Monday, July 5, 2010

Hold the Phone: Getting a monthly cell phone plan in Mexico

This post was inspired by the 2 hours that I spent at Telcel this weekend trying to change my plan.  Getting a cell phone anywhere should be easy, but getting on a monthly plan in Mexico as a foreigner is not for the faint of heart. 

Some companies require a credit card...but a credit card issued IN MEXICO.  Your Visa, MasterCard or American Express will not be accepted if it was issued outside of Mexico. 

Other companies require that you bring in a payment of your last property taxes in Mexico.  "But I just moved here!" you say..."I'm renting and I don't pay property taxes!" you say...It doesn't matter.  They need to see that before you will get your phone plan.  The solution?  Find a friend that will vouch for you (as a cosigner) and get a copy of their last property tax bill called the predial.

Then there is always the most famous attention to this because you will hear it over and over again...the comprobante de domicilio, or proof of address.  It seems kind of counterintuitive that they would ask you for a proof of address when you first move somewhere.  Here's the thing - the proof of address doesn't have to have your name on it!  If you are renting, ask your landlord or property manager for their last Telmex bill and you will be good to go.

The cell phone company will do an actual investigation before you are approved.  They want to make sure you are who you say you are and you live at the address given.  They will send someone out to verify, so don't lie on your application. 

*Note: This info is for monthly cell phone plans, getting a pay as you go phone is not that difficult.

More on cell phones in Mexico in future posts....

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