The latest report into the energy efficiency sector, which includes double glazing, has come out with some slightly surprising results.
The OFT has recently carried out an investigation into the double glazing, insulation and solar sector into practises. Personally, I think it’s about time. But the report, perhaps unsurprisingly, came back with some rather negative results for all involved.
The review, published last week, revealed that high pressure sales, poor paperwork, unclear information, lack of cancellation rights info and poor installation and workmanship was doing damage to consumer confidence. I think all of us within the double glazing industry can vouch that these sorts of problems are the reason why our industry has suffered with the label of cowboys for quite a while. The solar industry is quite new in comparison and it needs to make sure that they begin as they mean to carry on. Shoddy workmanship now could lead to the cowboy tag which is incredibly difficult to shift once you have it.
The OFT also had concerns about some companies misleading the consumer, especially when it came to eligibility of grants and loans. Since the car scrappage scheme, various industries have taken it upon themselves to advertise a similar scheme, despite the fact that these don’t exist. I remember when some of the national window companies were advertising a scrappage scheme when there wasn’t one. In reality it was just a discount structure, dressed as something more recognizable. This was rather sneaky and it is this sort of thing that the OFT have show concern for.
What I did find puzzling is that the OFT had written to 50 different companies asking them to make sure they are constantly providing good service to their customers. Forgive me for being a little skeptical here, but if it was as easy as just asking companies to do a good job and them listening intently, the OFT wouldn’t have to be carrying out investigations into poor practise! Sorry guys, it’s not as simple as that!
It is a little disheartening to read these sorts of results as the double glazing industry has been trying very hard over the last few years to shake off the shoddy image. I think many of us were confident that the impression of the double glazing industry among the public was on the up, specially with the MP’s expenses scandals and phone hacking. Double glazing was moving up the list of most hated professions. But I guess we all still have some more work to do to make sure that the next time the OFT carries out a report into our industry, they come back with some more positive results.