Door-to-door salesman fined

JASON Devine will have to re-think how he conducts business in the Gympie region after being found guilty in the Gympie Magistrates Court last week for breaching the Fair Trading Act 1989.

Mr Devine was convicted and fined $6000 plus court costs of $1500 for laying a bitumen driveway without providing the customer with their door-to-door sales rights.

Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor said door-to-door traders had specific requirements they must abide by as door-to-door selling was often unsolicited.

“Selling products and services door-to-door is a legitimate way of doing business, as long as the salesperson follows the law which is in place to protect residents,” he said.

Mr Jason Devine, director of J Devine Road Constructions, cold called a Gympie household in 2009 and breached the Fair Trading Act by not providing the consumer with any of the required paperwork, as well as ignoring their legal right to a 10-day cooling-off period.

Mr Devine was found guilty of one count of breaching sections 61 and 62 of the door-to-door provisions of the Act which specifies how door-to-door traders can engage and enter into contracts with consumers.

Mr Lawlor reminded consumers and traders of their rights and obligations when it came to door-to-door sales.

 When calling on customers, the trader must, as soon as practicable, explain their purpose and produce an identity card bearing their name and address.

 If a customer decides to buy goods or services worth more than $75, the trader must provide a written contract setting out the total price and other prescribed terms.

 The trader must also provide a notice explaining the consumer’s right to cancel the contract and their right to a mandatory 10-day cooling-off period, which enables them to change their minds without penalty within 10 days. The trader must also provide a form consumers can use if they wish to cancel the contract within the cooling-off period.

 The trader is prohibited from supplying services or accepting payment within the 10-day cooling-off period.

Members of the public can report suspicious activity of a trader to the Office of Fair Trading by calling 13 74 68.

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