Party supplier ‘likely broke consumer law’: Fair Trading
Party supplies business Pink Frosting - used by tens of thousands of Australians - is likely to have broken consumer law over unfulfilled orders, a long-running investigation by fair trading authorities has found.
But no action will be taken because the primarily online operation has ceased trading.
On August 13, Canberra Liberals' Nicole Lawder asked ACT Consumer Affairs Minister Shane Rattenbury a question without notice in the Territory's Legislative Assembly about the investigation into Fyshwick-based Pink Frosting.
"Well over a year ago, an ACT Fair Trading spokesperson advised that Fair Trading was investigating complaints about a business, Pink Frosting," Ms Lawder said. "Minister, what has been the outcome of investigations into the complaints against the large party supplies business, Pink Frosting?"
The Daily Telegraph has established the investigation began in 2018.
Mr Rattenbury, of the ACT Greens, took the question on notice to "seek advice".
On August 20 he told the Assembly that Access Canberra had finished its investigation.
"While evidence obtained by Access Canberra indicates that Pink Frosting is likely to have breached Australian consumer law," Mr Rattenbury said, "on this occasion a full enforcement outcome was not pursued since Pink Frosting has ceased its operation, and the business is currently being deregistered.
"Ms Lawder also asked me about the number of complaints received by Fair Trading on this particular matter," he continued.
"I can inform the Assembly that Access Canberra has received 53 complaints about Pink Frosting since 2017. Consumers who paid for goods that were not supplied were encouraged to contact their credit card issuer to obtain a chargeback of the purchase price."
Pink Frosting's owner Louise Curtis - who had previously described complaining customers as "hysterical" and claimed the business was the victim of a "witch hunt" - remained defiant on Tuesday.
Asked to comment on Access Canberra's finding, Ms Curtis responded via her lawyers that "at no material time did the Commissioner for Fair Trading, the ACT Government, or the ACT Government Solicitor provide this office with any evidence in support of those allegations or complaints".
"Pink Frosting fulfilled in excess of 47,000 orders in the period 2017 to 2020, rendering the 53 complaints noted by Mr Rattenbury less than 0.001 per cent of all orders taken by the business."
The correct calculation, on those numbers, would be less than 0.1 per cent.
"Our client denies engaging in any conduct contrary to the operation of the Australian Consumer Law," Ms Curtis's lawyers said.
Access Canberra said it had "nothing to add."
On productreview.com.au, Pink Frosting received 992 one-star ratings - the lowest possible - out of 1227 reviews.
Originally published as Pink Frosting 'likely broke consumer law': Fair Trading