Two company officials have been ordered to pay more than £30,000 for a number of offences relating to mis-selling the Green Deal scheme, their failure to provide consumers with the appropriate cancellation rights and their mis-use of the NICEIC logo.
Abdul Muhith and David N Clarke of Becoming Green (UK) Limited were sentenced last month at Cardiff Crown Court after entering guilty pleas under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 Act.
Company director Mr. Muhith, pleaded guilty to six offences related to misleading consumers. Homeowners were led to believe they could get home improvements under the Green Deal scheme for a one-off payment of £299 without being told it was a loan agreement subject to interest. He was sentenced to pay £2,500 per offence, totalling £15,000, and ordered to pay a £2,500 contribution towards prosecution costs along with a further £1,794 in compensation to the victims in the case. A victim surcharge of £15 was also ordered.
Clarke, Head of Operations at Becoming Green (UK) Ltd, pleaded guilty to three offences under the regulations, including mis-use of the NICEIC logo. He was sentenced to a fine of £2,500 per offence, totalling £7,500, and ordered to pay a £2,500 contribution towards prosecution costs and £598 compensation to the victims in the case. A victim surcharge of £15 was also ordered.
The case against the two men was brought by Scambusters, the regional Trading Standards team for Wales with assistance from NICEIC.
In a separate case, a contractor in the North East was also sentenced for unauthorised use of the NICEIC approved contractor logo and two other logos. Martin Coverdale, who traded as Coverdale & Sons Plumbing & Heating, was sentenced to a community order totalling more than 180 hours at Middlesbrough Crown Court last month. The sentence was in relation to nine separate misuse counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act.
“These latest prosecutions show how seriously we take misuse of our logo,” commented NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy. “It also sends out the message that anyone thinking about misusing our logo will be caught and dealt with appropriately by the courts.
“The NICEIC name is associated with quality and we will work with the appropriate authorities to protect those contractors who are legitimately registered with us and have the quality of their work assessed on a regular basis.”
Contractors caught falsely claiming to be members will be named and shamed on the NICEIC website and their details passed to Trading Standards. Anyone who is suspicious of a contractor falsely claiming to be NICEIC registered should check the NICEIC website which contains a full list of all those contractors registered with NICEIC.