On Tuesday, the agency said Paul Stewart, who traded under the now deregistered business name Solid Timber Furniture, had taken deposits totalling $22,000 from customers but did not carry out work.
Mr Stewart’s business was advertised on Gumtree as well as his own website www.solidtimber.com.au.
He allegedly advertised items of furniture for sale online and when customers inquired about purchasing the items, he told them they were sold and offered to make them another one.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said Mr Stewart had not fulfilled orders despite promises to consumers and failed to refund deposits.
‘Consumers report difficulty in contacting Mr Stewart, who was recently evicted from his Port Kennedy business premises for non-payment of rent,’ he said. ‘While we have only had brief contact with Mr Stewart, he continues to avoid attempts by the department to discuss resolution of the complaints. Considering Mr Stewart’s recent track record and non-cooperation with Consumer Protection, we would strongly recommend that consumers do not have any dealings with this trader.’
Mr Newcombe said it was a reminder that paying large deposits for goods or services was ‘risky business’.
Consumers who have had recent dealings with Mr Stewart should contact Consumer Protection by email email@example.com