CUSTOMERS across the Great Southern and the country fear they have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to an Albany businessman who failed to provide shed building services he was paid to deliver.
Nineteen complaints have been filed with Consumer Protection this week against Armand Javellana, owner of Aussie Sheds Albany, who is alleged to have accepted $226,000 for various orders for sheds but either did not complete the builds or did not commence the builds at all.
Mr Javellana has failed to respond to Consumer Protection officers who visited the now closed Chester Pass Road business this week.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Lanie Chopping said the number of people affected and the large amounts involved so far was concerning.
“At this stage it is vital that all consumers, who have either paid deposits or the full amount for sheds that have yet to be constructed, get in touch with us so we can determine the extent of the financial detriment involved,” she said.
Albany resident Audra Pearson ordered an American barn shed with a mezzanine from Mr Javellana back in January.
She planned to use it to open a zoo, expanding her Reptile Haven business.
In March, Aussie Sheds Albany workers delivered sand to her property and Mr Javellana requested Ms Pearson’s second payment of $12,500, totalling $25,000 into Mr Javellana’s pocket.
Ms Pearson said she paid but never heard from Mr Javellana again after four months.
“We were meant to catch up two weeks ago Friday to talk about our kit, because he hadn’t ordered the second part yet,” she said.
“He never showed and said he’d come tomorrow, he never showed. He said he’d come the next day and never showed again.
“I was getting pretty angry.”
Ms Pearson soon learned the doors of Aussie Sheds Albany had been closed.
“I was told the shed would be up by mid-March and he hadn’t even received council approval in March,” she said.
“He hadn’t even ordered the shed; I was told it would be here in July.
“I’m at the end of my tether.
McKail residents Kevin Allen and Leanne Howlett have also been left in the dark in a similar situation after paying more than $8,000 in upfront payments for a double garage.
The couple ordered the garage in January, had the sand pad laid in May with footings, form work, plastic and wire mesh installed, but nothing else since.
“We fully understand sometimes the weather does disrupt their work and they can have a few jobs on the go, but not knowing when our garage is to be erected was the frustrating part,” Ms Howlett said.
“No dates were given to us; our yard is a mess and it’s embarrassing.
“Why and how could he do this to everyone?”
Across the country in New South Wales, Simone Law and Brad Oliver have been left feeling “absolutely sick” after paying 50 per cent of their order, totalling just over $30,000, and receiving nothing.
Mr Javellana had begun some of the development application work with the couple’s local council after the order was placed in April and payment made in June.
Mr Javellana did not answer any of Mr Oliver’s calls for an update on the progress.
“Armand, I worked so hard to get this shed happening; you have wrecked my plans of my partner and our kids all being in one house,” Mr Oliver said.
“Please just pay us back all our deposits. You called me nearly every night wanting to discuss the shed and now nothing.
“You got your money and ran.”
The Weekender contacted Mr Javellana for comment.
Consumers who have paid money for a shed but have yet to have the work completed are urged to lodge an online complaint on the Consumer Protection website or contact the department by emailing email@example.com or calling 1300 30 40 54.