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!

12 comments:

gringationcancun said...

I'm so, so sorry amiga :( You and I both live in somewhat "nicer" and more family-oriented neighborhoods of Cancun... and you still can't escape the corruption.

A friend of mine recently had a cousin come to Cancun for a few days because he got in trouble for refusing to take a large bribe at the Ministerio Publico in Mexico City, where he worked.

So, so frustrating. I hope they don't come to my neighborhood. I have no idea how I'd come up with $15,000 pesos!

Chantel said...

What a bunch of BS........did you contact an attorney? I would.......one of my besties here is an attorney and it's amazing the shit they try to pull that is completely illegal! I consult with her a lot and wow I have learned a lot over the last year!
Hang in there amiga.....I feel your pain I really do!

gringationcancun said...

Also... did you talk to your landlord? If there is some sort of issue with the meter not caused by you (which obviously probably isn't even true), it should be the landlord's responsibility to take care of it.

You should put in a denuncia with Profeco... and get your neighbors in on it with you.

ElleCancun said...

Gringation - Thank you!!! Yes, we do live in a somewhat nicer neighbourhood, and for that I feel we were being punished! I swear. I even had ppl comment - oh it's because you live in SMZ17 and they needed some cash. Ugghh...
I hope they don't come your way, but be prepared as our friends off La Luna were surprised the other day as well. They also had to pay up - $3000 was just their mordida!!!

Also, we have chatted w/ our landlord about it and she is not happy. However, she said she doesnt' have any money to even split that fine. Her divorce is pretty nasty, and her hubby made all the money. Hubby's meeting with her this week though. I hope they work something out... Especially as our floors are a disaster upstairs as well.
As for Profeco... We do want to make a complaint, but how much more time is this going to take up? Also, they know where we live, etc... It gets to be scary. You know? However, I do appreciate your points as I'll definitely mention to hubby!!! Un-be-liev-able!!!

Chantel - AMIGA!!! Can you believe it? Hubby's cousin is an attorney and her hubby is one as well. I'll speak with them and see what they say? We just don't want any trouble w/ these guys afterwards. They know where we live, and have all of our information!!! Our local CFE even has the word "corruption" spray painted all over their walls!!

Unfortunately, many of the neighbours did pay, and a few didn't....Trying to get them to ban with us could be a challenge as who has the time? These things take hours here. Shame on so many levels.

Thanks again ladies :)

KfromMichigan said...

I don't live there, but I sure know the corruption that happens. I've been involved with so much crap over the years with my visits to Cancun. You just pay and go free! Wish we could talk and share stories. DAMN I'm bummed you won't be there next week. With being a caregiver to my Mother, it's much harder to get-away. I'm used to making about 3 trips a year to Cancun. We'll plan better next time!

Barb said...

omg! I'm speechless.

http://imustbecrazytoliveinmexico.blogspot.com/ said...

I had no idea the extent of that b.s. Please don't let them get away with it. CFE's story stinks so bad, I can smell it all the way up here.

ElleCancun said...

Kay - I'm sure you've heard a lot of stories, and you have many experiences yourself!! Well, hopefully not too many. Too bad I won't be here. SUCKS!! Next time for sure, and yes, I understand being a caregiver... Tough job, isn't it? Happy Birthday amiga :)

Barb - I know.... :(

Rita - Yes, I never did tell you the entire story, but it was NOT a good one to tell.... Hubby did file a complaint w/ CFE, but we are sure nothing will happen with it... Just depends how much energy/time we want to waste getting nowhere!

aj said...

CFE is corrupt as hell. They are trying to privatize it in the north...I hope they do.

Alice said...

not surprised, either. i haven't gone out to watch it yet, but have you seen the new documentary presunto culpable (presumed guilty)? it made a big stink here in DF because a judge kept halting its release, then another court would unblock it, and so on. right now, it's showing in Cineopolis, and it's about the all-consuming corruption of the justice system here.

ashlied said...

What a royal pain in the butt! Unfortunatley I have lived in places before that the previous tenant has placed a "diablo" on the meter in order to get cheaper electricity;however, I was lucky that my friends advised me of this common problem and I was able to call the CFE as soon as I moved in so that they could have a look at my meter and fix it before I could be deemed responsable.

Kristan said...

Are you friggin kidding me?!!!!! you know why i think they are doing that... I know a lot of people in cancun who were paying a guy from CFE to "fix" their meters. They pay them 500 pesos and they end up getting really low bills under 1000 pesos, and they have 3 ACs running all day... BS. My husband is a typical mexican, but honest and we never did that. we just paid a lot especially living in the hotel zone... holy crap that's BS though. that's why you have to have a connect in Telmex and CFE...That being said, the cons to outweigh the pros living in Mexico.