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Gold Coast business to pay $64,000 for not providing goods and services

15 September 2020

A Gold Coast trader has been ordered to pay more than $64,000 in fines and compensation by the Southport Magistrates Court following charges laid by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Cameron Jeffrey Dowel, from Upper Coomera, was yesterday (14 September) found guilty of accepting payment but failing to supply goods and services to two consumers.

Mr Dowel was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay a total of $14,282 compensation to the consumers. The trader was also ordered to return $1,000 worth of tools to a consumer. A conviction was recorded on both charges.

The court heard that in August 2019, Mr Dowel agreed to supply and install a carport for a consumer in Yandaran, north of Bundaberg, and was paid $9,182 as a deposit. By April 2020 the carport had still not been installed.

Additionally, in November 2019, Mr Dowel agreed to supply and install footpaths and patios at the home of a Pimpama consumer by 24 December 2019 and accepted a deposit of $5,500.

By 24 December 2019, the trader had not completed any of the work and had only supplied $400 worth of materials. To date, no work has been done and no refund has been supplied.

In sentencing, Magistrate Gary Finger noted that the trader took advantage of consumers who now had to find additional funds to replace the goods and services that he failed to supply.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it was not acceptable for a trader to ignore their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) as Mr Dowel had done.

“Traders must not accept payment from consumers if they know they can’t deliver the goods or services by the agreed date,” 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).