Mexican Law/a debt with a dentist in Mexico its all been a nightmare
QUESTION: Hello John,I am from Canada. I travelled for a vacation to Mexico in August of this year. I have a very good friend that lives there so I stayed with her. I had some dental issues I wanted corrected and heard it was very reasonable to get dental work done in Mexico. My friend booked me a consultation at her own dentist. The dentist gave me 20 veneers and charged me $8500 US. I paid him $1500 US as a deposit and the rest would be paid in payments once I returned home to Canada.Aug 9 was the day he finished my teeth after working on them off and on for 10 days. I was given no antibiotics and was in pain 24 hours a day. eventhough My teeth were all shaved down to nothing. I did not even receive temporaries until the permanent ones were done. 3 days after I arrived home on aug 13, the pain became acute so I had to see a dentist. I ended up having major infection and my teeth were over prepared when he shaved them down and nerves were exposed so I needed 6 emergency root canals.That cost me close to $7000 can. I emailed the dentist in mexico to ask for help and to ask him what went so wrong. He was extremely upset and said he did not care what happened and that I better get him paid right away. Since then he has harrassed me by email and phone and threatened me over and over. He also showed up at my friends place in mexico with two policeman, harassing her......when she has nothing to do with this. I needed this to stop so I wired him $3500 and later sent $2000 more. What I owed him is now paid in full. But now I have a lady calling me that says she works for collections and corrections and is acting on behalf of this dentist and that I owe them $5000 more or they will have to take me to court and it will cost a lot more. This is all so shady and terrible. I don't know what to do.do I need a lawyer? do i just ignore all these calls and emails? My bill is completely paid! she is trying to ask for interest and to have her fees paid......can they do this to me? really seems shady. Please any advice would be so appreciated,as they are threatening me with lawsuits etc. If they are paid......what in the world is the lawsuit for? please help
ANSWER: Dear Michelle,
I definitely would not send any more money. If you have receipts for the money paid, theoretically you could file criminal charges against the dentist. Not sure if you want to just let this lay or persue it further. If you did file the criminal charges, it would send a strong message to the dentist and his lawyer to back off.
Hope this helps.
Lic. John Lee Ward
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QUESTION: Hi John, thanks so much for getting back to me.How should I file criminal charges? From here in Canada or contact the police in Mexico. I really don't understand their system, so I don't know where to call.
I really appreciate your help on this
Criminal complaints are filed with the Ministerio Publico in the place where the crime took place. As you are ouside the country, I would suggest the following:
1) Write down on paper a detailed narrative of the events.
2) Have originals and copies of all documental proof (as in receipts).
3) List names and addresses of any potential witness.
4) Get all this translated into Spanish. (For a small fee, I could do this for you.)
Next you would take all this to the Mexican Consulate and ask if they can file the complaint for you. If they refuse, let me know and I can get the complaint filed here. If that were to happen, we would ask the Ministerio Publico to send a letter to the Mexican Consulate nearest you so that you could ratify the complaint at the Consulate.
Another thought has also occurred to me. Does the dentist practice as an individual? or does he practice under a corporate umbrella? (you can tell by looking at his receipt). If he is operating under corporate umbrella the first and easiest course of action would be to file a complaint with the Mexican consumer protection agency (PROFECO). There can be done on-line from Canada.