The OMIC continues to provide its services to the public electronically and through the 010 phone service. Claims and enquiries will continue to be dealt with online. Queries requiring face-to-face assistance will be dealt with Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 1 pm, with prior appointment.

Frequently asked questions

General consumer issues

What guarantees do products have?

New products have a two-year guarantee, but their defect is only deemed to have existed before purchase for the first six months after they have been bought. After that deadline until the end of the two-year guarantee period, it will be up to the consumer to demonstrate that the defect already existed when the product was handed over and is not due to use. 

The claim must always be brought to the notice of the salesperson, with the receipt or invoice. 

OMIC services

What procedures does the OMIC carry out?

At the OMIC, we contact companies with the aim of reaching an agreement. We also refer claims to other bodies or services (such as healthcare or inspection bodies) if we consider it necessary.

Can I file a claim with the OMIC if I am self-employed or a business?

Yes. Following the entry into force of Act 20/2014 of 29 December 2014 on 1 April 2015, we are able to process claims from self-employed workers and micro-enterprises in their consumer relations with companies that provide basic and ongoing services.

Companies that provide basic and ongoing services, as well as water, gas, electricity or telecommunications providers.

In order to be considered a micro-enterprise under Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003, you must employ fewer than 10 people or have an annual turnover of under €2 million.

If you are a micro-enterprise, you must fill in a “micro-enterprise declaration of compliance” and attach it to your claim.

Can I contact the OMIC if I have a problem with the Public Administration?

No. In that case, you must contact the Ombudsman’s Office for Catalonia or Barcelona, depending on the administration with which you have the dispute. 

Can I file a claim with the OMIC if I don’t live in Barcelona?

Yes, provided that your dispute is with a company in Barcelona. Otherwise, you will have to contact the consumer services of your local council. If it doesn’t have any, call the 012 helpline to find out what to do.

 

What steps should I follow to make a claim?

The first step must always be to contact the company with which the problem has arisen directly, so that there is a record that you have done this. For example, you will need a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, the stamped claim form, an incident number if you make your claim by phone, and so on. 

The company has 30 days after you made the claim to respond. It fails to do so, or if its response was not the one you were hoping for, you can file a claim with the OMIC for us to consider and process.

You can find more information in the section on “How to Make a Claim”.

How can I file a claim with you?

You can bring it to our offices, send it by fax or email, take it to one of the Citizen Help and Information Offices in each district, or fill in the claim form you will find on the OMIC website.

 

In-store purchases

Are shops required to refund my money?

If the product is not faulty and there is no mention of refunds on the receipt or any advertising posters, they are not required to refund your money. They can either give you a voucher or simply refuse to give you a refund. 

 

Do I have to pay for a quote to be drawn up?

Yes. Will we ave to pay for a quote to be drawn up if we do not agree to it and the repair is finally not carried out? If you agree to the repair, you will not be charged for preparing the quote.

 

Am I entitled to a refund if I pay a deposit for the purchase or contracting of a product and I then change my mind?

No. Deposits are non-refundable if you are the one who decides not to go ahead with the purchase or contract. If it is the company who is unable to offer the service or product, you can demand payment of twice the amount of the deposit. 

 

Is the establishment required to give me a claim form if I ask for one?

All natural and legal persons who sell goods or provide services to consumers in the territory of ​​Catalonia, either directly or as intermediaries, are required to accept the official forms. Businesses are required to ensure that there is a record of the claim, with either the company's signature or its stamp, and they can respond either immediately using the space provided for that purpose in the official form or within a maximum of one month from the moment the claim was made. 

The following are exempt from this requirement: 

  • Civil-law notaries or persons with public powers, provided that they are paid by means of tariffs.
  • Public services provided by the administration.
  • Schools providing state-approved education.
  • Those activities that are subject to specific legislation on claim forms. 

Telephone and internet services

I want to cancel a telecommunications service. How should I do this?

To cancel a service contracted by you with a telecommunications provider, you must give at least two working days’ notice of termination. If you do this on the phone, the company must give you a reference number so that you have a record of the fact that you have given notice.

We always recommend that you cancel services in writing by registered post and that you keep a copy of both the letter sent and the post office certificate. You must remember that, if you cancel the service without first moving your number to another provider, you will lose the number whose service you have cancelled.

When it comes to portability, we also recommend that you always cancel the service with the old provider by certifiable means, even if the new provider assures you that it will handle all the cancellation procedures.

 

My phone provider has told me that it is going to change the terms of service, but I’m not interested in them. What can I do?

Your contract with your telecommunications provider must specify which terms can be unilaterally amended by the provider. If any other terms are amended, users are entitled to terminate the contract early and without a penalty. Service providers must give at least one month’s notice of any changes to the contract, expressly mentioning in the notice the user’s right to terminate the contract early.

Repairs

If a repair is carried out under warranty, do I have to pay the shipping costs?

If the repair is carried out within the first six months, all necessary expenses incurred in order to repair the non-compliance must be free of charge. After the first six months, you may be charged for this.

Insurance and financial institutions

Can I cancel an insurance policy at any time?

No. All contracts with all insurance companies are annual. The correct way to cancel is by sending a letter by registered post at least two months before the policy’s expiry date. You will find the address of the department to which you must address the cancellation on the policy. 

Housing

Can I contact the OMIC for a problem with my lease?

Only if your deposit has not been refunded. In all other cases, you must go to the housing office in your district.  

 

Can communities of owners file claims with the OMIC?

Yes, provided it is a consumer issue and the claim is being made by the community as a whole rather than by a specific resident. 

This must be done by the president or an authorised resident. In such cases, in addition to the usual documents, you will need the president’s Spanish national identity document and a photocopy of the minutes of the meeting at which they were appointed. If the president is unable to come to us, we will also need their written authorisation for another resident to carry out the procedure on their behalf.

Where can I go for information on housing matters?

If you are looking for information on housing matters (communities of owners, subsidies, access, help with problems, harassment, etc.), you must contact the Housing Office of the district where the property is located so that it is within the office’s remit.

Housing Offices are open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 8.30 am to 8 pm without interruption on Thursdays.

For further information and to make an appointment, you can call the 010 helpline or find out more at: www.bcn.cat/consorcihabitatge

Housing Office locations:

Ciutat Vella. Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 17-19 08001 Barcelona
Eixample. Carrer d'Alí Bei, 13-15 08010 Barcelona
Sants-Montjuïc. Carrer d'Antoni de Capmany, 23 08028 Barcelona
Les Corts. Carrer del Remei, 9 08014 Barcelona
Sarrià - Sant Gervasi. Carrer de Canet, 24 08017 Barcelona     
Gràcia. Carrer de Francisco Giner, 14 08012 Barcelona
Horta-Guinardó. Carrer del Llobregós, 175 08032 Barcelona
Nou Barris. Plaça Major de Nou Barris, 1 08042 Barcelona
Sant Andreu. Carrer de Joan Torras, 49 08030 Barcelona
Sant Martí. Rambla del Poblenou, 154 08018 Barcelona

You can also find useful information at the National Institute of Statistics (INE):

Air travel

What should I do if my luggage is lost, delayed or damaged?

If your luggage is damaged on arrival at your destination, it is important that you make your claim immediately at the airport. If you are unable to do so, you have up to 7 days to file a claim with the company. If the company fails to reply within 30 days, you can contact the OMIC with copies of all the documents. 

In this case, the maximum amount of compensation to which you may be entitled is 1,000 SDRs per item. 

You must also immediately file a claim at the airport if your luggage fails to reach its destination. 

In this case, luggage is considered to be delayed if it arrives up to 21 days after the expected date, and it is considered to be lost if it never gets to its destination or if it takes more than 21 days to do so.  

In the event of delayed luggage, you have 21 days from the date of arrival; and, in the event of lost luggage, 21 days from the date of the company’s confirmation of the loss or, if doesn’t confirm it, from your arrival at the airport. 

For this reason, and in order to make sure you don’t miss the deadline, we always recommend that you make the claim immediately at one of the counters made available for this purpose in the baggage reclaim area. 

In either case, the maximum compensation to which you are entitled is up to 1,000 SDRs per item. 

SDR is a special currency whose value varies every day. You can check its value at www.bde.es.

You must always provide documentary proof of the expenses incurred by reason of the delay in your luggage. 

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled or delayed?

If your flight is cancelled on the day scheduled for the flight, you can choose between: 

  • A refund of the price of the ticket for the cancelled flight within 7 days, if it no longer makes sense for you to make the trip.
  • Being taken to your destination either as quickly as possible or on another date. If you choose to be taken to your destination as quickly as possible, you must also be provided with: 
    • Food and accommodation
    • Transfers between the airport and your accommodation
    • Two phone calls, faxes or emails.

You may be entitled to financial compensation unless: 

  • The cancellation was due to exceptional circumstances.
  • The airline gave you 2 weeks’ notice.
  • The airline gave you less than 2 weeks’ notice but offered alternative transport within certain margins in relation to the scheduled time. 
  • The flight’s place of origin is outside the EU and the airline is not an EU airline. 

If the airline does not comply with your rights, you must first contact the airline in writing so that you have a record of your claim (for example, by registered post). If you do not receive an answer within a month or you receive a negative response, you can file a claim with the OMIC. 

Whenever there is an incident at the airport, it is important to make sure that you make the claim at the airport itself so that you have a record of the facts and can make a claim later. 

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled or delayed?

The following are considered delays: 

  • For flights of up to 1,500 km: 2 hours
  • Up to 3,500 km: 3 hours
  • More than 3,500 km: 4 hours

You have the following rights: 

  • Food and drink in proportion to the length of the delay
  • Accommodation if appropriate
  • Transfers between the airport and your accommodation
  • Two phone calls, emails or faxes. 
  • If the delay is of five hours or more, you can cancel the journey if it no longer makes sense for you to go, and the airline must refund the price of the ticket within seven days. This will include the parts of the journey already taken or those not yet taken if you can prove that making the journey no longer makes sense. 

These rights do not apply if the flight’s place of origin is outside the EU and the airline is not an EU airline.

If the airline does not comply with your rights, you must first contact the airline in writing so that you have a record of your claim (for example, by registered post). If you do not receive an answer within a month or you receive a negative response, you can file a claim with the OMIC. 

Whenever there is an incident at the airport, it is important to make sure that you make the claim at the airport itself so that you have a record of the facts and can make a claim later.

Gas, water and electricity

If I change the name on utility contracts, am I liable for the previous holder’s debts?

If you’re in a rented flat, for example, and you put your name on the water, electricity or gas bill, you will be accepting the terms of that contract and any outstanding bills there may be. 

When you move, you have two options: 

  • Register for the relevant utilities and pay the applicable fee.
  • Change the name of the contract holder and assume all the liabilities under the contract.

Can I continue to be charged for utilities if I move?

When you move, you should cancel all utility contracts as, if you are the contract holder, you will be liable for the bills even if you are no longer living there. This means that, if you leave a flat but have not changed the name on the contract or cancelled the service and you are still being billed, the company will be acting appropriately, as you will still be the holder of the contract. 
 

How often are gas inspections carried out? Is it mandatory to have a maintenance contract?

It is mandatory to have a gas inspection every 5 years, and it is the utility company’s obligation to let you know a few days in advance. The cost of this must be paid by the consumer and will be added to the gas bill. Installations must be kept in good condition, but you are not required to take out a maintenance contract. 

What should I do if someone knocks on my door and switches my gas or electricity supplier without my knowledge?

If a salesperson knocks on your door and switches your gas or electricity supplier and you don’t realise until later, or if you change your mind about switching providers, you can exercise your right of withdrawal. The right of withdrawal is the consumer’s right to cancel a contract or withdraw from a purchase. To exercise it, you must send the withdrawal document that you will find in the contract, properly filled in and photocopied, to the company by certified post. If you do not have this document, any other document written by you that clearly states your wish to terminate the contract will be effective too. 

The deadline for doing this is 14 calendar days. If the contract is not terminated also within 14 calendar days of the company's receipt of the letter, you can contact the OMIC with copies of all the documents. 

We also recommend that you call your current provider to let them know what has happened and that you do not want to switch suppliers, in order to ensure that they do not carry out the switch if the other company requests it.