Venting and warning. My wonderful Nexus 5 phone finally died so I went online to Telcel to see if I could get a new phone on a plan. The agent told me I needed ID, proof of address and my temporal visa. I could not get it online even though they advertise that you can because I needed to sign a twenty-four month contract. The agent told me to go to the office at Laguna Mall. Sounded great!

When I get to their office I am lucky enough to get an agent who actually speaks English. She tells me the agent online was wrong. I need my Permanente visa to get a plan. After much back and forth asking why the agent lied to me I give up and buy the phone, a ZTE A602, which had been highly recommended on various sites. 2,099 pesos I could ill afford but I needed a phone.

The phone turns out to be pure garbage. I charge it overnight but it dies in an hour. While it’s charging you could cook an egg on it it gets so hot. I get a call but can’t understand a word they are saying because the audio is so bad. I can’t connect it to my desktop which is critical for my work. There’s no online support for this phone anywhere.

Back I go online to an agent to return the phone. After hearing all the problems he tells me that there will be no problem returning the phone for a full refund because I just bought it. I print out a note in Spanish summarizing all the problems and what the agent said and off I go to Laguna Mall again.

Naturally, no one speaks English there. They just like our money and don’t feel the need to offer any service in English. She read my note and immediately says “no refund”. She says I needed to return the phone in forty-eight hours to get a full refund. How stupid is that?

After insisting to speak to a manager and getting nowhere I admit I lost it. I was so angry. I stormed across the office screaming things like stupid, idiots, criminals and blew open the glass door, I think possibly breaking it in the process. I didn’t look back but I hope that I did.

My warning? This is a disreputable company who are taking full advantage of the fact that they are the only game in town, unlike the US and Canada where there are all sorts of cell phone companies and competition is fierce. You can get great plans with four free phones. Not here you can’t.

Please don’t buy a phone from Telcel. Get a good phone much cheaper online from numerous suppliers. Now that AT&T has opened a new office in Ajijic maybe there will be some actual competition and Telcel will be run out of business. They more than deserve it with the contemptible way they treat their customers.

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