Consumer Action Law Centre has today launched a legal action on behalf of a vulnerable Victorian man against TLC Consulting Services Pty Ltd (TLC), an introduction agent permanently restrained from carrying on an introduction business in Queensland but still allowed to operate in Victoria.
Policy Officer, Sean Carroll, said that Consumer Action’s client was seeking a refund of $110,000 paid to TLC and a further $10,000 in damages for stress and humiliation suffered as a result of TLC’s conduct.
‘Our client is profoundly deaf and suffers depression following a workplace accident several years ago. He was contacted by TLC after completing a free on-line compatibility test advertised in his local newspaper in which he noted his disability,’ said Mr Carroll.
‘We are instructed that after completing the test, TLC made numerous unsolicited phone calls to our client offering introduction services. He was reluctant to sign-up but eventually yielded after six months of TLC contact.’
‘After paying an initial $1,600 to sign up for introduction services in late October last year, we claim that our client received numerous phone calls offering ‘upgraded’ services. We are instructed that between October and December 2008 our client paid TLC the amounts of $5,000, $2,500, $5,000, $400, $35,000, $45,500 and $15,000 successively, totalling a massive $110,000. This was most of his Workcover payment.’
Mr Carroll said that another legal action launched by Consumer Action against TLC in December, on behalf of a vulnerable Victorian man with an acquired brain injury, was going to a hearing today seeking a refund of almost $10,000 paid by this man to TLC.
‘In both cases, we allege that one of the upgrades promised was an ‘Exclusive Makeover Package’ consisting of a trip to the Gold Coast to receive various services, including a professional image consultancy, a taped video interview for emailing to potential introductions, a shopping trip with consultants and a life skills course. In both cases, we are instructed that these and other services were not delivered as had been agreed.’
‘Our legal claim issued today alleges that TLC breached the Victorian telephone marketing and introduction agents laws, as well as engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in taking advantage of someone who TLC knew or ought to have known was vulnerable and clearly disadvantaged due to a disability.’
‘These cases are becoming all too familiar and it is time the Victorian Government followed its Queensland counterparts and took action to have TLC banned from continuing to prey on Victorians.’