Convicted travelling conman and son target WA (Westech Surfacing / William Barr / Billy Orchard)
Consumer Protection is warning WA consumers and businesses not to deal with a convicted travelling conman and his son who are offering bitumen laying services.
William Orchard is the sole Director of Westech Surfacing Pty Ltd and the son of William Barr, also known as William “Billy” Orchard, who has been convicted of consumer related offences in New South Wales. Consumer Protection believes both father and son have been travelling around the Perth metropolitan area and WA’s southern and south-western regions in recent months knocking on the doors of consumers and businesses.
In one case, a woman in Beverley had accepted a quote from Westech Surfacing to lay bitumen on her driveway and the work was carried out and payments made during the mandatory cooling off period.
In April 2014, William Barr or William “Billy” Orchard (father) was prosecuted by NSW Fair Trading for failing to comply with the laws related to unsolicited consumer agreements by not observing a ten day cooling off period, or informing consumers about their rights in relation to door to door trading. He and the company he was operating at the time Global Asphalt Pty Ltd were ordered by the Parkes Local Court to pay fines and costs totalling almost $80,000.
Known as Bitumen Bandits, this type of itinerant trader generally charges exorbitant prices and their work is usually sub-standard.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said Bitumen Bandits adopt high pressure sales tactics to get consumers to agree to their highly inflated quote, but give the impression they are getting a bargain.
“Their usual story is that they have some leftover materials from a previous bitumen job and can do a cheap deal, but that is far from the truth,” Mr Hillyard said.
“These types of traders are breaking consumer laws which require uninvited door to door or “itinerant” traders to allow a ten business day cooling off period, during which they are not allowed to accept any payments or carrying out any work for jobs worth more than $100.
“We urge consumers to stay clear of Westech Surfacing, William Barr and Billy Orchard and not to succumb to their high-pressure sales tactics or misleading statements about how good their driveway will look after the work is complete.
“Homeowners requiring expensive work such as driveway-laying and business requiring re-surfacing of their car park are advised to shop around for quotes and use reputable local tradespeople.”
To report the activities of Westech Surfacing or any other travelling conmen, call Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information such as descriptions of the offenders, vehicle registration numbers or business names used would be of assistance.
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