Don't you love hearing messages on your cell phone that say you've either exceeded your credit limit or have a past due balance, and consequently your service has been shut off? What - you've never had that happen to you before? Neither did I until I moved to Mexico.
Apparently my weekend trip to Merida with my parents racked up extra roaming charges on my Mexican cell phone plan which apparently exceeded the limit Telcel thought was reasonable for a given month, so they cut off my service. Many people in Playa have a pay as you go plan, one where you just buy cards to recharge your balance, rather than having a fixed plan. That worked for me for a while, until I felt separation anxiety every time I left the office because I could not check my email. Once I finally received my FM3 (official working papers), I applied for an email, interent and phone plan for around $1,000 pesos/month ($77 USD). Unfortunately Telcel will not allow foreigners to obtain plans without an FM3 or FM2 (resident status).
Since almost no one has credit in Playa del Carmen, Telcel just shuts off your phone service essentially when they feel there is risk you are not going to pay your bill. I guess they feel this is the only control they have over you. What is ironic is that Connie, our office assistant, went to pay my bill on the 18th, but apparently the invoice did not get issued till the 23rd so they would not allow her to pay. Once the 23rd came and my bill exceeded my allowed credit limit, which I am guessing is $1,500 pesos ($115 USD) my phone service was immediately cut off for outgoing calls - no grace period, no warning, nothing - just a lovely message saying either I had a saldo vencido (past due balance) or I exceeded my credit limit.
Off Connie went to Telcel to pay my bill first thing this morning, and once it was paid I was back making calls. It's interesting how it can take months for furniture to be delivered or days for your maintenance man to show up despite promises that tomorrow he'll appear, but when it comes to making sure someone gets paid they are on top of you to the point where they are in your face. It would have been nice that they at least waited 10 days or so after my bill was issued to cut off my service - not the same day - it's not even past due - heck, it's almost not even due - it's the same day!
Playa del Carmen Condo and Villa Vacation Rentals