Eir and Ryanair top list of companies named in consumer helpline contacts

Currys and Vodafone also featured prominently among almost 40,000 contacts to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Eir and Ryanair were the companies named most frequently by people who made contact with Ireland’s consumer watchdog in 2023, as it recorded a significant jump in the number of calls received.

A total of 39,172 contacts were made to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) helpline last year, up 20 per cent on the previous year, with issues over faulty goods and services topping the list of consumer queries and complaints.

A report, published on Friday to coincide with World Consumer Rights Day, details the key concerns of consumers in Ireland and the sectors they struggle most with.

The top five sectors the CCPC was contacted about last year were vehicles and transport; telecommunications; home building and improvements; holidays and travel; and clothing, footwear and accessories.

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The first of those generated 4,501 contacts while the sector in fifth position was responsible for 1,886.

Eir was the company most frequently identified by callers to the CCPC helpline with 546 contacts, followed by Ryanair on 515 contacts. In third place was Currys with 458 contacts followed by Vodafone which was mentioned by 453 contacts while Harvey Norman was in fifth place on 423 contacts.

In total, 8,731 consumers were referred to the Small Claims Court, including more than 1,000 people who had issues with domestic appliances.

“Consumers should be able to rely on the products they buy and the services they pay for, and when problems arise they have the right to redress – but all too often they’re having trouble getting the repair, replacement or refund they’re entitled to under the law,” said the CCPC’s director of communications, Grainne Griffin.

“This World Consumer Rights Day, we want to remind consumers the law sets out your rights when things go wrong. Whether you’re buying a T-shirt, signing up for a streaming service or hiring a car, you have rights as a consumer. Those rights are stronger and last longer than many people expect.”

Ms Griffin encouraged people to be aware of their rights and to contact the seller, not the manufacturer, and complain in writing.

The report also reveals that almost half a million (445, 492) people clicked through to the CCPC’s online mortgage comparison tool, which allows users to compare up-to-date rates, repayments, fees and charges across a range of mortgages available on the Irish market.

While mortgages and equity release topped the list of personal finance queries to the CCPC helpline again in 2023, there were notable increases in consumer contacts relating to motor insurance and loans.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor