Studio Shade Australia/Shade Solutions - legal action

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26 July 2023
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A business owner whose installation company has been the focus of a public warning notice is facing legal action. 

Formerly known as Shade Solutions, Studio Shade Australia supplies and installs outdoor motorised awnings, retractable roofs and blinds for residential and commercial properties.

We allege that Studio Shade Australia has been targeting small businesses since its name changed in May this year. It operates from a warehouse in Dandenong South, with a substantial amount of its business in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. 

The owner, Andrew Valk, 55, of Malvern, changed the name of his registered company Shade Solutions Australia (Vic) Pty Ltd to SSA (Vic) Pty Ltd (ACN 651 260 436), a week before commencing business as Studio Shade Australia.

Valk has allegedly approached qualified industry practitioners and tradespeople - such as developers, architects, landscapers, pool builders and retailers – in a bid to team up with him in a ‘dealer network’, and to incorporate his products in their building projects.

Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Nicole Rich urged people to avoid entering into an agreement with Studio Shade Australia or Shade Solutions.

Rich said customers who had contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria had alleged that they had paid Shade Solutions/Studio Shade Australia to install its products, but the work was never completed and on most occasions, no refunds were provided.

To date, we have received over 140 complaints about the company under its different business names.

`I would encourage consumers wanting motorised blinds and awnings to find another business to supply and install these products,’ Rich said.

She urged customers who had suffered financial loss to contact Consumer Affairs Victoria, and for the warning to be shared with consumers and businesses, to help ensure the public is protected from the company’s practices.

Our legal proceedings against Valk allege that he failed to respond by the due date to a Show Cause Notice under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, and breached the law by continuing to trade. 

Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has scheduled a plea hearing for Thursday 18 July 2024.