My pain in Spain: One woman’s frustrating battle for electricity in Barcelona

My pain in Spain: One woman's frustrating battle for electricity in Barcelona
Christina Hulmes has been living by candlelight for three weeks. Photo: fffranzzz/Depositphotos
When Christina Hulmes moved into a new studio flat in Barcelona last November, she dutifully attempted to put the new electricity contract in her name.

Three months later, the power was abruptly cut off in her apartment, with no warning.  

Now it's been 22 days and counting since Christina has been living without electricity.

This is the frustrating story of one woman's battle with Endesa, the largest electric utility company in Spain.


I moved into a studio in Barcelona in November. I tried a few times via the email customer service to get the electric contract put into my name, and I wasn't getting anywhere. So in December I called them.  My Spanish is not fluent but I know how to say “I want my name on the electric contract”. Anyway after a long phone call I was told the process had begun and to wait for further info.

I wasn't receiving any new info, so after Christmas I decided to try the email route. I kept getting the same emails over and over for weeks “please provide us your documents through the link”. After submitting my documents several times I was getting very frustrated and confused as to what was going on.

Fast forward to February 4th when my electric supply was cut with no warning. 
On the 6th of Feb I (finally) managed to get the landlady to help (she doesn't seem to care if I don't have electricity) and she found out that instead of putting my name on the contract they had finished it instead.
It is now the 26th of Feb, I have not had power for nearly THREE WEEKS. I started the process for a new  contract with Endesa on Feb 6th, and they said it would be seven working days.
Seven working days have come and gone and when I managed to get my landlady on the phone to them again their excuse is that they sent someone and I wasn't there.
When I retaliated that they never called me (I have been by that phone DYING for a call) they informed me “No we didn't call you, but you weren't in, and anyway it's down to the distributor to call”. 
When we asked for the distributors (Fecsa-Enher) number they would not give us it due to “data protection” (I work on the phone in customer service and this rings very false to me as we ARE allowed to give out affiliates numbers, just not emails).  They told us we had to find it ourselves, and of course every number that we found for the distributor was Endesa's number… You go round in circles!
So 22 days with no power, no one can tell me when, or if it will be fixed and I am slowly deteriorating mentally, due to the fact my entire house runs on electricity.
The only utility I have is cold water. I am surviving by spending a small fortune on candles.”
 (A photograph showing the amount of candles Christina is using to have light in the apartment. )
Editor's note: The Local has asked Endessa to respond and is awaiting a reply.
Pain in Spain? If you are struggling with an aspect of life in Spain then send us your story and we can try and fix it. Email [email protected]

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