Gibson and Associates Solicitors: What Are My Rights As A Consumer?

As a consumer in Ireland you have certain rights afforded to you by the law and it is therefore important for you to understand how these">rights apply in certain circumstances so that you are protected and you know what to do if things do go wrong.

Consumer laws in Ireland and in the EU protect you from unsafe goods and also allow you to have the information you need to make the right choice on the product you buy and the business you purchase from.

The law clearly defines who is a consumer and this is important to understand if you have any legal rights to make a claim against them if anything goes wrong. A consumer is someone who buy goods or a service for themselves from a business who sell goods or services to consumers.

Consumer law in Ireland states that you are not a consumer if you are buying for business use, if you have been given a gift or if you buy from someone who is not in that line of business.

When you buy from a business, this triggers a contract between you and them, even when there is nothing stipulated in writing.

Whilst oral contracts are still enforceable by law, it may be difficult to get a clear idea of what was agreed in the first place, therefore a written contract may offer better protection in the long run. There is nothing in the law that stipulates what should be included in a consumer contract, only that it must be fair and written in a clear and easy to understand way.

Consumer contracts are covered by the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 and you are given protection under this law that:

" The goods will be of reasonable quality

" The goods are fit for their purpose

" The goods are as they have been described

You have the right to return any good straight the shop where you purchased them if they do not fit the above criteria and you should do this as soon as possible and take along your receipt or proof of purchase.

When you are supplied a service, the business should:

" Have the right skills to provide you with the service

" Provide the service with attentiveness and thoroughness

" Ensure that the products and equipment they use are of a good standard

If this does not happen, you should contact the supplier and raise your issues with them. Be clear about when you would like your complaint resolved and allow them time to put it right.