Tradie fined $60K for dodgy doorknock deals
A BEERWAH man was ripped off thousands of dollars by a tradie's dodgy doorknock dealings that's since resulted in the company and owner being ordered to pay more that $60,000 after being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading.
Kelvin Raymond Kendall, who operates Kendalls Aggregates in Spring Hill, was charged with failing to meet the obligations required by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) for unsolicited door-to-door trading.
The Brisbane asphalt contractor has been ordered to pay $64,850 in fines, penalties and compensation in the Caloundra Magistrates Court yesterday after being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) under the ACL.
The court heard that on July 5, 2018, Mr Kendall approached a Beerwah resident saying he was working in the area and had a surplus of surfacing material, which he could use to resurface the resident's driveway for a reduced price.
The OFT advised the court that the resident was charged $4850 for the unsolicited service.
However, Mr Kendall hadn't provided written advice informing the consumer of their right to terminate the agreement within a 10-day cooling-off period for purchases of over $100.
Under the ACL, consumers have extra rights if they receive unsolicited approaches by traders at their homes. Door-to-door traders must advise consumers about the cooling-off period, and may not accept payment or commence any services during this time.
The court heard that once the consumer became aware of their rights, they terminated the agreement and requested a full refund. However, Mr Kendall did not respond to any inquiries.
Mr Kendall did not appear in court but Kendalls Aggregates was fined $50,000, Mr Kendall was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $4850 in compensation to the complainants. Convictions were recorded.
In sentencing, Magistrate Stephanie Tonkin said, "that Kendall's behaviour was a flagrant disregard of the Australian Consumer Law".
"The fine was set to protect consumers from such unscrupulous behaviour," she said.
Acting Fair Trading executive director Craig Turner said these laws recognise that consumers are vulnerable when door knocked.
"Some door to door traders take advantage of the fact that people find it hard to say no or can't tell traders to leave, and they can pressure consumers into buying goods or services that they may not really want or need" he said.
"Having a 10-day cooling-off period is essential so consumers can reflect on what they have agreed to and have an opportunity to change their minds.
"Traders who operate door-to-door are reminded of the need to inform consumers of their rights and to observe the cooling-off period.
"The OFT will continue to investigate and take action against door-to-door traders who flout their legal obligations."