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djmerwin

Oct 4, 2004, 3:04 PM

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I Need Your Help

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I am hardly a newcomer to Mexico--I have made several dozen trips over the last quarter century and visited most parts of the country, but always gravitated back to San Miguel where my wife and I lived for several months in 1983.

Also, I am the co-author, with John Howells, of CHOOSE MEXICO which is currently being updated for its 9th edition. We've always tried hard to keep abreast of changes in Mexico--laws, prices, popular places to live, etc. Those who think that we haven't are probably looking at an earlier edition that hasn't been in the stores for a decade or so.

We'd appreciate any information we can get from the readers of this forum to help make this twentieth anniversary edition the very best



Gringal

Oct 8, 2004, 9:23 AM

Post #2 of 4 (5654 views)

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Re: [djmerwin] I Need Your Help

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In your last edition, you indicated that opening an account with California Commerce Bank, owned by Banamex, would allow you to have Social Security checks deposited in California Commerce (a U.S. bank, insured by FDIC. You could then have money transferred from there to Banamex if you also opened a Banamex account. We did this. The problem encountered was as follows: We were in the process of purchasing a house here in Mexico and needed to make a wire transfer of funds to the seller's bank account in the U. S. Like many in this area, we are on a waiting list for a land-line telephone and had only a cell phone to call the bank. Although we had sent the bank a signed fax requesting the transfer and giving all details, the bank refused to do the wire transfer without being able to call us back on our own land-line phone "of record", which was our hostess' phone where we had been but were no longer staying while house-hunting. They cited "security" as the reason why a cell phone number could not be the number "of record" to verify our information. Four hours and several supervisors later, they still refused to do the transfer using our cell phone number. The next day we imposed on our former hostess and did the deed from her telephone. Word to the wise: Don't try to do banking by phone unless you have a land line phone. On Banamex: If you transfer money by writing a check on California Commerce Bank, they still put a 72 hour hold on the money. The good part is that you can use the Banamex machines to withdraw money from your California Commerce bank account without extra fees.

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djmerwin

Oct 8, 2004, 10:03 AM

Post #3 of 4 (5640 views)

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Re: [valdecker] I Need Your Help

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Your post is deeply appreciated. It is just the kind of tip we need to ensure that we are not giving our readers outdated or misleading information. Be assured that the 9th Edition of CHOOSE MEXICO will include a caveat on cell phones and banking.


Gringal

Oct 8, 2004, 10:22 AM

Post #4 of 4 (5634 views)

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Re: [djmerwin] I Need Your Help

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This falls into the category of unsubstantiated information but might be useful for someone to follow up on: A friend who heard my frustrating story said that some of the new phone services such as "Vonage" which connect by cable rather than phone lines are not detectable as "cell" phones and might be acceptable for banking. Also, for those who trust in online banking , it is possible to link the California Commerce Bank account with the Banamex account, thus being able to quickly transfer funds without the waiting period.
One person previously posted in the forum that it was difficult to open an account at Banamex without having an FM-3 or FM-2. True. Also two local residents for references and a copy of your utility bill. Our hostess wrote a statement in Spanish to the bank to the effect that we were staying as her guests, included the original of her utility bill (copy not sufficient) and that worked. Since we had to return the original bill, they were satisfied making a copy and giving it back. The process of opening the account took more than 2 hours. Be ready for that.
 
 
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