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Faulty goods, services cost around €1bn last year

The cost to consumers in Ireland to deal with faulty goods and services last year was close to €1 billion, according to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

The Commission calculated the figure based on initial financial outlays by consumers, additional charges added on and the inconvenience of resolving problems.

The CCPC is charged with enforcing consumer protection laws and improving consumer welfare,

It surveyed 4,500 people for the report and is called ‘Understanding Consumer Detriment in Ireland’.

It asked consumers about issues that caused stress, cost money or took up their time and estimated the total monetary cost of that was €968m in 2023.

The survey considered purchases across 19 categories, but most problems were experienced with home products including electronic devices and domestic appliances.

The second most problematic area concerned telecoms which includes mobile data plans, broadband services and landlines.

Up to 12% of all problems were resolved in a day, 18% within seven days and 22% within four weeks.

Around 4% were unresolved after a year.

Chairman of the CCPC Brian McHugh said the report measures “the cost to consumers in terms of money and time, but also the stress caused by problems with goods and services and reminded consumers that when things go wrong the right to redress is set out in consumer protection law”.

He said: “People should be able to rely on the goods and services they buy – and if things do go wrong, their right to redress is set out in consumer protection law.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal to protect and empower consumers.

“New laws and more resources mean we can increase inspections, increase enforcement and ultimately save consumers money, time and stress. “

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