Monthly Archives: July 2016

Zenith Staybrite Ltd pleads guilty

glazing

Zenith Staybrite Ltd pleads guilty to 5 breaches of Consumer Rights Protection via its legal representatives at Guildford Crown Court on Friday 15 July.

Consumer Rights Protection should deter companies; their directors and sales people from misleading offers that disguise “time limited special offers” by using artificially inflated initial prices, sometimes referred to as “Drop selling”.

Consumers feel pressured into making immediate decisions because they falsely believe that the “discount” was time limited, when actually it was artificially high, to test the buyers appetite.

Please understand that It is not illegal to have a list price for windows, doors and home improvement goods which starts high and has discounts applied to it, providing these reductions are also listed, are genuinely available and well documented.

For instance if a retail customer offers a company  a 10% discount in return for their home being a show house for the area, that’s ok, providing it is detailed and available to all.

Zenith Staybrite Ltd, originally called Home Install Limited, was formed in 2008 (company reg number 06516827).

They are FENSA registered and according to their website, they trade as Zenith Home. They are Registered in England No. 06516827, operate from Joseph King House, Abbey Farm Commercial Park, Horsham St Faith, Norwich, NR10 3JU and proud to be part of the ENTO Group  more importantly they are “Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority”

It seems this investigation has taken two years to come to court but Buckingham and Surrey trading standards are delighted to have won the case which confirmed the firm were engaged with quoting inflated prices to make discounts look better.

According to the Surrey News there were 5 offences which included a house builder being offered a huge reduction of more than 50%, from £52k down to £22k, other cases saw reductions to just £16k from £25k starting price. Seems this was very common practice as eight other house builders suffered similarly.

Six other defendants from Zenith Staybrite Ltd  were also charged with unfair trading charges, but found not guilty because of the lack of evidence, however they did sign written undertakings, not to use unfair trading practices themselves or risk legal action.

Seems the victims in this investigation into unfair and high-pressure practices, could now be compensated as Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards seek compensation from the firm.

According to the Surrey News Richard Walsh, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Localities and Community Wellbeing, said:

“This was a major investigation over two years into high-pressure sales tactics which drove customers to make on-the-spot purchases they might not otherwise have made and we hope the outcome will serve as a warning to firms across the country tempted to resort to such practices. Our advice to consumers is always to be wary of deals and discounts which seem too good to be true and hard-sell tactics geared towards rushing them into signing on the dotted line.”

It is unclear how long the compensation case will take, but sentencing of those found guilty will be held on Friday 7 October.

So how would you avoid being conned by inflated prices, how do you know if something is very competitive because of a genuine offer or simply the result of artificially high prices to start with?

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, check to see if the company belongs to a trusted trade organisation like the Glass and Glazing Federation (The GGF) who have their own rules of conduct for all members which comply with the code for trading standards or backed by the Double Glazing Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS)

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.

This entry was posted in Company info, DGCOS, Fensa and Fensa Fitters, GGF, Trading Standards and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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.

This entry was posted in Certass, Consumer Rights, Cowboys, Deposits, Trading Standards and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Company info, Press Releases, Sash Windows and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.