Monthly Archives: September 2013

Double glazing salesmen breach no call rules

builder

According to reports in the Crabden Herald and Pioneer, Parish councillors have received complaints at this months council meeting, that sales teams have called at homes in the Thornhill Road area, in an attempt to persuade households to “sign up” for double glazing and conservatories.

Described as “Hawkers”, the canvassing came even though the residents have displayed window stickers warning that salesmen were not welcome and residents informing them it is a no call list zone.

Funded by the Bradford councillors who represent the ward, in a bid to stop both salesmen and conmen the No Cold Calling Zones were introduced in summer last year across Craven ward, in areas of Steeton, Silsden and Addingham.

So what are your rights as a local business wanting to promote its products and as home owner seeking peace and quiet?

This is a difficult area.

The no call zones recognise the difficulties a ban should mean a ban themselves, because decent organisations like the “Avon lady”, the pools man, local or national charities, the village collection for “bob a job week”, even politicians canvasing opinion would all be caught in the no call zone.

But why should a politician canvassing an opinion be any different to a local company enquiring if the homeowner has considered home improvements?

Providing there is respect, with the caller leaving when asked to do so, then there is a legitimate cause. Indeed breaching the no call zone is not illegal for this very reason.

However the real rouges, the tarmac brigade, roofers or gutter specialists who not only call upon homeowners but then frighten or bully residents into false but immediate action to repair something, even frog marching them to the local cash point machine, has to be illegal. But how to separate the two and will rouges read or take any notice of the ban anyway?

Perhaps if local residents immediately ring their crime prevention office or PCSO support officer and they presented themselves to the travelling business, then they would soon move on. Until then I fear rouges will continue to ignore the window stickers and double glazing salesmen wrongly singled out as the villains.

Yet no calling zones are not legal just advisory, it is legal to “door knock” homes to enquire if the home owner would like any work done however if residents have gone to the trouble to say, “no callers please” then they will hardly prove receptive to being disturbed.

So what are the rules for no call zones, well Bedford council have the following on their site which explains them very well

 

What are they?

No Cold Calling Zones (NCCZ) is an initiative to help combat the problem of doorstep crime. Supported by Bedford Borough Council, Bedfordshire Police, Neighbourhood watch and partners, the zones aim to make residents feel safer in their own homes.

NCCZ do not ban cold callers or create exclusion zones, however they can be effective in deterring unscrupulous cold callers from approaching people living in the zones and giving those residents the confidence to say “No”.

The No Cold calling Zones are identified by signs displayed across the Borough and the use of stickers on resident’s front door or window can act as a reminder to any trader that calls.

Questions Answers
What sort of people is the zone designed to prevent   calling? The zone is primarily designed to reduce instances of   doorstep crime and distraction burglary and therefore the primary purpose is   to prevent rogue traders. However, the zone is there to stop any unwanted   cold callers and to empower residents to have confidence to deter callers   away who they do not wish to deal with.The zone is not designed to prevent people from distributing leaflets or catalogues such as Betterware or the “Avon Lady”. It is also not designed to   stop people on legitimate business such as gas, electricity and water meter   readers.
Why are you setting up No Cold Calling Zones? No Cold Calling Zones are being established to protect   residents from unwanted doorstep callers. They are designed to act as a   deterrent to stop businesses cold calling in areas that are clearly marked as   No Cold Calling Zones. The zones empower local residents to feel confident   about sending unwanted callers away.The outcome is then a reduction in doorstep crime and distraction burglary.
How do businesses know they are operating in a No Cold   Calling Zone? Street signs are erected at all access points used by cold   callers to alert them that they are in a no cold calling zone. Residents are   all provided with stickers to display on their front doors to make callers   aware that the area is a No Cold Calling Zone and that the resident will not   deal with them.
What is cold calling? Cold calling is the act of making unrequested and   uninvited visits to consumers’ homes with the intention of selling goods or   services.
Is cold calling illegal? Cold calling is not illegal, however, anyone who does sell   you goods or services that cost more than £35 is required to provide you with   a written notice giving you 7 days in which to cancel. If this notice is not   provided the contract for the goods or services will not be enforceable   meaning you will not have to pay even if goods have been provided or work has   been carried out. Anyone who fails to give this notice will also be   committing a criminal offence, which Trading Standards will investigate.
Can I refuse someone entry to my home? Yes, absolutely. You are under no obligation to allow   anyone to enter your home and can refuse access. You should never allow   anyone access to your home unless you are able to verify their authenticity   and confirm that they have a valid reason for being there. Legitimate callers   will not mind being challenged and will expect you to ask them for   identification and want to check that it is genuine.
How can I check whether a caller is genuine and has a   legitimate reason for calling at my property? Very few people will actually have a legitimate reason for   turning up at your home unannounced and without an appointment. However, on   rare occasions some legitimate callers may call at your home.The most likely people to visit your home unannounced are utility companies   attending your property to read a meter. Most of these companies operate a   password scheme allowing you to register a password. Once you have registered   your password, any caller from the company should be asked to provide the   password before being given access to your property. If they cannot provide   the password they are not from the utility company and should be told to   leave. You should be able to find the details for registering a password on   utility bills, if you cannot find the details call the customer service   number and ask about their password scheme.
Can politicians call when canvassing? The zones are not designed to prevent politicians from   canvassing for elections, however, residents are under no obligation to speak   to anyone at the door and canvassers are encouraged to respect residents’   wishes.
Can religious groups call? As with politicians, the zones are not designed to stop   religious groups from calling. However, residents are under no obligation to   speak to anyone at the door and religious groups are encouraged to respect   residents’ wishes.
Can market researchers call? The zones are not designed to prevent market research from   being undertaken. However, this should not be market research that includes   the selling or promotion of goods or services. Where possible we would always   encourage market researchers to make appointments before calling.Residents are under no obligation to speak to anyone at the door and   canvassers are encouraged to respect residents’ wishes.
Can charity collectors call? The zones do not seek to prevent legitimate charity   collections, however, we would expect charity collectors be able to   satisfactorily identify themselves.Some charities ask for donations to be left for collection, usually they will   leave a bag or a leaflet and then return to collect items. If you get   requests like this you should always read the details provided as not all   collectors that collect in this way are acting for charitable purposes, often   you will find that the collector is a business collecting items to sell for   profit and they will include a company registration number on their paperwork   as opposed to a charity registration number.
How can I find out if the charity calling is genuine? All charities are required to be registered with the   Charity Commission. You cannot claim to be a charity if you are not   registered. Some organisations that carry out collections are not charities   but businesses collecting clothing or other goods to sell for profit. To   check whether an organisation is a registered charity you should contact the   Charity Commission on 0845 300 0218 or visit the Charity Commission website.Any charity carrying out collections for money has to get a permit from the   local borough or district council giving permission for this. If you want to   confirm that the charity collection is authorised you can contact your local   borough or district council who should be able to tell you.There is no requirement for a permit if you are not collecting money.
What can be done if someone does cold call in a No Cold   Calling Zone? It is not illegal to cold call, even in a No Cold Calling   Zone. However, in a No Cold Calling Zone the residents have made a decision   that they do not want cold callers.
What should I do if I receive a cold call? Trading Standards advice is always to say no to cold   callers. We would advise against dealing with anyone who makes a cold call to   your home to try to sell goods or services.
To report suspicious incidents of cold calling you should telephone Consumer   Direct on 08454 040506 or visit the Consumer Direct   Website

 

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Mayor now calls for an amnesty for hoteliers in LLandudno

Article 4 directives

Further to our earlier blogs on this subject it seems the council have refused a butcher permission to replace his windows in Llandudno.

According to reports in South Wales Guardian, Hugh Evans, of Rhosmaen Street wanted to replace his sash windows at the front and rear of the property. being a commercial property in a conservation area, he needs permission from the council, which was refused 8 to 6 with 3 abstaining from the vote.

The council acknowledge others have fitted PVCu windows in the same area, but they now wish to ensure future replacements are in wood only. The head of Planning Eifion Bowen maintained “the materials were “inappropriate” for a conservation area” and that he felt “the use of UPVC material was not appropriate,  and for other buildings in town they’ve insisted on the use of wood, and aimed to provide an element of consistency

Other councillors felt PVCu would, “open the flood gates with plastic everywhere”.

Well perhaps, but this demonstrates yet again the confusion between material and design. I know only too well that “PVC double glazing” has destroyed any semblance of character or historic beauty in so many properties, however its not the material that’s at fault. There are shocking illustrations of awful timber, aluminium or other materials which are equally devastating.

It is all about good design.

Looking at Google it is clear the existing timber sashes look lovely, but two of the first and all four second floor windows have arched reveals (and most certainly square internal reveals). Square windows into these openings will destroy any character of the building.

If Mr Evans is looking to install the usual plastic sash windows that are square, shiny plastic , with welded joints and internal glazing bars etc, then yes the council is right to refuse permission, however if Mr Evans were to install, authentic sash windows, with a white or cream wood foiled finish, with continuous horns like the originals, deep bottom rail and three dimensional glazing bars, then the council is wrong to reject the proposal, based upon material only.

There is one plastic sash window company making precisely this style of window, called the London sash. Expensive yet it looks just like the originals on Rhosmaen Street.

Another councillor pointed out that the timber windows in question, were not from the Georgian era but were in fact, 1970’s replacements that have come to the end of their useful life!

Here’s the reports we posted previously.

Reports on the BBC North West suggest that the local mayor in Llandudno has now called for an amnesty for hoteliers who installed PVC windows into hotels in recent years, without planning permission.

You may recal we featured this discussion last year and said then that their is a sensible solution for both sides.

Hoteliers are no different to homeowners, they dont want the expensive upkeep of painting windows. However, the council are required to maintain the character of areas and are perfectly within their rights to prevent facardes being destroyed by inappropriate windows.

It is not the material that is at fault, it is the design, style and installation method which is hideous, not the fact something is made from PVCu.

Casements try to recreate the style of sash by splitting the window across the middle, with one half opening and the other fixed. But this design creates new problems.

  • Firstly if the top half is opening then it creates a problem for people to get out of in an emergency being faced with a fixed pane of glazing.
  • If the bottom half opens then it may help in an emergency but creates an issue if children open the lower half, especially in upper floor bedrooms.
  • Fixed glazing or casement styled glazing traps in stale air, so rooms can never get fully ventilated.

Casement windows will never replicate the style nor elegant proportions of sash windows.

There are excellent examples of beautiful sash windows that replicate the original timber ones, made from PVCu. They cost far more than cheap casement style, mock sash or hinged windows, the ones that have BLIGHTED our towns and cities because they were fitted into existing frames, but when done well these new generation, energy efficient, secured by design sash windows are “indistinguishable from the timber originals, even at close quarters*”

When fitted correctly (behind the outer reveal) they show a minimal amount of framing, they are excellent means of purge ventilation and provide large spaces to exit the building in an emergency.

Solution, allow hoteliers to change to their windows to PVCu but insist the appearance of the area is maintained or reinstated by insisting that sash windows are installed.

* a quote from a local  inspector, deciding an appeal against the use of PVCu sash window.

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Llandudno butcher now refused permission to change his sash windows

17

Further to our earlier blogs on this subject it seems the council have refused a butcher permission to replace his windows in Llandudno.

According to reports in South Wales Guardian, Hugh Evans, of Rhosmaen Street wanted to replace his sash windows at the front and rear of the property. being a commercial property in a conservation area, he needs permission from the council, which was refused 8 to 6 with 3 abstaining from the vote.

The council acknowledge others have fitted PVCu windows in the same area, but they now wish to ensure future replacements are in wood only. The head of Planning Eifion Bowen maintained “the materials were “inappropriate” for a conservation area” and that he felt “the use of UPVC material was not appropriate,  and for other buildings in town they’ve insisted on the use of wood, and aimed to provide an element of consistency

Other councillors felt PVCu would, “open the flood gates with plastic everywhere”.

Well perhaps, but this demonstrates yet again the confusion between material and design. I know only too well that “PVC double glazing” has destroyed any semblance of character or historic beauty in so many properties, however its not the material that’s at fault. There are shocking illustrations of awful timber, aluminium or other materials which are equally devastating.

It is all about good design.

Looking at Google it is clear the existing timber sashes look lovely, but two of the first and all four second floor windows have arched reveals (and most certainly square internal reveals). Square windows into these openings will destroy any character of the building.

If Mr Evans is looking to install the usual plastic sash windows that are square, shiny plastic , with welded joints and internal glazing bars etc, then yes the council is right to refuse permission, however if Mr Evans were to install, authentic sash windows, with a white or cream wood foiled finish, with continuous horns like the originals, deep bottom rail and three dimensional glazing bars, then the council is wrong to reject the proposal, based upon material only.

There is one plastic sash window company making precisely this style of window, called the London sash. Expensive yet it looks just like the originals on Rhosmaen Street.

Another councillor pointed out that the timber windows in question, were not from the Georgian era but were in fact, 1970’s replacements that have come to the end of their useful life!

Here’s the reports we posted previously.

Reports on the BBC North West suggest that the local mayor in Llandudno has now called for an amnesty for hoteliers who installed PVC windows into hotels in recent years, without planning permission.

You may recal we featured this discussion last year and said then that their is a sensible solution for both sides.

Hoteliers are no different to homeowners, they dont want the expensive upkeep of painting windows. However, the council are required to maintain the character of areas and are perfectly within their rights to prevent facardes being destroyed by inappropriate windows.

It is not the material that is at fault, it is the design, style and installation method which is hideous, not the fact something is made from PVCu.

Casements try to recreate the style of sash by splitting the window across the middle, with one half opening and the other fixed. But this design creates new problems.

  • Firstly if the top half is opening then it creates a problem for people to get out of in an emergency being faced with a fixed pane of glazing.
  • If the bottom half opens then it may help in an emergency but creates an issue if children open the lower half, especially in upper floor bedrooms.
  • Fixed glazing or casement styled glazing traps in stale air, so rooms can never get fully ventilated.

Casement windows will never replicate the style nor elegant proportions of sash windows.

There are excellent examples of beautiful sash windows that replicate the original timber ones, made from PVCu. They cost far more than cheap casement style, mock sash or hinged windows, the ones that have BLIGHTED our towns and cities because they were fitted into existing frames, but when done well these new generation, energy efficient, secured by design sash windows are “indistinguishable from the timber originals, even at close quarters*”

When fitted correctly (behind the outer reveal) they show a minimal amount of framing, they are excellent means of purge ventilation and provide large spaces to exit the building in an emergency.

Solution, allow hoteliers to change to their windows to PVCu but insist the appearance of the area is maintained or reinstated by insisting that sash windows are installed.

* a quote from a local  inspector, deciding an appeal against the use of PVCu sash window.

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BFRC and Certass create confusion with different A ratings

14

The BFRC and Certass have each created a new level of window energy rating for products that exceed zero, i.e. they are energy positive and better than A .

Because marketing and sales people like to claim their product is the best performing on the market, they have forced BFRC and TRR operated by Certass to bring out additional levels of “A ratings”, however, confusingly they are different! (more…)

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