AN airconditioning company that accepted payments from consumers but failed to install either all or parts of the systems has been ordered to pay more than $187,000 in fines, costs and compensation by the Perth Magistrates Court.
Solar H C, trading as Affordable Home Comfort, was fined $150,000 and ordered to pay costs of $7659.40, as well as compensation to six consumers, amounting to $11,940.
Sole director Maxwell Raymond Healy, of Bindoon, was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay costs of $7659.40.
The company and Mr Healy were found guilty of 16 charges of breaching Australian Consumer Law.
Between October 2013 and May 2014, Affordable Home Comfort accepted payments ranging from $700 to $7560 from the 16 consumers for the installation of either reverse-cycle airconditioning or evaporative airconditioning with solar heating and, in most cases, the company agreed to complete the work within six weeks.
For eight of the consumers, the company installed airconditioning systems but failed to install the solar heating fan, leaving the customers without a working heating system. The other eight consumers did not receive anything at all.
It is an offence to accept payments from consumers and then fail to deliver the goods or services within the specified or a reasonable time and refuse to provide a refund.
In his decision, Magistrate Wheeler found that Affordable Home Comfort and Mr Healy had accepted several orders from customers when the solar heating components had not been ordered and they knew that they could not supply that system.
In sentencing, he found that the offending was serious and that neither the company nor Mr Healy had shown any remorse.
Consumer Protection Acting Commissioner David Hillyard said Max Healy and his brother Alwyn, who was an employee of the business, had had a long history with the Department.
“Alwyn Healy in particular has been the subject of numerous public warnings and successful prosecutions under various business names for many years,” he said.
“We welcome the outcome of this court case. We hope that this latest prosecution will be the last against the Healy brothers and there will be no more consumers in WA who will lose their money by being conned by these two men.”
Consumer rights information is at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/cp and inquiries can be made by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.