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Consumer Protection WA has prosecuted a Perth-based business selling Jeep car parts and offering installation services, for taking payment from consumers and failing to supply goods and services in a reasonable amount of time, resulting in a $24,000 fine.
JPA Offroad Group Pty Ltd, which operates the business via the website aftermarketjeep.com.au, has pleaded guilty to wrongly accepting payment from three consumers between February 2020 and April 2020 and the non-supply of goods and services, which is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Manager James Alan Bartlett also pleaded guilty to his involvement in assisting JPA Offroad Group Pty Ltd with wrongfully accepting payment from two of those three consumers.
In addition to the fine handed down at the Fremantle Magistrates Court on 21 February 2023, Mr Bartlett was also ordered to pay $2,528 in costs.
Compensation orders were also made by the court in favour of five consumers who had paid for Jeep car parts such as rims, tires and indicators, as well as installation services they never received. JPA Offroad Group Pty Ltd was ordered to repay $4,657.90 to three consumers and Mr Bartlett to repay $4,250 to two consumers.
Consumer Protection has a long history with Mr Bartlett, first warning consumers about his business practices in January 2017 and subsequently prosecuted him for non-supply of goods and services to eight consumers in September 2019: Jeep parts seller fined $16,000 for non-supply (Aftermarket Jeep Parts Australia / James Bartlett)
A second warning was then issued by Consumer Protection in August 2021 after receiving numerous complaints about Mr Bartlett who had taken payment from six consumers of nearly $40,000 and again failed to deliver goods or services: Second warning about Jeep parts seller who fails to deliver (James Bartlett / JPA Offroad Group Pty Ltd)
Magistrate Hills-Wright noted Mr Bartlett’s previous eight convictions for the same offence and said little had been done by Mr Bartlett to rectify the situation.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said Mr Bartlett has negatively impacted a number of consumers over many years and hopes this time he learns his lesson and improves his conduct.
“It is a clear breach of the ACL to accept deposits or full payments from consumers but fail to supply the goods or services within a reasonable time,” Ms Blake said.
“Mr Bartlett has been through this process before and should know better.
“Given the history of Mr Bartlett’s business practices and convictions, consumers should seriously reconsider lodging orders with the company and be aware of his history when deciding to do business with James Bartlett.”
Consumers can lodge a complaint on the Consumer Protection website or by calling 1300 30 40 54 if a business does not deliver goods and services in a reasonable time without a remedy such as a refund.
Media Contact: Frankie Pennington, (08) 6552 9410 / 0417 721 543 / firstname.lastname@example.org