Consumer awarded compensation in Pretty Neat verdict
11 June 2018
A Benowa man was ordered to pay more than $10,000 in fines and compensation by the Southport Magistrates Court today (11 June 2018) following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Hilton Holder, sole trader of online retailer Pretty Neat Stuff pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by failing to supply goods paid for within a specified timeframe.
He was fined $7000, ordered to pay $2918 in compensation to an affected consumer and $96.15 in court fees. A conviction was recorded.
The court heard the OFT began investigating Mr Holder after receiving a complaint from a Townsville consumer who had paid $2918 for an electric wheelchair, two batteries and a quick release bracket. The consumer was told upon payment she would receive the items within three weeks.
However, the consumer did not receive the wheelchair within the promised time and Mr Holder did not respond to the consumer’s requests for a refund. In addition, the consumer did not receive the wheelchair or a refund prior to today’s court hearing.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said Mr Holder’s behaviour showed a complete disregard for the affected consumer.
“Whether the business is online or a ‘bricks and mortar store’, traders in Queensland must abide by their obligations to consumers,” Mr Bauer said.
“The OFT will continue to take action against traders who do not comply with the ACL.”
If consumers have paid for goods or services they have not received, they can lodge a complaint with the OFT either online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).