CCPC welcomes new rights for consumers

November 28, 2022

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has welcomed the new Consumer Rights Act 2022, which comes into force tonight.

The Consumer Rights Act will bring about a number of positive changes for consumers:

  • Stronger rights to redress for faulty goods, including the straightforward option of cancelling a faulty purchase within 30 days for a full refund
  • Greater accountability for service providers, requiring tradespersons and vendors to provide tangible redress if services are not up to the agreed standard
  • A ban on fake reviews, with businesses prohibited from posting – or paying others to post – fake reviews for their products
  • New rules for online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy, which will have to meet transparency requirements on search rankings and seller details
  • Protection for consumers of digital content and services, including the right to software updates

Kevin O’Brien, Member of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), said:

“The Consumer Rights Act is a significant step forward for consumer rights in Ireland. This Act gives clarity to consumers – whether you’re calling a plumber, buying a gift or signing up to a streaming service, you are protected by this legislation. Through our website, helpline and outreach, we will provide detailed information to consumers on their new entitlements and options under the Act.

The introduction of the Consumer Rights Act is very timely, as we approach the busiest shopping period of the year, and as the cost of living has led many consumers to shop more carefully and more sustainably.

Businesses that already provide good customer service and fair terms have nothing to worry about; this new legislation targets those who try to deceive or mislead consumers, or who refuse to address faulty goods and services.

Where we find widespread or systemic breaches of consumer rights law, the CCPC takes robust enforcement action – and the new legislation extends our scope in this regard.”

Price Indication Directive

The CCPC also welcomed the introduction today of the Price Indication Directive, which aims to end the practice of raising product prices immediately prior to a sale in order to advertise misleadingly large discounts. From today, any business advertising a discount is required by law to display the previous price which must be the lowest price applied in the previous 30 days.

Speaking on the new pricing regulations, CCPC Member Kevin O’Brien said:

“Recent research by the CCPC showed that 61% of consumers distrust sale prices. The new transparency requirements should increase consumer confidence and ensure a fairer playing field for businesses when advertising discounts.”

The CCPC has published guidelines to help businesses navigate the new rules and will be engaging with businesses over the coming weeks to explain their new responsibilities.

CCPC Consumer Contacts Report for January – June 2022

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has also released its Consumer Contacts Report for January – June 2022. The report details the number and nature of contacts to the CCPC’s consumer helpline. Key statistics include:

  • 16,507 consumers contacted the CCPC helpline in the first half of this year, with faulty goods and services heading the list of reasons people got in touch.
  • Vehicles & transport and telecommunications topped the list of sectors the CCPC was contacted about between January 1st and June 30th of this year.
  • The vast majority of contacts related to businesses based in Ireland, which will now be subject to the new Consumer Rights Act.
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