HETAS continues to work with Trading Standards across the country to bring about enforcement action against installers who do not meet the required standards or mislead consumers into believing they are registered.
In a recent case against a rogue installer HETAS supported Trading Standards against an installer who was falsely claiming to be using HETAS registered installers for installation work when in fact they were not. The trader pleaded guilty to two offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was handed the following:
- Fine of £1,000
- Victim surcharge of £100
- Investigative costs of £1,126.10
- Legal costs of £250
- A total of £2,476.10.
It was identified that without a witness Statement for HETAS Trading Standards would most likely have not got the result they did. At any one time we are involved in a number of cases similar to this and work hard to protect the HETAS brand and consumers from being misled. If you are aware of a case then please do let us know so we can investigate and work with Trading Standards in bringing about enforcement.
Earlier in the year we shred an article about a rogue trader who was ordered to pay more than £7,000 after he was prosecuted by Caerphilly Trading Standards for falsely claiming he was registered with HETAS. At a hearing in January this year the business owner was fined a total of £3,920, ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,518.75, compensation to consumers of £1,538.40 and a victim surcharge of £73.
Aided by HETAS entering a formal Primary Authority relationship with Trading Standards, we work in partnership with Gloucestershire Trading Standards and Trading Standards nationally to bring about far more enforcement action than before we entered the partnership.
The HETAS whistleblowing process has also been successful this year in allowing us to tackle installers who do not meet the required standards. This information is vital if we are to challenge installers not meeting the required standards of installation. Nobody wants bad installers working in our industry and HETAS is keen to work with all in the trade to root out the rogues.
The helpline is led by Registration Manager Jo Courtney-Wiggins. Used to ensure consumer safety and prevent bad installations, the whistleblowing helpline is a great resource for those seeking both action and solutions.
Jo says: “We always want to hear about businesses falsely claiming to be HETAS registered, who appear to be misusing the brand or those who do not comply with standards and regulations. As an organisation, our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. We would implore anyone with any concerns about rogue traders in your area or non-compliant installations to get in touch with HETAS.
“We’re proud to have the support from various sectors, manufacturers and organisations in the industry. Working alongside influential organisations such as BFCMA, SFA, SIA and sweep associations (APICS, Guild, NACS and Sweep Safe) allows us to provide the most up-to-date information and informed advice.”
Bruce Allen also comments, “Talking to HETAS installers every day, we know the frustration they can feel about installers who undertake very poor work whether registered with us or not. This year, several businesses have been suspended and/or removed from the registration scheme as a direct result of the whistleblowing procedure. Conversely, when we receive complaints about installers that are not justified we have been able to support installers and present a clear case to the customers concerned. Where there are safety concerns we always want to hear about them and will either act or advise as appropriate.
Contact the team
Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jo or the team directly on 01684 278170.