Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Brushes with Systems

I sent an email to the customer services department of my bank.

Question: Can you tell me why you've charged me 10.85€ on an account I closed 6 months ago?

Answer: According to 16 article minister rule law ECO/734/2004 of march 11 about departament bank clients (B.O.E. 24/03/2004), we inform you that to attend your consult you need to have electronic signature according to the rules law 59/2003 of december 19, about electronic signature (B.O.E. 20/12/2003).

I think they mean no. The email back to them was quite terse.

Now that I'm in the Social Security system I thought I'd get myself a permanent health card. The man at the health centre was very helpful. He stared at his computer screen. He confirmed that I was "live" on the system and he stuck a little sticker on my temporary card. "Does this mean I'll get my permanent card soon?", I asked. "Probably not", he said, "I've phoned to ask the people who deal with it what to do but they're not answering and I've no idea what this message on the screen means". "What should I do then?" "I don't know, why not come back when it's someone different on the desk who might know?"

I went to the Consumer's Office in the Town Hall to see if they could help me with a bit of advice about my damaged car. The man was very nice. He told me I was stuffed. Best you can do is make a civil claim against the insurance company. He suggested I talk to the JP who works at the Town Hall every morning. Apparently there is a small claims procedure. The Consumer's office man promised to leave a note for the JP. I even saw him start to type it.

The JP starts at 8 in the morning according to the reception desk chap in the Town Hall. Unlike me, however, he didn't turn up today till 9.30. He had no note from the Consumer's Office. "Waste of time talking to me", he said, "You need a solicitor".

Ah ¡Viva España!"

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