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Australian ex-franchisee David Coombes won his case against the Auto Masters franchisor on clear and undeniable merit, lost everything after 12 years of battle and now seeks $1.8M from the federal; government on the basis that the franchising regulator, the ACCC, repeatedly slammed the door on his legitimate complaints.
Auto Masters, which was found by the WA Supreme Court to have acted unconscionably in trying to take his business off him, ended up with it anyway, paying a giveaway price of less than $4000 after Mr Coombes went to the wall financially. Chalpat Sonti
The ACCC refused to provide the legal opinion it relies on in throwing out the Coombes complaint.
Yet it released two earlier opinions in response to questions in the Senate and has used his story as a case study in a guide it published.
It has also provided confusing and contradictory answers to the Senate for questions asked on behalf of Mr Coombes.
I doubt there is a franchisee in Australia who has had dealings with the ACCC who would not support Mr Coombes’ claim for compensation.
Perth MP and Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Stephen Smith wrote to Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner supporting an act of grace payment, as did former Labor Senator Ruth Webber.
Only Stephen Smith is still around and he has forgotten David Coombes.