Mr Stowe said Fair Trading has information Charbel Khoury operates Switchiton although he is not a listed director of the company. “We also have evidence Mr Khoury continues to do electrical wiring work while disqualified and there is an ongoing investigation into him and the company,” he said.
Charbel Khoury was a director and the nominated supervisor of Switchworx Electrical Pty Ltd. Switchworx and Charbel Khoury targeted the elderly and vulnerable, falsely representing the need for electrical work. His work was sub-standard and failed to comply with electrical safety standards.
In November 2012, Parramatta Local Court ordered Charbel Khoury and Switchworx to pay $31,162 fines and costs following a conviction on 14 charges under the Australian Consumer Law and the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act.
At that time $50,000 compensation was paid to affected consumers. Charbel Khoury was disqualified from working in the industry for three years and disqualified for a further three years from holding a licence. His licence and the licence for Switchworx Electrical Pty Ltd were cancelled. Switchiton advertises in local newspapers and online Yellow Pages under its name and registered business names.
Switchiton’s electrical licence 259638C was cancelled by Fair Trading on 14 May 2014. Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had received a number of consumer complaints about Switchiton regarding unethical business practices and overcharging.
“Consumers have reported Mr Khoury attending their homes, conducting electrical work and coercing them into buying unnecessary and expensive electrical services,” he said.
“This is the same behaviour for which he has previously been prosecuted. “Anyone who has had any dealings with him or the company and associated businesses can lodge a complaint at the Fair Trading website or at any Fair Trading or Service NSW Centre.”
Mr Stowe said consumers should only deal with appropriately licensed tradespeople and should check trade licenses with Fair Trading online or by calling 13 32 20. -