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OFT casts light on garden shed non-supply

A Gold Coast trader has been fined $1,250 after being prosecuted by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) after they failed to refund a consumer.

Steven Todd Wyndham, the director of STW Roofing Pty Ltd, was found guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court on the 22 June 2022, after breaching the Australian Consumer Law (QLD) by taking payment of $1,617 from a consumer for a garden shed but then failing to supply it.

The court heard STW Roofing had refunded the affected consumer only after the OFT commenced the prosecution action.  Mr Wyndham was fined $500 and his company was fined $750.

The OFT told the court that in September 2021 STW Roofing entered into an agreement with the consumer to supply and construct a garden shed.

The consumer paid Mr Wyndham a total of $1,617 over several transactions in September 2021 for materials to build the garden shed. In October 2021, Mr Wyndham sent a text message to the consumer advising that the shed was ready to be delivered.

Over the course of two weeks the consumer contacted Mr Wyndham several times to try to confirm delivery details but failed to receive a response. The consumer was subsequently contacted by Mr Wyndham and advised that the shed could not be delivered due to supply issues and that he would provide a refund.

Mr Wyndham subsequently sent a bank receipt showing $1,000.00 refunded to the consumer but the bank account details on the receipt were not the consumer’s details. The consumer never received this refund nor any further contact from Mr Wyndham.

Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson said traders need to be aware of their obligations.

“A trader should not take a consumer’s money, nor hold onto a consumer’s money, if they know they cannot fulfil their commitments,” Ms Thomson said.

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).