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Concrete evidence secures conviction against tradie

A Brisbane trader has been ordered to pay $6,500 in fines and compensation after being taken to court by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to provide concreting services within a reasonable time.

Cameron James Bedford, who runs a business offering concrete cleaning and resealing services, pleaded guilty in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on 10 June 2022 to one breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Mr Bedford was convicted and fined $3,500 and ordered to pay $3,000 in compensation to the affected consumer.

The court heard that in February 2021 Mr Bedford quoted a consumer $4,000 to undertake concrete epoxy coating services and asked for $3,000 to be paid upfront. Mr Bedford told the consumer that after the deposit was paid the work would be completed by 27 February 2021.

The consumer made the payment and sent several messages to Mr Bedford in February to ask when the work would commence.

In March Mr Bedford began work at the consumer’s property but left before he completed the job. He gave excuses as to why he could not return and eventually ceased all contact with the consumer.

Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson said traders must not accept payment for goods and services if they are not able to supply when they say they will or, when no date is given, within a reasonable time.

“Consumers can take steps to protect themselves by not paying large deposits up front and seeking details of previous work undertaken by the trader,” Ms Thomson said.

“If you are asked to pay a large amount, or a large proportion of the total amount, upfront this should be a red flag.

“Ask the business if they will accept a small deposit, progress payments, and the remainder on delivery, that way if the goods do not arrive, you are not left severely out of pocket.”

If consumers have paid for goods or services they have not received, they should raise the issue with the trader. If they are unable to resolve the issue with the business, they are encouraged to make a complaint to the OFT either online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading, or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).