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Then he turned the instrument over, removed the batteries and installed fresh
ones. Voilŕ! The telephone problem was solved. So who would know that bat-
teries were used in telephones in Mazatlán?
For you "Snowbirds," you can have your phone disconnected for a small fee,
then reconnected six months later and keep your original phone number. You
do not pay for the phone while you are gone.
Long distance rates: Long distance is expensive in Mexico if you don't know
what you're doing. Here are a couple ways to save money:
Lada Unica: Call Telmex at 001-880-911-2300 and ask the operator to
assign your line, Lada Favorita. This allows you to make calls to a specific area
in the U.S. for $.30 U.S. per minute. You can make calls within Mexico for $.15
U.S. per minute, and to a specific foreign country for $.50 U.S. per minute.
Call Back System: My friend, Henry Laxen, uses very effectively a call back
system, which gives you a very good price. The price is $.19 U.S. per minute
from Mexico to anywhere in the USA or Canada, and $.15 U.S. per minute
from the USA to Mazatlán. There is a minimum charge of $5 U.S. per month.
For this long distance service contact
Christine's Hair Salon has a phone card in which residents can call from
their home. Calling from your house to the U.S. or Canada the cheapest rate is
$.20 U.S. per minute plus a monthly fee of $1 U.S. The rates change to call
other countries. Call her at 916-7077 for details.
There are several cell phone companies that service Mazatlán. I tried
Movitel; I purchased a cell phone and bought time in advance. It is not only
expensive, but they did not warn me when I was running out of time and my
conversations were interrupted when all my time was used up. Then I had to
go to a Movietel office to buy more time. You can use your own cell phone if
it is compatible.
Movitel has a telephone program that plugs into a wall outlet, but I found
it to be quite expensive and unreliable four years ago. It may be improved by
Internet telephoning: My wife likes to call my daughter once a week in
Washington State. Until I found this system, I tried (to no avail) to limit her
calls to 15 minutes. I solved both our problems by using the computer-to-tele-
phone. Now she talks as long as she wants and my stomach no longer churns
as I hear statements repeated. When I had my telephone connected at Telmex, I also
asked for a Prodigy Internet connection, which costs about $140 U.S. per year.
I paid the entire amount but I'm told it can be paid in two lump sums. My
friend, Santana, got on my computer and brought up iconnecthere, and now I
can call anywhere in the U.S. for about three cents U.S. per minute.
Char les A. Hall