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Andre Bellon of Bellon Insurance Agents – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The staff at Bellon Insurance Agents, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMexicans are more likely than Americans or Canadians to continue a relationship with a vendor even if they have a problem. Americans and Canadians are used to receiving excellent service, and if they do not get what they were expecting to get, everything goes down. In my business, I have to be prepared to give them always what they’re expecting. I cannot say, with my arms crossed, “Well that’s what the policy is. That’s what the insurance company is.” That’s an answer I’d never give my American or Canadian customers, while Mexicans are likely to accept that answer. 
 
Mexicans will be more resigned to bad service, meaning they’re not upset or insulted by it. Mexicans may think they get fewer privileges because they earn less money than Americans or Canadians do.
 
This is a personal opinion. Mexicans think they do not deserve to say “It’s my right.” They don’t try to get their own rights. Also, the law here in Mexico does not help you to get your rights. Most Mexicans are resigned to that. They say, “They took advantage of me” and they accept it. Americans would be much less likely to say that. That’s something that Americans and Canadians have struggled with here, because they think it’s going to be the same in America or Canada. They may threaten, “I’m going to send you my lawyer.” However, nothing is going to happen. That’s something to be ashamed of, but it’s the truth.
 
I have an example. I have a customer who passed away in an accident. A friend of the couple started trying to help the widow with all the processes that she had to deal with, including the insurance company- the total loss and the car. She started yelling at us, saying we have been giving terrible service, and that she was going to send us her lawyer. I told her, “You can send me anyone you want, it does not matter. I can receive you or your lawyer.  The thing here is that I’m not responsible for the process that the insurance company does or to decide how much are they going to pay, or when they are going to pay it. You can send me the lawyer. The service that I have been providing your friend, who is also a customer, though she may not be the one who bought the policy, has been extremely great. We’ve been with her all the way, from the pound where the car is, to the government’s institution to declare everything – we’ve been there. And that’s not a service that we have to provide- we’re not obliged to do that. What the government obliged me as an agent is to give you your policy, to let you know when the payment are due, and that you’re going to have to renew it, and then charge you for it. That’s all I’m obligated by the government to do.  Anything else I do is not required, and I do it just to help out.”
 
In Mexico, lawyers are less likely to be part of any process, so it’s very difficult to scare Mexicans by threatening them with a lawsuit. The second thing is that the government does not regulate companies like insurance brokers as much as they would in the United States. A whole bunch of compliance issues you have to do in the United States, you don’t have to do here. Those are the only three things an insurance agent is required to do, which means that you have to choose your service providers carefully, because it’s much less likely that the government or an insurance company is going to get involved. 
 
The only reason that the government will get involved is if the agent or the broker kept your money, or committed a fraud. They get into that immediately. Relative to that, we are controlled by the government, and we have to be certified by the government. For three years, we have to take a test, and keep on with them. There are people around here that sell insurance but are not registered here in Mexico. That’s a risk, because they are not certified by the government, and that’s prohibited. But we are in Mexico, so it happens. It’s much more likely in Mexico that things that are prohibited by law happen than they happen in the United States.
 
Most Mexicans are nice people. They can take a lot and not respond negatively. 
 
We Mexicans are used to having an appointment, and the person we were going to meet can make us wait half an hour. It’s terrible, but it’s okay. In the United States, that’s not okay, even if you’re just five minutes late.
 
(The staff at Bellon Insurance Agents, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
US (805) 284-9410This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About I Go Yucatan
Alfonso Galindo of I Go Yucatan – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
La Valentina (1966 film) – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTo illustrate how the rules of etiquette or customs are different in Mexico than the US, take a page from the 1940s and 50s as far as what was considered a polite etiquette in that time in the US and you can pretty much say that is Mexico even today. The good mornings, good afternoons, the excuse me, the opening doors for women, helping a little lady, is the standard practice right now in Mexico. It never stopped in Mexico, unlike in some places, maybe in some countries.
 
It’s not easy to insult a Mexican. They have a great sense of humor and can joke with you. Mexicans deal a lot with dualities, especially sexual dualities such as innuendos, which t
hey have a lot of fun with.  Some words can be derogatory and demeaning, depending on the form and way you say it, how you say it, and who you say it to while at the same time those same words used in some completely different situation are considered harmless. So the easiest way not to make a mistake or insult a Mexican is study them first and be careful what words you use and say until you understand the verbs, nouns, tone of voice because, you know, me saying a particular word to a buddy of mine and the Gringos saying the same word to the person across the counter are totally different things.
 
In contrast, in America, words have a more plain meaning, even though there’s some slang terminology. In Mexico, this is the hard part, you can say something as a Gringo and know that it can be taken both ways and the Mexican, just to mess with you, will kid and act like he meant it the wrong way when in fact he knew how you meant it the first place. Mexicans love to joke; they have a great sense of humor.  You’ll catch on to the sense of humor.  Joking has even been done to me, and I know Spanish.  Sometimes they flip that table to indicate that they were insulted, and I may say, “I’m sorry, I meant it as a joke. It wasn’t personal.” Then, they start laughing.
 
However, Mexicans make exceptions for people who don’t know the culture so you don’t have to worry about it that much.  Exceptions are always made when they see the effort.
 
(Movie poster for the film La Valentina,  a 1966 comedy set during the Mexican Revolution, pictured.)
Joan Silver – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Plaza, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe rules of etiquette and customs are different in Mexico than in Canada and the United States because here, you acknowledge the staff when you walk into a store. When you leave the store, you thank them even if you didn't buy anything.
 
Walking by someone on the streets of Mexico, you either say “good morning” or "adios," which doesn't always mean “goodbye." Adios is “Be with God”. Mexicans say, Que le vaya bien." (I hope things go well for you), and other other colloquialisms. Even if you're 80 years old they'll still call you "Señorita" (Miss), until you correct them that you are a "Señora" (Mrs.) or a "Doña" (Lady). Men are always very polite. Even if people have known me for long time and know my first name, they will always address me as "Señora Joan."
 
Raising your voice to a Mexican in public is very bad social faux pas and swearing at a Mexican is even worse as it is considered very ill-mannered.  
 
(Plaza, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.)
Liliana Cota of Stewart Title Baja and Stewart Title Puerto Peñasco – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
dinner in Mexican home – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOn a general level, when I cross to the US, I act differently than when I am in Mexico because in the US everything is more organized, which is very different from Mexico.
 
People in Mexico have a habit of not showing up on time. Apart from that, there is nothing that you would do that would offend somebody in Mexico more than you would in the US.
 
If you have an appointment with the doctor, Mexicans are professional enough to show up on time. If the appointment or meeting is more related to socialization, like parties and such, they usually do not show up on time on purpose. Personally, I am always on time so I am always the first one at the party.   If I don’t want to be the first one at the party so I go 15 minutes late because I know that most of the other guests will arrive an hour late. But generally, if you’re invited to somebody’s house for a dinner, and they tell you to come at 7 PM, then you should come at 7 PM.  
 
(Dinner at a Mexican home, pictured.)
Ivan Castillo of Secure Title  Riviera Maya – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The rules of etiquette or customs in Mexico aren’t that much different than in the US because we’re neighboring countries. So from a cultural perspective I consider that how Americans behave would apply here in Mexico, meaning people would like to be spoken to with decency, without bad language, just try to be honest and so on.
 
I have dealt in the past with certain foreigners who sometimes arrive to Mexico not being aware of how their attitude should be with Mexicans and sometimes I’ve seen that they can be insulting but those are very isolated events. The people who are rude in Mexico would be the same people who would be rude in the US because they would be acting in the same way.
 
Relative to the “mañana culture,” if someone invites you for dinner and they say be there at 7 o’clock, you should show up at 7 o’clock, but this hardly ever happens.  You can divide the circumstances into two groups. If you’re going to dinner with friends and just to hang out it doesn’t matter if you’re 10 or 15 minutes late; the time would be “seven-ish”, as Americans say. However, if you’re going to be visiting your attorney, your doctor, if you’re conducting business, then you have to be on time.
 
For example, I always like to be on time because that reflects well on me as a professional and on the company I’m representing. It’s always good to be on time to deliver things that you promised and at the same time you request your customers to be there on time as well because as a professional, if I schedule a meeting at 10 AM with you and I schedule an 11 AM meeting with somebody else and you’re late 15 minutes then that means probably my 11 AM meeting will be late as well. So that’s why it’s important to be very well on time if you’re conducting business.
Carmella Peters Romero of Peters & Romero – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Floating Garden of Xochimilco , Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou will probably find that Mexicans are far more polite in their day to day interactions than many Americans or Canadians are used to.  Strangers greet each other in most social contexts - getting into elevators, coming into office waiting rooms, entering stores, and so on.  And they also "ask for permission" (by saying con permiso) to leave!  The American or Canadian habit of staring at the floor and ignoring everyone else seems very rude to Mexicans!  Related to this, you will also notice that Mexicans greet each other one by one when they get together, and say good-bye in the same way.  The American or Canadian habit of saying "Hi everybody" or "Bye everybody" might also be seen as rude.  Even passing people on the sidewalk generally involves some sort of "con permiso" to be said if you could be crossing into someone´s path.  
 
On the one hand, this general sense of courtesy is really nice, and once you learn the "rules" or "script" it is a great way to ease into social situations... but there is a downside!  Mexicans, in the spirit of being polite, might be unwilling to tell you "no."  Instead of saying "no," Mexicans might say "maybe" or even "yes!"  This can leave newcomers confused and sometimes frustrated... one of the main challenges is trying to figure out when "yes means yes" and when "yes means no."
 
(Musicans serenade patrons on colorful boat on the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco , Mexico, picutred.)

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