Trader directed to issue refunds to consumers for unfilled orders

November 9, 2021

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has taken enforcement action against Mr Umar Anwar, trading at Innovate, for engaging in misleading commercial practices and providing misleading information to consumers.

This follows a number of complaints by consumers who placed orders for Sony PlayStation 5s, but failed to receive them or a refund. Mr Anwar has been directed by the CCPC to immediately issue refunds to consumers who have not yet been refunded and to cease engaging in misleading commercial practices, including providing misleading information to consumers. The CCPC is calling on consumers who placed an order with Mr Umar Anwar to contact the trader immediately.

Commenting on the recent enforcement action, Patrick Kenny, Member of the CCPC, said:

Consumers placed orders with Mr Anwar in good faith, however, these products were never delivered. Consequently, consumers also faced additional costs and stresses last year when they realised that their orders were not going to arrive in time for Christmas. Consumer protection law is there to help consumers when things go wrong. The CCPC intervened by taking the necessary enforcement action. We are aware that some consumers have received refunds from Mr Anwar.  However, if you are a consumer who is waiting on a refund, you should contact the trader immediately to get your money back. If a consumer has difficulty getting a refund from the trader, then they should contact the CCPC by calling 01 402 5555 or by emailing ask@ccpc.ie.

From October 2020, the trader advertised a pre-order sale of Sony PlayStation 5s, with stock due to arrive in the first week of December. Pre-orders for the product had to be paid for in advance. The Sony Playstation 5 was in particularly high demand in the run up to Christmas 2020, with shortages of the product widely reported in the media. Following several delays, some consumers who pre-ordered Sony PlayStation 5s from Mr Anwar were instructed to collect their orders at a specific date and time. However, the store was closed when they arrived. Other consumers reported making repeated unsuccessful attempts to get an update on their delivery, or to exercise their right to cancel their order and obtain a refund. None of the consumers who contacted the CCPC reported receiving a Sony PlayStation 5 at any stage.

Following an investigation, the CCPC determined that the trader, Umar Anwar, had engaged in a misleading commercial practice by advertising and selling products without disclosing that the trader may not be able to source, directly or indirectly, the product at the price given. The CCPC found that the trader had also provided misleading information to consumers about the availability of the product; the date and method of delivery; where the products where being sourced from; the handling of their complaints; and the supply process.

The CCPC concluded that Mr Anwar had breached consumer protection law and on 11 October 2021 he was served with a Compliance Notice which addressed these breaches. A copy of the Notice is available here. If Mr Anwar does not meet the requirements of the Compliance Notice, the CCPC has the power to take further enforcement action.

Patrick Kenny concluded his remarks with the following advice for consumers:

Particularly at Christmas, there can be an increased demand for certain products. If a trader advertises that they have a product for sale, and they will deliver it by a certain timeframe, they need to stand by that commitment.

In recent weeks, the CCPC has been advising consumers not to take any chances when shopping online. We encourage all consumers to take some time and do their research before they buy, especially if they have not bought items from a particular trader before. As we approach Christmas, consumers may feel under pressure to purchase particular products but they should be wary of traders who make unrealistic claims about supply or delivery. Our website ccpc.ie provides a range of information to help consumers whether they are shopping online or in-store.

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