I received the following from a friend who has just moved:
"It's a very expensive here, even more than NYC, and they have very different ideas about services than in the US: it took over 2 months to get home phone, internet and cable connected; 2 weeks to get a portable phone; the electricity was cut off for 5 days because the previous tenant didn't cancel their contract correctly and didn't respond to correspondence, so even though I was listed as the current tenant and had paid for 2 months they turned it off "on the previous tenant" and, get this, "it is not our fault she didn't follow correct procedure". Plus they expect you to pay from the time you signed up, not from when they start providing the service. I discovered this with the telephone/internet/cable provider when I assumed I would be refunded the 2 months I'd already paid (you have to pay up front and sign a contract for everything here). The technician was appalled I would ask such a thing, "we have families to feed" was his argument to me."
Sound familiar? And where did he move to?
It is all a matter of perspective.
And thank you Joanne for the perspective-check!
We, My wife Linda and I, purchased a condo in St croix in Nov 05. We closed on it Jan 06. We called the utilities in advance of the closing and found out what the requirements for services were. The Day of the closing we went to the various offices and our services were connected the same day. Photo ID's and SS Card on hand was all that was required. All the people we dealt with were helpful and friendly.
Sometimes you do get quicker hook up service with a condo rather than with a house. Most condo complexes provide some of the utilities to the residents and this makes an easier transition for new owners since utilities work from day one. Also if the previous owner had not let the utilities lapse and it's just a matter of changing the billing name and the services don't have to be physically turned on, then you can have uninterrupted service.
The main delays tend to be getting WAPA turned on if it has been disconnected (and this is often hampered further by weekends and holidays that create additional days of delay) plus Innovative phone service usually has a long lead time to get hooked up, but sometimes you can order the service weeks in advance so that you are at the top of the install list by the time you take possession of your new home.
One trick for Innovative is that if you have a dial tone on your line, even if service isn't active, you can dial a code on the phone and it will ring to a certain office at Innovative where a woman will give you a fax number to send them your application for service and once she has it the phone can be turned on immediately with your new number. This can save you that 2-6 week wait for installation through the usual channels. Going this route, she also didn't require that I provide her with a copy of my deed and all that extra paperwork and ID that they require if you go into the office in person to apply.
You're welcome Onika! I laughed out loud when I read his report about setting up housekeeping in what many consider the most cosmopolitan city in the world! It really could have been written by one of the new arrivals to any of the USVI.
When I was in junior high my family moved from San Francisco, where I was born, to a country in Western Europe. My parents immigrated to the U.S. as adults and are naturalized Americans; we moved to the country in which they were born and reared. After weeks without phone service, I overheard my Dad complaining to a co-worker about the delay in getting phone service. The co-worker suggested my Dad bring the woman at the phone company a box of chocolates to speed things along. My Dad said, "I don't want to date her; I just want phone service." Though it was nice to live nearer to relatives, I was thankful my parents moved us back to San Francisco for me to attend high school. It was very difficult adapting to the restrictiveness of the culture, especially the school system wherein individuality and off-beat perspectives were unwelcome. In the states we are spoiled by our freedoms and the ease with which an American can move around the U.S. It's a little more tedious to get set-up in the USVI than in the states, but I think it is much easier to get set-up in the USVI than in Western Europe.