The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has today issued seven Compliance Notices issued to telecoms providers.
Following a review of their websites, four companies; eircom (eircom Limited and eircom trading as eMobile), Meteor, Three and UPC, were considered not to be compliant with different aspects of the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive (CRD).
Compliance Notices enable the Commission to direct a trader to cease a commercial practice which does not comply with consumer law.
The action was taken as part of an ongoing review to ensure compliance with the European Union Consumer Information, Cancellation, and Other Rights Regulations 2013, which transposed the CRD into national law.
The Commission found that eircom and Meteor failed to tell consumers of their right to cancel under the CRD.
To remedy this, the companies are now required to write to the affected consumers, to inform them of their cancellation rights.
Consumers have 14 days from the date on which they receive this information to cancel their contract, if they wish.
"The Consumer Rights Directive is now in effect in Ireland for over a year so all businesses have had ample time to update the information which they give to consumers," said Isolde Goggin, Commission chair.
"The CRD obliges traders to provide certain information to consumers and we are strongly urging businesses in all sectors to ensure that they are compliant.
"As our actions prove, we will take all necessary steps to ensure consumers are given the information and afforded the protections they are entitled to under consumer law.
"It is clear from an analysis of the contacts we receive that a significant number of consumers have problems with their telecom providers.
"This is why we have reviewed the sector and have taken the resulting action. Under the CRD consumers have stronger rights than ever and they should know what their rights are, so that they can avail of them if they need to.
"Our website, consumerhelp.ie, provides the relevant information consumers need to help them, including a dedicated section about services and contracts.
"Also, if a consumer finds that they have signed up to a contract without being made aware of their rights, they should contact the Commission through consumerhelp.ie. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the co-operation of the companies involved."