No hummer time for Party Bus after it puts the brakes on

A Gold Coast party bus operator has been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines and compensation after being found guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court of two breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (12 December 2022).

Pepe Licardo-Weinbrecht, trading as Star Party Bus Pty Ltd accepted $2,750 for two party vehicle bookings for March 2021 which he failed to provide.

Mr Licardo-Weinbrecht was fined $6000 and ordered to pay $2,750 compensation to the two affected consumers.

The court heard one consumer paid a deposit of $2,400 for a pink deluxe party bus, however, they were advised that the bus had broken down on the day of their booking.

The other consumer paid a deposit of $350 in January 2021 for a stretch hummer. Both consumers never received a refund or the service they booked.

Magistrate Turra said that he believes there was no intent by the trader to provide the services and noted the defendant failed to cooperate with the Department.

Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson said unscrupulous actions of traders will not be tolerated.

“Consumers should get the goods or services that they pay for,” Ms Thomson said.

“If a trader is found to be breaching the law and not doing the right thing, the Office of Fair Trading will take action.”

The OFT encourages consumers who have purchased goods or services 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).