Friday 28 October 2016

Telecoms and motors top list of complaints

Published 15/08/2016 | 02:30

CCPC chairperson Isolde Goggin. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
CCPC chairperson Isolde Goggin. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

The telecoms sector prompted the most complaints to Ireland's consumer protection agency last year followed closely by the motor sector, new figures reveal.

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The Competition and Consumer Protection ­Commission (CCPC) said it had 6,017 ­"consumer contacts" relating to telecoms companies in 2015.

Eircom/Eir was the company that prompted the most issues, followed by Vodafone, Three, UPC/Virgin Media and Meteor - in that order.

The motor sector was the second-most-complained-about sector, the CCPC said.

It said it had become aware of an instance in which a customer was sold a car that had previously been crashed twice, and which had its odometer tampered with.

It said 33,819 ­unsafe ­products were prevented from entering the market in the ­period from October 2014 to the end of December 2015.

The goods ranged from toys and IT equipment to plugs and adaptors and so-called "hoverboards". Almost 1,500 "hoverboards" were exported back to their country of origin.

Fears of bid-rigging in the €12bn-a-year public procurement market have prompted the CCPC to seek more sophisticated data analytics to monitor potential abuses.

Chairperson Isolde Goggin said the body is currently reliant on whistleblowers to detect wrongdoing in public procurement bids. It's estimated that a rigged bid adds between 20pc and 30pc to public procurement costs.

"If only 5pc of procurement processes were subject to bid-rigging, the extra cost to the Irish taxpayer would be in the region of €100m a year," Ms Goggin said.

Irish Independent

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