Monday, June 16, 2008

A New Week in Mexico

As our wireless adventure in Mexico progresses, I am facing the awful truth that we will go back to paying .99 a minute for our calls both within and out of Mexico. But before I flush this Movistar SIM down the toilet, it’s time to experiment. Instead of worrying about plans or minutes or prompts or balance, I made a few calls. Keep in mind this is a bare-bones Movistar SIM, and I have not yet “wasted” any money on a refill. Lo and behold, it makes calls, including to the US!

So, unlike TelCel, Movistar’s SIM comes loaded with an unknown number of starter minutes, perfect for checking it out. This Movistar SIM is actually working out. And it was much cheaper. At $14US, it’s quite a few pesos less than TelCel’s $23US, so we’re not out much tequila money. So, I’m changing strategy. We’ll use this Movistar SIM until it quits working. My guess is it’ll give us about 50 Local minutes or about 10 minutes of calls to the US. The little girl at the store claimed it was already set up for Pay-Per-Call, but there’s no way of knowing until it quits working.

Over on our TelCel account, their customer service agent claims my account is grandfathered in on my original Pay-Per-Call plan, but the balance lady says otherwise. It’s another case of making a call and seeing what happens. I have never been disconnected in the middle of a call in Mexico, so I’m not sure what happens when you run out of minutes during a call…maybe nothing.

So the news is not all bad. We may still have a lots of calls we can make…or none. And other TelCel users tell us when they travel away from the “home” city of their TelCel account, all expected rates go out the window. Roaming charges, long distance fees and other surprise deductions magically cause the account to dry up like a tumbleweed.

Tomorrow, we plan to start answering our American phones again.

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