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Gold Coast curtain supplier blind to consumer rights

16 August 2019

A curtain supplier operating from her home in Surfers Paradise has been ordered to pay $5,842 in fines, costs and compensation by the Brisbane Magistrates Court today (16 August 2019) following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.

Judith Eleanor, sole operator of Covers Décor, was found guilty of wrongly accepting payment under the Australian Consumer Law. She did not appear in court.

Ms Eleanor was ordered to pay $1.242.50 to an Annerley customer who had paid that amount as a deposit for new window furnishings to be supplied and installed at her rental property in Woolloongabba.

The court heard that in January 2019, Ms Eleanor provided the consumer with a quote and specified a four week timeframe for delivery. The consumer accepted the quote and paid the deposit but the goods were never supplied and no refund was given.

The court fined Ms Eleanor $4,500 and ordered her to pay court costs.

In sentencing, Magistrate Maryanne May said it was a serious matter and the trader had shown clear disregard for the rights of the consumer, for the OFT during the course of the investigation, and by not responding to the complaint and summons or court process.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner said traders should not accept payment for goods or services, or promise delivery timeframes, if they knew they would not be able to follow through for the consumer.

“A trader should not make promises if they know they cannot meet deadlines,” Mr Turner said.

“Consumers should always do their research, not pay large sums of money up front and only use reputable traders to avoid being ripped off.”

If consumers have paid for goods or services they have not received, they can lodge a complaint with the OFT online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).