Double glazing salesman jailed

Cold Callers

A double glazing salesman jailed after he pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of consumer protection which resulted in his elderly victims being cheated out of thousands of pounds.

According to recent reports in Trinity Mirror North West, Andrew Bagshaw a 39-year-old businessman who ran a company called Ecoways (not registered at as a limited company) in Brighouse was found guilty by Leeds Crown Court, and sentenced to 8 months imprisonment.

His victims were mainly in their 80’s the eldest being 87.

It seems Bagshaw, failed to return deposits, taking deposits and not doing the work, failing to honour a 10 year guarantee, wrongfully claiming to be Certass registered, and misleading selling prices by claiming prices were for one day only, or that they could be reduced by a Pilkington’s scheme (when no such scheme existed)

David Lodge, West Yorkshire Trading Standards said:

“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.”

Elderly people are most vulnerable to this type of behaviour. Naturally very trusting, they have less idea of what things cost in todays world, they go with how nice the person appeared to be, and rarely have access to review websites to verify the claims made.

So how would you avoid being ripped off by a double glazing salesman?

Well for starters, never feel forced to buy, take your time, consider alternative quotes, ask neighbours if they have contacts or recommended tradespeople.

Ask yourself how can someone do this same work for half the price, something cannot be right. Most companies who comply with regulations, registrations etc pay extra for memberships, so their costs will be higher but you’ll have more redress should things turn bad.

Always pay by credit card, you have extra protection, ensure deposits or stage payments are additionally covered by your chosen company with IBG Insurance Backed Guarantees so that if they scarper with your dosh, you have other routes to claim a refund.

Most of all, do some research, use sites like ours to check their accreditations, read independent reviews on our website (not written by or added by the company themselves), and check with schemes exist or is it just a clever marketing trick to get you to sign up.

Remember if you buy from the internet you can return goods regardless of being faulty or not (because you haven’t seen a sample) and you have extended time to cancel a contract (just over 1 year) if the company fails to inform you of your cancellation rights, at the time of signing the contract.

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Masterframe issue Butt Jointed Licenses

ideal home show

Years ago, the clever people at Masterframe Windows Ltd, (the sash window specialists) worked out that most homeowners who wanted really pretty looking windows for their home, didn’t want shiny plastic, mitre welded. They knew wood foil, butt jointed was the answer, however there was a problem, most butt joints are open ended, meaning rain water floods into the room.

What was needed was a new construction method, never used before so that edges could be sealed yet the appearance showing the traditional butt joint that customers love about wooden frames.

Well they found a solution and since 2005 they have led the sash window field with authentic, vertical butt jointing method, what’s more, they took out a UK patent for it (GB0516352.2) and now, Masterframe issue Butt Jointed Licenses to casement manufacturers.

Although it has taken 10 years for the casement manufacturers to catch up with the idea, many are now finding that sales of their new flush casement, depend upon gaining agreement from the Essex based specialist.

First to get approved is fellow VEKA fabricator and long-time customer of masterframe, Michael Hagan of Aztec Windows (Coventry) Ltd

Wanting to make casement windows to match the beautiful butt jointed appearance of the sash windows they purchase from masterframe, Micheal, was delighted to be able to legally launch his flush casement window at the FIT Show earlier this year and so glad he did, as it has excellent potential.

He said, “Having looked at other construction methods, it was clear Masterframes method was really neatly finished sturdy and more reliable than any of the other methods they considered. We are really pleased to be able to offer our customers the best looking and performing corner joint on the market!”

Initially, like so many other fabricators, we were blissfully unaware that a patent existed, but now we have the agreement, we can use it to prove our customers won’t get sued!

Masterframe are in negotiations with a number of interested parties as welding butt joints becomes ever more popular. Alan Burgess their MD says, ”Butting joints made correctly are time consuming but look great. Most purchasers of sash windows want really neat aesthetics. On the whole we have little objection to issuing licenses to fellow fabricators, just so long as they aren’t making sash windows!”

Anyone interested in avoiding a legal wrangle should contact masterframe direct or check out their website here….. http://www.masterframe.co.uk/news/new-licenses-for-butt-joint-patent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STILL REGARDING A TRADESPERSON AS JUST A ‘WHITE VAN MAN’?

Trustmark

IT’S TIME TO THINK AGAIN, SAYS TRUSTMARK

The public image of the UK builder, plumber or electrician is woefully out of date, according to a new report by TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed ‘find a tradesperson’ scheme for all trades in and around the home.

In the year that TrustMark celebrates its 10th anniversary, TrustMark has published a new report looking at what defines a true professional in today’s industry, highlighting some of the ways in which tradespeople are confounding negative stereotypes.

The report debunks myths around UK tradespeople lacking in professionalism by showcasing a wide range of behaviours that are continuing to build trust, confidence and loyalty among homeowners. These include a commitment to excellent health and safety, training and skills development, and responsible waste management. The tradesmen and women interviewed by TrustMark take pride in smart branding, uniforms and van livery, as well as professional quotations and detailed contracts. They increasingly use digital tools, tablets and mobile technology

to improve the way they communicate with customers at every stage of a job, and also put emphasis on respecting and safeguarding the customer’s home, minimising disruption and improving relationships with neighbours.

Accreditation is also increasingly being recognised as a mark of the tradesperson’s all-round professionalism as it ensures that technical competence, business processes and service frameworks are in place, helping homeowners to specify with confidence.

The report highlights the hard work, long hours and total commitment to good business practice among these TrustMark-registered firms.

Liz Male MBE, chairman of TrustMark says:

“This report provides a snapshot of the many thousands of smart, motivated and very hardworking men and women steadily changing the reputation and the public’s experience of an entire industry. I feel completely inspired by what I read here.

“TrustMark is proud to be part of this story. For 10 years we have worked with industry and consumer groups to raise standards and to signpost the public to reputable firms across a wide range of trades to do work on our homes and gardens.

“Of course, the work to tackle rogue traders is never over, and I still see a future full of new opportunities to improve the way the home repairs and improvements market operates.

“But TrustMark has helped many millions of people over the last 10 years, so today it’s right to celebrate the local firms who do so much to support homeowners and build a £27 billion economy. They epitomise a new era of professionalism across a wide range of trades, a million miles away from the old stereotypes of ‘white van man’.”

TrustMark’s report also tallies with additional findings from a recent survey by AXA Business Insurance, which found that 82% of the UK’s builders, painters, plumbers, joiners and electricians regularly go above and beyond the call of duty, completing small extra tasks at no charge. Looking after pets, helping with little errands or just looking out for vulnerable customers are examples of these firms’ common acts of kindness.

To demonstrate the values of modern professionalism, TrustMark has nominated 10 ‘TrustMark champions’ from 10 different trades. They are all capable, competent, responsible and put their customers first. They include:

Richard Bickler, Arbour Design & Build, Borehamwood – Garden Design & Landscaping
Steve Dove, Steve Dove & Co, Petersfield – Painter and Decorator
Wendy Ayers, W A Electrical Services, Leicester – Electrician
Lee Goodwin, Oakleafe Property Services Ltd, Dagenham – Builder
Reg Harris, Urban Forestry, Watford – Arboriculturist
Graham Stone, Stonehouse Property Care, Henley – Flood recovery and resilience specialists
Karl Terry, Karl Terry Roofing Contractors, Tenterten – Roofer
Greg O’Donoghue, Just Windows and Doors, Ickenham – Glazier
Billy Wilgar, AC Wilgar, Kent – Heating and Plumbing
Pawlo Woloszyn, Bright and Fresh, Reading – Carpet cleaner
TrustMark was launched the public in 2006 as the Government-endorsed quality scheme that signposts consumers to reputable local tradespeople to do work in and around the home.  All TrustMark firms commit to work to Government-endorsed standards and, unlike any other scheme, have been checked for all three cornerstones of quality – their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence. TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms in the UK, providing national coverage with more than 21,000 licenced trades searchable on its database.

To download the TrustMark report, go to www.trustmark.org.uk/downloads/

For further information and to stay up-to-date with developments at TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk.

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A WARNING has been issued by Arun District Council about a window recycling scam.

Cold Callers

A WARNING has been issued by Arun District Council about a window recycling scam.

Yet again, the reputation of good installers of double glazing products is being smeared by con artists cold calling in Arun District Council, according to reports in the local paper.

The council has reported that cold callers have been approaching residents in council houses, including properties that were previously council houses, across the district offering to buy back double glazing on the council’s behalf.

The purchase is said to be part of a recycling scheme and the caller has asked the occupier to arrange an appointment for a return visit. But a council spokesman said: “We urge residents not to allow access to anyone without prior notification and valid identification.

“We are currently carrying out repair work to properties in various locations within our district, but we always notify residents by letter that we are coming.

“Please be aware that Arun District Council do not operate any schemes involving buying double glazing for recycling. We would encourage all residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity from cold callers to trading standards.”

Read more:

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Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders

Trustmark

Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders.

A campaign to protect Welsh householders from rogue traders and incompetent operators launches this week as the Welsh Government joins force with Trustmark to promote its consumer protection service.

TrustMark, a not for profit organisation, is a voluntary accreditation scheme that helps householders find reputable local tradespeople who have been vetted and inspected to work on their properties.

The integrated marketing campaign – which coincides with TrustMark’s 10th anniversary  – will target Welsh traders whose businesses can benefit from gaining accreditation and also raise awareness of the scheme amongst consumers in Wales.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said she was pleased the Welsh Government was actively supporting and promoting the benefits of TrustMark.

Rogue Traders

Mrs Hart said: “We have all heard harrowing cases of rogue traders and incompetent operators working in the home repair, maintenance and improvement market causing great distress, disruption and financial loss for many home owners. “Trustmark was established to eliminate poor practice in this sector and is a quality scheme that helps householders find reputable local tradespeople who have been vetted and inspected to work on their properties. It covers the full range of trades in and around the home and acts as a signpost to help householders find local firms and expert tradespeople, providing them with choice, confidence and protection.”

The Minister added that the campaign is designed to raise awareness amongst consumers while also highlighting the business benefits for reputable traders. Traders that are accredited can provide reassurance to customers that their work is of the very highest standard.

Liz Male MBE, Chair of TrustMark, added:  “We know it’s not always easy to find a reputable local tradesperson, especially if you’re new to an area or are bombarded with conflicting advice. But there are some really fantastic firms out there who are completely committed to doing a great job.

“Rogue traders are the scourge of the sector, seeking out vulnerable homeowners and taking valuable jobs away from the best tradespeople in the country. Checking things like recent work and up to date qualifications are vital checks, so if you don’t know who to turn to, trust TrustMark.”

All TrustMark firms commit to work to Government-endorsed standards and, unlike any other ‘find a trader’ scheme, are checked for all three cornerstones of quality – their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence.

TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms across the UK and covers 38 trades. There are registered firms in Wales specialising in key trades including building, electrical, plumbing, heating installations, glazing, roofing and painting and decorating.

Last year more than 8.1m search results for registered firms were provided to homeowners through TrustMark’s website and telephone helpline.

 

CASE STUDY 

Choosing a TrustMark accredited company gave Jenny George reassurance and peace of mind

Cardiff householder Jenny George opted for a TrustMark accredited company when she had electrical work carried out at her home in Grangetown, Cardiff, which gave her reassurance and peace of mind.

She chose Bridgend based James Installation & Maintenance which is TrustMark registered and approved contractors of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contractors (NICEIC). The company caters for the commercial, industrial and domestic sectors.

Jenny said:

“It is important when choosing a tradesperson to know they’ve been properly checked out by someone who’s genuinely qualified to know what good looks like. It gives me reassurance and peace of mind that they will do a good job to a high standard.

“TrustMark is a trusted source for tradespeople and it helped me find James Installations & Maintenance to do our electrical work before and after we moved into our home. I would use TrustMark again if we needed to do any    other home repairs or improvements.”

Company owner James Tiernan said:

“TrustMark gives my electrical firm credibility and visibility.  As the consumer protection scheme for our sector, the TrustMark badge carries real authority for our customers and gives them the confidence to know that we work to a high standard. It’s made good sense for my business to join up to TrustMark and get recognition for our quality work.”

 

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Double glazing is a must have with todays buyers

window frame

Double glazing, a must for home owners, according to a new study.

It seems double glazing is a must have for home owners or those looking to buy properties. Energy efficient windows are the second most important feature after central heating, according to a new report in money market. It seems that staying warm and having an energy efficient home is now a must, rather than a nicety.

Gocompare commissioned the study and found some interesting results, their mortgages spokesperson, Matt Sanders, said:

“From our research it’s clear that today’s potential homebuyers are putting practical concerns ahead of aesthetics.  They are looking for warm, cosy properties, which are energy efficient and well connected to modern amenities rather than ones that are full of character.  For many buyers, the on-going costs of running a home – paying the mortgage, utility bills and council tax – are a real concern. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that well-insulated homes and efficient central heating systems are key priorities.

“Bathrooms also received a lot of attention in the survey, with buyers looking for homes with multiple facilities.  But plumbing problems can be costly to fix and poor water pressure can be a sign of potential problems, so when viewing potential properties buyers should test the plumbing by flushing toilets, running taps and checking under sinks and around toilets for any leaks.   

Security of doors and windows also features highly in 4th place and comes well ahead of more traditional features like period details and wood burning stoves or open fireplaces.

Homebuyers also rank a good, reliable broadband connection and mobile phone signal over highly-rated local schools and properties with period features – which both failed to make the top 20 in a survey* of ‘must-have’ property features commissioned by Gocompare.com Mortgages:

Top 20 property ‘must-have’ features
1 Central heating 79%
2 Double glazing 74%
3 A garden 71%
4 Secure doors and windows 70%
5 Off road parking 58%
6 A bath tub 57%
7 Local shops and amenities 55%
8 Friendly neighbours 54%
9 A good, reliable broadband connection strong enough to stream films and TV 53%
10 A good energy efficiency rating 50%
11 A land line telephone 50%
12 A good TV signal 49%
13 A separate shower cubicle 47%
14 Cavity wall insulation 47%
15 At least two toilets 45%
16 A dining room 44%
17 A reliable and clear mobile phone signal 44%
18 A garage 43%
19 A living room big enough for a large, flat screen TV 39%
20 An en-suite bathroom 34%

Read the full article here

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MP is exposed for cold calling

how to save on energy in summer

MP is exposed for cold calling and breaching the rules concerning the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

No body likes nuisance calls, (or cold calling) certainly not me and certainly not from double glazing companies, our industry has been accused for years of making calls without permission, however the rules are there for everyone, including politicians.

Needless to say, David Lammy who came 4th in last years vote for Mayor, was probably, innocently asking if constituents were prepared to vote for him, just as many companies simply wish to ask if homeowners are interested in their products.

However, in the same way that companies can be fined for breaches of these rules, so too can politicians. According to reports in the Sun, Mr Lammy made over 35,000 unsolicited calls over two days in August last year, but it took just 1 complaint to register his breach of the regulations and him receiving a £4,000 fine (assuming he pays promptly)

“It’s not good enough to assume the people you’re contacting probably won’t mind. The law requires you to have permission before making calls with recorded messages. And if the law isn’t followed, the regulator will act.”

In a statement Mr Lammy said: “I fully accept the Information Commissioner’s decision and apologise unreservedly to any Labour Party member or registered supporter that felt upset at receiving an automated call from my campaign.

“If I had known that additional permission was required to make automated calls then I would have sought it before any calls were made”

 

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Bogus Everest Salesman

Cold Callers

A suspected thief believed to be a bogus Everest salesman has been reported to police operating in the Brentwood and Ongar area of Essex.

According to reports in the Brentwood Gazette and Guardian series residents are being warned about a man described as “white, of large build and reportedly driving a 65 plate white Renault Megane with two other males”

This person was unable to satisfy residents with an ID card and the company has confirmed they don’t have anyone working in the area.

Most decent companies carry a photo ID card and their employees are happy to show it upon request. They will even wait patiently whilst you confirm they are who they claim to be, but remember NOT to take the number from the ID card, thieves could put a contact number on there, instead find it online and ring the number you have found from the internet, that way you can avoid being conned.

Are you are ever suspicious, contact Crimestoppers immediately and anonymously on: 0800 555 111.

 

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The FIT show is only a few weeks away

FIT Show 2016

The Fit show is only a few weeks away so I thought you’d like to read a few updates. Rather than spending hours re-typing their information, it seemed far easier to copy and paste their information here, besides they have written it much better than I could do!

Visiting the fit show couldn’t be easier… with Free Entry, Free Parking, Free WIFI!

Register for your ticket here

Everything has been done to make your visit to the FIT Show an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We know that your time is valuable and we want to get you into the Halls to meet the exhibitors and network as quickly, painlessly and inexpensively as possible.

More new products than ever!

With almost two years since the last FIT Show there will be more to see and try than ever before as suppliers time their product development cycles to the FIT Show calendar. Hundreds of new products and services will be on show for the first time anywhere!

FREE SEMINARS

The FIT Show Seminar programme is developed by industry experts and focuses on key issues of the day that affect window, door and conservatory businesses in the real world. The objective of every seminar is that delegates will leave armed with knowledge and information that they can put to work the minute they leave the theatre.

The seminars are Free to attend but MASSIVE value for every delegate. Regulations, finance, market conditions, business advice, sales tips, installation advice – a huge range of subjects will be covered once again, presented by carefully chosen experts in their own field.

NEW FOR 2016 – PUBLIC SECTOR GLAZING

A programme covering fenestration home improvements in the public sector will be created for the 2016 FIT Show, the first for more than 10 years. The programme will address key issues facing the specification and maintenance of windows and doors addressing the specific issues facing all public sector landlords.

MASTER FITTER CHALLENGE in association with FENSA

For 2016, just six installers will compete in the live finals at the fit show, when they will actually install glazing products as thousands of visitors to the event mill around the show. With the incentive of huge cash prizes totalling £10,000 and more importantly, their pride and reputations at stake, the finalists will be distilled from an entry list following an exhaustive filtering process carried out by glass qualifications authority and associated industry expert judges. The process includes a site visit for those reaching the second stage so entrants have to be at their best, in real world conditions.

For 2016 the skill sets include a sash window, resi-door with products supplied by Truedoor and for the first time in the FIT Show Master Fitter Challenge, a solid roof with products supplied by Celtic Vista/Supalite. Also making a first appearance will be the installation of a Bi-Folding Door*, keeping the competition firmly on-trend.

The first, second, and third places are rewarded with cash prizes of £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000 respectively and a huge boost to their reputations, with the names kept a strict secret until their announcement during the fit show gala dinner.

*Subject to Technical Appraisal

Free parking close to the venue allows you to focus on your objectives for visiting without the distractions of a strenuous journey and irritating extra cost.

Inside the ICT are four spacious exhibition halls, various boardrooms, meeting rooms, banqueting suites, seminar and catering areas; with free Wi-Fi available for all exhibitors and visitors.

Getting There

Less than 15 minutes from the M6 and 5 minutes from the M54, TIC was chosen for The FIT Show following extensive research conducted by the organisers to determine which part of the country people would most prefer to travel to for a national industry show. The overwhelming response was for a location in and around the Midlands and TIC fitted the bill perfectly.

The International Centre
St Quentin Gate
Telford
Shropshire
TF3 4JH

Find out more about what’s available at The International Centre

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Company caught adding reviews about themselves

tick boxes

Another company has been caught adding a review about themselves. We wont shame them as often companies are simply testing the system to ensure the review system actually works and is simple to use. However whilst no system is ever fool proof (certainly not to users who lie) we do have systems in place to check reviews and do aim to ensure they are genuine.

Last week we had a lady requesting help. Like so many she didn’t want to leave a bad review against  a particular company, she just wanted the damage the contractor had caused to be rectified.

Obviously we explained that being a micro enterprise, we are unable to answer many emails but we did speak to her and guided her towards a solution.

She had read reviews on the web site of the company itself, however she didn’t realise they didn’t publish negative ones very often!

However she did explain that she thought that companies listed on DGC, were all approved by DGC in some way. This is not the case. Whilst DGC is open to every company in the UK to promote their business (the basic listing is FOC) anyone thinking of employing a company must read the reviews and check for themselves that the accreditations they claim to have are still current.

Unlike other review sites, we don’t allow advertising of any kind, we don’t have any sponsors links, pay per clicks or kick backs from lead generation, what’s more, it is your reviews (and ONLY your reviews) that drive the positioning of any company.

We ask for reviewers name and contact details along with confirmation of work done (this may require proof of purchase) before a review is posted, however again reviews cannot be squashed or delayed from publication, which some review systems promote, preventing unhappy users from getting their reviews actually published.

See if your company is listed in the best window companies, here.

 

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