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Spain proposes bill that would require live customer service representatives

As of now, callers to the nationwide suicide prevention hotline need to dial a toll-free 800-number. At the call center in Greenville, South Carolina, calls come in from all over the state.
Posted at 1:46 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 13:46:34-04

MADRID — Tired of speaking to a machine when you call the bank or power company? Spain’s government wants to make it mandatory for companies to offer a customer service worker when a caller requests one.

That is one among a battery of measures included in a customer service bill presented by Spain’s left-wing coalition government.

The minister of consumption, Alberto Garzón, said oftentimes, “companies create bureaucratic labyrinths” to stop customers from exercising their right to service.

The bill would also seek to do away with long wait times by forcing companies to answer calls within three minutes.

That means basic utility services will need to provide live customer service via phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

All other companies will need to provide live customer service during working hours.

Fines for breaking the law will range between $160 to $106,000 USD.

The bill will need the approval of Spain’s Parliament before it can become law.