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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Had a visit from a couple of nice chaps from SIG Energy Management (I think) yesterday. They'd spoken to my wife earlier and explained they do loft insulation. They came back in the evening and after a quick look at the loft said that we qualified for a grant from the energy company. The catch - I finally worked out - was that they had to ring the energy company themselves whilst still at my house and then arrange a date. The energy company would then call back two days later to see if we wanted to go through with the work (cost: £199 all-in).

I thought it was a bit odd that when I suggested he have the energy company call me tomorrow (ie, today) - because he couldn't get through on his mobile while standing in my hallway - he said no, he would have to come back and call them from my house. Then they would speak to me as well.

Huh??!

Anyone know what this is all about and it it is above-board?

Thanks

Paulie

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Possible script:

" hello Fred - I've got the sucker standing here. Could you just tell him it's all above board and I'll have the cheque off him ? "

 

Why am I so cynical ?

Apparently SIG used to be called Miller Pattison. A search on line gives a variety of comments, some good ( mainly from people who work for SIG ) and some not so good ( mainly from people who have felt intimidated into signing up ).

I've asked for the link to this thread to be passed on to Haringey Trading Standards to see if they can advise.

I looked on the Council's website and while there was general advice about home insulation, I didn't spot anything specific about companies' selling practices. Perhaps other people would post useful links.

Thanks Alan.

I told them when they left it was a case of "don't call me... I'll call you".

I am curious though.

 

P

There is a lot of this stuff going on at the moment.  Its a rather dubious selling tactic. 200 for 50 quids worth of work is a bit much really. 

 

Thing is, if your loft needs insulation, all you need to do is toddle down to Homebase and get 2 - 3 rolls of loft insulation at about 15 quid a roll and do it yourself. The only other thing you will need is a pair of big scissors. They'll probably even have a leaflet explaining how to do it. I doubt it would take more than an hour. 

 

You can apply for the grant yourself. Have a look below. 

 

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Home-improvements-and-products/...

For a typical loft you'll be looking at around 8-10 rolls of loft insulation at around £10 a roll, thus costing around £80. Typical installation of loft insulation (inc. materials) is around the £300-£350 mark.

The energy companies, through CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target), are required to provide energy efficiency measures to households. They need the carbon reductions for their targets, and go for the cheapest options with the highest carbon savings, and thus provide discounts on loft insulation.

SIG (Miller Pattison) are one of the uk's largest insulation installers, and they work on behalf of the energy companies to do the work. They want to make the call to the energy company at your house, so that they get the money, and not another of the registered installers (eg. EAGA/Carrillion, etc.).

If you're not convinced but still want to get the insulation installed, EDF provide the service at the same cost, to any residents irrespective of whether they are EDF Customers, all you need to do is call 0800 096 9966. (note: I don't work for an energy company, but for a London local authority's energy team).

Here's the email I received earlier this evening from Regulatory Services (in the Environment Department).

----- Original Message -----
From: Haringey Regulatory Services
To: Cllr Alan Stanton
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2011 5:35 PM
Subject: Loft Insulation - Door-to-door salespeople

Dear Councillor Stanton

Councillor Canver has asked that I contact you with regards to Door-to-door sales.

In recent years grants have been made available to help people insulate their homes, this has led to an increase in the number of commercial firms offering to do this work on behalf of householders. Inevitably this has also led to firms using their knowledge of the availability of these grants to encourage householders to sign up on the doorstep.

In the experience of Trading Standards the elderly and vulnerable can indeed be most at risk of a bad deal as members of these these groups can be susceptible to high pressure sales and are more likely to agree to contracts on the doorstep without first researching what is on offer elsewhere. Inevitably these traders may not always be offering the best value for money on the market.

The Trading Standards Legislation which affects door step selling in general is The Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumers Home or Place of work etc Regulations 2008. (Link here) These regulations require traders who call door to door to provide those who sign up to a contract with a written cancellation notice which allows them a cooling off period of 7 days from when the notice is given. This applies unless the customer waives these rights in writing. During the 7 days they can obtain other quotes and think about whether they want to go through with the contract. If the consumer does not want to go ahead they must cancel in writing within the seven days to be put back in the position they were in prior to agreeing to the contract. If the trader fails to give a cancellation notice to the consumer they may commit a criminal offence for which they can be fined up to £5,000. There are some types of contracts which are not covered by the regulations but contracts for home improvement works sold door to door would be covered. If traders do not comply with these requirements the contract will be unenforceable and the Consumer would not be obliged to pay. There is information on these Regulations on the Haringey Website at this link.

Trading Standards do get involved in sweeps with the Metropolitan Police [. . .] which tackles doorstep crime and distraction burglary as well as investigating individual rogue doorstep trader complaints.

Trading Standards would advise householders in the following manner.
• If you are considering improving the insulation in your home you may wish to first contact the Energy Saving Trust who can advise you on what is best for you and your property. They can be contacted on 0800 512 012. Information is also available through their website. Further information on grants is also available here. 

Advice Generally on Doorstep Sellers:-
• When Traders knock at your door never sign up to a contract straight away no matter how tempting it sounds or what special offers they promise if you sign today. If they genuinely want your business the offer will still stand in a few days time when you have had a chance to see what is available on the market.

• Ask for information in writing including a written quotation before you sign up. A quotation should be a fixed price while an estimate can vary later. You can use this to compare prices. If they won’t give you written information ask yourself what are they trying to hide?

• Always obtain at least three separate quotes from different traders to ensure you are getting a good deal before you commit yourself.

• If you want to find a trustworthy trader ask your family and friends who may have recently had works done. Ideally use a trader who is a member of a Trade Association. Always contact the Trade Association to check if the trader is actually a member and to find out what can be done if things go wrong. Ask the trader for references of people they have worked for recently.

• Never deal with a trader if you do not know their full name, their land line telephone number and their full postal address.

• Never pay large sums of money up front.

• If the trader insists on cash payments be suspicious.

If consumers feel they have been pressured into signing a contract on the doorstep or have been a victim of a rogue trader they should report it to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

I will also ensure that our website is updated with information on Doorstep sellers.

I had a bunch of people form the council knocking on my door about loft insulation suggesting a lot of people can get it free.

 

My best suggest would be to call your energy company though as they all have offers to help you save money because of the requirement to save energy under the EEC scheme- Energy Efficiency and Conservation... Call them first, and depending on what you already have you could get a lot free or at a cut price, without muppets in your hallway!

Miller Pattison (or whoever they are) loft insulation touts are doorstepping the Ladder again today.  Just sent an unconvincing pair of salesmen clutching a messy notebook on their way.  Thought I'd flag this useful thread, because they're always very cagey about who they are, who they work for or exactly what they're doing...

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