No-show Sunshine Coast roofer taken to court
23 April 2021
A Peregian Beach man has been taken to court by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for failing to supply goods and services within a reasonable time under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The matter was heard in the Nambour Magistrates Court on 19 April 2021. Shane Andrew Voss of SV Roofing did not appear in person but entered a guilty plea via email to the court.
He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay a further $1,150 in compensation to a consumer and court fees. A conviction was not recorded.
The court heard that on 20 January 2020 Mr Voss attended the consumer’s premises to provide a quote for removing and replacing guttering.
The parties reached an agreement that the job would cost $2,300. Mr Voss provided a written quote and requested a 50 per cent deposit be paid prior to the works commencing.
After paying the deposit into Mr Voss’ bank account, the consumer contacted him to find out when he would begin the works. Mr Voss responded via text to say that there was a delay in the manufacture of the materials needed for the works to commence.
The consumer sent a text message to Mr Voss a few days later seeking an update, to which Mr Voss responded that the guttering materials had arrived and he was going to collect them.
On 12 February Mr Voss contacted the consumer to say he would be out on the following Saturday or Monday to commence the work. After Mr Voss failed to appear onsite, the consumer tried to contact him multiple times.
Mr Voss sent a text message to the consumer on 24 February saying that he or one of his contractors would be out to complete the installation of the new guttering and that he would advise what day this would be.
After not receiving confirmation as to when the works would commence, the consumer sent a text message to Mr Voss on 11 March requesting a refund, to which Mr Voss did not respond. The consumer followed up this text with an email to Mr Voss a couple of days later.
Mr Voss responded to the email by asking the consumer to provide him with their bank account details so he could provide the refund. The consumer gave these to Mr Voss immediately.
A few days later, after noticing the deposit was not in their bank account, the consumer sent a further email to Mr Voss asking if he had returned the deposit and if so that he provide a confirmation number from the bank.
Mr Voss responded to this email outlining factors stalling the refund and said he would repay the deposit when funds became available to him in that week.
This was the last time the consumer had any contact from the trader and they lodged a complaint with the OFT.
During the investigation the OFT found that Mr Voss obtained a quote for guttering materials with a local roofing stockist on 31 January 2020 however did not proceed with an order or pay for any products.
In sentencing, Magistrate McLaughlin acknowledged that Mr Voss had no prior history and said he was clumsy, unprofessional, and doomed to get caught.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it is illegal for a trader to accept a payment for goods or services and fail to supply them under the ACL.
“The OFT will continue to take up issues for consumers who do not receive what they have paid for,” Mr Bauer said.
The OFT encourages consumers who have purchased goods or services from a business but have not received them to approach the trader in the first instance. If this is unsuccessful, they should lodge a complaint with the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).