In the beginning – this could take a while, so grab a peanut butter and anchovy sandwich (with lashings of Branston original and mayo, of course) and relax.

In the beginning, we had a contract with Telefonica – phone, ADSL, mobile – and never a problem during ten years or so. However, new subscribers were suddenly being offered the exact same service for about half the cost, so we enquired about deals for existing subscribers.

There were none.

“You would rather lose existing, loyal customers than offer any sort of discount?”, we asked.

“Yes”, was the response.

Loyalty is a two-way street, so we immediately changed to Vodafone and obtained a slightly improved service for around half the price. It wasn’t long after that the telephone companies began offering deals for existing customers as well as new subscribers, although I have a feeling they were legally forced to do so.

All went well until recently when, after being bombarded with offers of ‘have your phone, adsl and mobile in one (cheaper) package’ we decided to try this option. We had mulled it over for quite a long time before deciding to go this route. Into the Nerja Vodafone shop we went.

We hit an immediate snag. The telephone and adsl were in one name, the two mobile contracts in another. Same surname, just different family members.

“No problem”, said the girl in the shop. “Just get your daughter (who was working in the UK at the time) to send an email with copy of DNI etc etc and the ‘titular’ can be transferred”.

Oh no it can’t!!

We were informed by return email that this was not possible, although no advice was proffered. So, back to the shop we went.

“Ah”, said the (same) girl. “No problem”, “but your daughter will have to come to the office in person to sign over the landline contract”.

“Really?”, we asked on this, and several subsequent occasions.

“Yes, it is the only way”, was the reply.

A couple of months later we returned, my daughter having flown in to sign over the contract. One of the reasons for pursuing this route was to keep the same phone number. Foolish, I know, but….

We presented ourselves at the counter and said we are now all present to complete the (simple) transfer of landline contract.

“Oh no, you can’t do that. Impossible. You can’t transfer ownership of a landline.”

Had I been in possession of a large, wet fish there would have been much face-slapping. However, I had to content myself with a good rant.

At this point, a different assistant waded in. “What you can do is cancel the existing landline contract and start afresh, but it will be a new number. Once the paperwork is done, it will be a couple of weeks before the technician turns up to complete the installation”.

At this point, with so many porkies flying around the place, I was all set to take my custom elsewhere, but was persuaded to persevere. Off we went to gather the necessary papers.

Returning, we completed the formalities we were then told we could take the router with us and be back online immediately. It was a package of landline/adsl and one mobile for €41 per month, including IVA, and €12 for the second mobile, so €53 per month including IVA.

It turned out to be a 4G system, not telephone line, but it was actually pretty fast. Our previous landline was around 1.9mbs at best, this was downloads at 16mbs and uploads at 14mbs. So far, so good.

However, there was a catch. Or two. It was not unlimited, as with a ‘proper’ adsl, but limited and once the limit had been reached, the speed plummeted. Not just a bit slower, as with mobile data, but still usable, this went down to almost zero. It would have been quicker to etch messages on the shells of homing snails and send them on their way.

Back to the Vodafone office to try and find a solution.

“oh, that’s easy” said the girl (original porky pie merchant). “We can’t do it from the office but if you ring 123 customer service, for an extra €10 per month you can double the number of gigabytes.”

Guess what? We rang 123 and they basically said ‘that’s nonsense’. We have now arranged (and are waiting for) a ‘proper’ adsl line to be installed.

I am hoping I never have to go back into the Vodafone shop in Nerja. I don’t mind if people admit to not knowing the answer and say they will have to check, but just to blatantly lie on so many occasions is beyond comprehension.

One final note: The €53 including IVA for adsl and two mobiles – another porky of course. €69 the last bill, with no extras.