Banking in Spain could be about to change as the government proposes a 24-hour free customer service phone line 365 days of the year.
The new draft proposal has been put forward by Spain’s Minister of Economic Affairs Nadia Calviño and the country’s Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzón, who have joined forces to put customer service at the forefront of developing essential services in Spain.
The proposal, which still needs to be approved by the Spanish cabinet, will mean that banks and utility companies will have to offer a 24-hour free customer service helpline, in place of the current automated messaging service. The lines will also have to be run by staff who have been trained to help both the elderly and the disabled.
Spanish banks and utility companies could also be banned from charging their customers who phone up, in addition to forcing them to employ trained staff instead of using answering machines.
So no more paying for phone calls, no more talking to an answering machine and no more having to wait for the regular 9 am to 6 pm working hours to get answers for your banking questions.
It’s been over 20 years since this law was last updated and the closure of many bank branches across the whole of the country has most definitely highlighted the fact that Spanish banking has become very inflexible and impersonal.
The new draft also suggests that customer service should be free, personal and always available for not just banks and electricity and water companies but also postal services, internet streaming platforms and financial organisations.
The Spanish government is particularly keen to improve these services for the elderly, those with certain disabilities and for those living in rural areas, as they are the ones most at risk of being excluded and discriminated against.
If the proposal gets approved by the Spanish cabinet, the Spanish Parliament will then write it into law in early 2022. From then on it will be law for the aforementioned companies to offer specific training to their staff that enables them to help people who fall within these vulnerable categories.
Some banks and utility companies do already offer their customers 24-hour helplines but the new law will mean they all have to offer the service.
The hope is, that the current run-of-the-mill customer service that is offered to customers across the whole country, will be massively improved.
January 24, 2022
January 19, 2022