Three removalist companies and two individuals misled and deceived customers about the insurance applying to their services, Melbourne Magistrates' Court has found.
Superstar Removals and Cleaning Pty Ltd of Kew, Shine Removals Pty Ltd of Nunawading and Blue Rhine Removals and Transport Pty Ltd of Balwyn North, engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive.
When goods were damaged while being moved, the companies did not enable customers to claim on their insurance – despite making assurances that they would be able do so – or offer another remedy.
The companies, other than Blue Rhino, failed to give customers appropriate receipts or other proof of transaction for services costing $75 or more.
The court also found two directors were involved in the companies' breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
All of the defendants were restrained for five years from entering into agreements or contracts with consumers for removal services, unless they:
- provide consumers with proof of transactions, for any services valued at $75 or more
- comply with the ACL and the court orders
- implement and meet the requirements of a compliance program.
During the next five years, they must not make representations to consumers about insurance applying to their removal services unless:
- those representations are truthful and accurate
- they hold a valid and current insurance policy covering removal services that entitles a customer to make a claim for any damage
- they comply with the ACL and implement and meet the requirements of a compliance program.
The court also restrained the directors from further breaches of the ACL and the orders for the next five years, through these companies or any other removal business. They cannot be involved in the management of any removals business, unless they implement and meet the requirements of the compliance program ordered by the court.
They and the companies must publish notices at their businesses and on their websites, and pay costs of $5616.
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