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Citizens Information: Consumer Rights

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It’s that time of year again when Christmas is fast approaching and shoppers are out in force.

Most purchases of goods and services go smoothly, but what happens when things go wrong?

Rest assured that when you buy a product or a service you have a number of rights under Irish and European Union (EU) legislation. These laws aim to give you strong rights when you buy in a shop or online, make sure you get enough information to make a buying decision based on facts and make sure there are redress options available to you if things go wrong. By law, sellers or suppliers (known as ‘traders’) must treat you fairly, for example, by making sure products and services are safe and of a high standard.

Consumer Contracts

When you buy goods and services, you are making a contract with the seller. As parties to the agreement, both you and the seller have certain legal rights and obligations. Contracts can be made verbally, in writing, or by your conduct. There are certain parts of a contract that businesses are free to set. However, these terms must not go against your consumer rights.

Consumer Rights

Irish and EU consumer laws only apply to transactions between a consumer and a trader. It does not apply when:

* You buy from a private individual who is not a trader (for example, someone who is selling their own car to you but who does not sell cars as a profession)
* You buy goods or services intended for use in your business (business-to-business transactions)
* You buy from a trader based outside the EU or European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein)

Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980

When you buy products, they must be ‘in conformity with the contract’.

This means they must be:

* Of merchantable quality – of a reasonable and acceptable standard, taking into account other factors such as durability and price
* Fit for the purpose you bought it for – they should work and do what they are reasonably expected to do
* As described – they should match any description given in an advert or other information provided by the seller at the time of sale

If the products you receive are not of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or do not match the description you were given, you have a right to certain remedies. A remedy could be a repair, replacement or a refund. Contracts for the supply of services are currently subject to much less statutory regulation than contracts for the sale of products. When you make an agreement with a supplier of services, for example, a carpenter, a plumber or a dentist, the agreement may be written or oral or a bit of both. In general, the terms of the agreement are what you agree with the supplier or trader.

Online shopping rights

When you buy online from an online trader in Ireland, or elsewhere in the EU, you have strong rights under the EU Consumer Rights Directive (CRD). These include:

* The right to clear and accurate information
* The right to change your mind and cancel (some purchases are not included)
* The express right to refund for delayed or non-delivery
* Right to redress in case of faulty goods.

What is my 'right to redress' if things go wrong?

If you have a problem with something you have bought (for example, it is faulty or does not meet the description given), it is always the seller who must put things right. As a general rule, the seller must offer a repair or replacement. Alternatively, they can give you a refund.

If you are not satisfied with the quality of the products or services you should:

* Return the item to the seller (not the manufacturer)
* Act as soon as you can – a delay can indicate that you have accepted faulty products
* Don’t attempt to repair the item yourself or give it to anyone else to repair it
* Make sure you have proof of purchase, for example a receipt or credit card statement

For services, keep all evidence of damage caused by poor work, for example take photos.
The success of your consumer complaint can depend on a combination of factors - consumer legislation, the trader’s willingness to resolve the issue, and the circumstances of the case itself.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Soroptimists fundraising efforts not “hampered” by COVID

By Michelle Crean COVID didn’t “hamper” their efforts this year as members of the Killarney Soroptimist Club came together and gave generously to charity. Members of the group couldn’t hold normal meetings this year due to the ongoing restrictions but pulled together to continue supporting a women’s aid countywide service. Along with family and friends […]

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By Michelle Crean

COVID didn’t “hamper” their efforts this year as members of the Killarney Soroptimist Club came together and gave generously to charity.

Members of the group couldn’t hold normal meetings this year due to the ongoing restrictions but pulled together to continue supporting a women’s aid countywide service.

Along with family and friends they created Christmas hampers for the third year running and donated them to the ADAPT Centre in Tralee on Tuesday.

There, they presented them to Catherine Casey, who is the Manager of ADAPT Women’s Refuge Centre.

“It is wonderful to be in a position to donate these Christmas hampers to ADAPT once again this year,” Killarney Soroptimist Club President, Teresa Irwin, said.

“Due to COVID and not being able to hold normal club meetings we were unsure what we could manage. We are thrilled with the response since we decided to go ahead and amazed at the generosity and the number of hampers. We wish to thank all those that donated. Hopefully the residents of ADAPT will enjoy them.”

Catherine said that they were once again very grateful to all the members of the Killarney Soroptimist Club.

“We recognise that there is a lot of organising and work done by the Club President Teresa Irwin and all the members in collecting and putting the hampers together. It is heartwarming to see the support and generosity of the club. ADAPT Kerry and the Killarney Soroptimists have built a very good relationship over the last number of years and they have lead many campaigns to highlight our service in the Killarney area, including taking part in the ‘Safe Homes, Safe Communities’ initiatives. There is no doubt that their work raises awareness of our service and has contributed to many more women making contact with us for support by phone, through our outreach service and availing of refuge.”

If you would like to talk to ADAPT Kerry please ring 066 7129100 anytime.

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Time to get your Santa letters posted!

We hope you have your Christmas letter written – and checked it twice – because Santa is waiting for it to be posted! And thanks to the Christmas in Killarney committee it’s now so much easier to get it to him with the special Santa post box on College St. just outside Lana. His elves […]

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We hope you have your Christmas letter written – and checked it twice – because Santa is waiting for it to be posted!

And thanks to the Christmas in Killarney committee it’s now so much easier to get it to him with the special Santa post box on College St. just outside Lana.

His elves will collect the post every night at midnight and bring them straight to the North Pole.

After taking part in the magical parade in town on Saturday evening, Santa spoke to the Killarney Advertiser and said he is so excited to deliver the toys later this month.

“Season’s Greetings to everyone,” Santa said.

“I would like to remind all the boys and girls in Killarney and Kerry to write and post their letters to me as soon as possible. They can use the green post box on College St and my elves will collect the letters every night when everyone is asleep! I can’t wait to get in my sleigh and deliver all the fantastic presents on Christmas Eve. Remember, be good, the elves are watching!”

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