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A Busselton business owner has been fined and forced to pay compensation to several property owners after pleading guilty to accepting deposit payments but failing to deliver the goods or services.
Fronting the Busselton Magistrates Court earlier this month, Jamie Bishop of Busselton Cement Products was fined $4,500 and ordered to pay an additional $3,000 in compensation to three of his previous clients. He was also ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs of $2,152.
It comes after the court found that Mr Bishop, while trading Busselton Cement Products, breached Australian Consumer Law in 2016 and 2017.
“A women’s refuge in Busselton was granted $800 in compensation after engaging Mr Bishop to supply and install a concrete shed pad, soak-well and associated earthworks. Deposit money was paid, but Mr Bishop failed to carry out any work or supply any materials,” a statement from Consumer Protection declared.
“Compensation of $1,200 was awarded to a Busselton property owner after he engaged Mr Bishop to supply and install two soak-wells. A deposit was paid, but no goods were provided.
“A Nannup property owner was granted $1,000 after Mr Bishop took a deposit for supplying and installing two septic tanks and a leach drain system, plus a patio and associated earthworks. Two septic tanks were delivered, but no other work was done.”
Commenting further on the matter, Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said: “By taking a total of $5,600 in deposits and only delivering a fraction of the goods promised in one case and nothing in two others, Mr Bishop has shown a complete disregard for the consumer rights of his clients.”
“Our recommendation is for consumers to only pay small deposits upfront, or progress payments as various parts of a bigger job are completed are also acceptable.
“Consumer Law states that work must be done in a reasonable amount of time, or by the completion date listed on the contract, so it’s advised to contact Consumer Protection if there are unreasonable delays.”
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.