Stony silence after WA consumers pay for stone repairs and cleaning (Stone Repair Pro Pty Ltd / Darren Hemmings/Hemmynges)

This announcement is for: 
Consumer
  • Queensland-based company and Director fined a total of $6,000
  • Court orders two WA consumers be paid $2,183.50 in compensation
  • Traders warned not to betray consumers’ trust by failing to deliver

A stone repair and cleaning company and its sole Director have been ordered by the Perth Magistrates Court to pay a total of $9,203 in fines, costs and consumer compensation for failing to carry out services after payments were made.

Stone Repair Pro Pty Ltd was fined $4,000 with $509.75 in costs and sole Director Darren John Hemmings aka Darren Hemmynges, was fined $2,000 with $509.75 in costs on 14 April 2021 after being convicted in their absence of breaching the Australian Consumer Law.

The Queensland-based company operates the websites: www.thestoneguy.com.au and www.stonebenchtopcleaner.com.au. Two WA consumers, who placed orders via the company’s websites, were granted compensation orders for $764.50 and $1,419. One had paid to have stains on a stone benchtop cleaned in March 2018 and the other wanted a stone tabletop reconditioned in September 2018. Neither services were carried out after full payments were made upfront and no refunds were provided.

In September 2018, Consumer Protection was successful in having an associated website (www.thestoneguy.com.au) shut down with the assistance of .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA). Stone Repair Pro Pty Ltd then re-registered the website under its own name. According to auDA’s records, the company is the registrant of 20 other current website domain names.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said the consumers’ trust had been betrayed by someone who can’t be trusted.

“Darren Hemmings or Hemmynges is no stranger to law enforcement agencies and it is understood he has a criminal history in Queensland,” Ms Chopping said.

“Back in July 2015 the ATO indefinitely disqualified Mr Hemmings from being a trustee, or a responsible officer of a body corporate that is a trustee, of a superannuation entity. 

“This case highlights the importance of consumers exercising due diligence by conducting online searches, reading reviews and doing some research about businesses and traders they are planning to do business with.

“After payments are made, consumers have the legal right to have the services carried out within a reasonable time, otherwise refunds must be paid.

“There is an element of trust involved in consumers paying upfront so traders must not betray that trust by not doing the work and then rubbing salt into their wounds by refusing to pay the money back.”

More information about consumer rights is available on the Consumer Protection website. Enquiries can be made by email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

 

Consumer Protection
Media release
28 Apr 2021

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