Tailor ordered to pay fine and consumer compensation (Joseph Anthony Bespoke)
A men’s tailoring company has been fined a total of $20,200 by the Perth Magistrates Court for accepting payments but failing to supply the goods and was ordered to pay compensation to four consumers amounting to $7,665.
Joseph Anthony Wholesale Pty Ltd, trading as Joseph Anthony Bespoke, had accepted advance payments for clothing but either only partially filled the orders or did not supply the clothing at all. The business operated from a store in Claremont but has now closed.
The company was convicted of breaching the Australian Consumer Law and sentenced in the absence of a representative on 19 September 2016. The Court ordered Joseph Anthony Wholesale Pty Ltd to also pay costs of $5,568.
Three of the consumers in the case had become members of the company’s ‘Club Joseph Anthony’ which offered two suits, eight business shirts and eight ties over a 12 month period in return for monthly direct debit payment plan.
A Wembley consumer became a member and made payments between December 2012 to January 2014 but only received four business shirts during this time. Only one suit was delivered after this period. The Court ordered compensation of $1,766.50.
A City Beach consumer became a member and made payments between January 2013 to January 2014 but only received eight ties and two business shirts during this time. Only one suit was delivered after this period. The Court ordered compensation of $1,242.45.
A Mt Lawley consumer became a member and made payments between December 2013 to November 2014 and was to receive two suits, 11 business shirts and eight ties during this time, but did not receive any clothing at all. The Court ordered compensation of $4,156.32.
A Mt Richon consumer had paid for a custom made jacket for an upcoming wedding, but it was never supplied and no refund was received. The Court ordered compensation of $500.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said it is a risky exercise for consumers to agree to direct debit payments for goods that are to be delivered over a long period of time.
"Usually consumers can apply for a charge back from their credit card provider if the goods they have purchased are not supplied. However, there is a time limit within which they can make those claims. In this case that time limit had expired before the consumers realised their deliveries were at risk.
“Consumers who authorise direct debits from their bank accounts may have difficulty in getting the transactions reversed, so we would recommend consumers consider using their credit card instead, especially in these types of arrangements.
“This retail business model is becoming increasingly popular, but we would urge consumers to exercise caution before making these long-term financial commitments. Do some research on the business which is making the offer and search online for any reviews or feedback from other consumers about their experiences.
“Have a clear timeline set out for the delivery of the items and consider applying for a charge back as soon as those deadlines for delivery are not met, so your claim falls within the time limit. Also contact Consumer Protection if that happens as accepting payment for goods and failing to supply within a reasonable time is a violation of consumer law.”
For enquiries, consumer can contact Consumer Protection by email email@example.com or by phone 1300 30 40 54.
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