A Grace Electricals Ltd was found to be guilty of various offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 act, following an investigation by the joint Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen trading standards team.
Company directors Jason Roberts, 36, of Abertillery Road, Blaina, and Carl Jenkins, 37, of Alma Street, Abertillery, pleaded guilty to using the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) logo on mybuilder.com, a website designed to help consumers find trusted and reliable tradespeople, despite not being members of the organisation. They also pleaded guilty to not using reasonable care or skill during their work, and for not issuing cancellation rights to their customers.
The case was heard at Cwmbran Magistrates on October 30 2017 and the court was told how one customer was forced to engage High Court Enforcement Officers to reclaim money for damages caused by the company after the directors ignored demands from the small claims court and private bailiffs.
The court also heard that Mr Jenkins had set up another company, C Jenkins Electrics Ltd, and continued to make reference to being a member of NICEIC on mybuilder.com and on Facebook. He also stated that the company had been trading for three years when it had not.
A Grace Electrics Ltd was ordered to pay £2,625, as well as £960.99 council costs, and £170 victim surcharge. Mr Roberts, as a director, was ordered to pay £1,500 and a victim surcharge of £170. Mr Jenkins, who was a director as the time of the offences, was ordered to pay £2,600 as well as a victim surcharge of £170.
C Jenkins Electrics Ltd was ordered to pay £2,250 costs, as well as the council costs of £771.03, and a victim surcharge of £170. Mr Jenkins, as a director, was also ordered to pay £1,500.
Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member with responsibility for public protection at Torfaen council, said: “Trade associations such as the NICEIC offer peace of mind to customers so it is absolutely right that businesses that fraudulently claim membership of these organisations are investigated and prosecuted.
“In this case the directors of these companies not only fraudulently claimed membership but also treated their customers illegally too, so this is a fantastic result.
“If residents have any doubts over a company claiming to be a member of a trade organisation then I would urge them to ask for a membership numbers and relevant paperwork, and check with the organisations directly.”