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pbozz222

May 17, 2010, 4:53 PM

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Cell phones and temporary living

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Hi, my name is Phyllis and I plan on moving to San Miguel de Allende in the Fall. I lived in PV for a year but it was much too hot so am now back in the states.
My questions right now are: is there any type of temporary living space, apt., house., etc., that a person can rent while they search for a real place to live? I also have a dog and cat.

The next question is on cell phones. Does anybody know of a cell phone that will work anywhere? Would it be a satellite phone or what? Should I buy one here or in Mexico?

I will be looking for a one-two bedroom place in a pretty safe area around end September. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks, pbozz222@yahoo.com



Papirex


May 17, 2010, 5:21 PM

Post #2 of 18 (22774 views)

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Re: [pbozz222] Cell phones and temporary living

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You will probably get more accurate answers to your questions if you post them here: http://forumsfallinginlovewithsanmiguel.com/


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by Papirex on May 17, 2010, 5:23 PM)


johnv

May 17, 2010, 6:58 PM

Post #3 of 18 (22744 views)

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Re: [pbozz222] Cell phones and temporary living

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I'd buy an unblocked cell phone in the states and then buy the sim card in Mexico. Unblocked phones are unavailable in Mexico. With an unblocked phone you can then have a USA sim card also, and when you go to the USA, you just switch sim cards. Likewise with an unblocked phone, you can get a sim card for any country you go to, and still be using the same phone. A Telcel sim card would run in the range of US$5 to $15. I believe that Telcel would be the provider most apt to work anywhere, as they are Mexico's major provider. Personally I would not even consider a satellite phone due to cost.

I know from experience that it would be a cinch to locate a rental in San Miguel, very quickly.


Peter


May 17, 2010, 7:58 PM

Post #4 of 18 (22731 views)

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Re: [pbozz222] Cell phones and temporary living

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Is there an area of San Miguel de Allende that is not pretty safe? It is sometimes called Mexico's Solvang, clean, picturesque, and very American. Last time I was there I saw the parking police giving out tickets, very American. Too much so for me.

I have a couple Mexican friends in SMA, one is a dentist and her younger sister runs her office. They told me if I wanted to live in SMA I should buy some property in their neighborhood and build my own house because rent is too expensive. A room downtown costs 600 a month, she said. I told her 600 pesos was good, it would be 1,000 a month in Playa Azul. She told me, no, that is 600 dollars, everything here is in dollars. I told them I was happy enough where I am now, thanks.

I'm sure someone can find better deals for houses there than what they were telling me, and I'm sure I spent pesos there at least in some store or restaurant or another.

I have cell phones from Telcel, Movistar, and Unefon. At one time I needed Telcel for coverage in a favorite town I visit on the coast and that was the only company servicing that area then, but Telcel prices for calling the US are horrendous so I had my Unefon for a much better rate. Movistar has been moving up on the food chain in terms of coverage and I now have their service. For buying $300 pesos airtime a month calls to the US run me $6 pesos per half-hour, I believe.


joaquinx


May 18, 2010, 4:00 AM

Post #5 of 18 (22696 views)

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Re: [johnv] Cell phones and temporary living

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Unblocked phones are unavailable in Mexico.


Desbloqueado cell phones are available at Mercado Libre (Mexican ebay)
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


esperanza

May 18, 2010, 11:41 AM

Post #6 of 18 (22640 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Cell phones and temporary living

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There are little hole-in-the-wall stores all over Mexico that have signs out in front: DESBLOQUEAMOS CELULARES. My partner had her old one from the USA desbloqueado. This is Mexico! Todo se puede. (Everything is possible.)

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









raferguson


May 18, 2010, 9:06 PM

Post #7 of 18 (22600 views)

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Re: [pbozz222] Cell phones and temporary living

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Lots of good advice. Forget satellite phones, just get a Mexican phone with a San Miguel number. If you buy your phone or SIM in San Miguel, you will get a local phone number.

Telcel has better coverage, but Movistar tends to be cheaper. The cell phone companies have various plans. Look for a plan that allows calls of up to 15 minutes to the USA for just a few pesos. Movistar has a plan for an up to 30 minute call to the USA for 6 pesos, about 50 cents, quite a bargain. I looked on the web for the corresponding Telcel plan, but did not find one. Telcel tends not to be really open about their tariffs, which makes sense, as Telcel costs more.

Of course, Skype is good for calls to and from the USA if you have a computer and a broadband connection.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


johnv

May 19, 2010, 9:37 AM

Post #8 of 18 (22555 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Cell phones and temporary living

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1. Esperanza, none of the "hole in the wall" stores where I live have signs advertising the unblocking of cell phones. Not even one store.

2. Joaquinx, I would not touch Mercado Libre with a 10 foot pole. Good luck on that one. Just my personal opinion.

3. Peter, why would you even be using a cell phone for calling the USA. Have you not heard of VoIP phones. They range from free to 2 US cents per minute for US calls. I question the availability of calling the USA on a cell phone from Mexico for 6 pesos a half hour.
Also I consider San Miguel to be a lot more "dangerous" than many places in Mexico of the same size. Kidnappings, rape, and what have you, are not all that uncommon in San Miguel. As far as rentals go, you will find decently priced rentals in San Miguel. In Mexico in general, it is real estate prices that are artificially high, not rental prices. The other thing is that I really get sick and tired of the old cliche, of bashing San Miguel de Allende. It is a great place. That is why it became so popular.


Peter


May 19, 2010, 11:27 AM

Post #9 of 18 (22533 views)

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Re: [johnv] Cell phones and temporary living

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3. Peter, why would you even be using a cell phone for calling the USA. Have you not heard of VoIP phones. They range from free to 2 US cents per minute for US calls. I question the availability of calling the USA on a cell phone from Mexico for 6 pesos a half hour.
Also I consider San Miguel to be a lot more "dangerous" than many places in Mexico of the same size. Kidnappings, rape, and what have you, are not all that uncommon in San Miguel. As far as rentals go, you will find decently priced rentals in San Miguel. In Mexico in general, it is real estate prices that are artificially high, not rental prices. The other thing is that I really get sick and tired of the old cliche, of bashing San Miguel de Allende. It is a great place. That is why it became so popular.
___________

Cell phones work for me for all types of calls here or to the US, at home or on the go. No, I don't know what are VoIP phones. The 6 pesos roughly coincides with the price of 2 cents US you mention. 6 pesos per half-hour is what someone told me about, the store told me the same, and others have posted as such.

No bash intended. To say SMA was like Mexico's Solvang, the Danish village north of Santa Barbara, was meant as a compliment, clean and pretty but a little on the pricey side. However I didn't make that up but heard it said elsewhere and don't disagree. I have friends there and visit from time to time but it is a little small for me and prefer Morelia to live.

Sorry to hear about the danger, it always seemed so tranquilo every time I visited. It seemed safer, at least no more dangerous than many Mexican towns, but considering the prosperity of many residents I guess some problems are to be expected. Perhaps what you perceived as a "bash" was my comment about parking police and being too American. Again, no bash intended, just more law-and-order than what I'm accustomed to in Mexico and probably what gave me the idea it was safe.

I have a question, though. My friends said that everything was in dollars there. That sounds like an exageration and was not my experience there but would guess with the many American residents it may have some validity. Is pricing in dollars common and US currency a somewhat regular means of exchange there?


(This post was edited by Peter on May 19, 2010, 12:02 PM)


joaquinx


May 19, 2010, 11:41 AM

Post #10 of 18 (22524 views)

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Re: [johnv] Cell phones and temporary living

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Joaquinx, I would not touch Mercado Libre with a 10 foot pole. Good luck on that one. Just my personal opinion.


You're the one who said that they unblocked cell phones DIDN'T exist in Mexico. Yet there they are.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


johnv

May 19, 2010, 8:51 PM

Post #11 of 18 (22479 views)

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Re: [Peter] Cell phones and temporary living

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Many rental and real estate prices are quoted in US Dollars in SM de Allende. It is very annoying to me, and in my opinion, it should be illegal. Maybe it is a way of saying, "I would rather rent or sell to an American". I do not know why it is, but it may be something to do with a perceived protection against devaluation of the peso. (Actually at this point I would be equally as worried about a devaluation in the US Dollar)

Joaquin, in my book, Mercado Libre Mexico = "does not exist".


(This post was edited by johnv on May 19, 2010, 8:54 PM)


joaquinx


May 20, 2010, 7:50 AM

Post #12 of 18 (22450 views)

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Re: [johnv] Cell phones and temporary living

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It is unlawful to require the payment in US Dollars. However, many post prices of rentals in US Dollars for fear of devaluation, esp. in rental contracts. In SMA, there are people who can not translate pesos to dollars.

And I don't care what your opinion of Mercado Libre is. The point is that you were wrong stating that unblock cell phones were not available in Mexico. Read your own posts.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


Henriette

May 20, 2010, 8:50 AM

Post #13 of 18 (22438 views)

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Re: [johnv] Cell phones and temporary living

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Hi, first time writing. We have an unblocked cell (unblocked in Canada) and spend months in mexico each year. Last year opened telcel account which we were happy with but have not been able to figure out how to keep the account open when we aren't in Mexico. They automatically freeze the account after a period of inactivity ( 1 or 2 mos) and close it after a little longer. They suggested we have someone add time to our phone when we are not there but we have the phone with us in Canada. We would like to keep an account open and have the same phone number every year, anyone have this same problem and any suggestions? Henriette


johnv

May 20, 2010, 9:26 AM

Post #14 of 18 (22420 views)

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Re: [Henriette] Cell phones and temporary living

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I googled and found a site that may or may not be an aid in paying for Telcel from outside of Mexico. I do not have the time to read the site. You will have to do that yourself. Here it is: https://www.prepaidwireless.com/

Joaquin, the point is, that there was a poster in the USA asking for advice. My answer that unblocked phones are unavailable in Mexico is the correct advice. In the USA this poster can buy literally any phone made in the world, unblocked, and at a cheap price. To come here and find a crappy selection of cheap unblocked phones on Mercado Libre Mexico, pay a bloated price, and then risk getting ripped off, is absurd, when the poster could easily and cheaply obtain the the phone without risk in the US.


(This post was edited by esperanza on May 20, 2010, 9:39 AM)


brecky

May 21, 2010, 9:45 AM

Post #15 of 18 (22345 views)

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Re: [Henriette] Cell phones and temporary living

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Henriette - you could leave your "SIM card" (not your cell phone) behind with a local friend with a GMS cell phone who could top it up with the minimum required amount by placing it temporarily in their phone. That way they could keep your number current until you get back.


My travel photography home page:
http://www.worldisround.com/home/brecky/index.html


Maesonna

May 23, 2010, 4:13 PM

Post #16 of 18 (22214 views)

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Re: [Henriette] Cell phones and temporary living

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If a person pays for you from an ATM in Mexico, they don't have to have your phone with them, they just enter your cell phone number when making the air time purchase for you at the ATM. As far as I know, with Telcel, air time has to be purchased at least every 6 months to keep the number active.


johnv

May 23, 2010, 8:14 PM

Post #17 of 18 (22177 views)

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Re: [Maesonna] Cell phones and temporary living

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Now that I have had time, I have viewed the site I linked above, for 45 seconds, and it would appear that you can indeed buy Telcel airtime if you open an account.

You must top off a Telcel prepaid phone every 2 months, not every 6 months.


Maesonna

May 24, 2010, 8:05 AM

Post #18 of 18 (22131 views)

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Re: [johnv] Cell phones and temporary living

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The difference between the 6 months and 2 months deadlines is this: If 2 months have gone by without your buying air time, you can't make outgoing calls or send messages. But you can still receive calls and messages. Your account remains active and your number still belongs to you.

After 6 months without buying air time, you lose your number. So if you are out of the country but want to keep your number, like Henriette, you only need to have your air time topped up within 6 months.

(This post was edited by Maesonna on May 24, 2010, 8:06 AM)
 
 
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