The bad news continues to flow for embattled Safestyle UK this week as the BBC reported that the company has been handed a fine of £120,000. This time for aggressive sales tactics.
This, and they also published a fresh court case update.
The report says that Sheffield Crown Court had found that the company had used a number of unlawful methods to apply pressure on home owners to give them the business.
The company has admitted 13 counts of breaching consumer protection and was also told to pay £52,000 in costs. So this case has cost them £172,000 in expenditure at a time when the company is desperately trying to turn their fortunes around in the face of a number of huge threats to the rest of the business.
The BBC report that the offences were carried out over a period of 17 months and across the country. Whilst this points to systemic failures across the board geographically, there is a snippet in the BBC article that really stand out for me.
Other deceptions used by employees included lying about having a contract with Southampton Council and claiming they had access to government allowances.
“Government allowances”. Also known as “scrappage scheme” or “grant”. Time after time I have spoken with home owners who have been told by other companies that there are such schemes out there which allow them to access free money to help pay for new windows and doors. It simply isn’t true. Nothing like that exists, even remotely. I am glad to see this being included in the comments of the article because so many home owners do seem to fall for this.
I am also happy to see a company being taken to task for what are hard-sell tactics. For years myself and others have been calling for the end of their use. Hopefully this case will help shine a light on it all and serve as a warning to other companies operating in the same manner.
You can find the original BBC report by following this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-44844422
Legal claim update
On the 17th of June the company issued a further update on their ongoing legal claim:
Further to the announcements on 21 May 2018 and 29 May 2018 and following a judgement handed down on 16 July 2018, Safestyle provides an update having issued a claim seeking injunctive relief and damages against NIAMAC Developments Ltd (trading as Safeglaze UK) and a number of named individuals. The claim is made in the Business and Property Courts of England & Wales, on the Intellectual Property list.
The claim asks the Court to determine whether Safestyle is entitled to injunctive relief and damages from what the Group considers to be passing off, the misuse of confidential information, unlawful means conspiracy and malicious falsehood.
Safestyle also applied for urgent interim relief, pending the trial of this matter. The first hearing of that application took place on 25 May 2018 and the second hearing took place on 9 to 11 July 2018, with judgement being handed down on 16 July 2018.
At the first hearing, the Court made a number of Orders against Safeglaze UK and certain named individuals. Those Orders were made on an interim basis, pending further order or final order of the Court. They included a number of injunctive orders preventing Safeglaze UK and certain named individuals from undertaking various actions, and an order requiring them to provide specified documents to Safestyle.
At the second hearing, the Company was not successful in securing interim injunctive relief against the use of the Safeglaze UK brand. However, the Court upheld a number of injunctive orders previously made preventing Safeglaze UK and certain named individuals from undertaking various actions. The Court also made an order preventing Safeglaze UK from using Safestyle’s name or logo. Those Orders have been made on an interim basis, pending further order or final order of the Court, and the Court ruled that Safestyle will be entitled to seek a proportion of its legal costs in obtaining those orders from Safeglaze UK.
The Company will provide further updates on the case as and when appropriate.
It does appear on the face of it that Safestyle do appear to be making progress in their favour on this one. There does also appear to be a chance for monetary recompense for the company, obtained from Safeglaze.
The case is ongoing and DGB will report on any further updates as and when they are published.
You can read the original Safestyle statement in full here: http://otp.investis.com/clients/uk/safestyle/rns/regulatory-story.aspx?newsid=1115287&cid=656
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At last, we have a prosecution against this kind of so-called salesmanship. The next question is what action is the GGF going to take against Safestyle? We don’t need this kind of business in this industry.
We have had, to date two failed appointments for fitting change from 31st of July to 5th August No contact from Safestye I spent at least four hours trying to get in touch, when I eventually did got the number of the Peterourogh dept that were supposed to be coming excuse was unexpected problems with the first job no apology or suggestions as to when they could arrive. . Spoke with the same person earlier who had the cheek to say he had phoned me. Reluctantly had to agree to them coming tomorrow ( Friday 7th ) but increasingly getting… Read more »