Enforcement actions taken against traders in Ireland detailed in newly published Consumer Protection List
February 9, 2016
- Competition and Consumer Protection Commission publishes Consumer Protection List detailing enforcement action concluded in 2015
- Businesses warned to comply with their obligations under consumer law
9 February 2016: The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (‘the CCPC’) has today published its Consumer Protection List for 2015, which details 62 enforcement actions taken against traders found to be in breach of consumer protection legislation. The CCPC is responsible for enforcing a wide range of consumer protection legislation and uses its enforcement powers to stop practices that mislead, are unfair to, or harm consumers.
- 29 Compliance Notices were issued to traders who were found to be in breach of consumer protection legislation, for example the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and other Rights) Regulations 2013, known as the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD).
- 33 Fixed Payment Notices (fines) were issued to traders found to be in breach of price display legislation, following 111 inspections nationwide. The penalty in each case was €300, to be paid within 28 days.
- €5,000 in fines and compensation orders were imposed on one individual; Mr Brian Fassnidge following his conviction in 2014 for supplying a dangerous vehicle and providing misleading information to consumers who were buying cars. This was in addition to €10,000 in costs and €17,200 in repayments to affected consumers as ordered by the court. The total cost amounting to €32,200.
Speaking about the latest Consumer Protection List, Isolde Goggin, Chair of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said “Our focus in the CCPC is to quickly and efficiently put a stop to practices which cause harm and financial detriment to consumers. 2015 was a busy year for our consumer enforcement teams, with the conclusion of 62 different actions. We inspected 111 business premises across the country to check that traders were compliant with price display legislation, and where traders were found to be in breach, we took action to ensure compliance.
Consumers play a very important role in helping us identify non-compliant business practices through the information they provide to our consumer helpline and website. For example, the CCPC receives a significant amount of consumer contacts in relation to the telecoms sector and so, in 2015, we undertook an industry wide review of compliance with the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD). This resulted in the issuing of nine Compliance Notices to five major telecoms providers and we continue to review practices in telecoms and other sectors. Our CRD compliance surveillance has also expanded to include other sectors identified by our contacts with consumers.”
Ms Goggin concluded; “Enforcement of consumer protection law is a core activity for the CCPC and we are committed to using our powers effectively and extensively. We encourage businesses to understand their obligations and to take a proactive approach to compliance. Should businesses breach legislation, they should be aware that we will take whatever enforcement action is necessary.”
The CCPC is responsible for enforcing a wide range of consumer protection legislation, mainly arising from EU Directives which are designed to protect consumers at all stages of a transaction. The CRD introduced information obligations on traders and withdrawal rights for consumers. Measures to address unfair or misleading commercial practices are set out in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive – given effect in Ireland by the Consumer Protection Act 2007. More details about the legislation and the obligations of businesses is available at www.ccpc.ie.
The full Consumer Protection List (which includes the names of traders and details on the cited breaches) is available here.
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