Sunday 17 December 2017

More than 100 businesses in breach of consumer law

More than 100 businesses were found to be in breach of consumer law last year, according to the National Consumer Agency.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has released its 2012 annual report today revealing that 112 businesses received either ‘on the spot’ fines or compliance notices in response to consumer complaints last year.

Almost 350 firms were subject to surprise ‘compliance blitz’ visits from NCA officers last year, who were pursuing a total of 520 complaints from consumers of misleading pricing and price display.

Manufacturers were also scrutinised for inadequate product safety. Following notifications, received through the EU-wide rapid alert system, investigators found 116 items on the Irish market that needed subsequent attention. 

Three incoming deliveries of unsafe toys were destroyed at ports around the country as a result of this monitoring system.     

Two cases of breach were brought before the courts, including Associated Newspapers (Ire) which was found guilty of four breaches of the Consumer Protection Act, 2007 and made a payment of €15,000 to charity. A compensation order of €4,000 was also agreed for a consumer who was sold a clocked car.

The National Consumer Agency pro-actively highlighted consumers' rights last year, making Irish people aware of the services that they could offer. The successful campaign encouraged over 861,000 website visits and over 58,000 calls and e-mails over the course of the year.

Chief Executive of the National Consumer Agency, Karen O’Leary, said, “We successfully intervened and advocated on behalf of consumers across a range of sectors including waste, banking, solicitors’ fees and childcare services.”

“We have a wide range of enforcement powers at our disposal, and we use these powers to address unfair or illegal commercial practises in the most appropriate and effective way possible,” she said.

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