Carpenter ordered to pay $10,000 after taking money for no work (Benjamin McVilly / BDM Carpentry)
A Perth carpenter has been ordered to pay more than $10,000 in fines, compensation and costs by the Midland Magistrates Court after taking deposits from consumers but failing to do the work.
Benjamin Dean McVilly, trading as BDM Carpentry of Caversham, was fined a total of $5,000 on three charges of accepting payments for carpentry materials and installation but failing to supply them, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. He was ordered to pay costs of $3,287.
Mr McVilly failed to pay refunds, and so he was also ordered to pay compensation to the three affected consumers:
- $1,000 to a Mt Nasura consumer who in March 2016 paid a deposit for the supply and installation of an entrance door, removal and disposal of an asbestos wall and other work;
- $950 to a Ballajura consumer who in May 2017 paid a deposit for the supply and installation of door frames, French doors and the painting of a wall and cornice; and
- $450 to a Southern River consumer who in July 2017 paid a deposit for the supply and installation of an internal door.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said, in each of the three cases, Mr McVilly had agreed to complete the work within a week of taking the deposits.
“Consumer law dictates that where a tradesperson accepts a payment, they must supply those goods and services within the agreed timeframe, or otherwise within a reasonable time. In this case, the tradesperson had offered and consumers had accepted an agreed timeframe for completion,” Mr Hillyard said.
“So by failing to meet the agreed timeframe and not completing the work at all, Mr McVilly broke the law and has now suffered the consequences.
“Our advice to consumers is to only pay small deposits, if any, and get the agreed timeframe for completion in writing as part of the quote. That way there are strong grounds to take action if the tradie lets you down.”
More information on dealing with tradies is available on the Consumer Protection website where online complaints can be lodged. Enquiries can be made by email email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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