Perth plumbing company fined by consumer protection

A Perth plumbing and electrical company received a bulky infringement notice for breaking consumer laws.

The fine comes after the company fails to repay a deposit after overvaluing unnecessary work.

A consumer paid a 50 percent deposit for work, including replacing a hot water system, when the only problem was a simple pipe leak. The total quote was $ 6,083, but after the plumber left the consumer contacted other plumbing contractors who indicated the cost was excessive and they would only charge half the amount.

When the consumer contacted the originating company to cancel the contract, they were told that the deposit would not be refunded. It was only when Consumer Protection intervened and issued the notice of violation that the deposit of $ 3,041.50 was refunded.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Gary Newcombe told Gareth Parker that under Australian Consumer Law an invitation to provide a quote does not constitute an invitation to do the job.

“Taking the deposit on the spot was illegal,” he said.

Mr Newcombe said the company will remain anonymous but more industry investigations are ongoing.

“There is a problem with some people in the plumbing industry,” Mr. Newcombe said.

“We are conducting formal investigations on another couple of companies in this space.”

Regarding maintaining the anonymity of the company, Mr Newcombe said there is a “rigorous” legal process to be able to name and shame.

“We did not pass this test internally and I had legal advice on it.”

The anonymous company will pay a fine of $ 6,600, with consumers being asked to get more than one quote before doing any work on the home.

Press PLAY to find out what else to look for when hiring a plumber: