Sunday, February 28, 2010


Last week we cleaned up the final details related to buying the house. We met with our lawyer to pick up the deed (and to pay her for her outstandingly excellent representation throughout the process.) We also met with the former owner to transfer the accounts for the phone/internet service and for the electric service. We are not sure this is the only way to get our name on the accounts and begin to receive the bills, but we figured it would be a lot easier for us than going to the offices and trying to find someone who spoke enough English to accomplish this.

First the phone & internet: Cable & Wireless is the service most folks have in Cerro Azul. With the former owner accompanying us, we went to the C&W office, where we took a number and waited for about 10 minutes to see a customer service representative. Although my understanding of Spanish is rudimentary, I got that the rep was demanding the presence of the former tenant (whose name was on the account), not just the former owner, for the transfer to be made. The former owner held his ground and told her that we were the current owners, and that in order to be paid, C&W would be well-advised to change the account into our names. C&W proceeded to take down all our contact information and confirmed that the account had been paid to date, but eventually, the former owner did telephone the former tenant, who showed up after a short wait. C&W took his passport # and had him sign a form, and then they were satisfied.

Next was to get the Elektra (electric utility) account into our name. Again, the former owner accompanied us to an office, where we took a number and waited for about 20 minutes to be called. What followed was a mind-numbingly arcane process performed by an obviously experienced and efficient young clerk. First he photocopied our passports, the promissory contract for the house (why, why, why?), and the former owner's ID. Then he printed a few forms and filled them out by hand! Next he had me write my name and my passport number, followed by my signature, about 5 times on 5 different pages. After that he made notes and asked for my initials on a couple sheets in a couple of notebooks. Finally, he verified that there were no outstanding monies due from former owners or tenants, and in the end, he made photocopies of all the forms I had signed and gave the copies to me. The process took about 30 or 40 minutes. We are thankful that this young clerk was not a trainee - we might still be there!

The Elektra account will be in my name in order for us to receive the jubilado discount. Discounts for certain services are available to women aged 57 and older, as well as men aged 62 and older. I qualify, but Les does not.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love those geezer discounts!!
    I learned that now that I am 65 I can get the school parcel taxes taken off our property taxes!!!