If you like the convenience of online shopping but find all that cold calling right into the evening highly annoying, then we’ve got some great news. Thanks to a combination of new EU and Spanish legislation, consumers in Spain are now better protected than ever. One of the new improvements is a limit on the hours when companies can cold call you.

Cold calling
To begin with cold callers will have to clearly identify the company they represent at the beginning of the call and the reason for the call, such as a special offer. The even better news is that companies can no longer call you between 21.00hrs and 09.00hrs, nor on the weekends or during public holidays, which is a very welcome change indeed!

Changing telecom companies
In the past, changing your telecom provider had its challenges, primarily regarding the issue of penalty charges for changing company. Some providers imposed this penalty charge even if a contract only had a few days more to run. The new law states that such penalty charges must be commensurate with the number of days left on your contract. Moreover, the telecom companies are not allowed to add IVA (VAT) to this charge, so do check your final bill carefully.

Paper utility bills
Over the past few years many utility companies have started to provide customers with online invoices only. Consumers had to pay extra to receive a paper bill. This practice put people with no Internet access in a position of not being able to see their bills, with older members of the population worst affected. The new legislation means that everyone now has the right to receive a paper bill without having to pay for it.

Online shopping
Many consumers have experienced the frustration of getting to payment and check out only to discover hidden charges. The new law states that the consumer must be able to clearly see the accepted payment methods and any extra charges before they start shopping. This should see fewer abandoned online shopping carts.

In addition, if you buy something online you will from now on have 14 days to return it rather than seven days. What’s more, you don’t have to give a reason for returning it – you can simply change your mind. However, we recommend you check the company’s returns policy in advance.

These new consumer laws are certainly a step in the right direction; allowing you to relax after 9pm, blissful in the knowledge that nobody is going to cold call you with a special offer you just can’t miss!