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Failure to deliver sheds results in conviction and two years’ probation

12 October 2020

A Pimpama businessman has been ordered to pay more than $116,000 in compensation after being prosecuted by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for leaving a string of disappointed consumers across South East Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Christopher David James Dunster, who operated Queensland Shed Markets, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of breaching the Australian Consumer Law by failing to supply goods and services within a reasonable time.

Mr Dunster was ordered to pay compensation of $116,750 to 10 consumers and was placed on probation for two years. A conviction was recorded.

Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard that between September 2017 and June 2018, Mr Dunster took orders and substantial deposits from consumers who wanted sheds supplied to, or supplied and constructed at, their properties.

Some of these consumers received part of their orders, such as a concrete slab or the shed frame, but for four consumers, Mr Dunster failed to supply any of the goods or services.

Magistrate Brian Kilmartin noted Mr Dunster had knowingly accepted payment from the consumers for the goods and services that he failed to supply.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said behaviour like this would not be tolerated by the OFT.

“I hope that today’s outcome delivers a strong message to traders who might be considering doing the wrong thing by consumers,” Mr Bauer said.

“Over the years, OFT has received many complaints about shed suppliers and we encourage consumers to do their homework before ordering.”

Consumers should:

  • Research the company by doing some simple internet searches and asking friends and family for recommendations
  • Speak to their chosen supplier to understand any issues which might impact on delivery, eg where the shed is being manufactured.
  • Ensure deposits paid are kept to a minimum
  • Ensure there is a written contract which specifies the product purchased and delivery/installation dates

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).