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I think I will buy Mike’s breakfast

I finally have the electric bill in my house in my name. Here I am going to explain why it is finally and why I think I should buy Mke breakfast. If you what to get your electric bill in your name, you will learn something. And if Mike reads this he will understand why he is getting a free breakfast and, well, why it isn’t free. While I have bought and sold real estate in two other Central American countries, this was my first in Guatemala. No big surprises but everything is always a bit different. I bought this house (13 June) and within a couple of days the ex-owner wrote a letter so I could transfer the electricity to my name. Unfortunately, the transfer could not be effected until I had a copy of the escritura (deed) with the tax stamps on it.

To me, that makes no sense. Why should there be a problem if I would like to pay the electric bill on some property? But, that’s the way it is and for an assortment of reasons (all related to a lawyer not getting his job done) I didn’t get the escritura until a few days ago.

To do the transfer, you need:

  • A copy of your DPI (or other ID)
  • A letter from the person whose name appears on the current bill saying he wants to transfer the bill to you and a copy of his DPI or other ID
  • A copy of a recent bill
  • A copy of the escritura
  • Q200 for a deposit
  • Your phone number

Having that I walked up Calle de Los Arboles to the place that does the transfer which is a “Credit Union” (COOP) but also says Energuate. I was waited on immediately and the muchacha reviewed all the documents and agreed that I had everything. She then went on to type lots of things and finally gave me two copies of one document to sign in two places and one copy of another document to sign.

In the process she explained to me that there was already a deposit of Q60 so I only needed to pay Q140 more. OK, I paid and we are all happy (and she says that unlike Claro, my bill will actually show up). OK, almost happy. I suggested the house number should be added to the address but she said “this is just to change the name — we cannot change the address” Whatever.

On the way home I was thinking I just give Mike his Q60 back but when I got home and read the paperwork, I decided maybe just breakfast was what he deserved. 🙂 To me, what would have been logical for them would be any of these options:

  • Get the Q200 from me and refund the Q60 to Mike
  • Give me a receipt for Q200 (and let me settle with Mike) so my credit would reflect that they had Q200 from someone. (My “Comprobante de pago” is for Q140)

Looking further, my Q140 is on a document from DEOCSA but on my “Contrato de Suministro” it says there is a “Deposito Garantia” of Q60. Only my name is on this contract so there is no indication where the Q60 came from. I am sure they know as the original contract date is 10/02/1979 and today is just a modification but they aren’t going to tell me (or Mike).

So, I think breakfast is fair. 🙂

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