Friday, February 1, 2013

Telcel Visit

Our Banda Ancha is going to expire at 3 PM February 1. Usually this just means going to a Telcel store or even an OXXO and buying another 500 pesos of time. This time however, I got a text message from Telcel reminding me to renew but also telling me I had sufficient credit in my account to renew. Hoping to save about $40 US we drove to downtown Cuernavaca and went into the Telcel customer Service office. We were lucky once again and found an English speaking rep. I showed him the text but he replied that yes, I had over one thousand pesos in my "gift" or "rebate" account but I could not use it to renew, the money was only to be used "for making phone calls". I do not understand as Banda Ancha is not a phone, only an Internet connection device. I do not think our rep was all that familiar with the product. I will try again next month from Puebla or San Miguel de Allende.

Our friends Jan and Whit have been having the same problem. It must be one of those "Mexican things" that is beyond understanding. I paid my 500 pesos for another 30 days.

We also have a Telcel phone that we keep for emergencies. When we got here in early December, I bought 100 pesos worth of time. We have used none of that time but it expires after 60 days and if you do not add more time before it expires, you loose your unused time. They had also added a "gift" of 50 pesos so I added another 50 pesos and now I have 200 pesos worth of time.

Traffic was very heavy so after we had found the Telcel building and finished our business there, we only had time to stock up on Krispy Kreme doughnuts and head home shortly before dark.

At about 7, Humberto knocked on our door to invite us over to their house for a visit. It is a great honor to be invited into a Mexican home so we were very pleased. They have a beautiful house with walls covered in art and mementos. We sat and talked, munching on snacks and sipping drinks until almost ten. It was a very enjoyable evening! I was fearing we were overstaying our welcome but every time my beer bottle looked empty, it was replaced with a full one! We had a great time!


  1. I understand how the Banda Amcha "bonus" system works...but it's pretty complicated. I'll try and explain.

    You actually have three different categories to your Banda Ancha account.

    You have you Saldo Amigo, which is the balance that you have paid into your account in cash. As you put money in, this balance rises, and as you select different monthly packages, this balance decreases accordingly.

    Then, you have your Saldo de Regalo. This is your gift balance, and is registered in pesos. But these pesos can only be used towards internet use and is charged out at 1 peso per megabyte.

    Then there is your Saldo Internet. This balance is in megabytes.

    Let's say you purchase a 30 day package which comes with a standard 3 gigabytes for 399 pesos. This package will expire at either 30 days or when you've used up 3 gigabytes. However, if you don't renew with another package the internet will continue to work. But now, you will be using your "Saldo Internet". It will continue to work until your balance in that category is zero. Then, you will begin using your "Saldo de Regalo". This balance will reduce at the rate of 1 peso per megabyte, until it is zero. At that point, your internet WILL STILL WORK, however now you will be using your "Saldo Amigo" until that balance is reduced to zero, at the rate of 1 peso per megabyte. Obviously this is no good because you're no getting good value for your money which is why you use that balance to buy your monthly packages.

    Hope this helps!

  2. OK, not sure I understand but my 30 days expires today. I paid 500 pesos which is sitting there waiting for me to send the alto30 message to 5050. If I do not send this message then you say the internet will keep working but at 1 peso per megabyte? As far as I can see that 1000 pesos in the gift account has no other purpose, so I may as well use it up this way? Sorry, having trouble following. I am signing out now so we shall see what happens when I try it later. Thanks.

  3. It is complicated, I agree!

    Yes, just let it expire. Your internet will continue working, but first it will use up your Salda Internet. When that is gone, then it will start eating into your gift balance. You are correct, this is the only way to use it up. But you have to be careful because you'll want to purchase your next package before your gift balance is all gone! Could be two weeks or more from now depending on your usage.

    I believe you can check your balances by text message. From your system, send a text to 333 with the word SALDO. I haven't tried it yet, but apparently it will cost you a peso every time you do it.

  4. I have no clue about the Banda Amcha... but, Humberto sure sounds like a neat guy. How nice to be invited into his home.

  5. Same with the cell phone. I buy 300 pesos of airtime and I receive 600 regalo. My 300 cash balance is used first and for all calls; local, national, international and text. Once this is used up, my regalo kicks in but I can't make 800 calls or international with it. Not complicated, just different.

    Most Mexicans if not all who have a USB for internet also have celphone and use the time from their USB to make calls when they go into regalo or don't have balance on their phone.

  6. OK, well I had already given them 500 pesos so I thought I may as well renew for 30 days. That takes us up to March 3 at which time I will start using my gift balance at 1 peso per megabyte. Hopefully it will last until we leave the country. You were right Kevin, even though I had passed my expiration time, the Internet kept working. I guess on my gift amount.

    And like Chris says, perhaps I can take the SIM out of the Banda Ancha and use it in my phone to make calls with the gift amount.

  7. Phew....your Internet renewal is kind of complicated!

    FYI: We met your friends, Rod & Sylvia, this evening at our rig in Canyon Vista RV Park, Gold Canyon, AZ. Nice visit was had with a loose promise to try to get together again in the next 14 days. We have a very busy agenda while here.


    1. Nice that you met Rod and Sylvia, they are a great couple. I thought Rod might be interested in your swivel hitch as I am sure he would like to bring his bike down.

      There is nothing simple about Banda Ancha accounting!

  8. Good morning Croft,
    You say that you are going to visit Puebla next. We were there in 2010 and we stayed at Trailer Park Las Americas, nice park with lots of room to manouver and the little old lady who owns the place is very nice and helpfull, she has even mandated her chaufeur to come downtown and show me the auto spare parts streets.
    Be aware there undreds of auto spare parts dealers, and there warehouses is the autos that are parked throuout the city. The have an army of robbers on bycicles with phones and when call one of them robbers who gets the part from a vehicule parked somewhere in town.
    We had a taste of it, they tore my mirors of of my truck 600. canadian dolars a piece, they broke in the cap back of my truck and stole my tool box spares tires for the trailer, sachels and lots of goodies that I had even forgotten I had there until i needed them.
    Dont park your shiny Honda on any side streed, park it on a very busy street or best leave it at the campground there are good busses.
    Very nice area to visit thow. Be carefull and enjoy.
    We are now in Rincon de Guyabitos, one of the great places in Mexico.

    1. We have been to Rincon de Guyabitos! It is nice that you are getting some beach time before returning to Quebec!

      We have stayed in Trailer Park Las Americas several times. Yes the lady who runs it is very helpful and friendly. We discovered one night that she loves a little tequila as well!

      Thanks for the tip about street parking in Puebla. We will use a parking lot.

  9. Question about the regalo credit:

    My telcel phone has over 1000 pesos of regalo credit which is pretty useless to me since I use the phone for calling the US. If I take the sim out of the phone and put it in my banda ancha stick will I then have 1000 pesos worth of credit that I can use for data at the rate of 1 peso/megabyte?

    1. Steve, I want to say, "I don't think so" because the phone # associated to the SIM is for a phone, not Banda Ancha. But you lose nothing by trying it or better yet, visit a Telcel store (not an agency) and they will have someone who speaks English to advise you.