Question to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr Richard Bruton, TD)
To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the protections that are in place for persons who purchase products and services from door-to-door salespersons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 25th June, 2013.
The main statutory protections for consumers who purchase goods and services from door-to-door salespersons are to be found in the European Communities (Cancellation of Contracts Negotiated Away From Business Premises) Regulations 1989 (S.I. No. 224/1989). These Regulations give effect to Directive 85/577/EEC on Contracts Negotiated Away from Business Premises. They give consumers a right to cancel contracts concluded during unsolicited visits to the consumer’s home or place of work or during an excursion organised by the trader away from his business premises. This right must be exercised within seven days of the making of the contract. The Regulations further specify the information to be provided by the trader on the consumer’s right of cancellation. The Regulations do not apply to contracts with a value of less than €50 and to certain other specified contracts.
Directive 85/577/EEC is due to be replaced by Directive 2011/83/EU. Member States are required to transpose the new Directive by December 2013 and to apply it from June 2014. It will require traders engaged in door-to-door sales to provide a broader range of information to consumers, extend protections to visits by the trader to the consumer’s home or place of work solicited by the consumer, and increase the duration of the period within which contracts can be cancelled from seven to fourteen days. My Department has recently published a consultation paper on the implementation of the Directive, and this can be accessed at http://www.djei.ie/publications/commerce/2013/CRD.pdf .
Transactions by consumers with door-to-door salespersons are also covered by other consumer protection legislation, in particular the European Communities (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts) Regulations 1995 (S.I. No. 27 of 1995) and the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 on unfair, misleading and aggressive commercial practices.