SCAMMED in CANCUN and PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO


What’s up Tangerineys! Coming at you
live from Morelia, Michoacán. But today we are talking about our time in Playa del
Carmen, Cancun, Cozumel, Tulum, and all the many many many scams we faced while
there. At the time that we flew into Cancun, we had been traveling through
Mexico for almost a year, and been to many cities in Mexico. So we had a pretty
good idea of what things should cost, What to look out for, kind of like some
of the scams that are out there. But even still, we were gotten a few times. And we
don’t want that to happen to other people. We want people who go to these
beautiful beach cities to have an enjoyable time, keep their hard-earned
money, and just make memories in Mexico. And these scams are not going to stop if
we don’t shed light on it, so that’s what we’re here to do. In this video, we’re
going to go over every single scam that we personally experienced, and at the end
of the video, we’re going to share some steps that you can take to personally
avoid the scams if you’re going to these places. In our Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel videos, we mentioned some of these scams, and we got quite a few comments saying how cheap we were and didn’t we expect there were gonna be higher prices? Absolutely, in
tourist towns, the prices are going to be much higher than in smaller Mexican
towns like Morelia, for instance, is a place with very affordable prices but
it’s not about that. It’s about being looked at like we’re a walking checkbook,
being constantly scammed, being given gringo prices, and people
hoping that you’ll fall into these tourist traps. And that’s not okay. So if
you’re vacationing in one of these Riviera Maya destinations, in all
likelihood you’re probably going to be flying into the Cancun Airport. When you
come out of the arrivals section there, you are going to be mobbed with people
trying to sell you stuff, especially overpriced taxis from the airport. This
is one scam that we fell for and this is how it all went down. We were on our way
to Tulum from Cancun and we were told that the best way to get there is to
take the ADO bus, or in Spanish, that’s pronounced Ah-Day-Oh. We didn’t know, quite
know the price, but then someone came up to us with a laminated price sheet, it
looked official. She was saying, hey a cab to Tulum is 1,600 pesos. I’m like “Okay, how
much is the ADO bus?” So she pulls up her price sheet and it says four hundred
pesos a person. Well, the real price of an ADO bus to Tulum is 252 pesos a person. So this lady is a scam artist. She has a fake price sheet.
With the prices that she had listed on this sheet, it really made it seem like
it wouldn’t be that much more to pay for this overpriced cab for the convenience
factor of it. But, in reality, the prices were just wrong and we fell for it.
We ended up negotiating a little and got that for 1,400 pesos, but the whole cab
situation did not end there. So we paid our 1,400 pesos to this cab company.
Jordan was repeatedly asking for receipt but it somehow conveniently slipped
through the cracks and we never got one. Once we got in the inside of the cab,
however, we all noticed that the door handles were broken. We couldn’t get out.
All three of them. All three of our passengers. Everything. It was very very unsettling! And shortly after that, the cab driver asked where our receipt was. Well, we
didn’t have one. He freaked out, bolted from the car, and ran back to get our
receipt. We started feeling like “There’s something weird going on.” I don’t know if
they were trying to scam him, if this was a scam for us? Like they were trying to
make us pay fourteen hundred pesos again? We don’t really know. And there was
another thing that was pretty weird about this situation. When we were
getting into this taxi, there were like three or four people ushering us in and
saying “Just remember, a tip isn’t included, tip isn’t included in the
price.” Which we thought was strange at the time, especially considering we’ve
been told time and time again by Mexicans that it’s not customary or
expected to give a tip for a cab driver. And then the cab driver went on to say
yeah one to two hundred dollar, US dollar, tip is about right. And we thought he
was joking. But then he said it later on in the ride and were like “This guy is
serious? He thinks 200 US?” Anyway, makes me mad to this day. But then, we arrived in
Tulum. Based on the way the rest of the situation went, we decided “Let’s just
give him a 10% tip because we don’t want any problems.” So after we gave him more
than 10% tip, we gave him 150 pesos on a 1,400 peso cab ride, he freaked out. Maddie: Thanks a lot. Taxi driver: It’s lacking (the tip) Jordan: No, it’s more than 10% Taxi driver: No, it’s 20% Jordan: No Taxi driver: Yes, give me 100 more. Taxi driver: Because it’s so far. No, no, no. I already paid 1,400 pesos. Give me 50 pesos more. No, no friend. Super rude, this guy was a huge
jerk! So if you’re flying into Cancun, What’s your best option? Well, if you’re
staying in Cancun, arrange for your hotel to pick you up at the airport
before you get there. Someone will be there holding a sign waiting for you, and
then you’ll avoid all of this, altogether. But, if you’re going to Playa, Tulum,
Mérida, or any other city in that general vicinity, your best option is going to be
to take the ADO bus. If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to take our
advice about not taking a cab from the airport. Make sure to get your receipt,
make sure to negotiate the price so you get the lowest price you possibly can. Since
they’re gouging you in the first place. And don’t let them take advantage of you,
don’t let them push you around, and make you think that you have to give them a
tip. You do not. We have tons more coming up for you guys, so stick around. Diving
right into it now! So in this trip, we did not experience any tourist traps or
scams in Tulum. That might be because we weren’t staying on the beach and we were
staying in town. All of the scams started when we got to Playa del Carmen and then
Cozumel. The things that we’re gonna talk about coming up, we probably wouldn’t even need to mention them if they were isolated incidents. But because they happened over and over and over again, with different restaurants, in different
parts of Playa del Carmen, and in Cozumel, It’s not an accident, it’s a systemic
problem! So one of the first things we dealt with was ordering food at a
restaurant. It included guacamole but I’m allergic
to onions, so I ordered plain avocado instead of the guacamole. Well, they
charged us for extra avocado even though it was a substitution. They tried to say
that they gave us extra and that wasn’t the case. It took a while of arguing with
them before they actually took it off of the bill, which is kind of ridiculous.
If you ever make a substitution in Mexico, it’s never at an extra charge! (Unless it’s specified on the menu or they let you know.) So when we first got to Playa del Carmen we realized that these prices are quite
a bit higher than what we’re used to paying. So we were, naturally, looking
for drink specials. We wanted a margarita. So we’re walking down Fifth Avenue and
there’s quite a few places that advertise 2 for 1 drinks. We went to a few of these places during our trip, and every time,
without fail, the drinks had almost no alcohol, if any whatsoever. oh and then
the crazy part is they said that they included two ounces in each of these drinks. Oh yeah, and I know that I feel something if I have two ounces. And I had two, two ounce
drinks, or supposedly. And I felt nothing. Nothing at all. Yes this is borderline
tourist trap / scam. Don’t fall for those two-for-one
promotions. Okay, so we need to clarify a little bit on this one, because in Mexico,
a lot of people feel like they have to order bottles of water or else they’re
gonna be served tap water. No restaurant is going to serve their
customers tap water unless they want to make them all sick, so you don’t
need to worry about that. What you should order, if you do not want a bottle of
water, is agua de garrafón, which is out of the big jugs of water. We did a
whole video on this, we’ll link it above. Well, in this case, we went to a
restaurant we ordered vasos de agua De garrafón. And he brought out bottles
of water, which they sometimes do thinking that tourists just want a
bottle of water to be safe. That’s understandable, we said no thank you, we
would like the vasos de agua de garrafón, and he swapped them out for glasses of water. Well, the problem came when we got the bill and we were charged
40 pesos each for four glasses of water. They made up some lame excuse. She’s like “how many waters?” She’s like 4. Which type of water? Because we have like a big canister. Garrafón. Yeah, garrafón. And he pointed that way. That’s why she charged because he made a mistake. He’s fairly new. He put all of these waters. For glasses of water, you don’t put 1,2,3,4 glasses of water.. But there was only one server servicing
our table, it was all written by hand, it was not an accident. If you order water,
it’s free. You should not be charged. Don’t fall for it. Unless you’re ordering
bottles of water, which is a different story. And if you are charged for a glass
of water, contest it. Contest the bill. The next item on the list is a tourist trap / scam, but this is
also illegal in Mexico. Restaurants are not allowed to do this, it’s against law. And that is adding a tip to the bill. Something that some restaurants in Playa del Carmen
will do is, they’ll have a line, it looks like it’s just tax. But it will say
propina or servicio. For us, they added a ten percent thing, and it said
“servicio.” There was no indication that this was a tip or that it was optional.
We paid cash and then they brought us change minus the tip that they had already
included, which is also illegal. If this ever happens to you, if there’s ever a
line that says servicio or propina, don’t leave more than that. And you’re
not even required to leave that. Yeah, you’re not required to leave that. Don’t
leave more than that. In this case, it was ten percent. We probably would have
tipped more than ten percent if they didn’t do this. But nope, that’s all
they’re getting from us. And just like the situation with the taxis, we’ve also
been told time and time again by Mexicans that tip, it’s a much different
tipping culture than in the US. In the US, pretty much even if you get
terrible service, you shouldn’t leave less than like ten or fifteen percent.
Here in Mexico, that’s not the case. We’ve been told so many times that if it’s bad
service, or if something went wrong, or something like that, you are not
obligated to leave a tip. You can leave nothing and that’s okay because that’s
the point of tipping. You’re tipping the person for their service, their good
service. And ten percent is standard in Mexico. 10% is standard in Mexico. Don’t
let anyone in playa or anywhere else that it’s 20 percent or 25 or 15. 10% is
standard all throughout Mexico. If there is one exception, we’ve been told that at
especially nice, classy, fancy restaurants, sometimes it’s expected to leave a
little bit more. This next thing, we realize that this is something that
could be an accident. I used to be a server and a bartender so I understand
sometimes things accidentally get added to the bill. Multiple servers are helping
the same table, accidents happen. But because this happened at so many
restaurants, we know it’s not an accident. This is something that they just hope
they’ll get away with so that you’ll have to pay more and then tip more. But
in the few circumstances, one in particular, there was nobody else in this
restaurant. No one. No accidents could have happened here. But there were like a
dozen servers just standing around and doing weird things in the restaurant. It
took them a really really long time to bring out the check after they were all
huddled around it doing who-knows-what? And then a Tecate ended up on the bill. And it’s not that much, so your average tourist might be like “Oh Tecate,
that must be a spice or like extra ice” Or heck, who even knows. But it’s kind
of ridiculous that this happens. Always be sure to look at your check. Make sure
you know exactly what’s on there so you don’t run into problems where you’re
paying more for stuff that you didn’t receive. And if something does come on
there, once again, contest it. Contest, contest, contest! [Laughter] Alrighty, we’re not quite done yet, but if you’re enjoying the information in this video, please give it a thumbs up and if you
haven’t already, subscribe to our Channel. And don’t forget to GONG THAT BELL! So
you get notified the next time we put out a new video and now back to the list! Another trick that we experienced quite often during this trip was ordering
something on the menu and then seeing a different price show up on the check. And
now, a lot of places will say “Oh, well that’s an old menu, those are old prices.” Well, I’m sorry, but that’s illegal in Mexico. They’re not allowed to do that.
They have to list the actual price that they are going to charge you, taxes
included. That’s something to watch out for. Something that we would do to
avoid getting scammed in this way, is either take a picture of the menu,
memorize the price that we were supposed to be charged, or ask them to leave a menu, so that when we got the check, we could double-check and look what it said on
the menu and what was listed on the check. One more thing was, we went to this
restaurant, once again advertising two-for-one margaritas. Two-for-one House
margaritas. Well, we took a look at their menu, and we couldn’t find the house
margarita on the menu. Only their specialty margaritas. And those were
listed as a 125 pesos. Well, we ordered the two-for-one house margaritas, which are obviously going to
be cheaper than the specialty margaritas, Right? The bill came, and it was a hundred
and fifty pesos for watered-down, terrible flavor, no tequila, house
margaritas. Yes, so once again they get you in with a two-for-one special and
then they screw you over. Avoid every place advertising these two-for-ones. I would like to mention that there are some places that advertise
drink specials which didn’t end up to be terrible. Like we went to Lido Beach Club
and they had a sixty? Was it sixty pesos? Yeah. Drink of the day. And those were always
great drinks with the appropriate amount of alcohol. Nothing, no scams there. So I
think it might just be these two-for-one deals that you have to look out for. But
drink specials on like one drink, that might be okay, or maybe Lido Beach Club,
you guys rock! And you’re the only ones who don’t scam people. And there were a few gems we found during our trip. And we’re going to list all
those down in the description below. Alright, so how can you avoid getting
scammed, falling into tourist traps, or getting taken advantage of? Well,
starting at the airport, just say “No gracias” to anyone who wants to sell you
something. And please make one of those to the taxi drivers that are trying to gouge you. You might think “Oh, well I’ll just use Uber.” Well, at the time we were
there, in the entire state of Quintana Roo, there is no Uber operating whatsoever. If you open an app, they say we’re out
of service. Next thing is – pay attention to the
prices on the menu and don’t let them tell you that you have to pay a
different price. It is illegal. Just say no. Just say no. [Laughter] Contest the bill and stand your
ground. Don’t let them push you around. And what do you do if you feel like you’ve tried sticking up for yourself, you feel like you’re
getting screwed, maybe they’re overcharging you for something, or
something just isn’t adding up. Something that Mexicans have told us to do, again
time and time again, is threaten PROFECO. This is a user, or consumer rights
agency that businesses are pretty terrified of, especially if they’re doing
something wrong! They can get huge fines And even be shut down, and it happens all
the time! So if you feel like you’re being pushed around, as a last resort you
can tell them that you’re going to contact PROFECO, and you will see
their attitude completely change! We have never personally contacted PROFECO for
any issues that we’ve had. Even in times where we’ve gotten severely screwed over,
or something bad has happened. However, thank you to our Tangerineys, our
subscribers, who have taken the initiative to do that for us. Because, as
foreigners, sometimes we feel like we don’t have rights or it’s hard for us to
stick up for ourselves, especially with the language barrier. So that means a lot
to us. It’s a group effort to stop these things from happening. So on that note, if
you feel like you got good information out of this, or somebody else might, share
it with your friends. Share it on Twitter, on Facebook, in your WhatsApp groups.
Because we want this information to be out there so that other people don’t get
taken advantage of in the ways that we have. And so this behavior stops. This is
not the behavior of Mexicans in general. This is not a representation of Mexico
and that’s partially what infuriates us the most. Please give this video a thumbs
up if you liked it. We hope this helps you in any of your future travels to Mexico, Specifically those areas. Don’t forget to
subscribe to our channel to see more videos that we’re putting out about our
travels! Currently, we are in Mexico. And one last thing… GONG THAT BELL! So you get notified when we put out our new videos And we’ll see you there!

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