About half way through the month, an envelope with my name on it was slid under the door. I probably was a bit more excited than the situation warranted because it was the first Telmex bill. I hadn’t even had the service a month yet, and it was already due. The next step was trying to figure out how to pay it.
I tried paying it online, but the system didn’t like my payroll credit card. So then I thought I’d try and go to the Telmex office to pay it there. There is only one Telmex office and it is smack dab in the middle of the mercado (marketplace). I went after school and could NOT find a place to park my moto. Two for two in failed attempts. But, the third time is the charm, right? I went to Soriana with the intent to pay the bill at the register. Only, I paid for my groceries and forgot to pay for the bill, so I had to go back through the line again. There is a 5 peso fee associated with paying at the store, but it was done.
Then rent was due again. I didn’t want to make the trek to Yuriria every month, so I called and asked the owner to give me a bank account number where I could deposit the rent. She gave me an account to HSBC, so I decided to swing by after my afternoon private classes. I struck out. The bank closes at 5:00. I had to try a second time right after school the next day, but it was easy peasy. It was certainly better than a long drive.
The water bill also came with its outstanding balance of 600 pesos. The owner said that her brother-in-law took care of that (he works at the water company) and I wouldn’t owe anything until January. I expected a pretty high bill with all the washing I’ve been doing, but I guess it just comes with the territory. And sure enough, the first bimonthly bill was $426 pesos. A whopper! Of course, I did wash EVERYTHING in the house, so I’m hoping that the next bill is less. However, looking at the breakdown, there’s a charge for each of the following: agua, alcantarillado, tratamiento de aguas residencial, rezagos agua, rezagos alcantarillado y tratamiento, recargos, credito por redondeo, cargo por redondeo, IVA alcantarillado y tratamiento (water, sewage, sewage treatment for residence, water charge, sewage charge, surcharges, rounded up credit and charge, taxes on sewage and treatment). My actual use was lower than the August and October usage, but the charge was exactly the same for the August bill. Hmm.
There were fewer options to pay this bill, so off to the water office I went. Fortunately, I knew where it was and had until the 24th of the month to pay it. Office hours were from 8 to 2 Monday through Friday. Not exactly convenient for a working stiff, but hey, them’s the breaks. The trick is to get there around 8 before most Mexicans are up and about to avoid long lines. I could use my bank card for only a 2% commission fee added on, but I opted for cash.
I asked the girl behind the window what those rezagos charges were. She said two past bills hadn’t been paid. As I did not live there during that time, I am not responsible for those costs. Guess who will be getting $200 pesos less in next month’s rent payment?
The electric bill was my favorite bill of all! During the 2 months, I had rented, I had used less than 50kWh which made me eligible for an 85% government assistance credit. The production cost of the electricity I used was $373.14. The government support was $333.49. That meant I needed to pay a whopping $50 pesos. Of course, there are rumors of this subsidy being revoked in 2017, so I won’t count on all my electric bills being so low, but hey, every little bit counts. (See Tras gasolinazo, CFE sube tarifas de luz and Electricity costs up, will continue to rise)
By this time I was an old pro. Off to La Bodega I went, my little green bill in hand. When I handed the bill over, the check out man asked me twice if $50 was the total I was paying. I assured him it was, twice. So he processed the payment.
By this time, the Telmex bill was due again. This time I headed to the office to pay and found a specially designed ATM outside ready to accept my payment. Bill paying was done in no time. I heard a rumor that there was one of these handy dandy payment machines for the electricity bill too. I’ll definitely check it out next month!
In the meantime, the refrenda for my moto came due. Conveniently enough, I could pay this bill at the Isseg Farmacia instead of heading to the department of motor vehicles and taking a number. So that’s what I did. Two minutes and 119 pesos later, I was done.
Finished. I feel so empowered! I can pay bills in Mexico all on my own! Yeah me!