A door-to-door salesman who took advantage of older Victorians has been ordered to cease trading for five years and pay more than $17,000 in refunds, damages, penalties and costs.
We took action against David James Donald, 73, of Reservoir, in the Supreme Court of Victoria, after he engaged in high-pressure sales tactics, including demanding up-front cash payments for his carpet and upholstery cleaning services.
Statements from affected consumers submitted to the court included those from:
- an 89-year-old pensioner who reported that Mr Donald forced his way into her home and bullied her into writing a cheque for $550 - despite her insistence that she could not afford it
- a 74-year-old man from whom Mr Donald demanded $525 cash for carpet cleaning, after entering the man's home uninvited
- an elderly couple who paid Mr Donald $450 after he insisted he had cleaned their carpet seven years previously, and that it needed to be done again.
The court found that Mr Donald failed to comply with the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) (ACL) provisions for door-to-door sales, including requirements to:
- give a 10-day cooling-off period
- provide a full name, and
- inform consumers he must leave immediately upon request.
We issued a public warning against Mr Donald in April last year after he defied Supreme Court orders to conduct his business in accordance with the ACL. For more information, view our Carpet cleaning and other services supplied by David James Donald - Public warning page.
In May last year, we obtained an interim injunction preventing Mr Donald from approaching consumers unsolicited at home, over the phone or in public to seek business. For more information on that action, view our David James Donald - Interim injunction page.
We received complaints that Mr Donald was continuing to trade in contravention of those interim orders. Those complaints formed the basis of this action.
If you or someone you know is approached by Mr Donald, contact us on 1300 55 81 81.