Utilities

UTILITIES

Bills:

You need to keep track of how often each bill (CFE-electric, gas-Zeta or Multi-gas, water-SIAPA, phone—TelMex, internet…) comes and about how much it costs. Sometimes they are late, but if you pay as soon as you get it, you usually won’t be charged a late fee. Sometimes a bill won’t come, and then a month later you will lose the service or be overcharged. Bills can be paid at convenient stores like Oxxo, grocery stores, and banks, but to be sure, check the bill itself. It will list the locations at which you can pay. If you’re late paying, you’ll probably have to pay at a company office instead.

Cell Phones:

You can’t buy a plan that will allow you to talk long distance, day or night with unlimited minutes. You also have to pay to receive calls at times if the person calling isn’t from your same cell phone company. You have to pay more to call from a cell phone to a landline than from a cell phone to a cell phone, and you have to pay more to call from a cell phone long distance. Some packages (usually one year contracts) with TelCel give you the option to have ten friends, and you can call them for free up to five minutes. Most people pay as they go; they load minutes on their cell phone at Oxxo or a grocery store, and when they run out, they buy more. Texting uses lesssaldo (credit) than calling.

If you are going to stay in Guadalajara, Moviestar, Telcel, or NexTel will work, but if you plan on doing any travelling outside the city, you need Telcel. Most people have Telcel rather than Moviestar. Nextel is more limited because it doesn’t operate like other cell phones; it is a radio operated system.

If your (Telcel) phone is lost or stolen, you can go to one of their main hubs (One is in Gran Plaza, 3rd floor.) and pay a small amount to get your same number transferred to a new phone.

Water:

Tap water is not potable so people have large water jugs (garrafones) delivered to their home. Ask your neighbors or the company when the trucks come to your neighborhood. These are the three main companies:

1. Ciel (Owned by Coca-Cola)
2. Santorini (Owned by Pepsi)
3. Bonafont

In addition, you will have to pay for the public water (SIAPA). You can pay monthly bills at Oxxo or other locations, but you get a discount if you pay ahead for the estimated water usage for the year in January. You have to do this at a SIAPA office. There is a SIAPA office on Jose Maria Vigil just past Pisa and one on the south end of Lopez Mateos.