A Molendinar business has been ordered to pay more than $57,000 in fines and restitution for accepting payment for solar system work that was never completed.
The court heard that in 2014, Free Power Solutions accepted more than $27,000 from three different consumers for the purchase and installation of solar systems.
To this day, the consumers have still not received the solar systems, nor a refund or any communication since.
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On Tuesday, the Southport Magistrate described the matter as despicable and fined the company $30,000 on three counts of wrongly accepting payment for goods and services.
They were also ordered to pay $27,770 in compensation to the three affected consumers left out of pocket and a conviction was recorded.
The incident has prompted Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer to issue a warning to consumers making large upfront payments, especially from businesses they haven’t dealt with before.
“If a consumer hasn’t dealt with the trader before, and they will only accept large upfront payments, consumers should consider going elsewhere,” Mr Bauer said.
“Consumers should conduct their own research, whether through word of mouth or online, before making significant purchases.
“The Court’s decision today reinforces to dodgy traders that ripping off Queensland consumers will not be tolerated.”