Consumer Enforcement Action Update
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The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “CCPC”) recently published details on its enforcement activity in 2015.
The CCPC was formed on 31 October 2014 following the amalgamation of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency and is responsible for enforcing for consumer protection legislation.
The publication details 62 enforcement actions taken by the CCPC against traders found to be in breach of consumer protection legislation in Ireland in 2015.
In 2015 the CCPC:
• issued 29 compliance notices to traders who were found to be in breach of consumer protection legislation;
• issued 33 fines to traders found to be in breach of price display legislation following the inspection of 111 business premises nationwide; and
• imposed fines and compensation orders on an individual following his conviction in 2014 for supplying a dangerous vehicle and providing misleading information to consumers who were buying cars amounting to total costs of €32,200.
Notably, one of the focuses for the year 2015 was a compliance review in the telecoms sector which identified business practices not being compliant with information and cancellation rights of consumer under the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013. This resulted in the issuance of nine compliance notices to five major telecoms providers.
The European (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 overhauled the consumer protection rights in 2014 and introduced extensive information obligations on traders and extended the withdrawal right for consumers.