An SME business owner has copped a hefty fine after being convicted for consumer law offences, after customers of his Sunshine Coast business complained that he failed to deliver on his already paid-for obligations — and not for the first time.
Braden Douglas Tagg has once again entered the spotlight after being ordered to pay over $44,000 by the Caloundra Magistrates Court for failing to supply goods, after charges were brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Mr Tagg, trading as XRO Racing, an online four-wheel drive fabrication business based in Conondale, was found guilty of three counts of accepting payment for goods and failing to supply them under the Australian Consumer Law.
Mr Tagg was fined $40,000 and ordered to pay $4,416 in restitution to affected consumers as well as court costs. A conviction was recorded.
The OFT initiated an investigation into XRO Racing after receiving complaints from consumers.
The court heard that between October and November 2016, Mr Tagg accepted payment from three consumers for custom made 4WD accessories, for a total cost of $4,416. Although Mr Tagg communicated with the three consumers, no products were delivered as promised within a reasonable period of time.
The consumers were also provided verbal assurances from Mr Tagg that they would receive a refund, which was never provided.
In sentencing, the court noted the OFT’s court action against Mr Tagg in July 2017 and January 2015 for the same offence, as well as his failure to cooperate with the OFT.
Fair Trading executive director, Brian Bauer, said that businesses with a track record of failing to abide by their obligations under the ACL should be avoided.
“Businesses who accept money from consumers with no intention to supply the goods or services can expect OFT enforcement action,” he added.
Mr Tagg was fined $6,000 in July 2017 and $30,000 in January 2015 for the same offences.
At the time, Mr Bauer said: “Continuing to take advantage of consumer shows a blatant disregard for consumer law.”