Mexican Survival Tip 4 Communication

Mexican Survival Tip 4 Communication

If you want to​ communicate from Mexico to​ anywhere else in​ the​ world, do not use the​ Postal Service. if​ it​ is​ not the​ worst in​ the​ world, it​ has to​ be in​ the​ top ten. I have harangued and​ harangued about this in​ countless columns and​ articles. the​ Mexican feds have yet to​ do something about it. Are they listening?

The most recent mishap was that it​ took a​ check from my wife’s parents more than eight weeks to​ reach us. When we endorsed it​ and​ sent back via airmail, it​ took more than a​ month to​ reach our bank. We spent more than $2.50 USD to​ send it​ and​ it​ still took that long.

If you want to​ live in​ Mexico, you will have to​ contend with the​ issue of​ communication. How to​ do it, when do it, and​ what is​ going to​ work the​ day you need it​ to​ function.

The mail system sucks. There is​ no other way to​ describe it. Actually, there is​ another way but I don’t think my editors would like me to​ use that kind of​ language. There are times when you will elect to​ use the​ postal service. Be prepared for​ the​ worst.

It currently costs more than $2.00 USD to​ send a​ first-class letter to​ the​ United States. There a​ less than 50% chance that it​ will ever reach its destination. the​ same goes for​ mail coming into Mexico from America. it​ is​ a​ crap shoot at​ best. Always be prepared for​ the​ worst when using the​ postal service.

If you have a​ really important document, you have to​ use DHL. But, keep in​ mind that this is​ Mexican DHL. the​ Mexican cultural affectations that affect every single thing in​ this country do not stop just because you are now dealing with an​ international business.

I have a​ friend who is​ a​ translator. He routinely sends and​ receives documents from his international clients. Once, because some client did not dot an​ “i” or​ cross a​ “t” correctly, the​ DHL people simply threw the​ package into the​ undeliverable bin. Now, mind you they had his phone number on the​ shipping invoice and​ could have called him to​ verify his address. They didn’t. That’s how life is​ here.

Another friend was trying to​ send a​ baby’s dress via DHL to​ a​ niece who had recently given birth. She wrapped it​ up and​ sent it​ DHL to​ America. When it​ arrived, the​ dress was gone but they delivered the​ empty package. This is​ so typical.

Any letter or​ package that you need to​ send out of​ the​ country, or​ to​ another Mexican town for​ that matter, will be at​ the​ mercy of​ a​ culture that really does not care if​ your package gets delivered or​ not. Before you think me too harsh, let me throw this at​ you.

Here in​ Guanajuato, the​ local mail service is​ so bad that the​ utility companies do not dare deliver monthly bills via the​ postal service. They have guys who hand deliver the​ utility bills to​ your house. That’s how little the​ residents of​ Guanajuato trust the​ Mexican Postal Service.

If at​ all possible, email or​ fax documents. I do this as​ often as​ I can when I send articles and​ even entire books to​ agents or​ editors. However, not all American publishers comprehend the​ expense and​ danger of​ sending valuable documents out of​ Mexico and​ demand you use the​ postal service.

To demonstrate even further how bad it​ is, listen to​ this.

Decades ago, expats would “mule” their mail out of​ Mexico. What this means is​ that the​ expat communities were so close that when someone was heading back to​ the​ U.S. they would send along mail with him or​ her.

Now, there are mail services. You can actually obtain a​ street address in​ the​ U.S. where all your mail will be delivered. Then it​ will be trucked privately into stations in​ Mexican storefronts where you go pick it​ up. the​ problem is​ that Guanajuato does not have this, yet.

Phone service is​ fairly reliable when it​ stays connected. if​ you have DSL Internet then you can use one of​ the​ many services, like Vonage, where you can call back and​ forth to​ the​ U.S. for​ virtually nothing.

So, fax or​ email documents if​ you can. if​ you just have to​ courier them out of​ the​ country, use DHL. But, be prepared for​ a​ high failure rate even with them.

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