Col­lect call for busi­ness

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FIT FOR BUSINESS -

with Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard WHAT hap­pens when a cus­tomer fails to re­turn to col­lect their goods from a busi­ness?

WA busi­nesses left hold­ing un­col­lected items which they don’t want tak­ing up valu­able stor­age space have to take cer­tain steps be­fore they can dis­pose of the goods.

This pro­ce­dure, which can in­volve an ap­pli­ca­tion to the courts depend­ing on the value of the goods, may seem in­con­ve­nient but it’s the law and serves to pro­tect peo­ple’s prop­erty.

Hav­ing to fol­low the dis­posal of goods process is known to be an is­sue for WA’s motor ve­hi­cle re­pair­ers, who are of­ten left with un­claimed low-value cars fit only for wreck­ing or parts. Other ex­am­ples in­clude:

a tow­ing busi­ness picks up a dam­aged car but isn’t told by the owner what to do with it;

clothes are left for dry-clean­ing but never col­lected;

hol­i­day­mak­ers va­cate a car­a­van park with­out tak­ing their tent and camp stove.

Up un­til re­cently, un­der WA’s Dis­posal of Un­col­lected Goods Act the re­quire­ment to get per­mis­sion from the court ap­plied to any item worth more than $300. How­ever, in the big­gest change to this law since its in­cep­tion in 1970, this value thresh­old has in­creased to $3500.

The amend­ment, which starts on June 12, will save busi­nesses time, money and has­sle.

So from now on, if a ve­hi­cle or any item worth less than $3500 is not claimed or col­lected and the busi­ness can­not con­tact the cus­tomer, there is no need for the busi­ness to sub­mit a court ap­pli­ca­tion for per­mis­sion to get rid of it.

Busi­nesses do still have to try their best to no­tify the owner.

Busi­nesses want­ing to dis­pose of goods val­ued at more than $3500 will need to make an ap­pli­ca­tion to the court. This is a le­gal re­quire­ment.

Guid­ance on the pro­ce­dures busi­nesses must ad­here to when dis­pos­ing of un­col­lected goods can be found on Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion’s web­site www.com­merce.wa.gov.au/cp (there’s a spe­cific fact­sheet for ve­hi­cle re­pair­ers) or call our con­tact cen­tre on 1300 30 40 54.

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