Sunday, October 26, 2014

CFE Smart Card Reader Revisited

I'm re-posting this from back in February now that CFE is installing these things in our area. Again the on commission installers seem to be telling people whatever lets them install these "pain in the asses".  Pain because the installers lie about where you can pay, they say it's mandatory and they make it sound real cool. Some of my Mexican neighbors almost feel like they have the Internet now at no cost. First problem is people don't understand the system. Second problem is the CFE Office is a 40+ minute bus ride to Cihuatlan plus a long walk between buses.

Experience from the Chapala area
They have to pay at CFE, no more paying at an OXXO, tienda, or bank. The electric cycles off in the house and back on when the card reads the meter so if people have digital clocks they all need to be reset. The bill must be paid once a month and I don't know of a way to pay ahead in case someone is out of town like people can do, pay ahead with a meter reader. It's a pain and probably the worst idea I've seen in a long time.

Finally with the help of my Mx. neighbor we got the card sys. removed, which they just changed and put the card under our door when no one was home.

CFE's newest gimmick that some are calling a scam.  Lots of news articles about technical difficulties with incorrect meter readings, over charging and the difficulty of dealing with the new system and CFE in general. 

Once you get on this program you become responsible for reading your meter with the card, taking the card to CFE and putting it in their machine for a printed bill .... and then paying it "once a month".  You are assigned a day of the month to read your meter and then probably have a few days to pay it. A whole new payment program.  Problem with this is if you don't do it correctly and on time your electricity will be shut off.  What if you go on vacation, what if you only live in Mexico part of the year, what if you have rentals,  what if you are not able to visit the nearest CFE office or it is very difficult to do so.  Supposedly prepayments won't be allowed so paying ahead for time you are gone may not be possible. 

Really ridiculous for CFE to think they can replace human meter readers with the public and a magic card.   Just remember this program is voluntary and you can decline even if they give the impression it's required.   And if you got into this program without understanding it .... go to CFE and cancel now !!


barbara said...

Something else to worry about - sheesh!

sparks said...

Hope I'm not always negative but this means only money for CFE ... not what is good for electricity users

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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