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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Quiet holiday season for consumer protection agency

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Profeco, the consumer protection agency of Mexico.

Mérida, Yucatán — The Federal Consumer Attorney (Profeco)’s state representative, José Antonio Nevárez Cervera, has been busy monitoring holiday trade at the airport and markets, but some sectors in particular have been quiet.

Profeco has received no complaints from Airbnb guests in Yucatán this year, said Nevárez.

Since beginning operations in Yucatán, Airbnb and other online home-rental businesses have been on the hotel sector’s radar. Seeing Airbnb as competition, a coalition of hotel owners has lobbied the state to tax and regulate homeowners’ income properties.

Hotel owners have pointed to a tragedy in Akumal, on the Caribbean coast, where a U.S. family of four died because of a faulty pipe that leaked lethal fumes. The apparently unsafe condo rental had bypassed safety inspections.

Profeco protects consumers both in brick-and-mortar stores as well as in digital marketplaces like Airbnb and Uber. Nevárez urged customers to report irregularities to Profeco’s Centro office at Calle 49 No. 479-A,  between 54 and 56.

Nevárez Cervera also reported that car dealers have been spared consumer complaints during the Easter holiday, compared to last year at this time, when seven auto traders were sanctioned by the agency.

Travel agencies have also avoided conflict. While last year, hundreds of cases were under investigation, this year, Profeco has received no complaints about bogus travel packages or misleading tour promotions.

With information from Sipse.

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