We woke up to a cloudy day with scattered showers so we decided to make it an administrative day.
As I have said many times before — our daily plans depend heavily on the weather. A perfect, sunny Caribbean day necessitates that we drop everything and head to the beach. It’s not a law or anything — just a code that we live by.
We decided to take advantage of the first rainy day in over a week and we headed into Playa del Carmen (PDC). PDC is located about 25 minutes north of where we live and we only go there when we need to shop, see a doctor, or satisfy a particular food craving. We just don’t like to deal with all the traffic on a regular basis.
On this particular day, we had to stock up on bulk items at City Club and renew Linda’s cell phone plan before it expired. This article will be focusing on the latter.
Saving Pesos Wherever We Can
We went to the AT&T store because they have great coverage both where we live in Mexico and where we visit in the U.S. The plans also cover all of North America, so there is never an additional charge for us to call the U.S. or to use the phone when we are there.
We decided on a plan with unlimited calls, unlimited texts, and 3 gigs of data. With this plan, social media applications like Facebook and WhatsApp don’t use any of the data, so there was no need to buy additional gigs.
They said that if we paid up front for 12 months, we would get 12 months free. The thrifty side of me just couldn’t pass up that deal. It’s like paying a nickel more to go from a 22 oz Slurpee to a 44 oz one –it’s a no-brainer.
Since I haven’t been in the U.S. in awhile, I’m not sure what this plan costs there, but here it cost us about $269 USD for two years of service at the current exchange rate (20:1). Broken down monthly, that comes to a whopping $11.20 USD a month.
What I do remember from my former life in the U.S. is that cell phone companies would often advertise a low rate, but the final bill would be much higher. That’s because that advertised price didn’t include all of the taxes and fees the government throws in there.
So what about here in Mexico?
Once I recalculate it adding all of the applicable taxes and fees the amount still comes to $11.20 USD a month.
Amazed? Don’t be.
In Mexico, the law requires that all prices exhibited include all taxes, fees, commissions and any other charge required to obtain the product or service. The law is designed to protect the consumer and I think the U.S. should enact something similar.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Before moving to Mexico, the prices that we paid for goods and services in the U.S. seemed reasonable to me — in most cases. However, now in comparison to what we spend in Mexico, they seem outrageously expensive.
Before all my friends back in the U.S. run to Mexico to get phone plans, just keep in mind that you would have a Mexican cell phone number. That means that although your plan would work fine in the U.S., you would have to remind your friends to dial +52 and your number. It could also be a long distance call for them — depending on their cell phone plan.
You can get around having your friends incur long distance rates by calling you by using phone apps like WhatsApp.