Richard Alexander Roberson - s.87B undertaking

Company or individual details

  • Richard Alexander Roberson (this entry is an individual, not a company)

Undertaking

From about May 2007 to October 2007, Richard Alexander Roberson, trading as Backpacker Employment Services (BES), published or caused to be published, advertisements in a variety of media offering fruit picking jobs.

Mr Roberson represented that:

  • fruit picking jobs were available in a variety of locations, including the Taree area of New South Wales and in Queensland;
  • he could supply fruit picking jobs to unemployed persons if they agreed to pay for a 6 month subscription at a cost of $50 or a 12 month subscription for $100 with BES;
  • he could guarantee employment to his subscribers for the length of their subscription;
  • he had between 200 and 300 fruit picking jobs available at Moorland Orchard, that these jobs were available from July 2007, that accommodation was available and that the rate of pay would be $16 per hour.

ACCC enquiries revealed that insofar as the representations were in respect of future matters, Mr Roberson did not have reasonable grounds for making the representations.

In particular, Mr Roberson had no arrangement with Moorland Orchard whereby that business would provide employment to any fruit pickers referred to it by Mr Roberson. More generally, Mr Roberson had no reasonable grounds for representing that he would offer fruit picking jobs to subscribers for the period of their respective subscriptions.

The ACCC considered that by making these representations that Mr Roberson engaged in conduct in contravention of sections 52, 53 (c) and (d) and 53B of the Act.

Mr Roberson has provided court enforceable undertakings to the ACCC that he will refrain from making the offending representations in circumstances where they are not correct and/or he does not have reasonable grounds for making such representations.

Mr Roberson also undertakes that he will:

  • write to all subscribers of BES for whom he has an address, informing them of the undertaking and offering a refund;
  • publish a consumer notice in relevant newspapers, correcting the misrepresentations made;
  • provide a refund of the entire subscription fee to any BES subscriber who requests a refund; and
  • implement a trade practices compliance program.

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