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Jewelry Fraud


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#1 obispo

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:54 AM

Several weeks ago my wife and I bought what we thought was a diamond ring from Millennium Jewelers north of the Cozumel Museum. Our friends also purchased "diamonds", which turned out to be fake. Does anyone know of an attorney in Cozumel who may go after Millennium to get back our money?
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#2 Carey

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

Several weeks ago my wife and I bought what we thought was a diamond ring from Millennium Jewelers north of the Cozumel Museum. Our friends also purchased "diamonds", which turned out to be fake. Does anyone know of an attorney in Cozumel who may go after Millennium to get back our money?
Obispo


There is a department of consumer protection in Mexico called PROFECO. Search the forums and you'll find numerous threads telling you how to get in touch with them, how to fill out the complaint forms online if necessary and one member was kind enough to update to the latest contact information.
This service works if you are willing to be patient. Gather all your receipts and any other evidence and have that ready to fax.

Some people think it is better to start a complaint and deal directly with the Cozumel office. Others have had good luck going through the national system using their web interface. Good luck and sorry you were ripped off!
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#3 mstevens

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

Why do people buy diamonds on vacation?

Prices of diamonds are remarkably stable worldwide (because the cartels keep them that way), so the bigger a bargain one appears to be getting, the more likely one is being defrauded. Being defrauded by someone near where you live gives you much more recourse than if it's someone a long way away.
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#4 Charles

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

I know that Lic. Santin was recently (during February) still handling or in charge of consumer complaints and someone did get a full refund in maybe little more than two months. Lic Ariadne Santin: asantinprofeco@yahoo.com

When Traveler confirmed that the Profeco office had moved downtown from the mercado (and no one believed the information posted by El Graduado), Traveler received the information on 1/24/2013 "From what I was told Ariadne is no longer in the office". I know she was working processing refunds and sending emails at least several weeks after that date. I don't know if she was only finishing up leftover complaint files or if she happened to be on vacation when Traveler inquired. Or she could have been transferred, someone local would need to call or stop in again and confirm. Downtown, upstairs in the Plaza Sol, the "white elephant building".

What Lic. Santin was managing to do was except and avoid the impossibility of returning the "fake" merchandise which is the basic rules in disputing credit card bills. It is beyond any possibility to return merchandise via normal avenues of shipment.

Here is the recent post from Traveler: http://www.cozumelmy...h=1

Within that post is the standard Profeco address for foreigners to use that goes to their Mexico City office. The rules state that Profeco must answer a filed complaint within 30 days and it seems that they take the full 29-30 days to respond. If indeed Lic. Santin is still working, she simplifies and speeds the process considerable. You can look through search, but there is an array of somewhat confusing info to sort through.

The email address to contact Profeco via Mexico City is: http://www.profeco.g...enun_ingles.asp I personally find the site more complicated to navigate in English than in Spanish.

You might try using the search function here for " Caribbean Dreams ", but the overall process and results have been more streamlined since then. Part of the delay in processing Fran's complaint was it was first filed through Mexico City. The local offices were ready to act upon it, but could not touch the case until it had been officially transferred from home offices in Mexico City. Every single complain that could provide adequate documentation has received a full refund.

Good luck and be persistent. The main obstacle in dealing with credit cards is for them to accept the fact that is was a deliberate, criminal act, not just a situation of poor quality or defects. Again emphasize that it is impossible and totally unrealistic to attempt returning the merchandise. If you manage a full refund and keep the merchandise, small reward for the hassle and work involved on your end.

The worst part of these cases of fraud, many people pay more than what the real thing costs. Tanzanite is such a popular "cruise ship port gemstone", because of its delicate nature, few local jewelry stores in the States carry it. What is very common on the island is for Chinese made knock-offs, people pay more for the silver with purple crystals (glass) than the price for authentic gold and gems, but if they looked around (Silver Emporium for example) they would find the identical item priced fairly with no misrepresentation. The silver knocks are great for costume jewelry if you like that, retail for between $35-$100 dollars. Fair price in gold and gem stones might be $3,500 to $7,000, but I hear of people paying more than double that for the fakes.
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#5 DebB

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:02 PM

Last time I spoke with Ariadne -- last fall, I think it was -- she told me that she would be leaving PROFECO and that the Cozumel office would no longer have an English-speaking attorney. She opened La Antigua cafe in her father's house on Ave. 5. If we're very lucky, she reconsidered her options and found a way to do both jobs!
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#6 Valli

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

Ariadne is continuing her work with PROFECO and working at the restaurant at night. At least that is what she told me approximately 2 weeks ago. Based on the conversations I have had with her, I would consider her to be very knowledgeable and competent.
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#7 Charles

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:58 AM

Definitely try to email Lic. Ariadne Santin directly at asantinprofeco@yahoo.com If you can scan and email or fax necessary documentation, it will greatly expedite the process. Hopefully you have a receipt stating what was "supposedly" purchased and then some documentation that it is not.

Given the repeated track record of a handful of stores, they seem to be giving refunds far faster then they ever did before. She does a good job and I'm surprised she has stayed in office this long. Her restaurant deserves patronage, perhaps someone can give a review. A very commendable woman.
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#8 Charles

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:23 AM

Por Esto! 06/abril/2013

En el caso de la Unidad de Servicios de la Profeco en Cozumel, la titularidad recayó en Darwin Pech, quien ha laborado por más de una década en dicha dependencia federal al lado de la encargada que presentó su renuncia personal e irrevocable en días pasados al alcalde, Aurora Ariadne Santin Coral.

http://www.poresto.n...idTitulo=234377
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#9 Carey

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:01 AM

So Lic. Ariade Santin has resigned but Daniel Pech is still there. Daniel is a good guy, too. He helped me with a couple of disagreements with Telmex in years past. But he doesn't to my knowledge speak any English. In which case it might be better to pursue PROFECO complaints via their national website unless you are fairly fluent in Spanish or have someone to help you who is. It will take longer but the protection mechanisms are in place and apply to foreign tourist as much as Mexican nationals. It's a great idea and I believe Mexico is the only country in the world that has such a federally mandated consumer protection division.
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#10 El Graduado

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:03 PM

So Lic. Ariade Santin has resigned but Daniel Pech is still there. Daniel is a good guy, too. He helped me with a couple of disagreements with Telmex in years past. But he doesn't to my knowledge speak any English. In which case it might be better to pursue PROFECO complaints via their national website unless you are fairly fluent in Spanish or have someone to help you who is. It will take longer but the protection mechanisms are in place and apply to foreign tourist as much as Mexican nationals. It's a great idea and I believe Mexico is the only country in the world that has such a federally mandated consumer protection division.


For what it's worth, the local PROFECO office told me a couple of days ago that they can only act on complaints in which either: 1. The complainant appears in person and stays on the island throughout the process, or; 2. The complainant files their complaint first with the Mexico City office and then the Mexico City office forwards it to Cozumel, in which case the complainant need not be in, or come back to, Cozumel.
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#11 obispo

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:49 PM

For what it's worth, the local PROFECO office told me a couple of days ago that they can only act on complaints in which either: 1. The complainant appears in person and stays on the island throughout the process, or; 2. The complainant files their complaint first with the Mexico City office and then the Mexico City office forwards it to Cozumel, in which case the complainant need not be in, or come back to, Cozumel.


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#12 obispo

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:52 PM

Thanks for all the good information. My wife filed a complaint with the appropriate Mexican agency, but has not heard from them. In the meantime she was fully reimbursed by the credit card company.
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