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Burleigh training provider who couldn’t manage to provide training is fined $15,000

10 November 2020

A Burleigh Waters business trainer has been taken to court by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for accepting payment for training but failing to provide it.

Helen Woods, also known as Helen Liddle and Helen Parkinson, director of the National Institute of Management and Training, has been fined $15,000 in the Gold Coast Magistrates Court.

The matter was heard ex-parte as Ms Woods did not attend and a conviction was recorded.

In October 2019, Ms Woods was paid $495 for a management course to be delivered that same month.

The consumer was sent an email advising that the course had to be rescheduled to November due to staffing issues. The course failed to go ahead on the rescheduled date.

The court heard this was not the first time the OFT had prosecuted this trader. In 2016, Ms Woods, then trading as H. Woods and Associates, was found guilty of eight counts of breaching the Australian Consumer Law and ordered to pay more than $18,000 in fines and restitution.

In the current matter Magistrate Pamela Dowse said that the defendant’s actions were deliberate and it was continued bad behavior. She noted it was a very serious matter taking money and not providing the service.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said consumers expected to receive the services they paid for.

“Businesses need to be confident that they can provide the service before they accept payment from consumers,” Mr Bauer said.

“The OFT does not tolerate this type of behaviour and will continue to act to protect the rights of Queensland consumers who are left out of pocket in this way.”

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).