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johnny b gone

If Offered, Do Not Accept Card from CFE Agents

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I know this was mentioned on the Board before, but I could not find it.

If someone knocks on your door or rings your doorbell, and they say that they are from CFE and want to give you a card to put on your electric meter, so you can read the meter and go pay it at CFE.

DO NOT TAKE THE CARD

These people do not represent CFE, and if you take the card and sign their form, you are in for big problems.

This came from a friend of mine, that works at CFE. He told me that this is not, and has never been a project or a program of CFE.

Please Take Heed

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Or ..... do not accept it because it is a terrible CFE program. It certainly can be a CFE program but one you don't want to be a part of.

Read about all the downfalls for just about anyone living in Mexico.

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A friend who is out of town has one of these cards. Her payment date is the 5th day of each month so the friend has until the 15th of the month to pay. I slid the card over the meter and it came up with a reading. I then took the card and paid the amount due at CFE in Chapala. The next step is to run the card over the meter and a green light goes on. Welllll, the light did not go on and now there is no electricity! Of course, I have the receipt but CFE doesn't know that the account is paid until the card is swiped over the meter. Geesh!! I will make another attempt tomorrow (apparently I was supposed to hold the card for 15 seconds) Time will tell. I am definitely not subscribing to this new system.

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This is an unbelievably badly done idea from an unbelievably bad utility. Apparently, if you get one of those all too frequent CFE short power outages/blips, your power won't just come back on. You have to go swipe the card over the meter. Of course, if you are on vacation and don't have a house sitter, guess what? Everything in your fridge rots.

When you swipe the card to read the meter, the power goes off. You have to swipe it again to turn it back on. After you've paid the bill, you get a receipt with fast fading ink so make sure you make a copy. When you swipe the card at the meter to let the meter know the bill has been paid, the power goes off again. You have to swipe the card then to turn the power back on.

Of course every time this genius "smart" card or meter turns your power off, every clock or computer item you have on shuts down and has to be reset.

To top it off, once you find out what a nightmare this latest deal from the C(can't) F(furnish) E(electricity) it will take you months to get rid of it.

All this as reported by an unfortunate person who took the dumb card.

Run, don't walk, from this.

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And if you have an alarm system, when the power goes off, the alarm will come on, driving all the neighbors crazy - and no one will pay any attention when it comes on in a real emergency.

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I think that must be an option you can choose, bournemouth. Because when the power goes off at my house, my battery backup powered alarm doesn't go off, nor does my next door neighbors system. (Installed by the same alarm company)

It does though, darn it, when the right sized bug shorts out one of the alarm wires.

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This prepaid card system shuts down the power and with it , alarms systems, security cameras, garage doors, fridges , wireless phones, etc .

Do not accept it, as far as I know they are not CFE employees and this new payment system is totally optional.

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"These people do not represent CFE,..."

"...because it is a terrible CFE program."

OK, which is it?

"These people do not represent CFE, and if you take the card and sign their form, you are in for big problems.

This came from a friend of mine, that works at CFE."

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I'm watching this whole thing from the cheap seats with zero intent of ever going there, but Irish Gal says she took the card into the CFE and paid something, so the CFE apparently knows what to do with it, I'm puzzled if it's not the CFE - unless it's something like the Chapala parking meter 3rd party contracting to somehow skim some money out of the deal.

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If this is a scam, how does the scam work? It would cost a lot of money to develop and make electronic cards that can read and control CFE meters. Also, they have to have customer service people to take calls from customers and rig the payment machine at CFE to accept the card and the money and then do what with it? Also, wouldn´t CFE shut off the power if the bill was unpaid to them? If the bill IS paid to them, how is it a scam?

Meanwhile,. why is not CFE kicking and screaming about people hijacking their meters and money?

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It's obviously a long term two step program. First you introduce it and let the initial noise level settle out and some people convert. The cost of replacing all the meters is going to be huge in itself and all it does is offset the meter readers (which is insignificant) - eventually. But it also eventually eliminates the meter hijacking. The second step is, of course, to make it mandatory for all and replace all meters so they control everything and we do the work and deal with the hassle.

I have to admit, it's quintessential Mexican (lack of) thinking on a grand scale. And if you knew the whole truth, you'd find someone high in CFE has a brother, brother-in-law, family member somehow at the company making/selling these meters. Until the CFE comes out from under it's government cloak of protection, nothing will change for the better, only more of this.

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The OP said: this is not a project of CFE and the people giving out the cards do not represent CFE. It said if you sign their form you will end up in big trouble. That sounds like a warning about a scam..

While most of us agree that this is CFE´s attempt to get the customers to do all the work, the OP says these people are not from CFE. So, I am asking then who are they?

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If you look at CFE's website and their plans, there is no doubt that this is an outrage but not a scam, and these people ARE from CFE.

It is my hope that this turns out to be such a massive mess that CFE will either abandon it or make it workable for the customer before it becomes mandatory for everyone.

Don't sign up until you have to.

The flaws are legion.

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Maybe the OP should check back with his friend who works at CFE and ask him to look at the CFE webpage and then the OP can let us know the definitive answer, although it does seem if someone has actually used the card to scan a meter, gone to the CFE machine to pay and was able to complete that transaction then this is actually a CFE program and not a scam by people who do not work for CFE. But it would be nice to hear back form the OP given all of the other information given here.

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Unfortunately, we were not at home when CFE came and someone from the neighborhood took the card and signed for it. They were trying to be helpful but ---. My husband took the card to CFE - makes no difference to them who signed the card. They said we would have to use it once and then come back. Somehow I don't think that is the way it is going to work.

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Maybe the OP should check back with his friend who works at CFE and ask him to look at the CFE webpage and then the OP can let us know the definitive answer, although it does seem if someone has actually used the card to scan a meter, gone to the CFE machine to pay and was able to complete that transaction then this is actually a CFE program and not a scam by people who do not work for CFE. But it would be nice to hear back form the OP given all of the other information given here.

I will be happy to ask my friend when I see him again, and get him to go into detail, and then I will report back. But in the meantime, don't take the cards.

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Back home, almost any company can represent itself as legal agents for sale for cable companies, the hydro company, long distance companies, and so on. They do this through contracts with the originating firm, and are strictly forbidden to act as if they are employees of those companies, but they ignore that condition and try to fleece as many people as they can before being hung out to dry. So it would not surprise me to learn that this "scam" has the tacit approval of, and contracts from, the CFE.

You can, for example, get a job in Ontario for Loblaw's, standing in their grocery stores, signing up people for their President's Choice Financial services. For that you get paid a hefty eight bucks a deal. PC Financial reaps all the benefits, for a paltry payoff.

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Those who have this system and do not want it for any reason, can do a letter (in Spanish) with the reasons why you don't want it and they can change it back again to the normal way. This must to be after, at least, 30 days you get the new one and probably you must pay something for the change (up to 15 USD, depends the case). All this was explain to me from CFE directly.

Any other doubt you can call 071 (only spanish).

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A friend who is out of town has one of these cards. Her payment date is the 5th day of each month so the friend has until the 15th of the month to pay. I slid the card over the meter and it came up with a reading. I then took the card and paid the amount due at CFE in Chapala. The next step is to run the card over the meter and a green light goes on. Welllll, the light did not go on and now there is no electricity! Of course, I have the receipt but CFE doesn't know that the account is paid until the card is swiped over the meter. Geesh!! I will make another attempt tomorrow (apparently I was supposed to hold the card for 15 seconds) Time will tell. I am definitely not subscribing to this new system.

I'm watching this whole thing from the cheap seats with zero intent of ever going there, but Irish Gal says she took the card into the CFE and paid something, so the CFE apparently knows what to do with it, I'm puzzled if it's not the CFE - unless it's something like the Chapala parking meter 3rd party contracting to somehow skim some money out of the deal.

Well, today I returned to my friend's meter, held the card on the top of the meter for about 30 seconds while various messages appeared, and voila, the lights in the house are now on! What a crazy system!

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Does any of this confusion result from the language barrier?

I assume that the cards come with written instructions on how to use them correctly.

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I think it is the system. A friend who is fluent in Spanish got the card. She ended up with several glitches--including the electricity shut off after the card read the meter. She got it all straightened out and is hoping next month will be better.

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"These people do not represent CFE, and if you take the card and sign their form, you are in for big problems.

This came from a friend of mine, that works at CFE."

I didn't get a bill this period and the bill is not online because the meter has not been read.

My card was tossed over the fence. I didn't sign for it or ask for one. You are not given a choice but if you do not have a digital meter I doubt you need to be worried about it.

It is a CFE program and why anyone thinks people are handing out the card and not employed by CFE is beyond me.

I don't know what my bill is and I have to go into CFE explain that I do not want the card which will be ignored, and figure out how to pay my bill.

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Complete details in the current issue of Guad Reporter.

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