Concrete tradesman fined and ordered to pay compensation (Shane Reid / SRR Concreteing)
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A Perth tradesman has today been fined $20,000 by the Armadale Magistrates Court and ordered to pay total compensation of $4,520 to two consumers after taking deposits for work he never carried out.
Shane Robert Reid (also known as Shannon Fletcher or Shane Fletcher), formerly of Seville Grove but now residing in Clarkson, was required to pay costs of $1,688.
In November 2013, while trading under the unregistered business name of SRR Concreteing, Mr Reid accepted two deposits amounting to $2,020 in cash cheques from a Gosnells consumer for home improvement services. When the work was not carried out on the agreed date, the consumer cancelled the contract but did not receive a refund.
In December 2013, Mr Reid accepted a deposit of $2,500 in cash to pour liquid limestone at a consumer’s property in Thornlie. Two agreed dates to complete the work were cancelled by Mr Reid and the consumer did not receive a refund.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the Australian Consumer Law makes it clear that work must be carried out by the agreed date or within a reasonable time.
“A tradesperson is not allowed to accept payment for work, or even part-payment, and then delay the completion of the work indefinitely,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Consumers who pay large deposits or the full amount upfront are at risk of losing their money if the work is not carried out or the business closes down.
“Our advice to consumers is to get an agreed date for commencement and completion of the work in writing when the quote is accepted. If the work is not carried out by the agreed date, the consumer then has the right to cancel the contract and receive a full refund of any deposit money paid.
“We would advise consumers to limit the amount of money they pay upfront and only pay a ten percent deposit if necessary. The balance should only be paid when the work is completed to a consumer’s satisfaction. Consumers should consider the benefits of using a credit card to pay a deposit, as they may be able to seek a charge reversal if there is non-supply or if the business goes out of business.
“Building contracts for amounts over $7,500 are regulated by the Home Building Contracts Act and deposits must never exceed 6.5% of the contract price.”
If you are having problems getting goods and services after paying a deposit, contact Consumer Protection by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 30 40 54.
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