Not good news today for some Irish Telecommunications companies and perhaps good news for the people affected by what has happened,again its down to transparency of rights which seems to be an ongoing issue here. Eircom,Three,UPC and Meteor are the ones in trouble this time.
Letters will be now sent out to the Meteor and Eircom customers whom fall under the not so clear info provided as rights to cancel contract,once they receive this letter they can now cancel contract within 14 days..one thing not clear is if its without penalty and having to hand back the handsets on mobile contracts etc.
- Review of contracts and cancellation processes results in important changes for consumers
- Commission reminds businesses of their obligations under consumer law
- Consumers should be aware of their enhanced rights when buying goods and services online or over the phone
Following the coming into force, in Ireland, of the CRD in June 2014, the Commission has been monitoring compliance by businesses and in recent months it reviewed telecoms distance contract terms and conditions and the information given to consumers in relation to their cancellation rights. In general distance contracts are classified as those entered into on-line or over the telephone. Following the 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 CRD.
The non-compliance centred on the following areas:
- Consumers must be informed (in plain and intelligible language) of their right to cancel a contract and have the necessary cancellation form made available to them before entering into a distance contract. As a result of the Commission’s action each of the four telecoms providers will now ensure that they provide consumers with the required information before they are “signed up” to a contract.
- The correct cancellation period must be applied and communicated to consumers. The Commission found that incorrect information was provided about the length of cancellation periods and in certain distance contracts, incorrect information was given in relation to the waiving of cancellation rights. The Commission’s intervention means that all four firms are now applying the correct terms in which a consumer may cancel a distance contract.
- 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
Isolde Goggin, Commission Chair commented, “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. 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.