07
Mar

Enforcement actions against traders detailed in latest CCPC Consumer Protection List

  • 40 enforcement actions concluded against 33 traders in Ireland in 2016

6 March 2017: The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today released details of 40 enforcement actions taken against 33 traders found to be in breach of consumer protection legislation during 2016. The CCPC is responsible for enforcing a wide range of consumer protection legislation and uses its powers to stop practices that mislead, are unfair to, or harm consumers. Details of all enforcement actions concluded in 2016, including the traders and relevant offences, are published in the CCPC’s annual Consumer Protection List. In summary, in 2016 there were:

27 Fixed Payment Notices for breaching price display legislation

  • 27 Fixed Payment Notices were paid by 24 traders nationwide for breaches of price display legislation. The penalty in each case was a fine of €300 to be paid within 28 days.

Seven Compliance Notices were issued to traders who charged more than the price displayed

  • Seven traders across the country were directed, through Compliance Notices, to address breaches of the Consumer Protection Act 2007, where traders charged more for a product than the price displayed.

One Compliance Notice was issued for breaching the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980

  • Creative Retail Solutions Limited, received a Compliance Notice in relation to the display of a sign at the company’s temporary store, Gadget Box. The sign notified consumers that it was the shop’s policy not to provide refunds and that Gadget Box would only exchange goods within 24 hours of purchase and with a receipt. This suggested to consumers that their statutory rights in relation to faulty goods were restricted.

Four enforcement actions were taken for failure to comply with, or for providing misleading information about consumers’ legal rights under, the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD)

  • Lifestyle Sports received a Fixed Payment Notice for failing to reimburse delivery costs to consumers who cancelled their order/returned their purchases under the CRD. Lifestyle Sports also received a Compliance Notice for failing to provide information to consumers about their rights to cancel a distance contract.
  • Powercity received a Compliance Notice for providing consumers with misleading information on their legal rights. Powercity received a second Compliance Notice for failing to provide information relating to cancelling a distance contract under the CRD.

One undertaking

  • McCormack Car Sales Limited, Sligo was required to provide an undertaking to the CCPC when they were found to have provided false and misleading information to a consumer in relation to the mileage of a car. McCormack Car Sales Limited also compensated the affected consumer to address the breach.

Speaking about the latest Consumer Protection List, Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said, “The Consumer Protection List shows that traders need to comply with consumer protection law and if they do not, the CCPC will not hesitate to take enforcement action up to, and including prosecution”.

“Under consumer protection law, the selling price of every item offered for sale must be displayed clearly and accurately. In 2016 we carried out 150 unannounced inspections of trader premises across Ireland to assess compliance with price display legislation. The majority of those inspected were found to be compliant with consumer protection legislation.”

“Our nationwide inspections led to 27 fines being paid by traders who failed to display prices. In 2017, we will be continuing our unannounced inspections of retailers across Ireland and we will take appropriate enforcement action against retailers who fail to comply with pricing legislation.”

“Compliance with the CRD is a high-priority enforcement focus for the CCPC. Since the enactment of the CRD in 2014, we have been proactive in engaging with traders to increase awareness of their obligations and where required, we ensure compliance through enforcement action. Last year we reviewed approximately 140 websites for compliance with the CRD. The 2016 Consumer Protection List details the traders who we took enforcement action against to ensure that they were compliant with the CRD. Following our intervention relevant traders corrected the information they provide to consumers.

“Ms Goggin concluded; “The information on trader’s practices which we receive from our consumer contacts are very important as they help to inform our work by identifying companies and sectors that engage in unfair commercial practices. We encourage any consumer who has a question about their rights or who believes that they have been misled by a business to contact us through our website www.ccpc.ie or by calling our helpline on 1890 432 432.”

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