It was reported at the beginning of the year that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) had written to more than 50 installers of double glazing, insulation and solar, asking them to ensure that they provide consistently good standards to consumers.
The move came after the OFT conducted a review of the energy efficiency sector, incorporating consumer experiences; information provided by enforcement and regulatory partners such as TSS, the ASA and Ofgem; and consumer organisations including Citizens’ Advice, Consumer Watchdog and Which? This review revealed that installers in the energy efficiency arena often exercise poor practice such as high pressure sales techniques, unclear information about paperwork and cancellation rights, and even poor quality installations. Of particular note is the concern regarding instances where consumers could have been given misleading or inaccurate information about their eligibility for a grant or subsidy, or the levels of energy saving they could make.
I’m all for doing everything possible to ensure consumers only get the very best products and services, after all, how else is the double glazing industry in particular to shake off the, in the main, very unjust ‘cowboy’ perception? But do the majority of hard working and reputable installers really still have to face being tarred with this image? I thought at the very least it was the turn of the bankers who, having made obscene profits despite all but ruining the economy, are surely more deserving recipients!
But in all seriousness, the issue of misleading information is one which needs to be addressed. The blame for mis-informing consumers about their eligibility for a grant or subsidy towards energy efficiency measures cannot be laid solely at the feet of installers, particularly when it in fact stems from further up the chain. Many people have noted how the Green Deal seems to have been mis-handled in many respects by the very people implementing it – Government. If information is inaccurate at the top, how can it possibly be anything but when it reaches the consumer?
By partnering with a fabricator that works hard to keep abreast of all the up to the minute industry developments, installers can rest assured that they are armed with all the facts in order to correctly advise their consumer customers. Tradelink’s installer customers, for example, can rest assured that any information they receive from us is current, accurate and designed to help them rather than simply line our own pockets. How many people can say that about their bank manager?
Managing Director, Tradelink