Saturday, November 29, 2008

According to Franco’s daughter, he rather liked the British because they obey laws. Oh dear.

Fussy foreigners like me occasionally moan that Spanish providers have yet to develop customer service attitudes met elsewhere in the West. Ever the optimist, I’ve always assumed they will catch up and today I got to wondering whether one positive aspect of the recession might be that it will accelerate matters. We will see.

Talking of changing attitudes, I also found myself contemplating how long it will be before the Spanish start viewing the Euro as the reason why their economy first soared higher and then plummeted lower than anyone else’s. This might or might not be fair of them but I’d bet on it happening within the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, if you’d like a bit more of an insight into the soap opera of Sacyr, La Caixa, Lukoil and Repsol, click here. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this imbroglio is the left-wing PSOE and the right-wing PP parties adopting positions contrary to those they’d normally strike. Which allows them to accuse each other of sophistry. Or ‘lying’, as it’s normally termed here.


CafeMark said...

The economy may be struggling in Spain, but has it slumped as much as the UK (where 35,000 jobs alone have gone with the demise of Woolworths and MFI) or the States? Interesting point you make about customer service - but I think it's not always the case. I know in Spain I can enter a bar and within a few seconds of shouting "Hola!" have my cana or cafe con leche in front of me. Contrast with the delay in getting served if you enter Wetherspoons or Starbucks in the UK. Plus, if I buy a present from the shops in Spain, more often than not they'll offer to gift-wrap it for you, at no extra cost. Perhaps we should be looking closely at "customer services" in the UK? Well, maybe not (last thing we need in Wilkinsons is another way of lengthening the check-out queue), but I don't think you can say the UK always shines in this respect.

Colin said...

The press keeps reporting that Spain's unemployment trend is the worst in Europe but perhaps they mean the EU. As I've said before, I am no defender of the UK economy and no fan of what's been done there in the last 10 years or so.

Fully agree that some aspects of Spanish service are superior, ironically often from the [possibly] hardest working lowest paid waiters and waitresses of the numerous bars and cafes. Where competition possibly really does work. Witness the speed with which wifi is spreading through them now in Ponters!

Don't recall ever saying that UK service always shines and have never meant to imply it. On the other hand, I had a 10 minute chat with my bank in the UK last night about problems my daughter was having getting cash from another bank and I commented after to my partner that I didn't think this would happen here. But I may be wrong of course. And it wasn't a premium number!

Colin said...

I meant the eurozone, not the EU.

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