It is widely recognised in our industry sector that the Certass name has become synonymous with benchmark professionalism and is the Certification Body quality mark used by contractors who understand the great value in confidence this provides to the consumer.
Certass has always had a good working relationship with Trading Standards and will always assist Trading Standards in the prosecution of any uncertified business using our logos; thereby ensuring our certified businesses continue to benefit from their membership with us and both businesses and consumers can believe in our brand.
Certass recently assisted West Yorkshire Trading Standards in their successful prosecution against such a rogue trader claiming to be registered with Certass thus proving that Trading Standards is very effective and does have teeth when it comes to dealing with rogue traders and their mispresented claims.
The below West Yorkshire Trading Standards press release is about a case where a rogue trader was using the Certass branding to legitimise their business without our permission.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Press release continues:
ROGUE TRADER JAILED FOR UNFAIR TRADING PRACTICES AGAINST ELDERLY VULNERABLE CONSUMERS
Andrew Bagshaw (39) who traded as Ecoways (a double glazing business) has been sentenced to 8 months imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court on Friday having pleaded guilty at an early hearing to multiple offences breaching consumer protection legislation.
The offences related to:
- Failing to refund a deposit of £500 when a consumer cancelled their contract
- Taking a deposit of £500 from another consumer and failing to carry out any work
- Failing to honour a 10 year guarantee when a consumer complained of defects with their windows
- Claiming that a price was available for that day only
- Informing a customer that his bill would be reduced by £250 due to a Pilkington’s scheme when no such scheme existed
- Claiming to be a member of Certass, an accredited certification scheme, when this was not the case.
The victims of Ecoways were all retired with many aged in their eighties. The eldest victim was 87. One 83 year old victim from Leeds signed 3 contracts with Ecoways, the final contract being for a porch canopy. The victim was promised a double pitched design and was charged £1700. A single-pitched porch canopy was fitted which leaked and the victims complaint ignored. An expert confirmed that the work was poor and the amount charged exorbitant with the work estimated to have a market value of only £500-£600.
An 85 year old victim in Bolton was quoted £1,600 by Ecoways to replace windows which had failed Ecoways’ test. He was told that £250 could be knocked off due to a Pilkington’s scheme, the salesman told the victim that a certain amount of grant money was allocated for his area and as soon as the grant money was gone they would move on to a different area. No such Pilkingtons scheme existed.
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prohibit a wide range of unfair commercial practices: these include falsely stating that a product will only be available on particular terms for a limited time in order to elicit an immediate decision, displaying a trust mark without obtaining the necessary authorization, committing misleading actions by making statements which include false information about a specific price advantage and recklessly or knowingly breaching the requirements of ‘professional diligence’ –this means conduct falling below that of honest market practice adversely affecting the purchasing decisions of consumers.
This result follows another West Yorkshire Trading Standards case in April 2016 against Virgo Home Improvements who received a record fine of £33,000 for offences involving vulnerable and elderly consumers.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards commented: ‘this is another excellent result against rogue traders in our area. The case and the level of sentence imposed illustrates the seriousness with which the courts view traders who flout the laws designed to protect the public in general and the elderly and vulnerable in particular. I would advise consumers to be wary of grants or discounts offered by salesman as they may be a technique to elicit a quick sale. Anyone seeking advice on doorstep sales should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 03454 04 05 06’.