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phxfunguy

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phxfunguy last won the day on April 22 2016

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About phxfunguy

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    Phxfunguy
  • Birthday 06/14/1949

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Chapala Centro summers + Saba Island winters
  • Interests
    Languages, stamp collecting, classical music, line dancing, Dutch Caribbean island of Saba, retired family MD/clinical instructor, former B&B owner, volunteer for Chapala graffiti abatement

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  1. I agree with Ferret, post info/queries on here first. (And I'm from Minnesota too!) Then if you have more personal questions to pose, you can PM the person who seems the most congenial or most likely to be sensitive to your more personal inquiries.
  2. I renewed at the Plaza las Torres location last year in June a nearly a month before expiration if that helps.
  3. I'd noticed the new look of the Bancomer website with the change to BBVA the past few weeks but everything still worked the same until this week when I could no longer sign in to my account with my laptop or cell phone. It told you to repeatedly change your password and then said that the details entered were wrong on both devices, so I went in yesterday. The bank manager told me she had been having an uptick in clients coming in with web problems. She said that only the logo had been changed on the website but I think they tinkered with some other details too. She said that "automatic 24 hour format" in settings was paramount and that had never been a requirement in the past. So this was the procedure to fix everything: First delete and reinstall the app on your phone, choose a new passcode that's 8 to 10 digits, 6 digits are no longer any good, and if your phone settings do not include "automatic 24 hour format," turn that on. With all that done, she was able to sign me in to the desktop version in the bank with one final change of password which was now accepted with the app fixed. I went home and tried it on my laptop and of course I got back into that same loop! The cell phone worked fine though. So I deleted all browsing history on the laptop, made sure it too (Google settings) was set to "automatic 24 hour format," and then the new password from yesterday worked.
  4. For me that Laguna store had presented lots of problems even though I only had to go in there every two years to renew the $4188 plan plus help a friend renew his two year plan. Each time we had to come back another day as their system would be "down" and not allow any updating. I referred a second friend as well and guess what?...come back tomorrow and see if our system is back up! I had originally purchased my first two year plan from Alejandro in Chapala, the heavy set guy who eventually scammed folks out of their two year plans by paying it monthly a few months and then absconding with the rest of the cash. So we had no AT&T outlet for quite a while until this new store opened up. Fortunately for me my renewal wasn't due for about 4 months after Alejandro did his disappearing act. I had been in the store about three weeks before the debacle unfolded and he quoted me the new price of $4188, only $88 more than the previous two year plan and he suggested I renew right then....glad I didn't. I always used a credit card and it appeared that the only ones who lost money were cash customers. I was glad for the new store but I don't understand their business model of their system being down so much unless I just happened to be so unlucky to have hit on five visits many months apart with the same problems! I'd also heard this year that when trying to renew with that store, they were telling people now you had to make a trip into Guad to do it! I was preparing to go back to Telcel if that was going to be their type of service as my renewal is coming up in 5 months. I'm wondering if there were problems at that store so they removed their ability to sell renewals as they prepared to close it thus the employees having to send clients to Guad with no explanation for the obvious question as to why an AT&T store can't renew your service? Glad to hear that the new store works well and I plan on stopping in there to renew.
  5. I have mild arthritis in my right hand from years of hand writing prescriptions and medical charts during the era preceding computer records and rare recurrence of left knee arthritis from an old injury. When I lived in Phoenix for 34 years it rarely bothered me except during the monsoon season a little but I used to make frequent trips to San Diego and by the third day there I felt miserable in all my involved joints plus others I wasn't aware of! Flying back in the plane in that dry environment made it all go away and it stayed away in the desert home climate. I've noticed the same thing here at Lake Chapala, arthritis is only mildly bothersome in the dry season and maybe a little more in the rainy season as I think the drier higher altitude mitigates the higher humidity here at least for me. If I go to the beach in the summer it's really bad and less really bad in the winter. I now spend the winter in the Caribbean on a mountain island at 1200-1800 feet most all of the time with higher altitude drier breezes and it's OK there too, similar to Chapala in the summer. I suspect an individual person's amount of joints involved with arthritis, the type, and length of history will impact his/her reaction at different altitudes and amounts of relative humidity so that my experience can easily be the opposite of others' stories noted above. Newcomers would likely have to come here and experience it for themselves. Before I moved here I spent a two week vacation here in all four seasons and since my arthritis was good here, I was good to move.
  6. Easy, he had asked someone for a referral to fix a broken Shaw box and they gave him José's number
  7. A new scam from this couple, I think. Yesterday my Shaw installer, José Anguiano from Chapala, was at my house upgrading my system and he had to drive to Guad to have my box repaired.On the way he received a call requesting a service call. The man then called back after a short while requesting he stop at Oxxo and put $100 on the man's phone. It seems that he was driving to town as well, a car stopped short in front of him and he rear-ended it. The little girl inside didn't have a seatbelt on, hit her head, blood was flowing, and they were now all at the hospital in Guad where she needed a CAT scan. Yet he only started out with the $100 request from José. José immediately recognized the scam scenario that was about to roll out but played along with him for fun as he had three hours to kill in Guad while he waited for my box. The guy called him back several times waiting for the $100 credit on his phone as he was "almost out of minutes." José strung him along by saying he'd tried to make the transfer but the numbers must have been wrong as he'd tried "five times and it wouldn't go through." When he returned with my repaired box, he asked me to listen in on the next conversation with this guy on speakerphone. So he called him to verify the numbers again and they were correct. His voice bore a soft southern accent. The man became irritated and said, "Listen, man, you been lyin' to me and I been lyin' to you but I never "aksed" you to do nothin' you didn't wanna do." José then still maintained he'd tried and the guy hung up. When I recognized the Gullah word "aksed" I read this thread to José and I strongly suspected this was the husband of the scam couple.
  8. I've used iShop (formerly MailBoxesEtc) for 9 years...more expensive but crucial if you need to import expensive meds from NOB that you can't buy cheaper here but your insurance up there will cover for a copay. My late partner needed this service for $2200US worth of meds monthly, they handled the import paperwork at Nuevo Laredo and got them to us for $10 a script. If it was a cheaper med and a 3 months' supply was sent, then it was still just $10 per unique script. Annual cost is now up to $408US but you can share it 4 ways as I do so it's $102 a year. Probably not worth it over the other two unless you split it 4 ways or need the med import deal as they are the only ones that I know of who can do this for you and get you your meds within 2 weeks of them leaving up North. I'm down to getting only my AARP magazine, a few Christmas cards, the occasional new credit card, and my SS updates and Medicare claim summaries through snail mail. Everything else including all tax forms is now available online and you can go totally paperless. Since I use their TX address for SS and Medicare, I don't get the annual "are you still alive?" letter through the Mexican mail service which might not arrive in time to return it so that my SS isn't cut off. And my SS is deposited into a US account. If you just need a box for a few magazines and cards from the grandkids, the other two services are certainly adequate. No one has posted their rates yet but I know they're less.
  9. I was at the ATM's at 8:40 this morning getting cash from my Schwab card to deposit back into my Bancomer account. There was a man huddled close to the middle ATM who never moved or completed any transaction while I was there, at least I heard no noise from his ATM. A woman was waiting along the window for him apparently as she didn't approach an ATM for use. The right hand ATM was out of money when I tried $7500 so I went to the left hand one around this man and tried $7000, which it gave me. I then went around him again to deposit the $7000 into my account using the depositing ATM on the right. Shortly thereafter I got a fraud alert from Schwab that a duplicate of my card had been made and 5 different transactions had been attempted at Bancomer in the 3 minutes I had been there ranging from $264.47 US to $401.00 US, which when calculated with the ATM fee and today's rate, turn out to be even peso amounts from $7500 on down. I have to assume that between them they had a card reader that produced a fake duplicate for them to use. Fortunately Schwab's system recognized two cards from the same account being used simultaneously and shut the fraudulent debit card number down...which of course includes mine. Not a problem for me, I always preach to everyone coming here to have 2 or 3 backups so one isn't stuck waiting for a new card to arrive and I also live by that rule. Just posting this to see if anyone else experienced fraud there early this morning. I'm also reporting it to the bank manager this afternoon to see if the ATM camera captured him or if he had covered the lens. Follow up: the bank manager was sympathetic to my report but as usual is powerless to do anything. She told me to report it to Mexico City and the Ministerio Publico but since I had no loss, that effort would lead nowhere. I just thought they might want to review their camera footage to see if they could spot the guy, but noooo.
  10. When I renewed mine at their monthly visit to the Legion last year this month, the exchange rate had changed between when I got my check and the day they came. Fortunately it was in my favor, they accepted the check and when I picked up my new passport a month later, there was a little envelope with my cash change in it. I don't know what would happen if it went the other way however. They did not take my current passport because they said they realized we all could have an emergency trip come up. That I believe is new. When I got my new one, they did the punching of the old one on the spot and gave it back to me as well. Some people have travel visas in the old passport that are still valid so you have to carry both until they all expire.
  11. When I said "Chapala" once late in the evening, the guy quoted me $420 automatically. I chuckled and replied "No toda la gente con piel blanca vive en Ajijic," and he laughed and corrected the price to $400. I've also used Uber which is usually about $235 initially and then afterwards a $32 extended trip charge was added on based on the time of the whole trip back to the airport. I had kind of a scary bumpy ride from an Uber driver in the dark once as he didn't seem to now where all the "baches" in the road were and swerved quickly through the tight turns entering the barricades where they're replacing the roadway. The subsequent time late at night I opted for a regular professional taximan who drove the same obstacle course much more sanely and I felt it was worth the $130 extra I paid for it. These guys know that road well and maybe not all Uber drivers do. I'd use Uber again in the daylight though, may have just been one hotshot driver. I've also heard some Uber drivers don't like the Chapala run as they don't think the amount is adequate even with the add on they request. I had one driver call me after accepting my fare and demand another $250 cash on top of the $235 initial fare, so more than the taxis. I canceled him, reported his behavior, and received credit for the cancellation fee. When I rebooked the fare, the guy who took me was literally parked right in front of me at the domestic terminal end. He was the hotshot.
  12. I think the CIBanco limit is $20,000 per transaction, at least I've gotten that amount out in the past when the exchange rate was over 20 as I have my daily Schwab limit set at $1000 US. Several friends have had their debit cards eaten by those HSBC machines in the bank across from Walmart. I've also used those occasionally in the past, I no longer do. They will not retrieve your card for you. At least Bancomer will do that for you for the highest fee Lakeside. Establishing a Schwab account before coming here or if afterwards, having a US address, bank account, and phone number to use in the process, is a very wise move. You can use any ATM wordwide for free. Just don't tell them you live outside the US!
  13. In my experience a lease is never adequate proof of address as anyone could draw one up...nothing official about it. They want a utility bill to prove that the address is real and occupied, i.e., someone is paying the water, electricity, or phone at the address. That is why they don't care that your name isn't on the bill of a rented property. You borrow a bill from the landlord to use for the day. In American logic we think we need to associate our name with the rental address to prove to the official that we live there but the Mexican officials are ferreting out people who try to scam a renewal using a fake or unoccupied address.
  14. Pete, on the AA website go to Receipts and Refunds way at the bottom of their homepage, then scroll down a bit to Request refund or status check. Put in your long 16 digit ticket number (found in your reservation or on your CC statement billing line for the charge,) your name, submit an attachment with your RT or RP card scan (both sides) and they'll credit the $24-27 back to your CC within a few days. If you ever fly with FF miles however, for some odd reason they make you send in a paper request to Phoenix; that instruction is there too. It's credited back just as fast however once they get the copy and the same info you input on the site for paid tickets.
  15. I've had good luck at Casa de los Azulejos in Chapala twice now for my 30 year old floor. It's on the west side of the Guad highway just at the light where you turn off into Soriana but you hang a left U-turn into their parking lot from the intersection instead.
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