There are a number of statutory and voluntary consumer bodies. These bodies are there to inform you of your rights as a consumer and to help you enforce these rights. The following information describes the main organisations that can advise you of your rights as a consumer. Information is included on bodies that provide consumer services to purchasers of goods and services in Ireland and in other EU member states. There are also a number of other regulatory and representative bodies for specific businesses that have a role in protecting the consumer. These are described in the relevant areas throughout the consumer portal.
As every consumer case is different, it is useful to consult the appropriate organisation that may advise you on your rights and entitlements.
If you have a consumer complaint you should always begin by contacting the supplier of the goods or the provider of the service first. Often, issues can be easily remedied by speaking to the retailer or the proprietor. If they cannot or will not help even after you have put your complaint in writing, you can contact the relevant body for information. Depending on the value of the goods or service, you may eventually need to consider going to Courts (Small Claims Court) or to arbitration or mediation to seek a remedy.
In advance of taking any action you should ensure that you have the correct information. Any of the bodies listed in this section will advise you on your rights and what steps to take to claim redress.
Different consumer bodies have different responsibilities when it comes to consumer rights. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) which replaced the National Consumer Agency, for example, deals with consumer complaints and policy at a national level. The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland deals with consumer complaints in a cross border context. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has responsibility to provide consumer information on financial services.The Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for the regulation of all financial services firms.
Under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, on 31 October the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority were replaced by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC). The Commission took over the functions of the two agencies and is responsible for delivering an integrated set of services to the consumer including:
Consumer organisations do not charge for providing advice.
You can contact any of the organisations listed below by telephone, e-mail, or by letter. You should check whether you could visit them at their offices before you make the trip to see them. You can also check information on their website before contacting them.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is a statutory body, set up to be a advocate on behalf of consumers. It also has a leading role in consumer information, research, education and awareness.
The Consumers’ Association of Ireland is a voluntary body which aims to inform, represent and protect Irish consumers. It provides an advice and information service for consumers. The Consumers' Association also campaigns for improved consumer legislation.
The Advertising Standards Authority This is a voluntary self-regulatory body of advertising practitioners, which deals with complaints about standards of advertising. There are voluntary codes of standards and you may complain about breaches of those standards. These codes are on Advertising Standards and on Sales Promotion Practice.
The Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for the regulation of all financial services firms in Ireland since October 2010. The Central Bank has specific functions in relation to consumer protection and consumer rights. It supervises financial firms to make sure that they comply with legislation and codes of conduct. The authority ensures financial institutions are solvent which gives consumers confidence that their deposits and investments are secure.
PO Box 559
Tel:(01) 224 6000
Locall:1890 777 777
Fax:(01) 671 6561
ECC Ireland provides a free information and advice service on consumer rights in the EU. It is part of an EU wide network of consumer centres and it can help you to solve consumer disputes arising in other member states of the EU. It does this by trying to solve the dispute directly and, if this fails, by referring your case to an Alternative Dispute Resolution organisation in the other member state. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the European Commission jointly finances the Centre.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.