Friday, December 19, 2008


This is absolutely the most frustrating thing. I bought a cell phone from Telcel, then set about trying to find out how friends and family can reach me from Canada and the U.S. Well, it seems that they have to start with 011, then 52 (the country code for Mexico), then 1, which signifies that they're calling a cell phone, then the area code and phone number. Maybe.

Or maybe they have to dial 011, then 45, which apparently is the code for a Mexican cell phone, then the area code and phone number.

Or, since neither of those things seems to work, maybe they have to do something else entirely.

My poor daughter has been patiently trying to get through to me, to no avail. At the same time, my wi-fi connection is being a bit squirrely, so talking on Skype is not going all that well, either.

The one positive thing is that if we ever do manage to make a connection, it seems that as long as I'm on the receiving end of the call, I won't be charged 15 pesos a minute - won't be charged at all, actually. I don't think it will cost much for the callers, either, what with all those wonderful long-distance packages we have these days. In that respect, it's like my English cell phone. I wasn't charged for incoming calls there, either - but the cost of outgoing calls was much lower. How about that? I have something positive to say about the English phone system!

Well, it was at that point in the endless effort that I realized I had made a mistake. The last digit in my phone # is a 7, but here in Mexico the number 7 is crossed, and the sales clerk had written the number on a nearly transparent piece of masking tape, which she then affixed to the back of the phone - so when I read out the number at the beginning of the conversation, I read the 7 as a 9. Some guy in Mexico is now trying to figure out who the hell was calling him. Anyway, we finally worked it out. Here's the drill.

To call a Mexican cell phone (mine, anyway) from Canada or the U.S., you dial

011-52-1 followed by the ten-digit phone number

That's a relief. I was beginning to think I had bought the phone for nothing. I just checked my balance, and it looks as if receiving the call cost me 2 pesos 30 centavos, or else that's what it's costing me to keep going in and checking my balance. Not much, anyway - the equivalent of about 20 cents. I can live with that.

No comments:

Blog Archive