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Fencing contractor fined straight to the point

12 February 2018

A Paradise Point contractor was fined $12,000 in the Southport Magistrates Court today (12 February 2018) after charges were brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for accepting payment from Queensland consumers for fencing services that he failed to supply.

Tyson John Hanley, trading as an unregistered business ‘540 Fabrications and Fencing’, was found guilty on four counts of failing to supply goods to customers under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Mr Hanley, who did not appear in court, was fined $12,000 and ordered to pay $6,032 in compensation to the affected consumers. A conviction was recorded.

The Court heard that, between November 2016 and May 2017, Mr Hanley advertised his business online and entered into agreements with four consumers for fencing services.

After providing quotes, including specific timeframes for project completion, he accepted deposits from the consumers, a total of $6,032. Mr Hanley failed to supply fencing products, complete any work, or provide refunds.

In sentencing, the court considered Mr Hanley’s course of conduct was serious given the timeframe of his offending.

Mr Hanley was also fined $3000 by the Holland Park Magistrates Court on 2 February 2018 for one count of accepting payment and failing to supply goods within a specified time. In that matter he was also ordered to pay $1000 in compensation to a consumer who had paid Mr Hanley a deposit for fencing products they never received.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner advised consumers to exercise care when asked by traders for large upfront payments.

“Consumers should shop around, check reviews, ask to see a receipt or business card with the trader's name and street address on it, and check to confirm the trader has a Queensland Building and Construction Commission licence if appropriate,” Mr Turner said.

“The best recommendations are the ones provided by your friends and family.

"It is unacceptable for traders to accept any amount of payment for goods or services which they have no intention of supplying.

“The OFT will continue to investigate and take action against traders who accept payments for goods or services and fail to supply them.”

If consumers have paid for goods or services they have not received, 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).