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How to complain in Spain

Did you know that every business or retail premises in Spain must have a consumer complaints form? It’s called the ‘hoja de reclamaciones’ and is required by law. Even just asking for it can see the object of your complaint addressed as they realise that you mean business.


Hojas de reclamacionesHopefully, once you’ve asked for the ‘hoja’ the problem will be rectified and there will be no need to take it further. However, if the reason for your complaint remains, then the next stage is to write it down on the hoja, clearly outlining the issue from your point of view. It is better, but not essential, if you can complete it in Spanish.

An entry in the hoja

You will need to include:

  • A straight forward and simple account  of the cause of your complaint and how you would like it resolved e.g. refund, exchange, repair.
  • Date and time.
  • Personal details – someone will need to get in touch with you.

It’s then up to whoever you are complaining about to fill in their explanation too. Once it’s completed it should be signed and any other evidence attached that might support your case. For example, you could include a receipt or bill. There are three pages numbered sequentially, a top (white) copy is the original, a middle (green) copy is for the consumer and a bottom (pink) copy stays where it is. Now you should take your green copy with the original to the consumer’s office. In most areas this can be found at the Oficinas Municipales de Información al Consumidor or the town hall.

The form will be stamped to acknowledge when and where you brought it in and you are given a copy. Then you wait to hear. It could take anything from between two weeks to four months but they will come back to you. With any luck your item will be refunded/ exchanged or your grievance addressed.

This process works with smaller companies, shops and organisations but when it comes to larger businesses like a bank, insurance or utilities provider, you should take your complaint to their customer complaints section first.

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Ábaco Asesores

Ábaco Asesores is a firm of lawyers and tax advisers established on the Costa Blanca in 1999. We have clients all over the world and provide legal and tax advice in seven different languages.

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1 Comment for “How to complain in Spain”

  1. This advice is fine if you are dealing with a shop or restaurant in the place you are located. How do you complain about dreadful national companies who seem to just do whatever they please. I put in a complaint about Vodafone Spain five months ago and have received no response. Four months ago the EU consumer organisation contacted them. They also got no response.

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