HETAS has said its recent work with Trading Standards has seen great results with rogue installers who misled consumers confronted and stopped.
Members of the HETAS team were required to act as witnesses in a court case which resulted in a rogue installer from Poole being ordered to pay a £1,750 fine and costs of £8,000 when he was found guilty of presenting a £12,500 invoice to an 84-year old resident of Broadmayne, near Dorchester for work which was not necessary.
Thanks to a concerned neighbour, Trading Standards intervened, and work was stopped. The installer, who claimed to be HETAS Registered, when in fact he had never been registered, pleaded guilty and was charged under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Following the sentencing at Southampton Crown Court of offences, Councillor Andrew Parry, cabinet member with lead responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “Intervention by our trading standards officers is an important part of providing protection for vulnerable consumers from rouge traders. Cases like this emphasis how vital it is for all of us to be alert to this sort of behaviour.”
This case is said to follow several successful prosecutions throughout 2018. HETAS has a number of procedures in place to limit false and misleading practices within the solid fuel industry, protecting consumers, including a whistleblowing procedure to report issues on an anonymous basis for both consumers and registrants wishing to raise awareness of non-complaint work.
To make sure appliances work safely and efficiently, it’s important that installation and servicing is carried out by a properly trained and registered installer. Consumers using a HETAS Registered Installer can be safe in the knowledge that their installer has been trained and assessed to carry out compliant work.
HETAS Registered Installers can be sourced via the website www.hetas.co.uk using the ‘Find Installer’ search, making it easy to find the nearest HETAS Installer of solid fuel, wood and biomass appliances. To ensure an installer is registered with HETAS always ask for identification, a HETAS installer will be able to produce a HETAS ID card with their HETAS registration competences displayed on the reverse.
Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS, added: “Enforcement against rogue traders and those pretending to be HETAS Registered has become more common in recent years, aided by HETAS entering a formal Primary Authority relationship with Trading Standards. We partner with Trading Standards and our registration team have provided numerous and regular Witness Statements to support legal enforcement nationwide.
“HETAS is the national organisation working for consumer safety and the wider public interest in safe, efficient and environmentally responsible use of biomass and other solid fuels. As a HETAS registered installer, or a consumer, reporting what appears to be a faulty installation or a ‘bad job’ could not be easier. We would implore anyone with any concerns about rogue traders in your area or noncompliant installations to get in touch.”
If you are aware of an issue with a rogue trader contact HETAS on 01684 278170 or email [email protected].