Further action against rogue tree lopping business
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A Wanneroo tree lopping business which has attracted a high number of consumer complaints and has been the subject of numerous public warnings has faced further action from Consumer Protection.
Tracey Gordon, who operates West Australian Tree Services, has entered into a Court-enforceable undertaking with the Commissioner for Consumer Protection. The undertaking requires the business to change the way it deals with customers. Ms Gordon previously operated under the business names of Manageable Tree Services, Metropolitan Tree Services (deregistered) and West Australian Tree Professionals (unregistered).
Ms Gordon and Sean Robert Weinthal, an employee of West Australian Tree Services, have previously been fined $750 each by the Perth Magistrates Court for using coercion in connection with the payment for services.
Under the terms of the undertaking, West Australian Tree Services and its agents and employees must provide consumers with an itemised written quotation which describes in detail the work agreed to be carried out, the cost for each of the items listed and a total cost, including any taxes or other charges. The business cannot carry out any tree lopping services until they receive written authorisation from the consumer to commence the work.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said the latest action is a further attempt to modify the unacceptable behaviour of West Australian Tree Services towards many of their customers.
“Despite the Department’s numerous warnings since 2006 and more recent legal actions, it was disappointing that our ongoing attempts to change their business behaviour had been unsuccessful in stemming the flow of complaints being received by Consumer Protection,” Mr Newcombe said.
“Typically complaints relate to unauthorised work, quality issues, price and damage. Most alarming are the complaints which report disputes over payment escalating into threatening and harassing behaviour, including the dumping of garden waste on the property of consumers who have refused to pay for unauthorised work.
“We are determined to ensure that this trader and its employees change their method of operation and we will continue to take action until all the issues are finally resolved. If anyone dealing with this business from this point on is not provided with the information and services as outlined in the undertaking, they should contact Consumer Protection immediately.”
A copy of the Enforceable Undertaking can be found at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/undertakings.
For more information and advice on this issue, consumers can contact Consumer Protection by email: email@example.com or call 1300 30 40 54.
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(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)
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Alan Hynd 9282 0961 or 0429-078791 firstname.lastname@example.org
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