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TelMex: A study in obfuscation and ineptitude

EDITORIAL
Add real estate horror stories, other alleged scams to experience Paradise lost

Posted 1/13/11 by Pelican Paulie

An acquaintance who lives in a waterfront condo tells the Pelican he’s been trying to straighten out TelCel problems for three years and is so fed up with the process that he has now resigned himself  to be without a cell

phone. Join the chorus. Because of these laments, yours truly has shied away from TelCel. Another acquaintance tells us of being cheated out of $200,000 by a developer who skipped town and headed back to Italy but is now being pursued by their lawyer. Join the chorus. A visitor in a rented car complains of having to pay a policeman for a speeding violation when he says he wasn’t speeding and other cars were zooming by. Other visitors and residents alike talk freely of being shortchanged by attendants at the Pemex gasoline stations and at the bus station cages in Playa del Carmen. Join the chorus.

Now the Pelican has its own story to tell involving the sudden loss of its TelMex internet connection on December 8, 2010, and futile attempts over 36 days so far to have it reconnected. Pelican joins the chorus even though it can’t sing. Attempts to resolve the problem over 36 days and counting so far have been unnerving to say the least. They involve more than 21 time-consuming, absolutely frustrating telephone calls to the TelMex customer technical assistance number (01-800-123-2222) only to hear a plethora of falsehoods and deceptive appeasements from the polite, sincere sounding TelMex minions who promise everything but can give nothing but empty words. Their names change at every call: Alejandro, Joseph, Hugo, and, as we were ushered into the realm of supervisors, Mr. Gonzalez or Mr. Garcia, and so on. They all promise…guarantee even…service will be restored “in five minutes” or “by tomorrow” or “the men are working on it” or “we’re opening a new port” or “we are replacing the wires” or “they are cleaning the server” or “we don’t have the capacity right now” and on and on with absolutely no success in solving the problem, whatever it is. Take your choice. It doesn’t matter. The end result is nada. Nothing.

Multiply and bundle these negative experiences from many sources and the Paradise one wants to believe in begins to slip away like pesos at a Pemex station. Last year, the Pelican’s TelMex service was superior. So what’s happened? Who knows when all one is told falls into the categories of malarkey and bull dung, intended or not, it smacks of deceit, or in the vernacular of the North, the run-around. That’s what it is. And that is frustrating.

Obviously, TelMex doesn’t get it

Client frustration is not from the loss of service. It stems from the attempts to have it restored and constantly being deceived by people who are either intentionally stringing clients along or who exist as a cadre of unwitting dupes hired by TelMex as a buffer to keep irate clients at bay. Promising and not delivering, making clients waste time sitting by the phone waiting for a call that doesn’t come, are unethical and insulting business stratagems and a shoddy treatment of paying – repeat paying – customers. Yes, after 36 days and counting without service, Pelican got a bill for a service it did not receive. Simple breach of contract. If on the other hand TelMex admitted outright it couldn’t fix a problem, a client could make other plans, such as permanently using a neighbor’s connection and paying half the cost, meaning TelMex loses income. TelMex shoud be careful. Imagine if two thirds of its customers got angry enough to drop the service because they could use their neighbors’ connection? Massive loss of income. Thanks to Pelican’s friends and neighbors who offered use of their connections and made possible the continuation of production without much interruption.

In the final analysis, though, if Paradise is lost in the fog of bumbling business stratagems, it nonetheless resurfaces quickly for the critics who float in the surreal world of margaritas or surrender their angst to sand, sun, sea and smiles of the local population. Ahhh! Paradise…TelMex and those of its ilk excluded.

Good neighbors avert larger fire tragedy

Unidentified truck snaps utility pole

Posted 1/13/11 by Pelican Paulie

Alert and willing neighbors on Caleta Yalku prevented what could have been a damaging fire in the dry woods along the golf course. As the story was related to the Pelican, neighbors including Daniele Gracis of the Colonos board and cultural and sports committee chairman, responded quickly to the strong scent of what seemed like burning rubber or plastic and found it to be coming from a garage on Yalku that, upon approach, was burning inside. Neighbors managed to douse the fire and call the fire department in Playa del Carmen, which arrived 45 minutes later, after the fire was out and under control.

Investigation by fire officials and the neighbors revealed that an absent owner had apparently left his golf cart charging in the garage close to a can of gasoline. It was assumed that some sort of spark from the golf cart charging operation ignited fumes from the gasoline can, igniting  fire. Firefighters broke windows to allow heavy, black smoke to exit the garage before they entered. One witness said the firefighters could have simply opened the doors to achieve the same result. Evidently the hood of a vehicle was also pried open with a crowbar so firefighters could dismantle the battery under it, for reasons that bystanders could not fathom.

It was pointed out that there hasn’t been much rain in the last two months and that the woods, and they are quite heavy, surroundinfg the garage could have spread the fire to other nearby structures and then some.

If golf cart owners are going to be away for a time, they should obviously remove the charger from the vehicle batteries to prevent just such an incident and store gasoline in a safer and more distant manner, say fire officials. Also at the end of Yalku recently, an unidentified truck apparently struck a utility pole and snapped it in half, with one half dangling from telephone wires and threatening loss of phone service. But it was jury rigged a week later without loss of phone service, according to reports of residents there who are awaiting a permanent repair.

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