A security fencing company and its Director have been fined a total of $6,000 by the Rockingham Magistrates Court and ordered to pay compensation and court costs of $5,808.50 after taking a deposit from a consumer but failing to supply.
Security Fencing Australia Pty Ltd of Baldivis and the Director, who was granted a spent conviction, were fined $3,000 each on 22 June 2020 for breaching the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and were ordered to split the cost of refunding $5,026 to the consumer and court costs of $779.50.
In July 2017 the company had accepted a 50 percent deposit from a consumer who wanted a security fence supplied and installed as well as an electric gate at their Kwinana home. Despite numerous calls by the consumer to the company over many months, which went unanswered, the fence and gate were never supplied or installed and no refund was provided.
Magistrate Edwards noted that the penalties for offending under the ACL are quite significant and Directors of companies need to fully understand their responsibilities and obligations to consumers.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said, if businesses can’t honour the consumer contract, they should provide refunds immediately.
“By accepting a deposit, businesses have a clear obligation to provide those goods and services within a reasonable time or give the money back,” Ms Chopping said.
“Consumers should pay as little of a deposit as possible so they are not put at risk of losing any money and missing out in getting what they paid for. Also, get in writing an agreed deadline for when the job needs to be completed.”