Friday, May 03, 2013

patience is my co-pilot

Anyone who tells you money makes the world go around is nuts.  Either that or he is Fred Ebb.  Not that the classifications are exclusive.

What makes the world go around is patience.  At least, in Mexico.  Especially, when it comes to carting money across the border.

You already know the background.  After several days last month of sitting at the Banamex branch in Melaque, I finally had my fancy decoder and access to the internet to transfer money from my account to the car dealer's account.  (double indemnity

In my naivete, I thought I would just push a button and, voilà, I would be driving a new Mexican-licensed Escape.  But life is not always that simple.  THe problem is that my money was north of the border -- and no button-pusjing was going to work until my dollars were pesos in my Mexico account.

When I returned to Melaque, I electronically consolidated my money up north in my BanamexUSA account.  That transfer was a harbinger of things to come.  For some odd reason, it took nearly a week for the transfer.  But it still meant my money was north of the border.

I then had two options.  The first seemed the simplest.  I could transfer the money from BanamexUSA to my Banamex account in Mexico. 

I spent three days trying to get the system to work.  My initial request was rejected because it exceeded $10,000 (US).  Then it was rejected because the authorization to transfer pesos to my account had expired.  Mind you, this was the authorization I had given myself to transfer dollars from my account to pesos in my Mexican account.

It took two more days to get that straightened out.  I am still not certain that function is working.

While all of that was going on, I decided to wire the money to the dealer.  The second option.  I had rejected it initially because the form will only allow a dollar amount to be transferred.  And I needed to pay the dealer in pesos.  The BanamexUSA clerk could not help me when I asked her about the exchange rate.  Her response?  "The bank on the other end is responsible for that."

But I had a great Mexican solution.  Instead of being so anally northern European, I simply transferred more dollars than (I hope) I will need to purchase the Escape.  But the first two wire requests were rejected.  The dealer had not given me enough information to satisfy Banamex USA.

So, I did what I should have done earlier.  I sent the form to the dealer and asked the salesman to complete the bank information for his end of the deal.  After all, the should be the party most interested in lining their pockets with pesos.  That is the form I emailed to Banamex about midnight last night.

This morning I received a telephone call from BanamexUSA.  Though I am an eternal optimist, I fully expected to hear that there were problems.

There weren't.  The woman on the other end of the line simply verified I was who I claimed to be (by asking me at least twelve questions relating to my account -- it had better have been the bank because I just handed over all of my security information to her) and then asked me to verify each block on the wire transfer form.

That means that my money that has been held hostage by BanamexUSA for almost two weeks should be on its way to Guadalajara -- soon.  And by next week, I may be driving that shiny new green Escape on my way to the dentist in Guadalajara.

Mexico.  Where patience is often its own reward.

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