Love is the island's and possibly the world's greatest authority on just about
everything. The Doctor answers questions concerning any subject except religion
or politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact
the Family Services Division at
You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro
Town, Belize, fax 026-2905 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week you had a letter from someone who
had got their bill from BTL. The same thing happened to me.
They have charges on my bill for what they call
metered calls. There are charges for calls to find out the time. They bill me
for all of this in addition to insulting me by charging a maintenance fee for
We could not have possibly made any metered
calls or any calls to find out the time. We were gone the week before the storm
took out the telephone lines and besides we do not call for the
How can the government allow this monopoly to steal
from us like this?
/s/ Burned Up
Almost everyone had mysterious charges on their
phone bill. This leads to the obvious conclusion that these "mistakes" are built
into the billing system. Had it not been for Hurricane Keith taking out the
telephone lines no one would have known about it.
every subscriber in Belize has five dollars worth of "mistakes" on their bill
each month, this adds up to thousands of dollars of extra profit for BTL. Who
actually goes over their bill phone call by phone call to make sure the phone
company is not stealing from them? No one does. No one should have
As subscribers to one of the most costly and inept
telephone services in the world we deserve better treatment than this. One thing
we can do is appeal to the government to allow another phone company to operate.
Then at least we would have a choice. Competition helps bring about improved
service and a variety of services offered. We could then choose which company we
thought provided better service and not be held hostage by any business that
operates solely to fill their pockets at others expense.
There also could be other reasons why no one has officially stepped in to stop
this sort of thing such as the increased tax revenues generated from the
over-billing. Have you tried contacting the Public Utilities Commission? Helping
people in this type of situation is one of the reasons it was
Dear Doctor Love,
been watching the election results from the US and I think the whole thing is
ridiculous. I do not understand why these people cannot reach a decision and
stick with it. The US is supposedly a shining example of democracy in action.
What kind of an example is this for the rest of the free world?
Since every decision that has been made seems to get
overturned what will happen when a winner is finally declared? Can someone still
challenge the decision in another court? Could the president of the US be
deposed if the ruling is overturned later?
The Florida Supreme Court has
problems with decision making. The Doctor does not. The Doctor believes that
Gore and Bush should be given dueling pistols. The survivor could have the
Dear Doctor Love,
go again. I went through customs and they charged me a fortune in duties. This
was in spite of the fact that I had an approved list of items I could bring in
duty free. These items were to replace the household goods I lost during
Hurricane Keith. At the airport the office told me I had to get a broker for
those items. A broker would cost me $150 just for his services. Then I would
have to pay at least one round trip ticket on the local airlines, pay storage
for the goods and pay freight or pick them up personally.
All of these expenses could easily be $500. I paid less than $1000 for all of
these things in total. Why should I be penalized by the Belize Government
because of a natural disaster?
Natural disasters are made to order for a third
world country's governments. When natural disasters happen it is like having
money dumped in their laps by every rich government in the world.
There is a lesson here. The lesson is that you should
make your house as hurricane-proof as possible. Then you won't have to deal with
Dear Doctor Love,
been in San Pedro for two weeks and I was looking for some property, thinking of
moving here. A recent incident with a local resident may have changed my mind.
My wife and I were driving a golf cart along the beach
between Lily's Restaurant and the disco. When we got to the church I waved hello
at a man who was passing. He stopped me and asked me why I was driving on the
beach. I told him that we had been driving on the beach all day and no one had
said anything to us. He wanted to know if we saw anyone else driving on the
beach. He asked if we could not tell the difference between a road and a beach
and became very insulting.
I see nothing wrong with
driving on the beach except that some places have posts that won't let a golf
cart pass. Does everyone here feel the same way about driving on the beach? I'm
not sure I would like to live in a place where people are rude to you for
something as simple as driving on a beach.
We lost a lot in Hurricane Keith.
Among other things blown away were the signs that said, "No Motorized Vehicles
Allowed on the Beach," or words to that effect. Until the hurricane, driving on
the beach brought the risk of a fine if the police caught you.
We also have one-way streets that no one (locals and
visitors alike) seems to know about. Most of the locals still follow the one-way
streets out of habit, but without markings there is no way to tell which ones
While we are at it, mention
should be made that Barrier Reef Drive is supposed to be closed to vehicles
Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 6 p.m.
we drive on the beach? We just had that pretty white sand pumped in and we don't
want it eroded. Also driving on the beach is illegal and the company that rented
you the golf cart should have informed you of this.
For some reason, the garbage truck quit
picking up our garbage. Before the hurricane, they came by regularly. I know
they were overworked with the hurricane clean up but they should have some kind
of schedule by now. I can see the workers pass with the truck on the next street
but they never come down ours. I thought maybe they didn't pass this way because
they didn't see any trash, so I took the garbage out to the street. It stayed
there for three days and we finally had to haul it away because it smelled bad.
Right now we take it with us when we go into town and put it in other people's
garbage cans. How can I get them to stop by my house again?
Dear San Pablo,
The garbage trucks are back on a
schedule but they are still overloaded. It will take several months before
things return to normal. If you see the truck on the next street, why not make
it a point to chase them down and remind them? If that doesn't work, you can
always visit the office at the Town Council.
I just got my bill from BTL and my blood is boiling!
I have not even had a phone line since September the 28th. I went to the office to inquire about
when the phones would be connected and was informed that my number had been
disconnected for non-payment. How can you disconnect a phone when there is not
even a phone line?
I was charged $2.00 instrument rental
on a useless phone. BTL charged me $20.00 for line access and maintenance when
there is no line to access and no one has maintained it. I was charged $5.85 for
metered calls. How can you make a metered call without a phone? Furthermore,
according to BTL, I used the time service on October 22nd. Are these people complete idiots or
are they outright thieves? My total charges were over $25.00 and there is no
telephone wire on my part of the island.
/s/ Help! Thief!
So what is the problem? How else can
you expect this company to continue to rake in over 40 million dollars in profit
a year from a country that only has a population of around 240,000 people? You
must also remember that they still do not offer phone service to parts of the
country. This forces them to squeeze more money from the poor suckers that are
forced to deal with them. Remember, you are dealing with a monopoly; they have
no reason to care if something is fair or not.
has a suggestion to help you feel better when you pay the telephone bill. You
must write the check for October whether you like it or not. When you hand over
the check, ask the security guard to pull his pistol and hold it to your head.
That way, when you are being robbed, you feel like it is forcible theft, which
it is. They have the ability to make you pay this ransom and there is nothing
you can do about it-and they know it.
That little trick
with charging you for a call to the time number is cute, too. It only costs 5¢
but if they can slip one by every captive customer in the country, who would
know? Multiply that by the thousands of BTL customers. It probably adds up to
enough to buy a few beers for the staff Christmas party.
Dear Doctor Love,
My friend claims she saw a UFO
last week. It was a bright light streaking across the sky and it made an eerie
glow. A lot of other people saw it, too.
husband says these UFOs are a bad sign, like maybe the end of time. I don't
believe him but it makes me feel spooky.
anyone else written to you about the UFOs? What do you think they are? Are you
worried about aliens landing in San Pedro?
The doctor has witnessed many
UFOs. UFO is an anacronym for Unidentified Flying Object. If it is in the sky
and you don't know what it is, it is a UFO. Once you find out what it is, it
becomes an IFO, an Identified Flying Object.
If you see
the lights at dusk, it is usually a plane landing. When seen from a boat, it
looks like lights hovering over San Pedro. The other lights are usually
meteorites or space junk falling from the atmosphere. Over the years, we have
witnessed many of these flashing light shows. When the object reaches Earth, it
is often as small as a marble, yet it leaves a fiery trail in the sky.
Your friend's husband is full of something to tell you such
things. How can there be an end to time? That's like saying where a ring begins.
There is no end of time because after the end, how long is it until the next
second or hour begins? Tell your friend to discontinue her husband's
subscription to the National Enquirer and Star.
aliens, the Doctor definitely believes in aliens. Look around you, many of them
reside here on a permanent basis.
I have been trying to remember the name of a song and I
hope you can help me. The song was by Cher and it had something to do with
gypsies. It was popular in the sixties or early seventies, about the same time
as "I Got You, Babe."
The Doctor can distinguish
between only two songs. One of the them is "La Bomba." The other one isn't "La