Tackling Rogues

Tackling Rogues 2018Tackling Rogues 2018

As an organisation our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. We want to promote the use of professional installers and root out rogue tradesmen for our industry and we really want to hear from about bad installations that you come across. We have a number of routes to reporting this.

HETAS Complaints Process

HETAS is concerned with the safety, technical standard and compliance to Building Regulations of the work carried out by you, our registrants. As installers you are required to undertake specific training and be routinely monitored to be registered with HETAS. This helps us monitor that you are carrying out safe and compliant installations.

We do however understand that complaints can arise from time to time. Where HETAS investigate a complaint, we are aiming to establish whether the registrant is responsible for leaving a safety or Building Regulations defect and if so, to get that rectified by the registrant concerned.

Consumers are able to make complaints to HETAS within a two year time frame from the original installation. However, there are instances where HETAS can extend this two year policy should there be justifiable reasons to do so.

The HETAS Technical Area has supporting documents that can be used by our registrants to make the handling of complaints, checklists and contract examples. It is a requirement of HETAS registration that business have in place systems to ensure where a complaint is received there is a process to receive, record and deal with the complaint. See Conditions of Registration 1.8. Registered Business must ensure they keep records of complaints received for at least six years.

Whistleblowing

Ultimately HETAS wants to hear from customers where there are instances of non-compliance so we can fully investigate and support them in having an installation rectified or brought up to the expected standard. There are instances where this might not be possible and our whistleblowing policy might be more suitable. Running for a number of years, this process has enabled HETAS to investigate issues with both registrants and where appropriate non-registrants who aren’t meeting the high standards expected in our industry. The whistleblowing process is anonymous, open to registered installers, consumers and non-registered installers to report and has proven successful in gathering information for HETAS to tackle non-compliance. Get in touch with the team on 01684 278170 or via our website at info@HETAS.co.uk if you want to discuss this process in more detail.

Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act has minimum standards that apply to most contracts between a business and customer. Customers generally have up to 6 years from provision of a product or service in which to make a claim. HETAS with support from Gloucestershire Trading Standards (via our Primary Authority partnership) provided guidance in Technical Bulletin #6 for our registrants on customer contracts and The Consumer Rights Act. Visit the HETAS Technical Area to download the guidance. Further guidance is available in the Technical Area from HETAS and Which Trusted Traders.

Enforcement

Taking enforcement action applies to registrants who do not meet the standards required for registration with HETAS. A number of businesses have been suspended and removed from the registration scheme last year and we always want to know about installers who aren’t complying with standards.

Misleading Claims

HETAS always wants to hear about businesses who falsely claim to be HETAS registered or appear to be misusing the HETAS brand. As a Primary Authority HETAS works in partnership with Gloucestershire Trading Standards and has successfully supported Trading Standards nationally in enforcement through the courts. Consumer protection regulations specifically ban businesses from displaying any quality mark or equivalent they are not accredited for, or from giving deceptive information. Please get in touch with our team with any concerns you might have.

There are a number of ways you can contact the team:

Tel: 01684 278170

Email: info@hetas.co.uk

Tackling Rogues/Whistleblowing/ Logo Misuse

As an organisation our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. HETAS is keen to work with industry to tackle rogues and promote reputable businesses.

Tackling Rogues

Nobody wants bad installers working in our industry and HETAS is keen to work with all in the trade to root out the rogues.

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 work in partnership with Gloucestershire Trading Standards and Trading Standards nationally to bring about more enforcement action than before we entered the partnership. Our registration team have provided numerous and regular Witness Statements to support legal enforcement nationwide.

Talking to HETAS installers every day, we know that you are keen to know that we do in fact deal with installers who undertake very poor work whether registered with us or not.  We agree and a number of businesses have been suspended and/or removed from the registration scheme this year. On the other side of the coin we have had complaints about installers that are not justified and in these cases 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.

Whistleblowing

HETAS has a whistleblowing procedure for reporting of non-compliance issues on an anonymous basis. The HETAS whistle-blowing process has also proven effective as a means for registrants to notify HETAS of non-complaint work. Our marketing team also monitor social media posts. Ultimately, contact with homeowners is the best way for HETAS to investigate a complaint effectively, our complaints process can be viewed by clicking here. Get in touch with the HETAS team to discuss whistleblowing on 01684 278170 or email info@hetas.co.uk.

Logo Misuse

Sadly there are times when non-registered businesses misuse the HETAS brand and mislead customers. Through our Primary Authority partnership with Trading Standards, HETAS has developed a robust process for dealing with logo misuse. If you are aware of someone misusing the HETAS brand, please let us know so we can initiate our processes. In more complex cases we do have to work with Trading Standards and we have a number of recent cases of enforcement by Trading Standards. Get in touch with the team on info@hetas.co.uk along with evidence of brand misuse.

 

Get in touch with the HETAS team to discuss tackling rogues, whistleblowing or logo misuse.

Enforcement Action

In the October edition of the HETAS e-news we featured a piece on tackling rogue installers. Throughout 2016 the HETAS team has worked hard with enforcement agencies to tackle rogue installers and we want to continue that work into 2017 and need your help.

 During 2016 HETAS continued to work with enforcement agencies to tackle rogue installers, as highlighted in the recent Glyn Mayne, who traded as ‘Nostalgia Home’ case. In this case ten different customers came forward, from all over south east Wales, and every person who contacted Trading Standards complained about poor workmanship and that they had all believed Mayne to be HETAS registered when he was not.

Prosecution

Glyn Norman Mayne appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on 20th July 2016 for sentencing, having previously pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud and 15 charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. He was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay compensation totalling £4,950 to be paid to 8 of the customers, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.

Enforcement such as this has become more common in recent years, aided by HETAS becoming a Trading Standards Primary Authority, working in partnership with Gloucestershire Trading Standards and Trading Standards nationally to bring about enforcement action. Our registration team and management have provided countless Witness Statements to Trading Standards agencies nationwide.

Taking enforcement action also applies to registrants who do not meet the standards required for registration with HETAS. A number of businesses have been suspended and removed from the registration scheme this year and we always want to know about installers who aren’t complying with standards

The HETAS whistle-blowing process has also proven effective as a means for registrants to notify HETAS of non-complaint work. Our marketing team also monitor social media posts. Ultimately, contact with homeowners is the best way for HETAS to investigate a complaint effectively, our complaints process can be viewed by clicking here.

HETAS always wants to hear about businesses falsely claiming to be HETAS registered, appear to be misusing the HETAS brand or those who do not comply with standards and regulations. Please get in touch with our team with any concerns you might have about rogue traders in your area or non-compliant installations you have encountered. The team on the Technical Helpline is also on hand to discuss the required action to take when identifying non-compliance with Building Regulations. In 2017, the HETAS team will also share details on a new unsafe situation procedure.

Click here for contact details for the HETAS team.