A Peregian Beach man has been taken to court by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to supply goods and services within a reasonable time under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The matter was heard in the Nambour Magistrates Court on April 19 with the roofer not appearing in court however they did enter a guilty plea via email to the court.
The roofer was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay a further $1,150 in compensation to a consumer and court fees – a conviction was not recorded.
The court heard that on January 20, 2020 the roofer attended the consumer’s premises to provide a quote for removing and replacing guttering.
The parties reached an agreement that the job would cost $2,300. The roofer provided a written quote and requested a 50 per cent deposit be paid prior to the works commencing.
After paying the deposit into the roofer’s bank account, the consumer contacted him to find out when he would begin the works and on February 12 the roofer contacted the consumer to say he would be out on the following Saturday or Monday to commence the work. After the roofer failed to appear onsite, the consumer tried to contact him multiple times.
After not receiving confirmation as to when the works would commence, the consumer sent a text message to the roofer on March 11 requesting a refund, an email was also sent.
The roofer responded to the email by asking the consumer to provide him with their bank account details so he could provide the refund.
No refund was ever made and as a result the consumer contacted the OFT and lodged a complaint.
In sentencing, Magistrate McLaughlin acknowledged that the roofer had no prior history and said he was clumsy, unprofessional, and doomed to get caught.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it is illegal for a trader to accept a payment for goods or services and fail to supply them under the ACL.
“The OFT will continue to take up issues for consumers who do not receive what they have paid for,” Mr Bauer said.
The OFT encourages consumers who have purchased goods or services from a business but have not received them to approach the trader in the first instance. If this is unsuccessful, they should lodge a complaint with the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).