Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CFE Makes Your Life Easier Again - NOT

The CFE (Comision Federal de Electricidad) whose slogan is "for the progress of Mexico" is once again asking that any payments made on your electric bill by check be made with a certified check.

This provision was relaxed a while back and one could pay their electric bill either with cash or a check (not certified). A few days ago I sent an employee to pay the business' electric bill which came to a whopping $8000 pesos for the 2 month billing period and the employee returned saying that the check had to be certified. This was news to me since that particularly onerous provision had been waived. No, the CFE person told my employee, and it was right there on the sign, didn't you read it?

For those of you unfamiliar with the burocratic processes that maintain this country firmly and irrevocably in the 'third world' category, the Mexican version of the IRS, Hacienda, insists that any payment made in a business environment to a supplier that is at or over the $2000 peso amount must be made by check. Since the CFE bill was well over that amount, a check must be used. But the CFE insists that a check is no good unless it has been certified by the bank that issued the check, which means you incur an additional charge (for the certification) to be able to pay your electric bill. No other supplier does this, but the CFE is the only game in town when it comes to powering your electric equipment, lights and air conditioning so they can (and do) pretty much whatever the hell they want.

So a special salute to all my friends at the CFE and the Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico: a big Thank You for making life so much simpler for the small business owner!

I hope you all rot in hell.

3 comments:

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

We just moved to Guaymas and we're expecting our first electric bill any day. We expect our bill to be over $2,000 pesos and we were thinking we could just pay our bill in cash. Does the over $2,000pesos cash limit apply to residential customers too?

William Lawson said...

Yes of course you can pay in cash. It's as a business owner that you can't pay ANY invoices at or over $2000 pesos in cash. This is because if you do, the expense can not be deducted. It has to be check.

As a residential customer they could care less how you pay, however, if you DO pay with a check, it has to be a certified check.

Enjoy Mexico!

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

Got it - thanks!