The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is responsible for enforcing competition and consumer protection legislation. In the current circumstances, there is a high demand for health products, such as hand sanitiser and surgical masks. As a result, products are increasingly being sold by traders who do not ordinarily operate in the health and hygiene sector. They are also being sold through different channels including the internet and through social media platforms.
Whilst the vast majority of businesses act in good faith and do not seek to take unfair advantage, in these challenging times there is a heightened risk that a small minority of traders may engage in commercial practices, which are damaging to consumer welfare particularly vulnerable consumers.
The CCPC has been actively monitoring compliance with current consumer protection law requirements, including commercial practices which are misleading to consumers, for example, include making a representation that a product is able to cure an illness when it cannot.
The CCPC is monitoring websites and where issues are identified, will take appropriate action to protect consumers. The CCPC encourages any consumer that encounters misleading practices or experiences difficulties with any online trader offering health products for sale to contact them so that they can advise them of their rights. Consumers can contact the CCPC here.
The CCPC reminds all businesses that they must comply with consumer protection law in all circumstances. This means if you are selling goods or services through a website or e-commerce platforms you are required to provide correct and full information to enable consumers make their purchases on a fully informed basis and to exercise their consumer rights when necessary. Further information about consumer protection law and your obligations is available here.