A new consumer bill in Spain promises to fine utility firm call centres who don’t answer client queries fast enough.

The measure proposes a three-minute waiting limit before sanctions kick in.

Basic service utility providers like power and phones will also have to provide a round-the-clock service every day of the year.

Other firms will have to provide customer service during normal working hours.

All complaints will have to be replied to within 15 days.

Consumer Minister, Alberto Garzon, said: “Customer service is a critical part of our relations with consumers which far too often creates endless headaches for Spanish families because too many companies create bureaucratic labyrinths to stop you from exercising your right to service.”

Alberto Garzon
ALBERTO GARZON(Cordon Press image)

“These are difficulties which unfortunately waste an enormous among of energy, time and money,” he added.

The law will apply to all utility providers regardless of their size and all other companies with more than 250 workers or whose business exceeds €50 million per annum.

Callers will not be expected to interact with a ‘chat bot’ and an initial response to a client complaint will be no longer than two hours.

Companies will also be stopped using ‘paid’ phone lines that customers have to call.

Rule-breaking firms could be fined anything between €150 and €100,000.

The consumer bill will only become law after it has been approved by Congress.

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