Fencing case underlines deposit risk

Earlier this year, Consumer Protection launched legal action against United Fencing, a Harvey-based registered company of sole director James Lee Battah.

The legal action was abandoned after Mr Battah was declared bankrupt.

It is believed the company owes $43,000 to 24 customers after failing to carry out work in Mandurah and Bunbury.

Consumer Protection commissioner Anne Driscoll said Mr Battah and his company did not have assets for consumers to get their money back.

‘While individual consumers have the right to continue with their own legal action, the bankruptcy means there is no public interest in the department continuing with its action,’ she said.

‘Mr Battah’s company is likely to be deregistered and we believe he is now no longer trading as a fencing contractor. The conditions of his bankruptcy will preclude him from holding a role as director in any other company for three years or until his creditors have been repaid.’

‘This case highlights the risks consumers face when paying large deposits before work is carried out,’ she said.

‘We urge consumers not to pay large deposits, shop around and do their homework before paying upfront.’