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Riviera Maya Travelers Get Huge Boost In Scam Protections After Government Decision

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With traveler safety and satisfaction receiving multiple boosts recently, yet another has been added that improves the consumer rights of travelers to the Riviera Maya.

In the popular destination of Playa del Carmen, travelers will have access to a new Profeco (Federal Consumer Protection Agency) department after the government decided to open a new location.

This means that travelers will no longer be required to travel to Cancun in the event that they would like to make a complaint or receive assistance from Profeco.

Riviera Maya Travelers Just Got A Huge Boost In Scam Protections After Government Decision

What Is Profeco?

The Profeco is Mexico’s consumer rights watchdog. Most travelers won’t be aware of this body, but it plays a huge role in making the Riviera Maya a fair and honest place for travelers.

Furthermore, while many institutions in Mexico have a questionable reputation, Profeco is an immensely powerful and trusted organization.

Even among Mexicans, it is considered a shining light of when government gets it right.

Mexican flag on a beach

Examples Of When To Contact Profeco

The following are just a few examples of when travelers should exercise their consumer rights in Mexico.

Discrimination By Service Providers

Mexico takes discrimination seriously; even in the most dangerous parts of the country, the statistics on race-based discrimination are impressively low.

That being said, if a traveler feels they have been discriminated against based on their race, nationality, sexuality, gender, or disability by a business or service provider, they should immediately file a complaint with Profeco.

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Tourists on a busy street in Playa del Carmen

Timeshare Scams

Unfortunately, many travelers find themselves being tricked into timeshare meetings or agreements while visiting the Riviera Maya.

The good news is Mexico protects you in this eventuality. First of all, you have 5 business days to cancel any timeshare agreement WITHOUT penalty. This is enshrined in Mexican law.

If a traveler finds the other party refuses to cancel the timeshare agreement, then immediately report this to Profeco, who will resolve the case on a traveler’s behalf.

A timeshare application

The Price Is The Price

By law, businesses in Mexico must either have a price listed or be able to provide travelers with a written price.

On top of this, by law in Mexico, a written price must be respected by the business, and the alteration or denial of listed promotional prices is also strictly illegal.

This also applies to taxis and other forms of transport. Always demand the meter is switched on if not done so by the driver, and only ever pay the price listed.

If a price is not respected, politely and calmly tell the offending party that you will be reporting the situation to Profeco.

Pesos in register

All-Inclusive Pricing

Pricing in Mexico is all-inclusive; this means that taxes, commissions, and insurance must be included in the first price given to travelers.

Never accept surcharges from a business that claims they must add extras to a price to cover any of the things mentioned above. This is illegal in Mexico, and another case where travelers should contact Profeco.

No Automatic Service Charge

The tipping culture in Mexico is very different from America. And including a service charge or tip on a bill automatically is illegal.

Never accept an automatically added service charge in a restaurant or bar. And if a traveler later realizes from a receipt that this has been done, then again, contact Profeco.

A woman checking her bill

Minimum Consumption

If a restaurant or bar tells a traveler they must purchase a minimum amount of food or drinks to get a table, challenge this politely.

Demanding travelers spend a certain amount to frequent an establishment is illegal in Mexico. If the business won’t respect this, it’s better to choose somewhere else to go.

Contacting Profeco and reporting the business is an important step to helping fellow travelers avoid being taken advantage of by rogue businesses.

Mexican Restaurant in Cancun, Mexico

Prices Must Be In Pesos

A business must write its prices in Mexican pesos. They are free to add any other currency, so long as Mexican pesos are also included.

Beware of US dollar prices, the exchange rate between the two currencies, especially in the past year, has been very volatile.

There is no way for a business to reliably update the price differences on the daily. If a traveler feels they were overcharged by only being quoted in US dollars, they should, of course, contact Profeco.

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