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Eircom, Meteor, Three and UPC all made one big mistake when signing up customers

Consumers had not been given enough information before they entered into contracts.

Image: Shutterstock

Updated – 5:20pm

FOUR TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES did not adequately inform consumers of their cancellation rights before they signed up to contracts, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has found.

Eircom (Limited and eMobile), Meteor, Three and UPC were deemed to be non-compliant with aspects of the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive (CRD), which came into effect in Ireland over a year ago.

The Commission found that Eircom and Meteor failed to tell consumers of their right to cancel contracts.

The two companies in question must now to write to affected consumers to inform them of their cancellation rights.

Consumers will be able to cancel their contract within 14 days of receiving this information.

Incorrect information

Companies also gave consumer false information about the length of cancellation periods, the Commission found.

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

UPC, in a statement, said it had not provided false information and was only asked to improve existing information provided to consumers.

Compliance order

All four companies have been ordered to change their practices in a compliance notice issued by the Commission.

Isolde Goggin, chair of the Commission, said that all businesses have had “ample time” to provide updated information to consumers since the CRD was introduced.

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.

The Commission, she said, “will take all necessary steps to ensure consumers are given the information and afforded the protections they are entitled to under consumer law.”

Read: UPC blasted for cutting post office bill payments >

Read: Shoppers should soon get a lot more rights – here’s how >

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Catherine Healy

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