Ian Thomas Associates

Consumer Protection Enforcement – 2012 Annual Report published by the NCA

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) reports that during 2012 it took 112 enforcement actions against businesses for non compliance with consumer protection legislation. This includes 71 fixed penalty notices, 40 compliance notices and the NCA accepted one undertaking in which the trader agreed to comply with legal requirements.

Fixed penalty notices for breaches of price display law require the trader concerned to pay €300.00 within 28 days. Compliance notices require the trader to remedy a specific breach of legislation and in 2012 these notices were issued where the price charged for goods was higher than the price being displayed.

During the period covered by the report two cases were finalised before the criminal courts. The first related to a case of ‘car clocking’ (reducing the mileage on the odometer) in which the defendant was fined €1,200.00. That case also saw the NCA makes its first application for a compensation order. This was granted and the defendant was ordered to pay €4,000.00 to the complainant.

The second case involved a newspaper business which published a Sunday edition with a cover that misled consumers into believing that they were purchasing a rival publication. The case related to four breaches of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and having found the case provided the judge imposed the Probation Act meaning that the company made a payment of €15,000.00 to charity in lieu of having a conviction recorded against it.

The NCA provides information and assistance to consumers, works to ensure compliance with consumer protection legislation and acts as the national point of contact for non-food product safety legislation (including RAPEX).

If you are involved in an investigation or criminal prosecution conducted by the NCA please contact us to see how we can help minimise the impact of this on you and your business – ian@ianthomasassociates.com

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