Thursday, October 17, 2013

moving to mexico? one thing to forget

If you think the customer comes first, you are probably living somewhere other than Mexico.

My blogger pal Babs has been running a series of posts on advice to people who want to move to Mexico.

For the past year, I have been thinking of doing something similar -- building off of a list of some very peculiar questions compiled by another expatriate. That is, if I ever bother to settle down in one spot long enough to pretend that I have actually moved to Mexico.

The series will wait.  However, one piece of advice keeps coming back to remind me that I no longer live in Oregon.  Returning faulty merchandise.

Comercial Mexicana is a large Mexican corporation.  To call it a grocery store would completely miss its marketing mission.  If you need a model, think Walmart.

I do not shop there often. The closest one is in Manzanillo.  And I can usually find what I need closer to home these days.

But I do stop there now and then.  And this was one of those times.  Amongst other groceries, I bought a box of wafer cookies.  Because we live in a very humid place, the company wisely packed the cookies in individual servings.  To cut down on the staleness factor.

Not being a patient lad, I opened the box and started eating a cookie as I was driving out of the parking lot.  It was as limp as a plate of linguine.

Because I was still at the store, I took the package inside and talked to the manager.  He tasted one of the cookies and agreed they were terrible.

I could tell by the way he was looking at me that he thought the conversation was over.  after all, he had agreed with my position about the quality of the merchandise.  So, I asked what the store was going to do about it.

He offered two options.  I could buy another package -- or I could send the cookies to the manufacturer and ask for a refund.

If this had happened a couple of years ago, I would have been shocked.  But I have had several things fail in Mexico. And the retailer will generally not take responsibility for providing a refund or a replacement.

If we were to enter our respective time machines and head back to Canada or The States in the early half of the last century, I suspect we would discover a number of businesses with exactly the same policy -- caveat emptor.  That fact does not placate the expatriates I have seen in Mexico stores threatening to "take my business elsewhere."  Probably, to another business with the same policy.

One of these days, I will get around to writing a series on moving to Mexico.  I already know what one recurring theme will be.  You are no longer in Canada or The States; get used to it.  You will need to change before Mexico does.

As for the cookies, I threw them away.  And, if I can remember the brand, I won't buy them again.  I think I learned that from Adam Smith. 

Or was it Adam Corolla?

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