Hi! I'm Martin, founder of myfriendinspain
I am the type of person that likes to help people.
I am very lucky because I have spent the last 13 years living in Spain.
And, because I grew up speaking English and French, I found I was able to learn Spanish very quickly at the beginning,
Over the years many friends have called me to ask me to translate something for them over the phone.
It has always been a pleasure to be able to help, especially as it is something that is usually quick and easy!
I always felt bad for my friends when they were embarassed about asking me for help, I would say “Really – I don't mind! You know me, if I can help I will...!”
Sometimes my friends would call while I was in a meeting so I couldn't answer...I'd feel terrible and wish I could be there to help them all the time.
I often wondered about people who don't have a friend like Martin...What do they do in these situations...?
Well, this is when I came up with myfriendinspain.
In this age of technology, I thought it would be nice to do something linking people to people and to have real humans helping humans.
So I gathered together an international, mulitilingual group of likeminded people and we created a telephone service to distribute incoming calls between people that can speak Spanish and either English, French or German - sometimes all three!
I instantly knew one day we would have to get a Smartphone Application (watch this space...) but hoped that in the meantime, we would be able to deliver our service via the traditional telephone number system for callers from Spanish registered phones.
We only had one doubt, even though we knew we would be quick, efficient and take the minimum time possible to help each person, always conscious of their cost, would people be afraid to call a "number with extra charges?"
I decided it was worth a try as we knew that the first few brave souls that sampled our honest, direct and helpful service would soon report back to everyone else that they survived the experience and actually it was very good!
My gamble paid off...people did start to call, not many at first but it eventually began to build...our average calls were (and still are) between 3-5 minutes and we always encourage callers to hang up quickly to save their time and money. This keeps the average call cost down at 5-8€.
I couldn't stop now.
I had to GO GLOBAL!
So, I introduced the Call Bundles - where people could prepay and prebook their call from us and "we call you" instead of "you calling us."
This would lift our restriction to receiving calls from Spanish phones only (and no more fear of being held hostage by us on a phonecall! lol)
We immediately offered INTERNATIONAL SERVICE to France, Germany, most of South America and beyond...within days we'd had our first call with Tijuana in Mexico - very exciting...
Call Bundles not only give total control of the cost to the client, but also allow people to feel safe going into a meeting, knowing that our call is booked and imminent, just at the very second they will be needing it.
Also, now with less costs than with the original phone system because we'd be making calls to people instead, we were able to pass on the savings and reduce the cost of the minutes bought in this way. Everybody wins!
Then Corona happened, at a very early moment in our development, but we were able to weather the storm and found of course that our service is the SAFE CHOICE as we cannot spread any kind of infection or virus via the telephone! And whilst people were being sent home from work, we were able to be at home working.
We feel very honoured to find ourselves in this important position of being able to really help people, right in the middle of a world pandemic!
And what more can I say...?
I found that not only had I created dream-jobs for a whole bunch of billingual people, delighted to be dedicated to helping other people globally. At the same time I am proud to say that I created an Instant Telephone Interpretation Service 24h to help people communicate between Spanish and other languages.
It makes us very happy to make other people happy, on the end of the phone, all over the world, round the clock; we are YOUR friend in Spain! ¡¡Oleeee!!