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More than $8 million recovered by consumers


By Juliano Oliveira

Queensland consumers managed to recover more than $8 million in refunds, repairs, replacements and other compensation in 2019.

The numbers are part of a report released by the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) that show yet that in the last 12 months, the agency has also taken traders in several industries to court for breaches of consumer legislation.

“This includes a Toowoomba dog breeder who was fined $14,500 for failing to supply puppies and a tradie fined $10,000 for failing to install pool fences,” said Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath.

“There’s also the case of a bitumen bandit who was hit with a $64,000 fine for failing to meet his consumer obligations.” All consumers who had been affected by these traders received their refunds.

Complaints against traders are encouraged to be lodged online or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

During the last year, over 15,800 grievances from the public were finalised by the agency, while in 2018, 16,063 were accounted for.

“The vast majority of Queensland traders comply with the law and are committed to good customer service, but there’s always a minority that aren’t doing the right thing.

Mrs D’Ath said the OFT’s free and informal conciliation process was delivering great results, returning $6,126,000 to consumers in 2019.

“Even where there’s no breach for which enforcement action can be taken, the matter is often referred for conciliation as the consumer may still be entitled to a refund or replacement,” she said.

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