Make sure you always check the terms and conditions
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is reminding consumers who are booking future events and services (e.g. staycations, weddings, sporting events, concerts, children’s camps and afterschool activities, etc.) to fully review, understand and keep a copy of terms and conditions (T&Cs) before paying a deposit or providing payment in full. This will ensure that consumers are prepared for what might happen if COVID-19 causes postponements or cancellations.
With a 74% increase in calls to its consumer helpline relating to service contract T&Cs from January to September 2020*, the CCPC is reminding consumers that they are bound by the T&Cs of any contract, even if they haven’t read them or they are not written down. Consumers are advised to request a copy of T&Cs to ensure they fully understand them before making a booking. While verbal contracts are binding, it is a good idea to send an email to seek confirmation in writing. The greater the value of the service, the more important it is to do this as it offers added protection’
ASK THE ‘WHAT IF…’ QUESTIONS
As restrictions on public gatherings and events continue, the CCPC is encouraging consumers to ask for details of alternative arrangements or deposit refunds in the event of public health measures preventing their booking from going-ahead as planned. The CCPC has a checklist of sample questions available at ccpc.ie, to help consumers understand their entitlements should COVID-19 disrupt their future plans.
SAVE T&CS BEFORE PAYMENT TO SAFEGUARD ENTITLEMENTS
A business may update their T&Cs at any time, however, in general, they are not allowed to change or add additional T&Cs that apply to a booking at a later date without agreement of the consumer. Consumers are covered by the T&Cs in place at the time of booking, which is why the CCPC is advising consumers to download or keep a paper copy of their T&Cs in case their booking is affected by COVID-19.
For more information on service contracts, visit ccpc.ie