Consumer watchdog slams telcos for making it hard to leave contracts

22 Jun 2015

Eircom, Meteor, Three and UPC have been directed by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commissioner to cease distance selling practices that make it hard for consumers to cancel contracts.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commissioner, Isolde Goggin, has issued seven compliance notices against Eircom, Meteor, Three and UPC over the way distance contracts are sold and terminated.

These are contracts that are entered into online or over the phone for services ranging from TV and mobile to broadband.

The companies have been directed to publish in plain language on their websites how to cancel a contract and have the necessary cancellation form available.

Know your rights

The telcos are restricted from publishing incorrect information about the length of cancellation periods.

Some of the companies are also being instructed to write to consumers informing them of their cancellation rights. Consumers have 14 days from receiving this letter to cancel their contract if they wish.

“It is clear from an analysis of the contacts we receive that a significant number of consumers have problems with their telecom providers,” Commissioner Goggin said.

“This is why we have reviewed the sector and have taken the resulting action,” she said, pointing consumers to the Commission’s website,, for relevant information on consumer protection.

Cut the cord image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years