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.