Fair Trading pedals bike supplier to court

A Brisbane bicycle retailer has been taken to court by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to supply goods within a reasonable time under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Shane Ivor Harris, who operates Custom Cruisers Australia, was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay over $18,600 in compensation. No conviction was recorded.

On 16 September 2022, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard that between February 2021 to October 2021 Mr Harris accepted over $18,000 from two consumers for the build or import of bicycle parts.

A consumer paid $16,800 in total to Mr Harris for the supply of two electric bicycles. The consumer was advised that one of the bicycles required between 10 -14 weeks to be built. After this time passed the bicycle had not been completed or received. The second bicycle was also not supplied to the consumer.

Another consumer who paid over $1,800 for custom bicycle parts was advised that their order would be received in three weeks. After this time passed the consumer was advised that the parts were held up in customs.

None of the affected consumers received their orders or a refund from Mr Harris.

In sentencing Magistrate Peter Saggers stated that the consumers paid significant sums of money in good faith to receive their goods or at least receive refunds for goods not delivered as promised.

The Commissioner for Fair Trading, Victoria Thomson said under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the products or services within the timeframe indicated or if no timeframe was provided, within a reasonable time.

The OFT encourages consumers who have purchased goods or services but have not received them to approach the trader for a refund in the first instance. If unsuccessful, they can lodge a complaint online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).