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Cracks continue to show for concreter

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken an Ormeau concreter back to court for failing to provide concreting services after accepting payments from multiple consumers.

Paul Lawrence Coplick was found guilty and fined $21,000 for accepting payment for concreting services and failing to supply them within a reasonable time under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). A conviction was recorded, and he was ordered to pay a total of $6,000 in compensation to three affected consumers.

The matter was heard on 9 August 2021 in the Southport Magistrates Court. Mr Coplick did not appear in court.

The court heard that Mr Coplick advertised his business online and provided quotes to consumers for concreting services while he was not licensed to carry out this type of work.

Mr Coplick advised the consumers on numerous occasions that the concreting jobs would be completed but later cut off all communication.

This is not the first time Mr Coplick has been caught out for failing to provide consumers with goods and services they had paid for. On 13 July 2020 he was fined $10,000 and ordered to refund a consumer $3,400 and on 20 July 2021 he was fined 15,000 and ordered to refund a consumer $3,000.

In sentencing, Magistrate Joan White accepted the OFT’s submission that Mr Coplick’s failure to attend court showed a lack of remorse.

Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson said it was not acceptable for a trader to ignore their obligations under the ACL as this trader had done.

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

“We advise consumers to do their homework and try to only use traders with good reputations to avoid disappointment.” Ms Thomson said.

"Ask friends and family for recommendations and search online. For services such as concreting ask the trader for references from previous clients and then go and see their work and talk to the owners.”

“For building and construction work, don’t forget to do a free online licence search on the Queensland Building and Construction Commissions (QBCC) website."

The OFT encourages consumers who have paid for goods or services but have not received them to approach the trader for a refund in the first instance. If they are unsuccessful, they should lodge a complaint online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.