A solar panel company which used “high pressure” sales tactics then refused to cancel the order has been fined $7,500.
Wangara company Ausfront Pty Ltd, which trades as Modern Solar and Modern Streamline Roller Shutters, was fined in Perth Magistrate’s Court on Friday after pleading guilty to nine charges of violating the Australian Consumer Law.
The company encouraged an aged pensioner to buy thousands of dollars worth of solar panels but refused to cancel the sale after she realised she could not afford them.
Consumer Protection said in a statement today that the company failed to provide the correct information about a 10-day cooling off period which allows the contracts to be terminated and instead refused to cancel the sale of two purchases from Perth homeowners.
A Balga pensioner was cold-called by a salesperson from the company in September 2012 and bought solar panels valued at $8,800.
Consumer Protection said the woman tried to cancel the contract, but the salesperson refused.
“The consumer was subjected to high pressure sales tactics and later realised she could not afford the purchase,” a statement from Consumer Protection said.
In April last year, a Gosnells couple used the company’s website to request a free quote for roller shutters but was visited at their home by an uninvited salesperson on a public holiday.
The couple were also said to be subjected to high pressure sales tactics and signed a $6,000 contract.
Given the couple had only requested a quote, the contract became subject to the “unsolicited consumer agreement” provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said businesses needed to review their sales contracts and practices to ensure they comply completely with consumer law.
“Under these circumstances, while contracts can be signed during visits to a consumer’s home, no payments can be received and no goods can be delivered or services carried out until the ten business day cooling off period expires,” he said.
“Businesses who flaunt this law face serious consequences in terms of prosecution action and damage to their reputation in the marketplace.”