Just How Good Are Normal Services In Spain?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Melosine Melosine 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #57934
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    The topic question is because what we take for granted in the UK doesn’t always seem available in parts of Spain ๐Ÿ˜•

    We have friends who live just 20 mins by car from Malaga Airport, near Alhaurin De La Torre, up the hill behind the town. They’ve lived there 13 years or so, and these things are not available to them apparently:
    No land line telephone, no daily post (they have to collect post from a shop in the town which costs them), no mains gas (they have to collect bottled gas), their TV is operated from their satellite dish which is pointed at another satellite dish further which continually has to be re-adjusted, their electricity trips even with switching a kettle on if several other things are on, rubbish has to be driven by car to a collection point 400 metres away (which is then collected daily so a plus there), no food/grocery deliveries that are common place in UK now etc

    As they get older just these little things are more trouble for them, they do qualify now for prescriptions/healthcare in the town, I’m not sure they can have visits from a GP as we do though.

    I appreciate things must be different on the coastal strip, but they are not far inland and I think it’s worse right up in the mountain areas an hour inland. Surely where to live has to be considered for retirees moving to Spain ๐Ÿ™„

  • #119109
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    Here in Madrid (as Spanish as you can get) I’d say services are generally as good as the UK, sometimes better. I ordered the phone/internet on an evening, and the Telefonica guys came around the following morning to install!!! (the line needed to be put in, it wasn’t a case of using an existing line and flicking a switch). The postwoman is very friendly and there doesn’t seem to be a problem in getting things delivered.
    Rubbish is collected daily, water is great quality (and the charges are low), and not had a problem with electricity either. Yes, the gas comes in a cylinder but the butane man brings it to the flat (and it lasts for months).
    Maybe your question should have been “Are services decent in country areas of Spain”?

  • #119110
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I agree that services are no doubt normal or to be as expected in Spanish cities, towns and on the coast, the thing about where our friends live is that it’s semi rural, not far from a town, the equivalent of say living on the outskirts of a village in the UK. It surprises me that there are so many properties on same hillside and other similar semi rural spots, it doesn’t seem a ‘country area’ as such as in ‘way up a mountain’ in Spain ๐Ÿ™„

    Spain is a modern country and a lot larger than the UK so I imagine a lot more infrastructure/conduit still needs to be put in place. This brings me back to retirees should consider carefully where they choose to live and not just be seduced by far reaching views on lovely days 8)

    You have surprised me about butane needing to be delivered in a City like Madrid, mains gas is taken for granted in the UK, or oil/butane tanks in country areas ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • #119112
    Profile photo of Perrypower1
    Perrypower1
    Participant

    I lived within a 20 minutes drive of Derby ( a major city) and less than ten minutes from a ‘town’ yet I didn’t have mains gas. I had to have oil delivered or have LPG delivered. There was no mains sewer in the community so people had to have septic tanks or their own sewage treatment plants (which means maintenance, pumping out etc.) The road was seldom gritted and defo way down on the list when it was really needed. There was bus service twice a week, not very useful really. Took months to have an additional telephone line installed because it was at the end of the line. No TV reception and I can go on. Given the small size of the UK and the fact that where I lived was not remote I believe that the issue is, retirees in ANY country need to consider the amenities available when they make a decision about where they live.

  • #119113
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I’ve never thought or known that about Derby, but you’re right about considering where to live in any country. Fortunately, apart from living in a few places abroad and also in the South of England, we’ve never experienced any difficulties with services mentioned in my 1st post, they’ve always been good or excellent and taken for granted, making life so much easier. Turn the tap on, the gas on, a switch on, tv on, internet on, letters delivered through front door, catch a bus or train if necessary, all there, even in California and Florida where we’ve spent some time. ๐Ÿ˜› 8)

  • #119117
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    Telefonoca/Movistar – seem to have improved no end over the last few years. You used to have to wait weeks to get the service connected, but now everything seems to get done within a few days at most. I guess that’s what competition does. I believe the energy and water suppliers are still a bit Jurassic if you need to switch providers but it has been a few years since we had to do that. Our flat does not have a gas connection, although the building has communal heating that does run off gas (the heating switches on at mid-day and switches off at 10pm and we have no control, apart from opening windows if it gets too hot!). It doesn’t bother us since we’ve got an electric induction cooker, but the previous owners used gas cannisters for their cooker. I has always assumed it was a case of the UK being unusual in its extensive gas supply network since so much came from the North Sea, and the demographics make things easier, rather than Spain being unusual in its relatively poor gas supply network.

  • #119118
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    The topic question is because what we take for granted in the UK doesn’t always seem available in parts of Spain ๐Ÿ˜•

    We have friends who live just 20 mins by car from Malaga Airport, near Alhaurin De La Torre, up the hill behind the town. They’ve lived there 13 years or so, and these things are not available to them apparently:
    No land line telephone, no daily post (they have to collect post from a shop in the town which costs them), no mains gas (they have to collect bottled gas), their TV is operated from their satellite dish which is pointed at another satellite dish further which continually has to be re-adjusted, their electricity trips even with switching a kettle on if several other things are on, rubbish has to be driven by car to a collection point 400 metres away (which is then collected daily so a plus there), no food/grocery deliveries that are common place in UK now etc

    As they get older just these little things are more trouble for them, they do qualify now for prescriptions/healthcare in the town, I’m not sure they can have visits from a GP as we do though.

    I appreciate things must be different on the coastal strip, but they are not far inland and I think it’s worse right up in the mountain areas an hour inland. Surely where to live has to be considered for retirees moving to Spain ๐Ÿ™„

    I think it’s more a consequence of there location, we have family who live just outside a small town in Somerset UK, they have no gas so use oil heating, rubbish collection every 2 weeks, no mobile phone signal from any provider, no broadband , to post on eBay it’s a trip up the road to the friends house who can get a 3G mobile signal, no mains sewerage and intermittent post, our house in Spain has rubbish collection every day, 10mb 4g and 10mb ADSL, post every day we don’t have mains sewer or gas but that’s not a problem for us, Repsol and Cepsa will normaly deliver gas and refit/exchange the bottles if you ask them free of charge, they will also do the gas check free of charge

  • #119122
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I preferred the rubbish collection in Spain. Works well, unless you are the house next to the rubbish skips :mrgreen: also the skip was a few minutes walk up a steep hill, nice for an evening stroll but would not be so good for the elderly.

    Internet in Elviria Marbella was terrible. Not exactly rural either. Peak times around 3pm and 10pm it was always cutting out and was slow at all times. I live rural now in the UK and I am surprised how fast it is although locals complain. Couldn’t get a mobile signal with orange but Vodafone is fine. It was funny using Skype in Spain, slow motion conversations ๐Ÿ˜†

    As for electric, we spent a lot on a full rewire only to find that the area needed a new transmitter. Probably will never happen as there was a dispute who would pay. The Urbanisation or Endesa! High wind or heavy rain would frequently cut the supply, great fun resetting everything several times a day.

    A funny story. Few years ago in Spain I was ironing and watching TV at the same time. The sound kept going and coming. After a while I noticed that when the iron reached its heat and switched off the sound on TV came back. Called in TV Tech. When he tested it he said there wasn’t enough voltage going into TV ๐Ÿ˜ฏ told my neighbour and she said she had put jacket potatoes in the microwave and all seemed to be working ok. But after 15 mins were still cold and hard. ๐Ÿ˜†

    You never get bored in Spain sorting things out, like wading through mud…and I speak excellent Spanish ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #119124
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    The important thing is that all of these issues can be easily identified BEFORE purchasing land or home in most countries, including Spain.

    In my case, there are some neighborhoods in Barcelona where tanks of gas are delivered. I wanted to avoid that, so I investigated before I bought.

    And asking neighbors about the time to connect telephone, etc, usually yields realistic expectations.

  • #119129
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    One doesn’t have to go as far as Derby or Somerset in UK to find properties without all mains services.
    Where I used to live ,in Surrey, barely 25 miles from London , many individual properties accessed via gravel tracks have cesspits, sans mains gas or postal services and poor internet/ mobile connection.
    Live out in the country,anywhere, and the only service one can guarantee is mains electricity and in UK mains water

  • #119130
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    How do GP visits compare in Spain to the UK if needed on hillsides and mountains or just generally, assuming you have a land line in Spain which is what our friends lack, reliant on mobile with poor signals, and, some of the tracks off the mountain roads to Spanish houses would not take ambulances at all? ๐Ÿ™„

  • #119131
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Suppose they must have some GP visits, although never heard of anyone getting one ๐Ÿ˜• Most people on the coast subscribe to Helicopters Sanitarios, including the Spanish. there is a tradition in Spain where if you are taking anyone to hospital urgently you wave a white hanky out of the car window.

  • #119132
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    We did get a GP to visit…once. Mind you he had to have his lunch first !!!

    We were told that if an emergency occurred in future to drive the patient to hospital because even though we live directly off a tarmaced road being in the campo it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance because chances are it would have to be met somewhere as street names are not a high priority.
    So those who live in the mountains accessed by rough terrain have sans chance of any medical services reaching them.

    Quite frankly I have never understood pensioners desiring to live in such remote locations but have met a surprising number who do.

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