Many people stay with Telefónica out of inertia and confusion about the complicated tariff system - even though they might be able to save money by switching to an alternate provider.
Choosing a provider
Competition has intensified over recent years as companies have - mostly without success - tried to chip away at Telefónica's monopoly. Given the large variety of plans from the different providers, they are difficult to compare here. To work out what is the best deal for you, consider how much and where you you will be calling and then shop around. Some providers offer flat rate charges ( tarifas planas), which are useful if you plan on doing a lot of talking.
There are providers that offer discounted indirect phone access through four-digit dialling prefixes (10XX). You just dial the prefix before every call in order to get their rates. If you forget to dial it, you'll simply be billed at normal Telefónica rates. In case you are too forgetful (or lazy) to dial a prefix, some of these firms now providing an automatic pre-dialling service ( marcación automática) to do it for you.
The most common providers for fixed phones are: