The Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned consumers about an online collectibles retailer that has allegedly failed to provide numerous refunds for goods ordered through the website, or failed to provide the goods at all.
Online collectible toy business Premium Collectables has had 86 complaints lodged against it via the Queensland and New South Wales Offices of Fair Trading relating to warranty and refund issues, and for failing to provide shoppers with their products after payment.
The director of the business is alleged to have received over $47,000 in payment for goods that were then not supplied. Despite initially cooperating with the consumer watchdogs in response to the complaints, the OFT has since reported the director has ceased responding, forcing it to issue the public warning.
“Agreed delivery timeframes, whether long or short, must be met, as must refund policies,” Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said in a statement.
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“Ignoring consumers who try to assert their consumer rights is never the answer.”
Premium Collectables currently has over 120 one-star ratings on reviews website Product Review, with many reviewers claiming they have not received thousands of dollars in goods they had pre-ordered.
A “complaint advice forum” for disgruntled customers of the company has been established on Facebook, with nearly 550 members, and another exists with 180 members. The last post on Premium Collectable’s Facebook page is from August 2017, and addresses a “rumour being spun around social media regarding our operations”.
“This Rumour [sic] is 100 percent false, unsubstantiated and potentially slanderous. We are seeking legal options in response to the parties responsible and thank the many loyal customers for drawing this to our attention,” the post reads.
“We Continue [sic] to run as normal, and would encourage anyone who is not happy with our services to sort them out through normal legal consumer channels as most people do.”
SmartCompany was unable to contact Premium Collectables or its director, as the company’s website has been taken down and its email server disconnected.
Speaking to SmartCompany about a similar Fair Trading case from February last year, commercial lawyer at Russell Kennedy Lawyers, Andrew Parlour, told SmartCompany online retailers have an obligation to supply goods to customers within a reasonable timeframe.
“Consumer guarantees dictate that a supply of services or goods is dealt with in a reasonable period of time,” Parlour said at the time.
“You don’t really see this happen with bricks-and-mortar stores. You know what stock’s there, and you know when you run out. Online systems can often take orders that don’t match stock, so systems need to be implemented that only accepts orders that match current stock.”