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A Gold Coast business is being forced to front $64,000 after a trader was found guilty of accepting payment but failing to supply goods and services to two consumers.
Cameron Jeffrey Dowel was found guilty by the Southport Magistrates Court on 14 September following charges laid by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
The court heard that in August 2019, Mr Dowel agreed to supply and install a carport for a consumer in Yandaran, north of Bundaberg, and was paid $9,182 as a deposit. By April 2020, the carport had still not been installed.
“Additionally, in November 2019, Mr Dowel agreed to supply and install footpaths and patios at the home of aconsumer by 24 December 2019 and accepted a deposit of $5,500.
“By 24 December 2019, the trader had not completed any of the work and had only supplied $400 worth of materials. To date, no work has been done and no refund has been supplied,” a statement read.
Mr Dowel was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay a total of $14,282 compensation to the consumers, a statement from the OFT said. The trader was also ordered to return $1,000 worth of tools to a consumer. A conviction was recorded on both charges, it noted.
Commenting on the matter, Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer condemned the actions involving the two homes.
“Traders must not accept payment from consumers if they know they can’t deliver the goods or services by the agreed date,” Mr Bauer said.
“The OFT does not tolerate this type of behaviour and will continue to act to protect the rights of Queensland consumers who are left out of pocket in this way.”