Spain Telephones, Telefónica & Cheap Calls from Spain
Posted by The Expatriator
Information on both local calling and cheap calls internationally. Telefonica, Re-seller phone services, phone cards, and long distance calling from cellular/mobile phones.
(We recently change our pages, please see VoIP Services in Spain, call home for free. for VoIP information.)
Spain’s country code is 34.
- Telephones in Spain, Local Calling and Land Lines
- Cheap International Calling from Spain - Telephone Alternatives
- “Re-seller” Telephone Services
- Phone Cards in Spain
- Mobile Telephones
- Telephone Callback Services
Telephones in Spain, Local Calling and Land Lines
To make a call from within Spain to another Spanish number you just dial the listed number without the country code or anything else. Numbers that start with a 9x.xx.xx.xxx are landlines and numbers that begin with a 6x.xx.xx.xxx are mobile phones. Other numbers will be special numbers for, in general, pay services. Note that only 900 numbers are toll-free; 90x numbers are not.
When you get your telephone installed, expect an installation fee of 150€ (250€ for nonresidents). By all means, try to just change the name on the existing account where you’re moving to (if there is one)—that’s free. (Moving the address of an existing account is 60€.)
If you’re new to Spain, be prepared. You’ll soon acquire ‘Telefónica Rage’. Fortunately, new ways are springing up to compete with Telefónica, which is finally forcing them to cut their rates and possibly improve their service. Rates for UK/USA are 12 cents€ fixed fee, plus 12 cents€/minute. (My previous beef with Telefónica is their aging cables: these days you may receive a ‘sobrecarga en la red’ message when you try to make a call—this tends to last a whole day or more. Now, I’m more surprised when trying to get a new line: I was told on 11/2004 that it would take 20 days.)
Note: You can now get local phone service with other companies, such as Auna or Jazztel. We don’t recommend Auna: I recently called their support line, and was passed to 7 different people without resolution. Beware: if, for example, you move local service from Telefonica to Auna, don’t like their service and want to switch to Jazztel, you must first switch back to Telefonica and then to Jazztel. Here’s the hitch: Telefonica charges you 75 euros to go back to their phone service, as if you were reinstalling the line. Sound illegal? That’s second nature to Telefonica.
We have now setup a Telefonica Rage support group. Go join in the discussion now.
Fundamentally however, getting a Telefonica, Jazztel, ONO/Auna, etc landline is the cheapest way to make local calls. Local calling is usually about 2 cents/min. When I first arrived in Spain I remember being told that it’s considered rude to ask to borrow someone’s phone - even if it was to make a local call - and this was why. There were no free calling periods of the day nor cheaper regions to call, as making a call across the country was the same price as calling your neighbour across the street. For North Americans this seems bizarre.
Fast forward a few years and things have changed, slightly. I recently ordered a new Telefonica line (against my will!), and while I’m currently waiting for the installation (“between 7 and 20 days wait”), I picked up one of their new plans that offers free national calling with ADSL, all for 40€ /month. I won’t kid myself and believe for one second that it will be even close to this cheap, as my fellow expat friends recently mentioned their bill for these same services came to over 110€ /month, which is ridiculous. As well, supposedly I’ll receive the first three months of service for free. I further requested information on how to cancel service and or transfer the account to someone else and was given a phone number (which I’ve lost now, sorry!) to call in either case. Canceling the line is no problem as I’m free from a contract (unlike ONO and Wanadoo) and I’m able to transfer the line to another resident of the house without penalty. We’ll see. You can track my adventures in getting my Telefonica line at the Telefonica Rage Support Group.