Friday, May 23, 2008

Paying Bills

Bill paying in Mexico is a little different than in the US. They still want your money, but you have to pay in person and not all utilities are due every month. The only bills we get are the phone/internet (monthly) and electric (every three months).

Last month neither bill arrived and I spent the first two weeks of the month worried that our utilities would be cut off. Yes, I could've gone into the offices but the whole Spanish thing deters me from many tasks that I wouldn't have thought twice about in the Chicago. The phone was cut off last week - but oddly, not the internet - so I brought in an old bill and fumbled through an explanation. The woman scanned the bar code on the bill (much more convenient than rattling off account numbers) and told me the amount due. Easy peasy.

We still haven't received an electric bill so today I plan to go into the office. The main difference between the two utilities is at the electric company you pay at a reverse ATM, rather than dealing with an actual person. An infrared light scans the bar code then a display tells how much you owe. You insert bills and/or coins, then the machine gives you your change. Ibis seems to think I can bring an old bill and it will tell me what we owe.

We shall see.

The phone company does have an automatic withdrawal method but the first month we tried to use it, it only deducted the amount for the internet and the phone was cut off. I still haven't figured out how that happened.

In really exciting news, we've decided to finally get cable! We're still debating between satellite (more sports) and traditional cable (don't know the benefit) but hopefully we'll be running in the next couple weeks. As soon as the NHL & NBA finals are over.

11 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

I hope you get the electric bill firgured out with ease. And WAHOO for cable!

Melanie Avila said...

It only took 20 minutes for both bills! Ibis was right, I used the old bills and there wasn't a problem.

Anonymous said...

So, if I may ask, what does your husband do in Mexico?

Melanie Avila said...

Tell me who you are first. :)

Turkey Lurkey said...

I like that reverse ATM idea. I am also glad you got that bill resolved! Yay cable! Now you can watch HGTV and Food Network. (Are there any other channels on cable? And what is this 'sports' thing you speak of?) :)

Melanie Avila said...

Sadly I don't think cable in Mexico includes HGTV or Food Network. I'd love those and TLC, but I think we'd have to get a satellite for that. I'm not sure how far-reaching the dish is, so that's another thing to look into.

plaidearthworm said...

Wow, I'd probably end up with everything turned off, wondering where things were. ;) Glad the electric bill thing worked out, it's getting too warm to be in the dark without a cool breeze!

Janna Qualman said...

firgured? I'm so glad you got the bills firgured out.

;)

I'm a dork.

Melanie Avila said...

Gah, I thought that was MY typo but you're making fun of yourself!

Carry on. :)

WendyCinNYC said...

I love cable--make sure you get Showtime so you can watch The Tudors.

Melanie Avila said...

As much as I love Johnathon Reese Myers (yum) I doubt we'll get movie channels. I don't even know what the movie channels are here! Anything is better than the three stations we get with the antenna.