Court order to restrain air-conditioning salesman

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A Tapping air-conditioning salesman has been the subject of numerous public warnings and legal actions involving Consumer Protection since 2002. File picture

THE Supreme Court has made a permanent order for a Tapping salesman to never again be involved in retail air-conditioning sales to WA consumers as a result of further legal action taken by Consumer Protection.

Consumer Protection acting commissioner Penny Lipscombe said Alwyn Robert Healy had been the subject of numerous public warnings and legal actions involving Consumer Protection since 2002.

In June last year Consumer Protection said in January a Yanchep customer had paid $6480 to Mr Healy for a system that had never been installed.

He has operated under various trading names, the most recent being R.E.A.C.T.Air.

On December 23 the Supreme Court permanently restrained him from having involvement in any capacity in the retail sale, supply, installation, negotiation or acceptance of orders for any air-conditioning system for personal use, either as an owner, manager or employee. He was also ordered to pay a total of $10,500 in compensation to two recent customers.

Consumer Protection said in reasons for her decision to order a permanent injunction, Justice Archer said in her view, it was almost inevitable Mr Healy would continue to breach the consumer legislation if he was not restrained.

She said Mr Healy’s dealings with customers showed he prioritised his own interests over dealing fairly and honestly with consumers.

Consumer complaints over many years mostly related to Mr Healy’s claims that the air-conditioning systems that he sold would both cool and heat when there was no heating function.

He also accepted substantial deposits but failed to install the systems within a reasonable time, or at all.

The latest legal action was launched when Mr Healy breached an enforceable undertaking, signed in July 2015, which prevented him from being involved in the industry for five years.

Eight months before the undertaking expired, Mr Healy began advertising and then supplying his products and services, with four complaints from consumers being received. The Supreme Court declared that the undertaking had been breached.

Ms Lipscombe said she hoped the permanent ban would put an end to the long-running matter.

“For almost 20 years, we have been issuing warnings and taking numerous actions against Mr Healy as complaints and the amount of money he owed his customers mounted,” she said.

“I believe Mr Healy has proven himself incapable of working for or operating an air-conditioning business without contravening consumer laws.

“He has shown contempt for the law, as well as for many of his customers who rightfully deserve to get exactly what they ordered and within a reasonable time.

“Despite numerous court orders requiring Mr Healy to pay compensation to his customers, most have been left out of pocket.

“One judgement alone awarded $127,000 in damages but nothing has been paid.

“I hope this latest Supreme Court decision will be the finale to this saga.

“Mr Healy’s activities will be closely monitored to ensure he complies with the ban.”

If any consumer is approached by Alwyn Healy relating to air-conditioning sales, they are asked to lodge a complaint via the Consumer Protection website or email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or call 1300 304 054.