Mexico: How to Report a Consumer Violation to Profeco

This article is a follow-up to the one that I wrote back on December 20th called What Everyone Should Know About Mexico’s Consumer Protection Law.

In that article, I promised to go into more detail about how to file a formal consumer complaint with the Procuraduría Federal de Consumidor (known more commonly as Profeco), the government agency tasked with enforcing Mexico’s federal consumer law.

I know it took me a couple of weeks to get around to it, but here it is.

A Simple Way to File a Complaint

There are multiple ways to notify Profeco about a consumer violation (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, email, by phone, in-person at a government office), but the simplest and most effective way is via the Live Chat option on their official website:

Official Profeco Portal

The live chat service is only available Monday- Friday from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and on weekends and holidays from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Central Standard Time).

You should be able to chat in English via the Live Chat option, but if you find you’re having trouble communicating, you can always use a program like Google Translate to assist you.

What Profeco Can Investigate (and What They Can’t)

Profeco can handle a wide range of consumer violations ranging from restaurants illegally adding a tip to the bill to getting you reimbursement from a furniture company that took your money and failed to deliver. They can even help you with consumer complaints related to utility companies like CFE and CAPA.

Profeco cannot help you with complaints related to any of the following:

Banking or other financial entities

Criminal charges 

Unlicensed or informal businesses (e.g flea markets)

Labor contracts

Real estate rentals

Administrative permits

Public hospitals or schools

The best thing to do if you’re not exactly sure if Profeco will be able to help you is to chat with an assessor online. It will only take a few minutes.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Depending on the nature and complexity of your consumer complaint, the online assessor may instruct you to make an appointment at a Profeco office to speak to someone in person.

If that happens and you don’t speak Spanish fluently, I recommend that you offer to buy one of your bilingual friends lunch in exchange for translating for you. Don’t count on there being English-speaking staff on hand to assist you.

That reminds me, I have quite a few neighbors who owe me lunch. Fortunately for them, I’m still trying to lose a few pounds from the holidays, so I’ll happily accept a drink at happy hour instead.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

16 Comments on "Mexico: How to Report a Consumer Violation to Profeco"

  1. Paul,

    Any guess as to whether or not PROFECO can help with taxistas that don’t follow the tariffa? I try to avoid the taxis on Cozumel because of widely reported gouging, especially of tourists or people who look like tourists.

    • Yes, they can help with that. I would recommend starting withe the syndicate the taxi driver is from. They have there own internal discipline system. If that doesn’t work, Profeco is always an option.

  2. Hey Paul,

    Will PROFECO help with bait-and-switch situation with rental Car Agencies?

    Thx!

    Joe P

    • You can always make a report. Profeco regularly sanctions car rental businesses around the country for a variety of “irregularities” and deceptive practices.

  3. Roger Mailhot | January 7, 2019 at 6:03 pm |

    Paul

    A bit off subject , what is your opinion on the latest shooting in Playa del Carmen.I have read English and Spanish news but very limited info.

    Thanks,

    Roger

    • I’m still waiting to get more details about it myself. I do know that it occurred in a low income neighborhood known for crime and security issues. It’s not an area frequented by tourists.

  4. is there a link for online chat? i have went to profeco for place that was adding charges and not advertised, if you dont have receipt to prove nothing they can do, even if social media reporting about the charges, it also got me booted from the place when they found out i went to profeco..

    • It’s always a good idea to take pictures of receipts so you’ll have proof. To answer your question, there is a link for the online chat in the article.

  5. Hannah Neufeld | January 8, 2019 at 12:12 pm |

    Thanks for all your posts Paul and Linda!! I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas and all the best to you both in 2019!! Hannah at Baldwin’s Guest House (and the assorted menagerie!!0

  6. Mary Ann Slack | January 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm |

    Paul, does the shooting in the bar in Playa Del Carmen with 7 dead worry you about Mexico’s future safety ?
    I know this post is not a out crime but I am sure we would all appreciate your thoughts on this. We are about to buy.

    • No, it was an isolated incident in a bar in a lower income neighborhood known for crime and security problems. I go to Playa del Carmen several time a week but this is not a neighborhood where I would ever go. I feel very safe in Playa del Carmen.

      One other thing to point out, they already made 6 arrests.

  7. Scott Willis | January 9, 2019 at 10:35 am |

    Hello Linda & Paul, we’re down at Tao again for a couple of months. Love the blog- have recommended it to many others. We were here last winter as well for six weeks but only managed to catch up to your stunt double( the real estate guy). Would like to say hello in person – almost surprised we haven’t run into you. Anyway we’re staying in Kin PH7 – hopefully we’ll see you around. Cheers,Scott

  8. I would like to inform your readers that my boyfriend and I are in Tijuana MX for surgery. We contacted a Urologist to make an appointment in the States and since he ( my boyfriend) did not have insurance(healthcare) they requested $300.00 just to talk to the Dr.
    We decided to come to Mexico and get a consultation,tests and surgery!
    The consult was $45.00 USD the blood work, chest X-rays and ultrasound $160.00 USD After the results which took 4hrs, we went to the internist who did the EKG and reviewed the results and cleared him for surgery $60.00 an hour and a half of his time with no interruption. Went back to the Surgeon and was scheduled for surgery of Friday
    Mind you this was all done in one day Tuesday!! The cost of the surgery $1750.00USD the cost for the use of the surgery room and a stay in the hospital 1 night $375.00!!!
    The doctors were very thorough efficient and compassionate.
    My boyfriend highly recommends surgery in Mexico where you have a high deductible or no insurance!!!

  9. Audrey Jewell | February 5, 2019 at 12:55 pm |

    Would Ley Federal de Protección al Consumidor pertain to quotes for Notarial services?

    • Yes, but as long as they provide a quote before performing the work and they perform the functions promised — which they normally do — there isn’t much Profeco can help you with. if you think the notary quote is too high, you can always shop around.

Comments are closed.