BFRC welcomes the prosecution of three glazing Directors fined £10,000 for selling fake Energy Rated windows/doors and mis-claiming FENSA registration.
Three directors from Cheshire and Liverpool were sentenced for their fraudulent business under the trading name of “Green” which falsely offered funding grants for “A” energy rated and/or Pilkington Glass windows and doors. The prosecution in May 2017 was the successful result of a lengthy and complex investigation of a sophisticated fraud case carried out by Trading Standards officers with the help of BFRC acting as an expert witness on the case.
Between January 2010 and August 2014, the company sought to mimic and take advantage of the Government’s green energy deals for consumers on insulation and heating by offering none existent grants for replacement UPVC windows and doors.
Consumers were told they were receiving either Local Authority or Government Grants, when in reality they were simply getting a discount on inferior mis-described, non energy efficient products. The company claimed to be FENSA registered and that the window/door products complied with applicable quality/safety standards. All claims were false.
Two of the directors (Susan Greer, 55, and Terrence Greer, 76, of Willaston, Cheshire) were both sentenced to two years custody - suspended for 2 years, one with an order of 100 hours unpaid work and the other ordered with a curfew tag until September 2017. A third director Gary Parle, 45, of Calderstones, Liverpool and Director of Arena Windows NW Ltd was ordered to pay £30,000 compensation to the victims of their crimes and £10,000 costs to Denbighshire County Council.
Lis Clarke, Operations Manager, BFRC, said
“We welcome the robust enforcement action taken by Denbighshire County Council Trading Standards.”
“The directors deliberately misled consumers by making false claims around the energy ratings of their window/door products and the funding around them. Such claims not only mislead consumers but can be dangerous if the window/door products are not sourced from manufacturers or installation companies that have the proper accreditations to the relevant Building Regulation, and health and safety standards.”
“This prosecution serves as a clear strong message to rogue traders that they must get their accreditations and energy ratings correct or there can be legal consequences. BFRC will work with trading standards to deal with any breaches of false energy ratings claims to protect consumers and the integrity of our industry.”
Chris Beedel, Director of Membership, FENSA said:
“FENSA welcomes the sentencing which recognises the severe impact of the directors’ actions on their victims which would have caused a lot of stress and financial uncertainty. “
“The custodial sentence was deserved. We are very pleased that the courts have taken a hard line. It sends a clear message that rogue traders’ unscrupulous tactics will not be tolerated and robust action will be taken against those seeking to take advantage of vulnerable people. It is important to protect the rights of consumers and promote a level playing field for businesses to operate within.”
Consumers are urged to report unfair sales tactics by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on T: 03454 04 05 06. Alternatively they can contact BFRC or FENSA with photographic or documentary evidence which will be passed onto Trading Standards for investigation. Where there is sufficient evidence Trading Standards will investigate and prosecute where appropriate.
This not only protects consumers, but supports businesses that operate within the law.