MÉRIDA, YUCATÁN – When I arrived at my office yesterday, I noticed a large number of Cablemas vehicles, with technicians replacing cables and climbing the poles along the street. Later, I realized that my phone and internet had both ceased to function, and went outside to investigate. Sure enough, the phone and fiber optic cables had been cut, apparently by a Cablemas vehicle passing in the middle of the street with its cherry picker extended, and were dangling down to street level.
I questioned the technicians, who all denied knowledge of anything… Their faces told a different story, with the guilty look of a dog pretending it was not the one who ate the steak cooling on the counter… “Who, me? What? No, I saw nothing… nothing at all”…
I called Telmex, and got the usual runaround of press 1, press 2, press 3… reported the problem, but was unable to obtain an estimate as to when they would be able to fix it.
With several businesses relying on the phone and fiber optic cable, we couldn´t wait, so called a private technician we know, who attended quickly, and changed the cable and fiber optic. An hour, and $500 pesos later, normal service was restored.
I contacted Cablemas, to advise them that I considered it only fair that since they broke the cables, they should reimburse the $500 pesos it cost to replace them. Their representative was initially sympathetic, requested a photo of the damage, and advised he would make a report and would be in touch.
Later, he responded requesting the license plate number of the vehicle that caused the damage “because they are contractors and we need to know who to charge for the damage”. I pointed out that I did not see the damage occur, as I was inside, and by the time I realized and went outside, the vehicle was no longer in place, and the technicians were all wearing their ‘guilty dog’ faces.
Therefore, I did not have the license plate number, as I did not know which vehicle caused the damage. I also stated my view that to me, they are ‘Cablemas’ vehicles and employees; if they choose to subcontract to other companies, that is their issue, not mine.
And that is where the story ended. If I couldn’t tell Cablemas which one of their technicians (who are probably getting paid $200 pesos a day if they are lucky) caused the damage so they could charge it back to them, there was nothing they could do for me.
What happened to the concept of companies taking responsibility for their employees and accepting the mistakes they make as a cost of doing business? To me this is akin to me charging my cleaning lady if she breaks a mug or glass while cleaning my house – something I would never do, as I accept it as a risk of employing her.
Moral of the story? Avoid Cablemas if you can. And if you see their technicians in your street replacing cables, watch them like a hawk, camera at the ready, in case the same thing happens to you.
By Stewart Mandy
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Born in Europe, raised in the Middle East, and a long-time resident in the Americas, Stewart has been based in Mérida, Yucatan since 2010, and has lived and worked worldwide in the media, travel, tourism and transportation industries for well over 20 years.
His local contacts and global knowledge provide him with unmatched access to the stories ‘behind the stories’ and he likes to take you to the places that others don’t or won’t go.
From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, from Moscow to Melbourne, from Bergen to Buenos Aires, Stewart has been there. Chances are, wherever you are heading, he knows the score.
In addition to The Yucatan Times, Stewart contributes (or has contributed) to “The Examiner” (www.examiner.com), “Business Briefings”, “Cruise & Ferry Magazine” and “The Apollo Magazine”. He is a former editor of “rolling pin CRUISE” magazine.
He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can join him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meridawriter, follow him on Twitter @stewartmandy or visit his website at www.stewartmandy.com or his blog at http://tolocsandaluxes.blogspot.mx/
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