For consumers, three is a magic number

Consumer Protection Cartoon

Like the old joke about buses, you wait for ages, then three come along at once. So it is with consumer protection initiatives. There have been three in the past week. First, the EU Commission last week proposed a new Directive on Consumer Rights, which would merge various existing Directives and update and modernise EU consumer protection rules (hot on the heels of a slightly broader proposed Common European Sales Law). Second, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation yesterday announced the enactment of a comprehensive Consumer Rights Act, implementing the Report (pdf) of the Sales Law Review Group. As with the new Directive, the new Act will also merge various existing Irish pieces of legislation, and then update and strengthen Irish consumer protection law. Third, the Central Bank of Ireland today published a revised Consumer Protection Code (pdf), to ensure that consumers are adequately protected in their dealings with financial institutions. This is all very welcome, and I look forward to when these three initiatives come into force.