Director and Salesman each sentenced to 12 months imprisonment yesterday for rogue trading offences.
Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards Service, prosecuting barrister Tim Moores told the court that since September 2009 the company had done wrong. The company was cold calling victims who were predominantly elderly and vulnerable. They were getting them to sign contracts for wholly unnecessary work that involved applying roof coatings. The company stated that the moss found on the roof would destroy it. This would require a whole new replacement at an exorbitant cost. In addition, they charged far in excess of what a reasonable price should be. They were deceiving consumers with false show home discounts taken off outrageously high starting prices for the work.
Further illegal practices were uncovered. The salesman falsely called himself a Surveyor when he had no qualifications. HE pressured consumers by saying the discounted price was only available that day. For the 16 month period covered by the charges, it is estimated that the company made a staggering £1.7 million. In a two year period ending in december 2011, over £2.4 million. Until trading standards and west mercia police from hereford raided their monmouth offices.
“Your motive behind the offences was to extract as much money as possible from the public. The methods adopted are not unfamiliar- cold calling and misrepresenting the need for the remedial work to the roof. The sales pitch began with an alarmingly high price, then with a series of so called discounts the price was reduced by order of two thirds. You are not the first nor will you be the last to employ these tactics. Part of the reason for these sentences is the hope that others will be discouraged. Your conduct caused loss to some, anxiety for many and gives rise to indignation on the part of the public at large.”
Herefordshire council’s head of consumer and business protection, mike pigrem, said: “this is the biggest and most disturbing rogue trader investigation we have ever undertaken. There were over 500 potential victims. I believe this is a landmark case exposing the ‘roof coating scam’ which has taken hold in the uk over the last decade. The custodial sentences imposed send out a strong message to the large number of other companies out there who also cold call for roof coating work – to-stop, or you too may find yourself before the courts. In our opinion there is no doubt that moss causes no damage what so ever to tiles and the roof coating process is a wholly unnecessary treatment.