Living in Los Cabos: Going to PROFECO
Now this may end up being one of my more important blogs: how to use Mexico’s Consumer Protection Agency. If you got roped into a time share or ripped off at the restaurant, these are the people who can help. And so far I’m liking my experience with them very much.
PROFECO is the nickname for a department of the federal government who are called the Procuraduria Federal del Consumidor. To make a complaint you’ll first need to visit their website, which is www.profeco.gob.mx . On the top right side of the home page you can click on “English” for an explanation of who they are and what they can do. Then you’ll need to print out a complaint form, this is the link to that form: http://www.profeco.gob.mx/formas/f_esp_quejas.asp They want you to fill the form out, print two copies, and bring to their offices. You will need two copies of everything you submit, which should include the complaint form and any back-up documentation. You will also need two copies of your I.D. In my case, the cell phone provider TelCel is ripping me off royally. Complaints locally and on their web site have not been answered. So I wrote a description of the problems, which I translated into Spanish and attached that to the complaint form. I also provided copies of my contract, which explains what I agreed to be charged, and copies of my bill showing what they are charging. Two of everything, please! Ironically, the only copies they didn’t need were my electric bill. I didn’t think you could do anything in this country without that!
Once you’ve got your documents in place you’ll take them to the PROFECO office. They’ve just moved, the new office is in the Plaza Golden Palace located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Mexico Route 19 (the road to Todos Santos) and the Bordo. The Bordo is the road that connects Route 19 and Route 1. They are on the third floor, the office is well marked.
So today I took all my documents in. There was no one waiting so they attended to me right away. The supervisor read my complaint and when the receptionist got back she explained to her that it was another complaint against TelCel. Hey, did you think Carlos Slim got to be the world’s richest man by playing fair with his customers? Sadly, I had not made two copies of everything but they reminded me that the coffee shop on the ground floor made copies so I just zipped down and back. The receptionist then began typing and typing. We did have some problems as I’m not really asking for money, I just want them to begin honoring the contract and credit me the over-charges and fork over a phone but the supervisor explained to the receptionist how to write that into their forms.
Finally I was given a paper to sign that said I was making a complaint and would appear at a hearing on June 2, only three weeks from now. The supervisor then very nicely and tactfully stressed that I should bring a translator. The fact she ‘stressed’ it four times should tell you how great my spoken Spanish is. But she was very polite and professional.
So that’s part 1 of my battle for justice. So far I’m very pleased at how efficient and pleasant the process was. The only screw up was mine, not double copying a receipt. So hopefully in three weeks I’ll get the iPhone I was promised, and get my billing straightened out. But right now the Procuraduria has me very impressed!
Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of REALTY EXECUTIVES Los Cabos. A Certified Home Marketing Specialist, she has enjoyed working with both buyers and sellers for over ten years and still thinks hers is the best job on earth. She is also the real estate columnist for Los Cabos Magazine and Chairman of the AMPI Los Cabos Board of Realtors. You can read more of her articles on www.reloscabos.com. You can reach her from the U.S. or Canada at 1-760-481-7694, or in Cabo at 044-624-147-7541.
© 2011 Carol S. Billups