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’s expensive compared to many other countries and Wi-Fi isn’t as readily available as broadband in many areas, 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 now been voted Spain’s Worst Company three years in a row really isn’t surprising to me. That’s why I also recommend any tourist or visitor to Spain avoid Movistar like the plague — unless you want to be scammed out of your money from a company that offers zero customer service and an extremely inferior product.

My sad story with Movistar began when I signed up for a month’s internet service. I’m 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. So, I went to a Movistar booth at a Carrefour branch and bought a Movistar dongle, which came with €12 euros 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’m 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.

I got home, powered up my computer and installed the Movistar software from the dongle. Very fast, it took about 3 minutes and I was ready to go.

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 though, as at least one of them uses your MB 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.

Anyway, 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’ve used elsewhere with no problems, Movistar wouldn’t accept any of them. So, I walked into town, paid another €10 for new Movistar credit and got back online. This time, it lasted just over an hour and a half and that €10 credit was used up too. I 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.

So, 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”?

Another major problem with Movistar for anyone who doesn’t speak or read Spanish, and that’s usually most tourists and visitors to Spain, their website is in Spanish. Unlike Vodafone and Orange that 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’s free, fast and a far superior product to the garbage Movistar is selling.

From now on, I wouldn’t touch Movistar with a 10 foot pole. Terrible customer service, an inferior product, broadband internet that just sucks the life out of your data allowance, and a website that, as it’s all in Spanish, is about as helpful as tits on a bull for anyone who doesn’t speak Spanish.

Movistar? The worst company in Spain. Well, it’s the worst Spanish company I’ve ever dealt with, that’s for sure.