Monday, November 21, 2011

Paying Bills

In Ontario Canada you don’t really need to know the exact day a particular bill is due. It’s always been 'idiot proof.' You’re billed every month and between the mail system and internet billing you’re assured that your monthly bills will always be received on time. And, if by chance you miss paying them, you know you’ll be charged late fees on your next billing statement, so it all works out.

Now in Mazatlan it’s a little different...and the common phrase ‘manana’ is heard everywhere...roughly translated, it means perhaps tomorrow... possibly later but definitely not at the moment.

But there’s one thing our Mexican hosts are very serious about and that’s paying your utility bills!

Now, let me say not everyone pays them on time, but the companies here have discovered a way that encourages you to pay ontime...a way that is very efficient, cost effective and it works.

Say your phone bill is due on Monday and you’ve finally got the hang of this ‘manana’ thing, and you figure Tuesday is just as good...look out!  

Taxes can be paid years late (as in Canada)...but here they have come up with a solution should you be just one day late!

They don't chase you around trying to get their money...they don't listen patiently for the reason the bill never got paid...and they don't treat you like a child who doesn't understand responsibility.

They simply CUT YOU OFF!! That’s ifs, ands or’re cut off!!

You also have a pretty good idea that you've been cut off when you try dialling out and you get a lovely automated voice speaking to you in Spanish. What she said, you don’t know, so you hang up and try later. After a few days of no incoming or outgoing calls it’s a pretty sure sign you need to get down to the phone company, pay the bill and usually within 24 hours you’re all hooked up again.

Yesterday I looked over the balcony and saw Hub watching a very old cockroach make its way across the patio.

“Hey, bug boy...did you get any phone calls today?”

Hub doesn't even look up from his animal surveillance...‘Nope, why?’

“I just tried to call out and I got the voice telling me something in Spanish.”

‘Did you pay the phone bill?’

Muttering to myself I head down and check the calendar. “Did I pay the phone bill? Geeez what do I look like, accounts payable?”

Now, wondering if you paid a bill might seem silly since we only get three bills a month in Maz....water...hydro...and phone. So what’s the problem? There's only three.

Well the problem is you have to find the damn paperwork first. You see our letter carriers, from the company and the city, have their own unique way of delivering the mail.

Letters can be thrown under the door of your house...under your garage door...stuck in your window fact anywhere on or around your property is acceptable. So the question really should be... ‘Did I FIND the bill!’

Venturing out and checking the usual spots, I now discover it in our palm tree in the courtyard.

Mental note.... ‘check all plants, in future for bills.’

Ripping it open and grabbing my purse I yell out to Hub...“Wanna make a trip down to the phone company with me today? Maybe even meet the voice?”

‘Naaaa...I got something things to do this afternoon. But thanks for asking.’

Just a few thoughts from 2 Canadians living and loving it in Mazatlan!
Linda and Hub.