Ryanair email address follows consumer agency action

Airline withdraws court appeal to compliance notice on contact for passengers

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary pictured during the company’s AGM in Dublin Airport. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary pictured during the company’s AGM in Dublin Airport. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Mon, Sep 30, 2013, 16:19

Ryanair has published an email address for its passengers following enforcement action by the National Consumer Agency.

In May the agency had issued a compliance notice directing Ryanair to provide an email address on its website to allow consumers to contact it rapidly, directly and effectively.

An appeal by the airline to the compliance notice was due before Swords District Court yesterday.

“This morning Ryanair informed the court that the appeal was being withdrawn. Therefore the compliance notice issued by the agency stands,” the agency said in a statement. The agency notes that Ryanair has published an email address in the ‘contact us’ area of its website.

The Consumer Protection Act gives a company 14 days to appeal a compliance notice gives a trader 14 days or it is deemed to have come into effect and after this failure to comply is an offence under the Act.

The agency said it had viewed the lack of email address as a contravention of e-commerce legislation which obliges online traders, including airlines, to provide consumers with a contact email address. Similar action had been brought by the agency against Aer Lingus.

“There are basic obligations that traders must adhere to when carrying out business with consumers over the internet, including the provision of an email address to facilitate contact by consumers. This requirement is set out in law and the National Consumer Agency is ensuring that traders, including airlines, comply with their obligations,” Karen O’Leary, chief executive of the National Consumer Agency, said in a statement.

Ryanair’s new email address is customerqueries@ryanair.com and can be viewed here. In recent weeks Ryanair has launched a twitter account @Ryanair.

The addition of an email address has come just a week after Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary pledged to tackle the airline’s public image at the company’s annual general meeting.

Among the changes promised were a revamp of its website to make it easier to navigate and speed up the booking process as well as dropping the €3 charge for downloading its mobile app.