Monday, March 14, 2011
CFE = ugghhhhh
Disclaimer: The following is a true story, and summarizes my personal experience with the CFE (Comison Federal de Electricidad) last week. For me, it was truly unbelievable.
In my last post I blogged about a wonderful week spent in the Riviera Maya. Yes, we had a more than wonderful time, but there is more to the story of course. Originally we were supposed to go away for a weekend. Nothing more than a quick getaway, and so the story begins....
The Saturday morning we were set to leave our doorbell rang and it was the CFE coming to check the electrical meter on our home. Or so we thought... The fellow first told hubby they were there to replace our meter with a digital one. Hubby advised we had no time, and were just about to leave. The fellow flat out lied and said no, no, it will be very fast but we can't proceed without your permission. FINE. Hubby gave in, why? I have no clue.
All of a sudden there are 5 guys infront of our home, and we also notice the CFE at every house on our street. This is 8:30 am on a Saturday morning. They turn our power off, I can't shower, I can't get ready, I can't do anything. Even our cleaning lady couldn't work as without power our water pump doesn't work. Just sit and wait. Sit and wait some more. About an hour and a half later one of the fellows comes into our home with a camera and starts to take snap shots of all of our A/C units, fans, TV's, lights, etc...
What next? The "jefe" who originally told hubby they would take no time at all advises us he is cutting our power off indefinitely. Why? Appaerently our meter had been tampered with. We asked what he meant? He said it appears that our meter is broken, and was tampered with some time ago... We tell him we've only lived in the house 6 months. He says he can tell it was done some time ago, but he was turning it off anyways. Are you kidding me? He tells us we can either "pay up" OR wait until Monday to go into their office to deal with it.
We have no time to argue, but hubby says we will wait as we are going away anyways. I couldn't believe it. We would be without power until at least Monday. We speak to a few neighbours and every single one of them were asked to either pay up, or they'd cut the power too. Most didn't pay as they didn't have the cash on them at the time. Can you believe that? How is this even possible? Our neighbour is 8 months pregnant, and you are turning her power off on a Saturday when you know damn well they can't do anything!
Soo... Monday morning hubby drives back to Cancun and meets with the CFE. He was there for 4 long hours and is told we have to pay a bill. Why? Well, since your meter was broken we are going to take the usage from the previous year and apply to your bill. Are you kidding me? The previous year there was a family of 5 living in the house. How can you even compare us to them? We can do whatever we want was the story we were given. No lie. Also, they informed at earliest if we paid the $17,000 pesos (roughly $1500USD) in full by the end of the day we would have our power back on Thursday. Hubby miraculously got them down to $13000 pesos, but come on! That is a lot of money we have to fork up for doing nothing wrong.
Our power was hooked up again on the Thursday when we returned from our hotel. However, what do people do who can't just go away for a week? How can you live without power? How can they just turn your power off and get away with it?
The worst part is I was'nt even surprised, and I'm not even mad anymore. I actually wasn't even as mad as I would have been a year ago. This saddens me as I'm obviously becoming more and more used to the way things are done. Corruption. It exists at every level. If we would have paid the mordida we would be feeding it, but we are still the ones who suffered. How can we even be sure our meter was tampered with? Maybe the guys tampered with them?
Ugghhhh..... Sorry for the long post. I tried to make it as short as possible yet capture what exactly took place. We were screwed.
I still love this beautiful country, but man oh man is it a challenge at times like this.
Has this ever happened to you before?? I hope not....
BTW... After all of that the meters were never even replaced!