Telcel, the number one mobile phone company in Mexico, and the only one that seems to get decent coverage, has a couple of plans. Same as everywhere else in the world – you either sign up for a contract or you buy a phone to accept prepay cards. I remember the bad old days in the UK as far as the second scheme goes. You buy a scratchcard, type the numbers in and your phone gets topped up with the relevant amount. And if you don’t use it all by the expiry date….you lose it!
Well the bad old days in the UK is how it is today in Mexico. And a right pain in the arse it is too. Telcel’s prepay plan is called Amigo, and I usually get top ups of MXN$100 a go. But there’s no way I can spend it all in the time allowed, I’m just not chatty enough! If you don’t spend it within a couple of months, it’s frozen – buy a new card and it becomes active again. Leave it for another couple of months and you lose it full stop.
Yesterday I arrived at Lilly for work, sent my student a text message to let her know I’d arrived, and the bloody thing refused to go! Do a check (dial #333, and I did indeed have plenty of credit – 79 pesos – but hang on….yup, time expired. So no, Telcel Amigo is no Amigo of mine at the moment! Maybe I’ll sign up for a contract and get a decent phone while I’m at it – although I’m sure they’ll rip me off just as good there.