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
Seven Compliance Notices were issued to traders who charged more than the price displayed
One Compliance Notice was issued for breaching the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980
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)
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.”