Consumers will have new rights and protections on digital goods and services thanks to a new bill approved by Government, Senator Seery Kearney said. Senator Seery Kearney said, “My colleague, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, has received approval to publish the Consumer Rights Bill 2022, which is an extremely welcome development.
“Consumers will now have the same rights and protections over digital content and digital services, like streaming, downloads, and cloud products, as traditional products and services. “This means they have the right to a full refund, exchange or repair when a good or service is not as described or not fit for purpose. Upgrades to a product or service that are required for goods to operate as expected and agreed should also be provided to the customer free of charge. “With regard to businesses, they will have to set out a description of the goods or services being provided, the total price of the item and the cost of delivery before entering into a contract with a consumer.
“Furthermore, any businesses that operate misleading and aggressive commercial practices, like fake reviews, will be fined by the Courts following enforcement action by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. “Customers in Dublin will also have other recourse options to redress and will be entitled to a price reduction on faulty goods if they so wish, instead of a refund or repair. They will also be entitled to withhold payment for goods partially paid for if they are not satisfied with the quality of the item received. Any form of redress must be free of charge and must be carried out as soon as possible. “This proposed legislation is extremely welcome and is beneficial for all parties involved in commercial activity in Dublin in an increasingly digital age,” Senator Seery Kearney concluded.
The Consumer Rights Bill 2022 will be published shortly and will then make its way through all stages in the Oireachtas. The Tánaiste said, “This new law is good for consumers and good for business. Most businesses are responsible and treat their customers fairly when things go wrong. For those that don’t, it can give them an unfair advantage over their competitors. This new law consolidates a lot of existing legislation and updates it, to make it fit for the modern, digital age. “For the first time, we’re extending consumer rights over digital goods and services, meaning you will have the same rights over anything you stream or download as you do over a good or service you’d buy in a shop. We’re also cracking down on aggressive commercial practices, such as a company leaving fake reviews on its own or competitor’s services.”