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Four telecommunications providers fail to tell consumers of right to cancel contract

eircom, Meteor, Three and UPC were found to be non-compliant with different aspects of the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive

Four telecommunications companies were recently found to be non-compliant with the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive (CRD).

Following a review of their websites, eircom (eircom Limited and eircom trading as eMobile), Meteor, Three and UPC, were considered not to be compliant with different aspects of the CRD and issued with Compliance Notices.

The action was taken as part of an ongoing review to ensure compliance EU law.

eircom and Meteor were not informing consumers of their right to cancel a contract.

All four companies were found to have given incorrect information about the length of cancellation periods to consumers.

False information about the waiving of cancellation rights was also given to consumers signing up to certain distance contracts, which are entered into over the phone or online.

The companies are now required to write to the affected consumers and 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.”

“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.”

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