The rights of consumers of goods and services are protected by law. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is an independent body, established on 31 October 2014 under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, with responsiblity for providing advice and information to consumers. In addition, the CCPC is responsible for the enforcement of a wide range of consumer protection laws. Some of these consumer protection laws include:
- laws on deceptive trading practices,
- restrictive practices,
- package travel,
- unfair contract terms,
- consumer safety, (mandatory standards),
- food labelling,
- product labelling,
- unit pricing and
- price displays.
The CCPC does not have a supervisory role in relation to financial services; this area is covered by the Central Bank of Ireland.
You may complain to the CCPC about false or misleading claims about goods, services and prices and the CCPC may prosecute the traders concerned or apply for a court order to get misleading advertisements withdrawn or amended. The CCPC does not have a role in obtaining redress for you but sometimes, if a trader is fined, the fine may be awarded to you.
If you suffer a loss or damage as a result of a false or misleading claim about goods or services, you should seek redress from the trader and, if necessary, you may sue for damages in the normal way through the courts.
The CCPC monitors the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980 and may prosecute traders for breaches of the law. This Act gives you various rights in respect of the goods or services that you buy or rent for private use, e.g., you are entitled to expect that the goods are of merchantable quality, fit for their purpose, etc.
If the goods do not meet these requirements, it is up to the seller to put matters right. The seller may then pursue the manufacturer but that is a matter between the seller and the manufacturer. You as the consumer have rights against the seller and the seller has the duty to rectify the matter. You must pursue this yourself, if necessary through the courts.
European Consumer Centre (ECC)
ECC Ireland provides a free information and advice service on consumer rights under EU law. ECC Ireland can also help solve cross-border disputes regarding goods and services. It is part of an EU-wide network and is jointly financed by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the European Commission. Read more about consumer rights and cross-border shopping in the EU here.
Where to apply