How does consumer protection law apply to me and my business?

The law provides protection for consumers and outlines the obligations for business. In Ireland, the primary consumer protection laws are:

Every business must comply with the law and it is your responsibility to ensure you do this. If you are unsure of your obligations, you should always seek independent legal advice.

Consumer Protection Act 2007

The Consumer Protection Act 2007 (CPA) applies to anyone acting for the purposes of their trade, business or profession. It applies to anyone acting on behalf of a business and can also include anyone who promote goods or services on behalf of a business.

The CPA requires that you are transparent in all your dealings with consumers and places a wide range of responsibilities on you. Under the CPA it is a criminal offence to make a false or misleading claim about goods, services and prices.

Social media influencers and bloggers have the same legal responsibilities to consumers when they are act on behalf of a business – for example, promoting or advertising the goods or services of a business.

Consumer Rights Act 2022

The Consumer Rights Act 2022 (CRA) provides consumers with a range of protections when they buy from you. You can read more about your obligations when you sell products, services and digital services to consumers.

You must also make sure that your contracts do not contain terms that are unfair to consumers.  Read more in our Guide to Unfair Contract Terms.

The CRA provides extra protections to consumers that you sell to online, by mail-order, by phone, or on their doorstep.

What are the sanctions and penalties when a business is in breach of consumer protection law?

There are a number of actions the CCPC can take to ensure businesses comply with consumer protection law. These are:

  • Prosecution
  • Prohibition orders
  • Compliance notices
  • Undertakings
  • Fixed payment notices

Read more about consumer protection enforcement.

Actions that consumers can take

You have to resolve issues that arise when you do not meet your obligations to a consumer. If a consumer is not satisfied with your response, they can take the following actions:

  • Use the Small Claims Procedure to take a case against you in the District Court or take proceedings against you in a higher court
  • Use alternative or online dispute resolution process

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