Consumer alert – furniture maker fails to deliver (Paul Stewart / Solid Timber Furniture)

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Consumer Protection has issued an alert concerning a Perth furniture maker who has taken large deposits from customers, but failed to carry out the work.

Paul Stewart, trading as Solid Timber Furniture (deregistered) formerly of Naval Base and Port Kennedy, has taken substantial deposits from numerous consumers totalling more than $22,000 and has failed to fulfil the orders for furniture which was advertised on Gumtree as well as his own website – www.solidtimber.com.au.

Mr Stewart advertised items of furniture on Gumtree and, when consumers contacted him to enquire about purchasing the items, he told them they were sold and then offered to make them another one.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said that, in addition to not fulfilling orders and despite promises to consumers, Mr Stewart has also failed to refund the deposits paid.

“Consumers report difficulty in contacting Mr Stewart who was recently evicted from his Port Kennedy business premises for non-payment of rent. While we have only had brief contact with Mr Stewart, he continues to avoid attempts by the department to discuss resolution of the complaints,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Considering Mr Stewart’s recent track record and non-cooperation with Consumer Protection, we would strongly recommend that consumers do not have any dealings with this trader.

“This is yet another reminder that paying large deposits for goods or services is risky business. Consumers should never pay the full amount up front and only pay a minimal deposit, then the balance of the monies owing upon delivery of the goods or completion of work. Under the Australian Consumer Law, the work must be carried out within a reasonable time.

“Consumers should take steps to ensure they are dealing with a reputable business with a proven track record, especially before handing over any money.”

Consumers who have had recent dealings with Mr Stewart or Solid Timber Furniture should contact Consumer Protection by email consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au or call 1300 30 40 54.

END OF RELEASE

(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)

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Media Contact:
Alan Hynd  9282 0961 or 0429-078791  alan.hynd@commerce.wa.gov.au

Consumer Protection
Media release
07 Jan 2014

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