I really wish the NCA would do their job.
The National Consumer Agency is a government quango set up, apparently according to their website, “to defend consumer interests and to embed a robust consumer culture in Ireland”.
That is, to represent the voice of the consumer, to enforce consumer legislation and to defend consumer interests at the highest levels of national and local decision-making.
I’ve been critical of the NCA since it’s foundation – it has rarely even attempted to carry out any of the above stated aims of the organisation.
It does whatever it can to avoid prosecutions – more in the interests of businesses rather than consumers. It’s chosen method of “working with” offending businesses has already been discredited in the realms of financial regulation.
Yet we consumers still suffer at the hands of businesses who know they can act with impunity because of a regulator uninterested in actually doing their job.
The NCA carries out pointless price surveys whose outcome is to state the already obvious. Yes, we know that own brand items are cheaper than branded ones. Yes, we know that shopping up north is cheaper than down south. We know all this, what we want is for you to do something about it.
It’s approximately a year now since the annual report of the NCA said that they couldn’t enforce consumer legislation sufficiently because they are short on staff.
Wasting time on irrelevant articles
An organisation that’s short of staff doesn’t then come up with this bullshit irrelevant publication on their website – Holidaying at home in 2010.
That someone in the NCA thought that it was worth their while putting together an article like this instead of actually enforcing consumer legislation and defending consumers interests just beggars belief.
These articles are “ten a penny”. You can open up any one of the 100 or so Irish consumer websites that have popped up over the years and read this kind of article. Almost every national newspaper now has a personal finance / consumer section and these kinds of articles are the staple for journalists in the slow news summer.
Better things to do
So where exactly does the NCA think that they’re adding value for the hard pressed Irish consumers in doing this instead of actually doing their assigned regulatory job?
I recently came across a “top 150 things to avoid procrastination” listing – by the looks of this article, the NCA are true believers.