The Energy Saving Centre Ltd, trading as EnergiGlass, has been fined 48,000 and its sole director given a suspended jail term for using misleading sales practices in breach of consumer protection legislation.
Agents of EnergiGlass, which sells and fits replacement windows, falsely claimed to consumers that they would be entitled to receive government grants, subsidies and reimbursement from the government if they replaced their windows. A number of affected consumers were elderly and vulnerable including an 85 year old man, an 84 year old retired GP, a 75 year old Multiple Sclerosis sufferer and a retired blind woman.
The company pleaded guilty to eight offences of using misleading sales practices. Meanwhile the sole director of EnergiGlass, Danyal Uddin, pleaded guilty to four similar offences and was sentenced to a suspended 16 week prison sentence and was disqualified from acting as a company director for four years. EnergiGlass was also ordered to pay victim compensation of 17,400 and prosecution costs of 57,402.08.
The West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team (WYFEAT) secured the conviction. WYFEAT is a multi-agency task force, led by the West Yorkshire Trading Standard Service, consisting of trading standards, financial investigators, police and social workers which undertakes complex criminal investigations, with the aim of combatting rogue traders to protect the vulnerable from financial abuse.
The head of WYFEAT, Linda Davis, stated that the sentences should "serve as a warning to those sectors of the home improvement industry who put the pursuit of profit before ethical and commercial standards".