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Trader fenced in for not providing services, ordered to pay $24,699

18 October 2019

A Browns Plains trader has been ordered to pay a total of $24,699 in the Beenleigh and Sandgate Magistrates Courts after charges were laid by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Thermoguard Roofing Restoration Pty Ltd (Thermoguard) and its sole director, Robert Waine Tayler, were charged with accepting payment but failing to supply goods and services under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

On 13 September 2019, Thermoguard was fined $12,600 by the Beenleigh Magistrates Court, ordered to pay court costs of $99.55, as well as $450 in compensation to the affected consumer.

Today (18 October 2019), Mr Tayler was fined $11,000 by the Sandgate Magistrates Court, together with $450 compensation and $99.55 in court costs. A conviction was recorded.

The courts heard in November 2017, Thermoguard provided a quote for $1,795 for the supply and installation of a 22 metre fence at a property in Browns Plains.

A 50 per cent deposit was required and the consumer transferred $900 to the company’s account. However, work did not commence despite Mr Tayler being contacted numerous times.

In January 2018, Mr Tayler agreed to refund the deposit but this did not occur.

The Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard the OFT had issued a civil penalty notice to Thermoguard, fining it $12,600 for this breach, but as the company did not acknowledge or pay the fine the OFT had withdrawn it, replacing it with this prosecution action.

In sentencing the corporation Beenleigh Magistrate Brian Kilmartin noted that the conduct amounted to blatant dishonesty, that the defendant had no intention to discharge their obligations, and that the consumer had been left to carry the responsibility.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner said it was not acceptable for a trader to ignore their obligations under the ACL as this company 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 Turner said.

“The OFT does not tolerate this type of behaviour and will continue to protect the rights of Queensland consumers who are left out of pocket by dishonest traders.”

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).