Review: Don’t Use Movistar for Internet in Spain if You’re a Tourist or Visitor

Getting internet in Spain can be frustrating for a tourist or visitor as it is expensive compared to many other countries.

Wi-Fi also isn’t as readily available as broadband in many other countries, so the service can be spotty at best. But, when I recently signed up for a month’s worth of Movistar internet, I never expected it to be quite so bad.

That Movistar has been voted Spain’s worst company three years in a row now really isn’t surprising to me.

That is also why I recommend any tourist or visitor to Spain avoid Movistar  — unless you want to be scammed out of your money from a company that offers zero customer service, and an extremely inferior product.

Why is Movistar so bad?

My sad story with Movistar began when I signed up for a month’s internet service.

I am currently back in Spain for just a month, so I don’t mess with contracts for internet, as they’re simply not cost-effective for me.

That’s why I went to a Movistar booth at a Carrefour branch and bought a Movistar dongle, which came with €12 of internet access free. The dongle cost €39.95 for 500MB.

Of course, I had asked the woman at the Movistar booth for a 1GB dongle as I am online so much, but she took 30 minutes to sign me up for internet, and then managed to sign up the wrong dongle.

I didn’t have another 30 minutes to wait, so took the 500MB dongle instead.

A couple of hours later, I arrived back to my hotel, powered up my computer and installed the Movistar software from the dongle. In just about 3 minutes, I was signed in and ready to go.

However, when Movistar internet first powers up, you have a choice of Movistar Deberes, Movistar Internet and Movistar Internet Directo.

Be very careful which you connect to, as at least one of them uses your data allowance much faster than the others.

I signed on with Movistar Internet originally and was horrified to see over 150MBs of data had been used in just 10 minutes — with no downloading, no videos and no photographs.

A long story short, the €12 of internet credit I got with the Movistar dongle ended up being used up in less than an hour. I then tried to get my Movistar account recharged online, but after using 3 credit cards all of which I have used elsewhere with no problems, Movistar wouldn’t accept any of them.

So, I walked into town, paid another €10 for more Movistar credit and got back online.

This time, the data lasted just over an hour and a half and that €10 credit was used up too.

I then tried to get a Movistar monthly data allowance for a set fee, but the woman at the Movistar store told me I had to go back to the store I purchased the dongle at, which was over an hour away.

The day after I went into the Movistar store in a neighboring town and tried to get a one month data allowance paid for, or to get Wi-Fi, as broadband is simply too expensive.

Again, I was told I would have to go back to the Movistar shop I purchased the dongle from — can you say “Movistar, expensive and useless”?

Movistar — All Spanish, all of the time

Another major problem with Movistar for anyone who doesn’t speak or read Spanish, and that is usually most tourists and visitors to Spain, is that their website is in Spanish.

Unlike Vodafone and Orange who provide concise, clear instructions in several languages, after the first screen on the Movistar website, everything is in Spanish — again, absolutely useless if you have a problem.

Needless to say, I gave up on Movistar after one day of using it and a wasted €49.95 for two and a half hours internet usage, and hooked myself up to the free Wi-Fi system at the hotel I was staying at.

Sure, I might have to sit in the bar to use it but it is free, fast and a superior product to the abysmal service Movistar sells with its broadband internet that sucks the life out of your data allowance, non-existent ‘customer service’, and a website that, as all of the needed information is in Spanish, is about as helpful as tits on a bull for anyone who doesn’t speak the local language.

Movistar? The worst company in Spain.

Well, it is definitely the worst Spanish company I have dealt with, that’s for sure.