Renewed warning about dodgy tradesman (Christopher Brocklebank)
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Consumer Protection has issued another warning about a rogue tradesman who continues to take substantial deposits from consumers but fails to carry out or complete the work.
Christopher Brocklebank of Woodvale, trading as Perth Evaporative Air & Gas Services and Elements ‘Hearth, Wind and Fire’ of Wangara, was due to face a trial in the Perth Magistrates Court in early July on seven charges of breaching the Australian Consumer Law, but failed to appear.
Since those charges were laid, Consumer Protection has received a further eleven complaints in the past six months from consumers who have paid a total of $12,100 to Mr Brocklebank and the work has either not been started or is incomplete.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll is alarmed about Mr Brocklebank’s conduct and his apparent disregard for both his customers and the justice system.
“I am concerned that, while he faces charges before a Court, Mr Brocklebank continues to take substantial deposits for work associated with his gas and air conditioning businesses and then fails to carry out or complete the work,” Ms Driscoll said.
“We again warn consumers not to have any dealings with Mr Brocklebank, or his businesses, given his poor behaviour. We are continuing with our current legal action against him and also investigating the recent complaints. We urge consumers who have complaints to contact us as soon as possible, if they haven’t already.
“This is yet another reminder that paying large deposits, or paying the full amount upfront, for work yet to be carried out is risky business. Consumers should never pay the full amount before work commences, and should pay small deposits only if necessary. Under the Australian Consumer Law, the work must be completed within a reasonable time.
“Consumers should take steps to ensure they are dealing with a reputable business with a proven track record before handing over any money – ask for references, inspect previous work carried out and search the internet to see if positive or negative comments have been posted. Consumers may also consider paying by credit card with the possibility of getting a chargeback if the work is not carried out.”
Consumer Protection issued a public warning about Mr Brocklebank and his businesses in June last year:
In June 2012, Mr Brocklebank was prosecuted by the Energy Safety division of the Department of Commerce for carrying out gas fitting work while not holding a certificate of competency or permit authorising him to do the work. He was fined $700 and ordered to pay costs of $650 by the Joondalup Magistrates Court.
Consumers who have had recent dealings with Christopher Brocklebank, Perth Evaporative Air & Gas Services or Elements ‘Hearth, Wind and Fire’ should contact Consumer Protection by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 30 40 54.
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