Pest controller misleading Perth home owners
Consumer Protection is alerting residents in Perth’s eastern suburbs to be aware of a pest controller who is reportedly giving misleading information in order to boost his business.
The trader has contacted home owners in the Swan Valley area giving the impression that he is from a government authority, saying that there is an outbreak of European house borers in the area. The caller then organises to attend the home offering a chemical treatment for a fee.
The agriculture and food division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has confirmed that there is no suspected outbreak of the pest in the area and the pest controller’s activities are not authorised by any Government agency.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said it is a serious breach of consumer law to deliberately mislead consumers and create fear to drum up business.
“The trader appears to be resorting to deceptive conduct to gain access to homes, then selling general termite and other pest control services,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Behaviour such as this is clearly against the law and the trader could face severe penalties if caught. The trader’s activities are also covered by specific laws related to unsolicited sales which he may also be breaching.
“Until we track down this trader, we advise home owners in the area not be fooled by his scare tactics and reject his offer.”
Consumers who believe they have been misled by traders can report them to Consumer Protection by emailing email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
More information on the European house borer is available on the DPIRD website: www.agric.wa.gov.au/ehb or consumers can make contact with the Pest and Disease Information Service by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1800 084 881.
There is also a consumer guide available from the Department of Health: Guide to selecting a pest management business.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 email@example.com
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