Regular updates on critical consumer issues
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Samsung top loader washing machines - 30 April 2013
Black Salve cancer treatment - 9 April 2013
Beds Plus - 9 April 2013
Attention: Scam Alert! - 26 March 2013
Mothercare - 13 March 2013
Unleash Solar Pty Ltd - updated 14 March 2013
Le Poisson D’or restaurant - 6 February 2013
FiRST Tech / Rent-tech - 5 February 2013
Lighthouse Laboratories - 16 January 2013
30 April 2013 Electrical safety recall of Samsung top loader washing machines(150,000 sold across Australia). More details including model numbers at the ACCC's Product Safety Recalls Australia site.
9 April 2013 WA Health has today warned cancer patients against using Black Salve as an alternative cancer treatment.
The warning follows a WA Health investigation, which found some Western Australian retailers were promoting it as a treatment for cancer, whilst illegally selling and labelling the dangerous substance as 'termite repellent'.
9 April 2013 Beds Plus ceased trading on 31 March 2013.
Administrators have now been appointed. Their details are:
WA Insolvency Solutions Pty Ltd
L10, 111 St Georges Tce
(08) 9463 3000
Customers who have paid deposits, or have lay-by agreements in place should call Alexandra (08 9463 3003) and have the following details to hand:
description of item;
amount paid; and
method of payment.
The Beds Plus website has been taken down and signs put up at the WA stores.
Consumers who have recently purchased products from Beds Plus should note if they experience problems, such as a fault, they can pursue a warranty claim with the manufacturer. Advice is available from our Contact Centre on 1300 30 40 54.
Further updates will appear on this webpage when available.
26 March 2013 We have recently received information from a licence applicant that they were contacted by someone impersonating an Officer from Consumer Protection Licensing.
It appears that the caller contacted the applicant as a result of the notification of intention to apply for a licence that is published in The West Australian newspaper and requested personal information such as his Medicare number, driver’s licence number and mother’s maiden name.
These kinds of personal details can be used by potential scammers to pose as you and gain access to financial and other secured information.
The Department of Commerce does not require these kinds of details in order to assess a licence application. All of the personal information required by the Commissioner is referred to on the Application Form.
Consumer Protection strongly recommends that you do not provide personal information to unknown callers. If you are requested to provide information by email, details should only be sent to addresses ending in “@commerce.wa.gov.au”.
If you have recently applied for a licence and are contacted by anyone claiming to be a Consumer Protection Licensing Officer and asking for additional personal information, please get the Officer's name and phone back on Consumer Protection’s Licensing Line: 1300 30 40 64.
13 March 2013 Mothercare Australia Limited was placed under voluntary administration on 29 January 2013.
The appointed administrator BRI Ferrier has advised consumer protection regulators of a number of updates including that:
trading will continue but unprofitable stores will close;
gift cards and credit notes cannot be redeemed currently but should be retained until a decision is made in regard to this area of the business;
existing lay-bys will be honoured but no new lay-bys will be provided;
there are some changes to the refund policy; and
there are restrictions in relation to loyalty rewards.
Customers who have an issue with a purchase should firstly try to resolve the matter at the store. You still have rights under the Australian Consumer Law to a refund, repair or replacement if a product you bought is faulty, not fit for purpose or does not match the description given or sample shown.
Consumers who have paid for goods or services and not yet received them should register as an unsecured creditor by contacting BRI Ferrier on 02 8263 2399 or email@example.com
If you have paid with a credit card you should contact your credit card provider to seek a chargeback (transaction reversal). A time-limit may apply for this option and you should talk to your credit card provider as soon as possible to find out more.
UPDATE 14 March 2013 Further to our consumer alert on 27 February about Unleash Solar being placed into voluntary administration, consumers who have not previously been in contact with Consumer Protection should lodge their enquiries concerning installation, consumer guarantees, consequential loss etc. directly with the administrators and register as unsecured creditors.
Updated contact details have been given by the administrators.
Mr Austin Taylor and Mr Anthony James
Meertens Chartered Accountants
Level 10, GHD House, 69 Grenfell St, Adelaide, SA, 5000.
Phone: (08) 8418 8900
Fax: (08) 8232 5077
Consumers whose inverters were made by a particular Chinese manufacturer and failed under warranty may be able to obtain a more immediate remedy from that Chinese manufacturer via their office in Victoria.
This option only applies to the particular Chinese manufacturer named below along with the specified series and model numbers of approved grid-connect inverters:
Jiangsu Zeversolar New Energy Company Limited (China)
Series – Eversolar – Model Numbers – TL1500AS, TL2000AS, TL3200, TL3200AS, TL4600, TL4600AS, TL5400 and TL5400AS
Series – Eversol – Model Numbers – TLC12K and TLC17K
If you have an inverter made by this manufacturer, with the listed series and model numbers you can contact Zeversolar and they are prepared to supply and install a replacement inverter under warranty (like for like) at no cost to the consumer, including those in WA.
Australia Zeversolar New Energy Pty Ltd
Unit 1, 125 Highbury Road, Burwood Victoria 3125
Phone: (03) 9808 0885
The information has come from Consumer and Business Services (CBS) in South Australia where the solar system installation company is based.
Consumers who have outstanding claims with Unleash Solar should contact the administrators for assistance.
Since August 2012 Consumer Protection has received 19 complaints from WA customers in regard to Unleash Solar and 16 of those remain unresolved. The complaints are about workmanship issues around due care and skill as well as faulty inverters on solar panel systems. CBS has 40 similar complaints.
Consumer Protection will liaise with CBS who are working with the administrators to resolve consumer complaints with the aim of getting faulty equipment replaced or refunds issued.
In December 2011 the WA Commissioner for Consumer Protection entered into an enforceable undertaking with Unleash Solar Pty Ltd to address the problem of extended delays in the installation of solar voltaic systems. The company resolved those consumer issues as a result.
6 February 2013: Le Poisson D’or restaurant in Fremantle closed its doors in December 2012. Prior to this, the group-buying website Scoopon had sold about 1,400 vouchers for a meal deal at the Mews Road venue, which consumers will no longer be able to redeem.
Affected consumers should contact Scoopon to seek a refund.
Anyone who is unable to get a resolution should lodge a complaint with Consumer Protection by calling 1300 30 40 54 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about group buying websites, including what to do when you encounter problems after purchasing a voucher, see our dedicated webpage: What’s the deal with coupon websites?
5 February 2013 FiRST Tech (Australia) formerly known as Rent-Tech (Australia) Pty Ltd was placed into liquidation on 1 February 2013. The Osborne-park based company previously sold or offered rent-to-own schemes of IT equipment including laptops and tablets and supplied to schools, universities and students direct.
16 January 2013: The Commissioner for Consumer Protection has revoked the charitable collection licence of Lighthouse Laboratories Ltd of Midland, a not-for-profit company which had been raising money for research into childhood cancer. The Commissioner has cancelled the licence, as recommended by the Charitable Collections Advisory Committee, after the company failed to comply with specified conditions. Read more.
Warning – George Sekuloski/online retailer Bulk Imports & Exports
27 December 2012: The Commissioner for Consumer Protection is warning WA consumers not to deal with online trader George Sekuloski, also known as Goce Sekuloski who is the director of Bulk Imports & Exports Pty Ltd. Read the full media statement.
Backyard dog dealer banned and fined $34,000 (Fay Marie Armstrong)
27 November 2012: A backyard dog dealer has been permanently banned from keeping more than one dog and fined a total of $34,000 after being convicted of 17 animal cruelty charges brought by Consumer Protection in the Perth Magistrates Court today. Read full media statement.
Backyard dog breeder Fay Armstrong
28 August 2012: Fay Marie Armstrong (pictured right) of Spearwood is a backyard dog breeder who has been ordered by the Supreme Court to stop selling diseased animals e.g. puppies with parvovirus. Any animal which she sells must be vet-checked and vaccinated.
Passengers affected by cruise company’s financial trouble
7 November: Athena Cruises Cancelled - Media Statement
2 November: Frequently asked questions [PDF, 32 kB] for Consumers.
31 October: Consumer Protection is advising passengers booked on the cruise ship Athena that their travel plans may be in doubt. Sydney-based company, Classic International Cruises Pty Ltd (CIC Australia), which booked the ship for a series of Australian cruises over a four month period, has gone into voluntary administration. Read the media statement.
Consumers affected by travel agency closure (Travelworld Carnarvon)
22 October 2012: Passengers booked on Skippers Aviation flights between Perth and Carnarvon have been affected by the closure of the Travelworld travel agency in Carnarvon which has gone into administration. Read the media statement.
Extension of product safety ban of small high powered magnets
22 October 2012: Extended interim ban notice approved by Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien.
Product safety ban of small high powered magnets (BuckyBalls, Neocubes and Neodymium Sphere Magnets)
23 August 2012: View the media statement here
Interim ban for WA approved by Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien.
Commonwealth proposed ban notice can be viewed here.
You can find advice for creditors on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website
Following a meeting of creditors in Perth on 6 August 2012 it has been reported that those who are owed money may only get 10% or less of the total amount. (Ref:Perth Now,The West Australian)
GAME has gone into voluntary administration
16 May 2012: ASIC’s Money Smart website has posted advice in relation to GAME gift cards and pre-orders https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/news#game
14 May 2012: GAME which has 92 stores in Australia (10 in WA) has gone into voluntary administration.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have been appointed administrators. You can read PwC’s media statement here http://www.pwc.com.au/media-centre/2012/pwc-voluntary-administrators-game-may12.htm
The GAME website has a link which directs users to a list of frequently asked questions, in relation to pre-orders, gift vouchers, outstanding in-store credit from trade-ins etc. You can also view this PDF by clicking http://www.game.com.au/faq
Trax Music WA will honour lay-bys etc
9 January 2012: The owner of Trax Music Western Australia has told Consumer Protection she is willing to honour lay-bys and credit notes after the business went under. Four stores in Karratha, Hedland, Mandurah and Morley have now closed. Consumers who have outstanding Trax Music lay-bys or credit notes are invited to contact Consumer Protection on: 1300 30 40 54 or via email@example.com. Consumer Protection will then liaise with the trader on the consumer’s behalf.
Unleash Solar Pty Ltd
22 December 2011: The Commissioner for Consumer Protection today entered into an enforceable undertaking with Unleash Solar Pty Ltd. Consumer Protection's contact centre had been receiving enquiries from consumers concerned about extended delays in the installation of solar voltaic systems . The company concerned has now undertaken to address these outstanding consumer issues. More information on: Australian Consumer Law and your rights when purchasing goods and services.
Borders/Angus & Robertson administration
25 March 2011: Customers of book chains Borders and Angus & Robertson have until close of business on 3 April 2011 to redeem gift vouchers, the booksellers’ administrator has announced.
25 February 2011: On 17 February 2011 the bookstore chains Borders and Angus and Robertson went into voluntary administration. Consumer Protection's contact centre has been receiving dozens of enquiries about the redemption of gift cards. See the Customer FAQs sheet and the Updated Gift Card FAQs sheet
Ed Harry menswear
25 February 2011: Ed Harry menswear went into voluntary administration on 22 February 2011. A full list of WA stores can be viewed at http://www.edharry.com/stores/wa See Customer FAQs by clicking here.
For information on the general approach of ACL regulators in relation to the consideration and issue of public warning notices under the ACL see our Public warning notices guide.