CCPC welcomes the publication of the Consumer Rights Bill 2022

April 22, 2022

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) welcomes the publication of the Consumer Rights Bill (CRB) 2022. This new draft legislation will bring about a number of positive changes for consumers, including stronger consumer rights, protections and remedies across a range of key areas.

This Bill will enhance and modernise consumer protection law to meet the needs of today’s consumers. For the first time, consumer protections will be extended to digital goods and services so that consumers are protected when they use cloud services or buy downloadable or streamed goods and services, including games, films, music and software.

The new Bill sets out a clear and consistent regime for how faulty goods and services must be put right and provides new powers for the CCPC to act where traders don’t comply with the law. The CRB also gives consumers the right in many cases to have a product repaired, rather than replaced or refunded. This is an important first step in developing a consumer protection regime that empowers consumers to make environmentally conscious decisions while enforcing their consumer rights.

The CRB tackles areas where consumers are particularly vulnerable with a strong focus on regulating terms and conditions as well as the online shopping environment. Traders will be banned from using certain ‘black list’ unfair terms and are warned that other ‘grey-list’ terms can only be used in limited circumstances. In on the online environment, the CRB will specifically outlaw fake reviews and put a legal obligation on traders to ensure that any reviews on their website are from real and verified consumers.

Commenting on the publication of the Bill, Jeremy Godfrey, Chairperson of the CCPC, said:

“The CCPC warmly welcomes this Bill. It will give consumers consistent rights whether they are buying goods, services or digital content. It also gives traders specific obligations about how they must put things right when consumer rights are not fulfilled. And it strengthens the CCPC’s enforcement powers when businesses engage in misleading, aggressive and other non-compliant practices. We look forward to empowering consumers with information about their newly strengthened consumer rights. and to assisting the business community to understand their new obligations so they can make sure they comply with the law.”

The draft legislation will now be considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas, where it may be subject to further amendments. You can view the draft legislation here.

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