The Federal Court has found that education consultancy company Get Qualified Australia Pty Ltd (GQA) “made false or misleading representations and engaged in unconscionable conduct in its supply of services to consumers seeking recognition of their prior learning to gain qualifications, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.”
The proceedings were commenced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
GQA engaged in the supply of services to people who were seeking qualifications based on their prior experience. People paid between $750 and $8500 for GQA courses but ultimately did not receive any qualification.
The Court found that GQA made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. This included failing to provide the service, refusing refunds and assuring customers that they were eligible for qualifications, despite not being qualified to assess that eligibility.
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said, “Get Qualified used misleading marketing to create the impression that it could guarantee qualifications for consumers when it is the role of Registered Training Organisations to assess whether a qualification will be granted. This conduct has resulted in significant personal and financial stress for people who put a large amount of time, effort and money into trying to get a qualification.”
GQA did not defend the claim against it at the proceedings on 28 March 2017. The company went into liquidation earlier that month.
The Court also held that Mr Adam Wadi, the sole director of GQA, was knowingly concerned in GQA’s breach of the Australian Consumer Law. ACCC Commissioner Court noted that directors involved in unconscionable conduct can be personally liable for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law. You can read the full ACCC media release here.
If you believe that your consumer rights may have been breached, please call Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc. on (08) 9221 7066 for a free confidential discussion. Our telephone advice line is open Monday to Friday (except public holidays) from 9am to 4pm.