Monday, September 02 10:36:30
The National Consumer Agency (NCA) is taking an action against Aer Lingus for its alleged failure to comply with E-commerce rules.
In May 2013, the NCA initiated an enforcement action against Aer Lingus Limited for failing to provide an electronic mail address on its website through which consumers could contact the airline rapidly and in a direct and effective manner.
The Aer Lingus website did not have an email address for general consumers to make contact with the airline.
The National Consumer Agency viewed this as a contravention of E- Commerce legislation which imposes a direct obligation on traders providing an e-commerce service, including airlines, to provide consumers with an email address.
Following an assessment under the relevant legislation, the National Consumer Agency issued Aer Lingus with a Compliance Notice, under the Consumer Protection Act 2007, directing that they provide an email address on their website, so that consumers could contact the airline rapidly and can communicate with them directly and effectively.
Aer Lingus exercised its right of appeal to the Compliance Notice to the Dublin District Court, and the case was before the Dublin District Court on 19 July.
Arising from engagement between the parties prior to the hearing, Aer Lingus agreed to comply with the Compliance Notice. The Compliance Notice was varied by the Court to allow the airline sufficient time to introduce the necessary arrangements. Aer Lingus was required to have the necessary arrangements in place by 30 August and the airline has now complied with the Compliance Notice.
Karen O'Leary, Chief Executive of the National Consumer Agency, said, "There are basic obligations that traders must adhere to when carrying out business with consumers over the internet, including the provision of an email address to facilitate contact by consumers. This requirement is set out in law and the Agency is ensuring that traders, including airlines, comply with their obligations."