2009 may have been the year of Crisis but it was also a bumper year for complaints, with Torrevieja’s Municipal Office of Information for the Consumer (OMIC) receiving a total of 4,984 complaints or reports about poor services or seeking advice on how to approach problems. Not surprisingly, during the Torrevieja Town Hallmonths of February and March in 2009, Iberdrola came in for a lot of abuse as a result of the problems arising from their changes in accounting and estimation of bills, in some cases invoicing triple the usage and others charging owners for use when their house was unoccupied, a problem that still exists in some forms today!

Torrevieja’s Councilor for Consumer Affairs, Pillar González Cifuentes, announced that of the 4,984 visits (about 20-per day) to OMIC), 4,072 asked for some type of information or advise, whereas 912 finished in claims/denunciations.

Of these almost 5,000 services it is important to emphasize that much of the increase over previous years can be attributed to the problems associated with billing from the electricity provider. Similar results in line with previous years were evident in the sector of Communications with 220 claims, Commerce with 207, followed by Service Providers, with 190 claims.

González praised the department for their efforts in 2009 which has led to the office being awarded accreditation from the Council of Industry, Commerce and Innovation; recognition that is granted when independent departments can satisfy certain material and personal requirements in dealing with such consumer concerns.