2 Why consumer protection? Stops manufacturers or retailers taking advantage of consumersProtects the rights of consumersEnsures consumers gets redress if needed
3 Consumer Information Act 1978 Protects the consumer againstfalse or misleading claims about goods or servicesForbids false or misleading information about thePricePrevious priceRecommended retail price of goods or services
4 Examples of claims Goods Services 100% cotton Made in Ireland WaterproofFree from artificial coloursLow fatReal leatherServices24 hour service1 hour photosDelivery to all areasIrelands most punctual airline
5 Claims about prices Cannot be charged more than displayed price Read carefully e.g. “From €10 “ is legalCrossed out price replaced by lower price must be true
6 Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 This act states that goods must be:merchantable qualityfit for purposeas describedsame as the sampleIllegal to display such signs as:“no money refunds”“no liability accepted for faulty goods”“credits notes only given on returned goods”“sale goods non-returnable”
8 Redress for faulty goods Redress means: to set right, make amendsUnder the Sale of Goods Act 1980 compensation may be given if goods are faultyThe type and amount depends on:How serious the fault isWhen the fault occursHow soon the consumer complains
10 Services Redress: If these terms are broken the consumer can: Get a full refundPartial compensationSome other remedy e.g. Job redone free of chargeThe Sale of Goods and Supply of Services act 1980 states that :The supplier of services must have the necessary skillsThe materials used must be of merchantable qualityThe service must be carried out with due care and attention
11 Caveat emptor Let the buyer beware No law can protect careless consumers
12 GuaranteesA contract between the manufacturer and the consumer that the product you buy will be satisfactory for a stated length of timeCovered by the Sale of Goods Act 1980.Guarantee is an added bonus it does not affect your consumer rights
14 Consumer ComplaintsIf goods are faulty or not what they should be a consumer has the right to complain and may get a full refund if :Goods were not able, from the beginning, to do what they were supposed to doThe goods were not as describedThe consumer was totally misleadThe consumer can refusea replacement, repair or credit note and DEMAND their money back
15 Consumer Complaints Consumers can loose their rights if : They alter the good in any wayThey wait too long after finding the fault before returning the goodsA consumer not entitled to a full refund may get apartial refund, repair or credit note
16 Unjustified Complaints Consumer complaints are not justified if:the goods were misused or abusedthe fault was shown before purchaseconsumer changes their minds
17 Making a Complaint Return to shop with goods and receipt a.s.a.p. Ask for manager, explain the problem and what you want the shop to do, be realistic about compensationContact head office (chain store), trade association, or consumer organisation if complaint ignoredThe Small Claims court deals cheaply and quickly with disputes less than €2000. Use if complaint still not sorted.
18 Consumer Organisations Statutory/government AgenciesNational Consumer Agency (NCA )Enforces consumer law, informs public of their rightsOffice of OmbudsmanInvestigates complaints against public bodies e.g. Government departments, local authority, HSE, An PostVoluntary OrganisationsConsumers Association of Ireland(CAI)Informs people about consumer issues through the media and Consumer Choice magazine.Lobbies government to improve consumer lawAdvertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI)Ensures adverts are legal decent honest truthful
20 Complaining by LetterDescription of goods : make, model, number, brand etc.Where and when it was bought?Send a copy of receiptBriefly describe what the problem isWhat you have done about it so farWhat you expect the company to doKeep a copy of the letter and send it by registered post
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