Today a friend of mine sent me a link to a Facebook post where someone was complaining about being scammed at a restaurant in Mexico. The person wrote that the restaurant overcharged him and refused to comply with the promotion they had on a sign outside. These are both clear violations of Mexico’s Federal Consumer Protection Law (Ley Federal de Protección al Consumidor).
Consumer rights violations are my big pet peeve and I’ve written multiple articles to educate people about the the applicable law. Just in case you missed those posts, here are a couple of the more popular ones:
The key to avoid being scammed, overcharged or otherwise defrauded by an unscrupulous person or business is to be familiar with the key points of the consumer law.
In the last two years, there have been multiple incidents where a business has violated the law and added charges to our bill at a restaurant or bar. Each time, I presented the manager with an educational business card listing key points of the law and the maximum fine per violation. In every instance, the illegal charges were immediately removed.
Consumer Rights Card
Consumer rights violations are investigated by the Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor which is better known as Profeco. Over the years, Profeco has created various cards that consumers can present to businesses when they encounter a violation. The cards list the common violations based on the type of business.
I took a page from Profeco’s playbook and created a card with the most common violations that tourists encounter while in Mexico:
I distribute these cards free of charge to my friends and neighbors. I also created a template on Vistaprint’s website so readers could purchase their own cards. By the way, I don’t make a penny from the sale of the cards — I just like helping others.
To order your own cards, click HERE
For the thrifty readers who don’t want to purchase cards, I created a PDF document with the same information. I encourage readers traveling to Mexico to carry a copy of their rights in their wallet – just in case.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Whether you’re a tourist or a resident here in Mexico, there’s one thing that we all have in common: we’re all consumers. Learn your rights, carry them with you and don’t allow yourself to be cheated.