traced back to being conquered by the Spanish, or maybe they have always been like this, who knows? All I can do is keep our corner straight and try as best I can to guide those close to us who get into trouble.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby goingnowherefast » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:03 pm

I wouldn't call Peruvians soft, because generally they aren't, but I hear what you're saying. I've worked with SO many people who say he/she has owed me money for xx amount of months or I am working this week without getting paid, stuff like that. Bottom line is there is enough cash to go around but the greedy always get their hands on the pie first. My advice is just pay the extra 30 or 40 dollars, you'll be pissed off for a week because of this, then you'll run into problems with your girlfriend, then she'll tell you she's pregnant so you won't leave, then you'll start telling all your family you're having a baby, and you'll find out its all bogus and it happened because of an angry Telefonica call : )
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Polaron » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:21 pm

Jim, I suggest you PM Americorps, because he has successfully taken on telephone companies here on several different occasions. There is no reason to put up with what they are doing or have done to you. Yes, we have to continue dealing with those companies, but it doesn't mean we have to put up with their bulldust.

PM Americorps; he'll explain it all to you. He loves to take on the phone companies.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am

Polaron wrote:Jim, I suggest you PM Americorps, because he has successfully taken on telephone companies here on several different occasions. There is no reason to put up with what they are doing or have done to you.


Don't worry about me! I am armed and ready now! Looks like they haven't cut us off. If they try anything else, I'll go straight into the letter + Osiptel procedure. I have located the Osiptel office in Huancayo.

goingnowherefast wrote:I wouldn't call Peruvians soft, because generally they aren't, but I hear what you're saying.


Thinking about it overnight, the way people resolve disputes around here is by talking and talking until they understand each other's point of view. For example someone cleared my father-in-law's field ready to plant it. He noticed and went to talk to them. They talked and talked, the other accepted that they didn't have a right to plant there, and my father-in-law paid them a basic rate for the work that they had done (I guess because it meant that he could plant it). This is how the system works when it works well. When faced with someone who talks and agrees but then does not complete, or who talks just lies, like big crooked companies, the system breaks down and they don't know what to do, until eventually as a group they get angry enough to strike or riot or whatever.

What they really need is a person in each district whose job it is to help with the paperwork to resolve complaints between individuals and large companies, via Osiptel or whatever, maybe a bit like UK Citizen's Advice. Anyone have a direct line to Ollanta to suggest it?
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby sanbartoloian » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:21 pm

Jim I completely agree. The challenge is what rights do people have? There is right and wrong but that doesn't get you a thing unlesss there is some respect for right and wrong. I dont think anyone at Telefonica has a clue.

jimuazu wrote:
Polaron wrote:Jim, I suggest you PM Americorps, because he has successfully taken on telephone companies here on several different occasions. There is no reason to put up with what they are doing or have done to you.


Don't worry about me! I am armed and ready now! Looks like they haven't cut us off. If they try anything else, I'll go straight into the letter + Osiptel procedure. I have located the Osiptel office in Huancayo.

goingnowherefast wrote:I wouldn't call Peruvians soft, because generally they aren't, but I hear what you're saying.


Thinking about it overnight, the way people resolve disputes around here is by talking and talking until they understand each other's point of view. For example someone cleared my father-in-law's field ready to plant it. He noticed and went to talk to them. They talked and talked, the other accepted that they didn't have a right to plant there, and my father-in-law paid them a basic rate for the work that they had done (I guess because it meant that he could plant it). This is how the system works when it works well. When faced with someone who talks and agrees but then does not complete, or who talks just lies, like big crooked companies, the system breaks down and they don't know what to do, until eventually as a group they get angry enough to strike or riot or whatever.

What they really need is a person in each district whose job it is to help with the paperwork to resolve complaints between individuals and large companies, via Osiptel or whatever, maybe a bit like UK Citizen's Advice. Anyone have a direct line to Ollanta to suggest it?
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby teamoperu » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:53 pm

Not sure soft is the word either, maybe beaten down. How much time and energy does the average working Peruvian have? Has to take time off or go on off-work time when there are LONG colas, debate the problem por gusto, repeat, get no where... give up. If it happens once, well... but think if you have to fight many many times, as in Peru... That is why they think denuncias are a waste of time, they cannot go to the tribunal, nothing happens... a waste of time.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:11 pm

Polaron wrote:There's a reason people in Spain (where Telefónica is from) call the company, "Timofónica."


Today we went to Telefonica ready with a long letter of complaint and a file of documents after they got the bill wrong again, all ready to go through the whole process with Osiptel if they rejected it (and I did mention that to the employee), and miraculously they sorted it out on the spot so they didn't have to accept the complaint. "Timofonica" indeed! So I think I'll do this every time -- if we're fully armed and ready, and appear up to speed, perhaps they'll back down in general. Going to Telefonica unprepared is asking for trouble.

I went to talk with the guys at the Osiptel office in Huancayo, who were very helpful, to check that we'd done everything right. We still have an outstanding reclamo -- which was incorrect and badly worded because it was done by an unhelpful Telefonica employee when we were still confused about everything -- and they say if Telefonica rejects that one, then we can appeal with a form from Osiptel. The fact that they have backed down on the second bill counts in our favour. So there still may be an opportunity to make Telefonica suffer for their sins with the regulator if they reject our first reclamo.

So, I really recommend taking Americorps advice and following the procedure and not putting up with any nonsense from Telefonica. They more they get away with it, the more they'll try it on. More Peruvians need to do this. As it is, it is still a two-tier system. Those who know about Osiptel and who seem up to speed get things sorted out, everyone else gets stonewalled and lied to. Well, at least we have a better idea of how to advise family and friends about this now.

Thanks to all who commented.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:45 am

Also, for reference perhaps I should explain how Telefonica invoicing works, at least in our case.

They invoice rental for a month in advance, plus the calls from the previous month. However, they don't start invoicing from day zero. In our case there is a week between the installation date and the first invoice period start date. Installation was the 11th, first invoice period was the 18th, and this invoice was issued on the 28th and must be paid by the 10th of the following month. Note that the period between the 28th and the 10th is not just for you to get around to paying it, but also for them to get around to delivering it. Even online our invoice didn't become available until the 4th this month.

According to one conversation, the uninvoiced rental period between the installation date and the start of the first invoice period will be charged when we CLOSE the account.

Also, although everything is in soles, they seem to convert to/from dollars internally in their systems, which is why you end up paying a weird amount a few cents different from the proper amount every time. I wondered whether this was some tactic to scrape a few cents more out of every transaction, or trick us into underpaying, but they round both ways so I don't think so.

I hope this help someone else untangle the confusion of Telefonica.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby sunflower » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:16 pm

I'm just sick and tired of this Telefonica / Movistar nonsense. We had a Duo with Telefonica and who knows why one day 4 month ago, our phone and internet didn't work anymore. After a day we went to the "service center" (what a joke) in Miraflores, because their "service number" (another joke) can only be called with a landline, which didn't work anymore. Two days after our complaint at least the internet worked again, but until now they couldn't manage to repair our telephone line properly; one day it worked, the other not, then for a week not,.... As it's impossible to call with a cell, we always had to go to their service center who promised to send a technician. But of course they expected us to pay the full amount of the bill otherwise they would cancel our internet. :evil:

After checking the Movistar webpage two weeks ago and seeing the prices they charge now for Duo's, I got really mad. :evil: :evil: :evil: For the price we pay for a normal telephone line, which doesn't work for 4 month, and a 1.5MB internet we could today get a 4MB with phone. :twisted: We had enough. My husband canceled his contract and I made a new one. Phone and 4MB for S/. 209, the first 2 month for S/. 69. They even checked for 15 minutes if the 4MB is available in our area. They told us no problem, they install everything in 3 to 5 days. I couldn't believe it, I finally should get a much faster internet and a working phone. But far from it. A week later two very nice, helpful and competent technicians installed everything. Perfect? Not really. Because they only installed a 2MB internet. The guys told and showed us the order they got; it stated 2MB, but I had signed up for 4MB. When calling the 104 with our new and working phone, we were told that we (???) changed the contract. WE didn't! We want a 4MB internet. She told us we were lying and hung up. Second call to 104, sorry we can't help you, please visit the service center you made the contract. For what reason do they have the 104 service number? Great back to Jockey Plaza, half an hour taxi drive, S/. 10, waiting for another half an hour, explaining our confusion and than the really strange and for me hard to understand explanation: at the moment we kind of have 4MB internet in your area, but technically it's not really possible to connect your house to it :shock: :? Therefore we changed your contract (without my knowledge!) and only installed 2MB at the moment. But you only pay the promotion price for the first two month anyway, so perhaps until than we can offer 4MB. So wait another two month and then you can complain. Sorry??? You are planning on sending me a bill for a 4MB connection while you only installed 2MB. No fu..... way. For me that's fraud and unacceptable. But as Telemx / Claro doesn't cover our area, we have no other option. The guy was actually quite nice, but we opted at least for the moment to change the contract to what we really have now in the house: cheapest phone line and 2MB. I'm anxious to see the first three bills.

It's really strange that a company with such a bad service, can still be in business. I really hope the market is opening up and customers have a choice. If I could I would immediately walk away from this crap.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Kelly » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:40 pm

Really, lack of options is the only reason they stay in business. The first time we moved, it took them nearly a month to get the service set up in our new house - yet they charged us for service in the old house (which had been disconnected) AND in the new house for that same period of time.

When we moved the second time, we canceled our service with them to pick up Claro - Telefonica continued billing us for 3 months after the service was discontinued.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby JGrizzle » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:04 pm

Would just like to mention that what has happened to the original poster has also happened to me, for the first 2 months it's supposedly 71 soles (69+2 for installation) but received my bill charging me 164 soles. But using the information americorps provided i will try to straighten this out.

Also in regards to what Kelly said, my girlfriend previously had telefonica internet and phone service, and when she cancelled for 3 or 4 months after they kept sending her bills, so now she has a debt of more than 400 soles even though several times she explained to telefonica that she is not receiving their service. Is she liable to any legal action?
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Kelly » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:04 pm

My husband has always managed to get the bills straightened out by going to the office. I know that hasn't worked for everyone, though.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby cally » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:34 pm

Wow! Thank you for this info. I HATE telefonica. They are despicable, dishonest, rude lazy ... well, I can't use the word I am thinking of here. I have had many bad experiences that I won't bore everyone with here. I'm sure we are all victims! This is the first info I have seen for how to lodge any kind of effective complaint against them. I think we should all rise up and flood Osiptel with Telefonica complaints.



americorps wrote:Indicopi will not accept a telefonica complaint, they must go to the telecommunications office.

You must file with Osiptel, but there is a strict procedure you must follow.

1. You need to file a reclamo first with Telefonica. You have the right to do it over the phone, but it is not a good idea to do it that way because the recording of your call will get "lost" when you file the denuncia with osiptel, so instead, make it in writing and take 2 copies to a telefonica multi centro and file it there. They then have something like 21 days to respond. MAKE SURE THEY STAMP YOUR LETTER AND GIVE YOU A CODE, it starts with 2 letters followed by about 5-6 digits.

2. They are SUPPOSED to, by law, send you a letter of response to your home..not an actual response, but a latter that says they have decided on your complaint, but for details, you must return to the multi centro for the answer.

3. More often than not, they do not send you anything and when you go back to the multi centro in 21 days, they can not find anything. This is where they try to trick you. They will tell you that they can not find anything and then write a report and ask you to sign it..DO NOT DO IT. This is a new reclamo and if you sign it, it starts the clock ticking all over again for another 21 days.

4. Every step of the way, write down the name of every person you speak to, even the idiots who just transfer you or cut you off, start off each conversation with getting their name and what office they are in..noting the time and date. Take that information, a copy of your reclamo with their stamp and the reclamo number to Osiptel and they are very kind and helpful ONLY IF you have all your documents. They will then follow up with Telefonica and give them 1 month to answer then make a ruling.

Pain in the butt..you bet...worth it...hell yes. I have filed 8 denunicas with Osiptel in my home and somewhere around 12 for my former employer and I have won every single one. Not only do I get my problem solved and usually some credit off my phone bill, Telefonica gets an ever growing fine to the government and the more complaints they get, the higher the fines get.

they folks at Osiptel love me because they love to stick it to Telefonica and complain that too many people simply take it or do not bother with the process. They have power and can effect change. I would suggest you bother if you have the time and patience. I understand, however, there are time the bother simply is not a priority.

I am very clear when I have had employees who work or worked for Telefonica apply for jobs with me. I WILL NOT HIRE THEM because Telefonica not only allows for dysfunction, they strive for it. They push their folks hard to not serve the customers and they refuse to fix their dysfunction and I want none of that sickness brought to my office.

If you need help, PM me because I really enjoy it when they have to squirm and apologize after they are forced by the government to accept responsibility to provide the service contracted for the price paid.

http://www.osiptel.gob.pe/WebSiteAjax/
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby americorps » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:42 pm

JGrizzle wrote:Would just like to mention that what has happened to the original poster has also happened to me, for the first 2 months it's supposedly 71 soles (69+2 for installation) but received my bill charging me 164 soles. But using the information americorps provided i will try to straighten this out.

Also in regards to what Kelly said, my girlfriend previously had telefonica internet and phone service, and when she cancelled for 3 or 4 months after they kept sending her bills, so now she has a debt of more than 400 soles even though several times she explained to telefonica that she is not receiving their service. Is she liable to any legal action?



The answer is yes, even it is as a result of gross incompetence and negligence on the part of Telefonica, it is your responsibility as a consumer to OFFICIALLY document and correct their errors. Unless and until you do, Telefonica is free to use any and all legal means to hold you accountable for any debt.

There are expats who, when surrendering their Carnet de Extranjaria, had outstanding debts noted on their SUNAT files and were unable to leave the country until they either satisfied the debt or proved it was not legitimate. However, the process takes to long to prove the debt is not legitimate, most just paid it.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Polaron » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:24 pm

:roll:

Make sure you document everything properly and always be ready to contact Osiptel. Here is another possible strategy you might take: contact the guy who is in charge of Latin America, José María Álvarez-Pallete. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica Latinoamerica.

Here is some physical contact information:

Distrito C
Edificio Central - 2ª planta
Ronda de la Comunicación s/n
28050 Madrid (Spain)
Phone: +34 91 482 38 00
e-mail: [email protected]

This is the address of the HQ building near La Gran Via in Madrid, and it is listed as the address for the Press Office (2ª planta, or 2nd floor). I've been in that building, and some of the executives' offices are on the fifth floor if memory serves, but the last time I was there was back in '97.

You probably won't end up speaking to Don Jose Maria, but you will get someone of importance, and a message from head office is often enough to grease the wheels. When I had problems with Claro in Argentina (and here), I contacted Rayford Wilkins, CEO of AT&T and a member of the board of directors for América Móvil (the Mexican parent company of Claro) and my problems evaporated in less than 24 hours.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby craig » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:15 am

Polaron wrote:There's a reason people in Spain (where Telefónica is from) call the company, "Timofónica."

The Spanish company is the present owner of Telefonica (Peru) but that is not "where Telefonica is from". Telefonica (Peru) is the privatized version of the old Peruvian state telephone monopoly. The rotten culture is home grown and comes from the old state monopoly. The new Spanish owners may not have helped but they are not the source of the evil.

Comparison with Claro is interesting. In Peru Claro seems to be clearly superior to Telefonica. However, in Mexico, Claro is the privatized version of the old Mexican state telephone monopoly. And, as a result, Claro in Mexico is every bit as horrible as Telefonica in Peru.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Polaron » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:51 pm

craig wrote:
Polaron wrote:There's a reason people in Spain (where Telefónica is from) call the company, "Timofónica."

The Spanish company is the present owner of Telefonica (Peru) but that is not "where Telefonica is from". Telefonica (Peru) is the privatized version of the old Peruvian state telephone monopoly. The rotten culture is home grown and comes from the old state monopoly. The new Spanish owners may not have helped but they are not the source of the evil.

Comparison with Claro is interesting. In Peru Claro seems to be clearly superior to Telefonica. However, in Mexico, Claro is the privatized version of the old Mexican state telephone monopoly. And, as a result, Claro in Mexico is every bit as horrible as Telefonica in Peru.


Just to clear up some misconceptions about Telefónica and Claro:

1. There's a reason Spaniards call it Timofónica. The company is most definitely not consumer-focused, and they have a long and well-deserved history of poor service. Telefónica de España was created in the mid-1920s (their headquarters building is a smaller copy of the old AT&T building, by the by) and it was a para-state company until 1997. I remember when I lived in Madrid the Spanish government completed its divestiture of Telefónica; it was in the news. So Telefónica also has a history as a paraestatal.

2. There is no company operating under the Claro brand in Mexico, unless there has been a very recent change. Do you have personal experience with Mexican cellular service that you would like to share with us, Craig? I ask, because Claro is a subsidiary of América Móvil, a venture started by Carlos Slim in 2000. In México, América Móvil operates under the brand name TelCel. It was never part of "the old Mexican state telephone monopoly." The company you are thinking about is Teléfonos de México (TelMex), which was fully privatized in the 1990s, bought up essentially by Don Carlos himself.

3. TelMex does not own and has never owned América Móvil. It is the other way around, in fact. América Móvil recently received clearance to purchase TelMex and is in the process of acquiring the landline company's outstanding stock.

When I first went to Mexico in the 1970s, TelMex was a disaster. It stayed that way until Carlos Slim took it over in the '90s. The change was rapid and dramatic; TelMex employees went from being demoralized, inefficient and sometimes downright rude to being helpful, capable and enthusiastic. It is now known to provide customer service that rivals that of the former Bell Operating Companies (BOCs) in the U.S.

When I left Mexico almost 10 years ago, I ended up cancelling my TelCel service, which in 2002 was every bit as good as any cellular service I had had in the U.S., with the advantage that Mexico used the él-que-llama-paga plan. I never had a single complaint about my cell service or my landline service the last time I lived in the Mexican Republic.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby craig » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:40 am

Polaron wrote:Just to clear up some misconceptions about Telefónica and Claro: ...

Yes, the Mexican telephone monopoly privatized to Carlos Slim was what I meant when I refered to "Claro" in Mexico (I probably should have said TelMex or America Movil to pay proper respect to the actual corporate hierarchy). If it has improved greatly under Slim's management, that is news to me.

Do you know if Slim still has monopoly privileges in Mexico? Recently, I heard that they might be ended soon but I never heard what actually happened.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby Polaron » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:20 pm

craig wrote:
Polaron wrote:Just to clear up some misconceptions about Telefónica and Claro: ...

Yes, the Mexican telephone monopoly privatized to Carlos Slim was what I meant when I refered to "Claro" in Mexico (I probably should have said TelMex or America Movil to pay proper respect to the actual corporate hierarchy). If it has improved greatly under Slim's management, that is news to me.

Do you know if Slim still has monopoly privileges in Mexico? Recently, I heard that they might be ended soon but I never heard what actually happened.


There's a saying in Mexico: You can't buy even a tortilla without putting money in Carlos Slim's pocket.

Just FYI, América Móvil was NEVER part of TelMex. It did not come into existence until 2000, years after the Mexican government privatized Teléfonos de México. Until last year, they were separate companies; then América Móvil opted to buy TelMex, which had launched its own cellular company (under the name TelMex). I mention this only to avoid confusion, because they are two separate companies.

Craig, have you had any personal experience with América Móvil or TelMex cellular? If so, it would be good to hear about your experiences and how they were resolved.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby craig » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:28 pm

Polaron wrote:Just FYI, América Móvil was NEVER part of TelMex. It did not come into existence until 2000, years after the Mexican government privatized Teléfonos de México. Until last year, they were separate companies; then América Móvil opted to buy TelMex, which had launched its own cellular company (under the name TelMex). I mention this only to avoid confusion, because they are two separate companies.

Interesting to know. I am afraid I have not paid much attention to how Carlos Slim organized (or reorganized) his empire.

Polaron wrote:have you had any personal experience with América Móvil or TelMex cellular?

Any experience I know about is second hand from Mexican friends.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby MarcoPE » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:17 pm

Well, if it's any consolation at all, Carlos Slim has lost about $7 billion worth of value in the last 4 days...
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby sbaustin » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:16 am

I'd love for someone to take a lawyer with them to Telefonica. I can only imagine how the workers would react. On a more serious side, has anyone seen any documentaries on telefonica peru? I mean I've seen a couple on things like the Kobe Burger at Bembos and would love to see someone make something outlining the wonder experience one has with Telefonica.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:16 pm

sbaustin wrote:I'd love for someone to take a lawyer with them to Telefonica. I can only imagine how the workers would react.


It would be very boring. Everything would magically be fixed on the spot.

As I said, I followed the Americorps step-by-step plan (detailed near the start of this thread), arrived with a detailed letter of complaint and a file of documents under my arm, mentioned Osiptel whilst talking to my wife whilst waiting at the counter, and somehow everything was instantly fixed. Perhaps this was overkill, but it worked.

All I can say, is that if anyone is being unfairly treated by Telefonica, stop making loved ones, pets, and innocent by-standers suffer as you fret about it, and get a letter of complaint to Telefonica. Then escalate to Osiptel if they still don't sort it out. There is a clear path available to improve the situation! (This assuming that your Spanish is good enough or that you have a friend who can translate.) Follow the step-by-step plan!
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby renodante » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:00 pm

Perhaps this was overkill


nah, i've learned in these parts, you have to show up with your guns loaded.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby sbaustin » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:17 am

jimuazu wrote:It would be very boring. Everything would magically be fixed on the spot.


I'm not sure it would be all that boring. I can just see the minimum wage worker getting presented some official looking document from the lawyer asking for their signature. On that topic, ask any Peruvian for their signature on a document and watch for the look of terror in their eyes.
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Re: Telefonica nightmare / Any consumer leverage?

Postby jimuazu » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:48 pm

Just to follow up with more Telefonica info. It seems that if you attempt a Reclamo (complaint) for less than S/50, they have to sort it out on the spot. They cannot file a Reclamo for under S/50. They give you something like a credit note in the form of a letter, and then when you go to the caja to pay you get that amount discounted from the total. Also I'm now understanding that when in doubt, just do a Reclamo. It is how they expect you to sort it out. It is cheaper for them than fixing their systems.

In more detail: Telefonica in Huancayo recently upgraded us from 2M to 4M without telling us, and increased the fee from S/139 to S/149. We went to Osiptel to find out what was going on, since I didn't trust the Telefonica office to tell us the truth. Osiptel explained it all -- Telefonica had changed their pricing structure and where permitted to move people from one package to the other it seems. New pricing structure was S/119 for 2M, S/149 for 4M (but 2M with a more basic telephone package). We went to do a Reclamo to pay S/139. They claimed that they had called us and got permission to upgrade us, but that was an obvious lie as we were away at that time.

Following month, bill for S/150 came through. They had billed us at S/120 for one week twice -- on downgrading us to the new cheaper 2M package, they'd started again even though we'd already paid that period. Also they managed to disconnect us in some apparently unrelated maintenance work. Disconnections are "Averias", you have to call 102, they'll do the same for you if you go to the office. If you call 102 again with the same details the machine will tell you whether you have an active call (we called again as I don't believe anything they say at Telefonica without verifying if I can). Did another reclamo for the overbilling and that was sorted out swiftly with a credit note letter as I mentioned.

Message is: their systems are rubbish, they expect to mess up and for you to do a reclamo. Also, go to Osiptel, they are very helpful and they'll tell you the truth, so you can arrive at Telefonica prepared. Also it helps to look organized, with a file of papers and a leaflet from Osiptel in your hand. Now I've got the method it is a lot less stressful.
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