Spend A Penny – undertaking

John Farrugia, Mary Farrugia, Rosemarie Farrugia and David Farrugia trading as Spend A Penny have acknowledged that they breached section 106 and 136 of the Australian Consumer Law by supplying, offering for supply, manufacturing, possessing, or having control of consumer goods that do not comply with an applicable safety and information standard.

The partnership gave undertakings to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs to rectify the breaches.

Signed undertaking (PDF 374KB)


Car re-sellers put on notice – assurances

Four South Australians have been put on notice after allegedly selling cars without a second hand vehicle dealer’s licence.

An investigation by Consumer and Business Services revealed that:

  • Peter William Somers of Cooltong was believed to have bought, sold or offered for sale nine cars for between $750 and $5,000 between August 2016 and August 2017
  • Wayne Scott Harvey of Craigmore was alleged to have bought or sold 12 cars through monetary payment or by way of vehicle exchange within an 11-month period
  • James Arthur Gordon of Waterloo Corner allegedly bought, sold or offered for sale 16 vehicles between July 2016 and July 2017
  • Melissa Ann Brooksby of Waterloo Corner was believed to have bought and/or sold five vehicles between July 2016 and July 2017 for between $400 and $6500.

All were potential breaches of the Second Hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995.

Under the Act, a person cannot carry on a business as a second-hand vehicle dealer without the appropriate licence.

Following discussions with Consumer and Business Services, Mr Somers, Mr Harvey, Mr Gordon and Ms Brooksby have all entered into written assurances with CBS – agreeing they will no longer carry on business as a second hand car dealer without the appropriate licence.

Written assurances and undertakings are formal undertakings that may be used in certain circumstances, in place of enforcement actions such as prosecution or disciplinary action.

If an individual or a business fails to comply with the conditions of the Assurance, they may be prosecuted.

Find out more about licence requirements for used car dealers.

Peter William Somers signed assurance (PDF 105KB)

Wayne Scott Harvey signed assurance (PDF 95KB)

James Arthur Gordon signed assurance (PDF 95KB)

Melissa Ann Brooksby signed assurance (PDF 104KB)


Real estate firm to strengthen practices after alleged underquoting – assurance

A Brighton-based real estate agency and its directors have committed to strengthening its practices after allegedly advertising a property for sale for a price less than the vendor’s acceptable selling price.

Peter F Burns Real Estate had allegedly advertised a property for sale for between $580,000 and $599,000, when the vendor’s acceptable selling price was $590,000.

In a second instance, the business was believed to have acted as land agent for a vendor without recording the agent’s estimated selling price, the vendor’s acceptable selling price or the manner of sale.

Following an investigation by the state’s consumer watchdog, the business, its directors and former sole director, Michael James Burns, entered into a written assurance with Consumer and Business Services – agreeing to ensure that any future likely selling price representations are not less than the prescribed minimum advertising price.

In addition, both the business and directors committed to ensuring all existing and new staff would be properly inducted and trained to identify legal and ethical requirements of Sales Agency Agreements and adhere to all legislative obligations.

Written assurances and undertakings are formal undertakings that may be used in certain circumstances, in place of enforcement actions such as prosecution or disciplinary action.

If an individual or a business fails to comply with the conditions of the Undertaking, they may be prosecuted.

For more information about a real estate agent’s obligations, or to report a concern about a real estate, contact CBS on 131 882 or visit cbs.sa.gov.au

Signed assurance (PDF 197KB)


Product recall – lockable pool gate latches

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has advised of a recall of SafeTech Hardware Australia key lockable pool gate latches that do not comply with Australian standards.

Product description

Defect

If the gate is open, turning the key in the striker component of the gate latch may cause the gate to remain locked in the open position.

Hazard

Leaving the gate latch locked in the open position may allow  young children to access the pool area posing a potential drowning risk.

Action

A person who has a lock of the above product description should immediately:

  • disable the key lock mechanism by removing the key from the striker or filling the key hole with a waterproof adhesive
  • register their details by phoning 1300 034 096 or visiting safetechhardware.com.au. Consumers will be offered either a keyless striker or a replacement lockable striker for the latch. The replacement product will come with “How to Change Your Striker” instructions. These instructions will also be available at safetechhardware.com.au

It is important to note that disabling the key mechanism will not affect your existing pool compliance status or its ability to latch and secure the gate.

Key reference details

Supplier:

Traders who sold this product:

  • Bunnings Australia
  • Wholesale distributors and trade suppliers, including gate and fencing contractors

Where the product was sold:

  • Nationally
  • International

Dates available for sale:

  • 1 January 2014 – 21 March 2018

More information

Full information, including the recall notice is available on Product Safety Australia’s website.

 

 


Unlicensed real estate agent agrees to additional training – assurance

A real estate agent who allegedly acted as a sales representative for a land agent while unlicensed has agreed to commence further training as part of an enforceable undertaking he has entered into with South Australia’s consumer watchdog.

Marc Olsen’s sales representative licence was cancelled in February 2017, after he failed to renew it.

An investigation by Consumer and Business Services revealed he was allegedly still entering into sales agency agreements with vendors on behalf of another land agent.

Following that investigation, Mr Olsen entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, agreeing to cease acting as a sales representative without a current licence and undertake three units that form part of the Certificate IV in Property Services within 12 months of entering into the undertaking.

Consumer and Business Services may use written undertakings in place of court-based enforcement action.

This does not rule out further action, such as prosecution, if the terms of the agreement are not met.

Signed assurance (PDF 109KB)


Bramalco to review consumer law practices – statement

Bramalco Pty Ltd, trading as Modern, has given a formal undertaking to the state’s consumer watchdog, after allegedly breaching customers’ cooling off rights and engaging in false, misleading or deceptive conduct on several occasions.

Under the arrangement, Bramalco is required to engage an independent professional to review its consumer law compliance program, including the effectiveness of its complaint handling system and compliance training program.

The report will be provided to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs. Bramalco has undertaken to upgrade its compliance program and training in accordance with the report’s recommendations, within 3 months of receiving it.

It follows complaints about Bramalco’s door-to-door sales of home improvement products, such as shutters and roofing, between January 2015 and July 2016.
Complainants included residents in West Croydon, Warradale, Brahma Lodge, Andrews Farm, Melrose Park, Renmark and Berri.

An investigation by Consumer and Business Services found evidence that contracts issued by Bramalco attempted to deprive consumers of their termination rights by incorrectly stating that the customer had proactively invited the retailer to their address.

It is further alleged that Bramalco took deposits and installed products within the 10 day cooling off period, breaching their responsibilities under the unsolicited sales provisions of Australian Consumer Law (SA).

Consumer and Business Services also believes Bramalco misinformed consumers about their cooling off rights and refused to provide refunds within the prescribed cooling off period.

“Consumers who are approached by a dealer at their home without inviting them are entitled to an extended 10 day cooling off period.” Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said.

“Arrangements and sales can be cancelled by the consumer at any point within that time without further obligation.”

In accepting the undertaking, the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs notes that Bramalco acknowledged its conduct was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law, and that it will takes steps to ensure future compliance with the Law.

Consumer and Business Services may use written undertakings in place of court-based enforcement action. This does not rule out further action, such as prosecution, if Bramalco fails to abide by the agreement.

If you want to know more about cooling off periods, or report a concern about a door to door salesperson, contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.

Signed assurance


Do the ‘heavy lifting’ before you sign – media release

South Australians who have made a New Year’s resolution to join a gym are being urged to shop around and check out the membership agreement before signing a contract.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio said gym memberships are one of the common purchases that consumers seek advice about during the summer months.

Media release – do the ‘heavy lifting’ before you sign (PDF 172KB)


New liquor licensing laws pass Parliament

Following community and industry consultation, new liquor licensing laws were passed by Parliament yesterday.

The changes will be implemented in different stages, with further consultation in 2018 on the new fee structure and aspects of the new licensing regime.

Consumer and Business Services will work closely with industry bodies and liquor licence holders to ensure a smooth transition.

More details can be found on the Attorney-General’s Department website.

You are encouraged to sign-up for liquor licensing reform announcements and consultation opportunities.

Subscribe to the liquor licensing reform mailing list.


Unlicensed tradie fined $15,000 for breaches – media release

An unlicensed contractor who stole from one client and whose work was of such a poor standard his clients had to spend tens of thousands of dollars fixing it has been fined $15,000 and ordered to repay one of his victims $20,000 in the Adelaide Magistrates Court for breaches of the state’s Building Work Contractor’s Act.

Read the full media release – unlicensed tradie fined $15,000 for breaches (PDF 129KB)