Tuesday, 2 October 2007

ATM Downtime

Be warned if you need money here between 3pm & 4pm there's a good chance the atm is out of service for a refill and maintenance. It's not uncommon to find the atm's empty or very busy on a weekend night so I recommend bring cash or be prepared to walk for 20 minutes to find an atm that has some money left. Interestingly many atm's dispense either $US or pesos and if you're here for an extended period your daily extraction limit tends to diminish over time or needs to be broken into a few visits (at a cost per visit). If you do get peso's try and get an odd amount i.e not a multiple of 100 as change is also in short supply here. There is still a large understandable trust issue with banks carried over from the economic crash in 2001 when many banks (notably US banks) made a tidy profit out of ripping people off by converting their life savings from $US to pesos worth 1/3rd of the value. There's also a noticeably liberal credit promotion by banks & credit cards companies going on right now - interest 'free' for several months / 'quotas' on anything from your grocery shopping to TV's, cars etc..which seems like another 'bait n' trap' disaster just waiting to happen if you ask me - ah but sure there'll never be another global credit crisis - woops there goes Northern Rock down the toilet! No wonder they keep the wads in property, under the mattress or offshore here.


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