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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Friday, January 17, 2020

    Bitumen bandit, dodgy dog breeder among those caught in $8 million Fair Trade dragnet

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Friday, January 17, 2020

    Bitumen bandit, dodgy dog breeder among those caught in $8 million Fair Trade dragnet

    A bitumen bandit and a dodgy dog breeder caught ripping off consumers are among those snared in an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) dragnet.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said more than $8 million was returned to Queensland consumers by the Office of Fair Trading in refunds, repairs, replacements and other compensation in 2019.

    Mrs D’Ath said the consumer protection agency finalised just over 15,800 complaints from the public for the year, similar to the 16,063 finalised in 2018.

    “The Office of Fair Trading is there to protect Queensland consumers and the results from 2019 shows they’re doing a great job,” she said.

    “They’re working to create a fairer and safer marketplace for all Queenslanders through a combination of compliance, enforcement and education activities.

    "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.

    “The results from 2019 are a testament to the great work of the Office of Fair Trading and effectiveness of Queensland’s consumer protection regime.”

    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.

    “In the last 12 months, the OFT 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.

    “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 three of these traders were also ordered to provide refunds to consumers.”

    The OFT also provided information and advice by telephone to over 101,000 consumers and traders and assisted a further 14,000 consumers with their disputes via its enquiry services.

    If consumers would like to lodge a complaint against a trader, they are encouraged to do so online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

    The most complained about industries in Queensland in 2019:

    Industry

    Number of complaints

    Personal and household goods (eg furniture, whitegoods, TVs, computers)

    4,164

    Motor vehicle sales

    1,856

    Personal and household services (eg repairs to whitegoods, hair dressers, gardening, etc)

    1,508

    Real estate agents

    1,158

    Motor vehicles services, repairs, parts

    952

     

    The most complained about industries by region in 2019:

     

    Location of complainant

    Number of complaints finalised

    Redress obtained by OFT regional office**

    Top five industries complaints related to and number of complaints

    Brisbane area*

    9,917

    $2,632,648

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Personal and household services

    4. Real estate agents

    5. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    Cairns area

    578

    $400,627

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Personal and household services

    4. Real estate agents

    5. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    Mackay area

    321

    $475,827

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    4. Real estate agents

    5. Personal and household services

    Rockhampton area

    372

    $552,571

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Personal and household services

    4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    5. Real estate agents

    Gold Coast area

    1,954

    $1,071,281

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Personal and household services

    4. Real estate agents

    5. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    Sunshine Coast area

    1,196

    $1,114,938

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Personal and household services

    4. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    5. Real estate agents

    Wide Bay area

    536

    $628,735

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    4. Personal and household services

    5. Real estate agents

    Toowoomba area

    489

    $388,062

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Personal and household services

    4. Real estate agents

    5. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    Townsville area

    445

    $833,487

    1. Personal and household goods

    2. Motor vehicle sales

    3. Motor vehicle services, repairs, parts

    4. Personal and household services

    5. Real estate agents

    Total

    15,808

    $8,098,176

     

    *Includes consumers who reside outside of Queensland or have not provided an address.

    **The redress figures provided are those obtained by each OFT region, they do not perfectly align with the individual complaint numbers as some matters may be handled by another OFT office for operational reasons and because some matters for which redress was obtained may have originated from information or intelligence received by the agency rather than consumer complaints.

    Media contact: Martin Philip 0407 675 008