Published On: Wed, Jul 13th, 2016

A major problem with the electric company in Merida

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This is a verbatim letter submitted by Dale Sherin to the Yucatan Times´Editor in Chief on July 13, 2016.

Today is July 11, 2016.
The bell rang at our door this afternoon and it was the electric company requesting that we turn off our breakers so that they could replace the meter. I am from Canada and have had experiences where is the service company replaces something, it usually means prices go up . I asked why they were replacing it . I do not speak Spanih very well and they had the engineer explain it to me. Some pieces inside the meter were broken. I said ok replace it then . He did not require me to off my breakers as they had already disconnected the power. I asked if he could put the old one back until he had the replacement on site. He explained that I required some papers and wanted me to sign them . I never sign documents unless I have  a fully fluent interpreter on hand.i was using my maid. I signed and put in English that I was unhappy about the disconnect as our bills were always paid . The engineer then let me know that we had to go to the office and pay money before the reconnect.
I sent my daughter and the maid with the amount that the bill would be next time I had to pay it.
We had no avenue of communication. When a friend came over with his cel,we texted my daughter for an update as to when the reconnect would occur. She informed me that we are required to pay 113,000 pesos before the reconnect would occur! This must be paid in 3 days.
We tried to ask why so much as we do pay about 2000 pesos each bill. We have been here for 5 years. We have always paid and never been late. The answer was fague. The fellow said that the system nationally decides. I asked who in the previous three hours decided this and on what basis is the figure determined. No answer was forthcoming. I again asked  what is the hierarchy of the process by position title. No answer.  I explained that we do not keep that amount of disposable cash here in Mexico and it is against the law for us to move more than 10,000dollars out of Canada in one month. He did not appear to care.
I asked who owned the equipment. He said the company. I asked what the company policy was for a technician to check the meters. He replied every three years. I asked when the meter was checked last by the company. He said 6 years ago.
The engineer had explained to me that half of the meter was not registering . So I did the math.
If it is our responsibility   A big IF
6 payments per year  x. Approx 2000 pesos each payment
Equals.   4 years (we have lived here) x 12000. Pesos (annually)       48000 pesos
3 years as they did not check it since 2010 and were supposed to in 2013.
Equals. 36000 pesos.
Therefore even if their meter was not working an the assumption is that it was billing half ( which I doubt) we disconnect our Tvs, microwave, unless in use and use ac sporatically, I do not keep the computers plugged in.
Double is nowhere near 10.000 pesos

I asked the fellow if there was some compromise or solution. He said no. I asked my daughter to write down his statement of compromise  in Spanish and he refused to sign it .

I am looking for a house to rent fast as this is crazy and we cannot live like this with not even a fan.  I will be contacting a realtor and selling out as this frightens me that we can be accused and sentenced so arbitrarily.

I do believe this is against the Mexican Constitution as no one has the right to accuse try and sentence another without due process.
I know that I did not take care of, or damage their property. They apparently think I did something to their meter.
It is their property and I think I should be taken to task if I am guilty . I am not. I have had several certified electricians view not touch the meter. It was noted that condensation was in it last rainy season. The electric company has replaced the wires on our street and come to rehang a wire that came loose onto our driveway entrance. They have read the meter every 3 months I was told . It is not my equipment . Why do they not take care of it and why am I responsible?
They willfully are blackmailing us arbitrarily. They are destroying our comfort and food and forcing us out of our home.

I suggest that all expats get solar and have the electric company pay them.

So now we are a family of five with no phone, no internet, no fridge, stove or water pump.

Thanks for listening
Wish us luck in our fight
Yours truly
Dale Sherin

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