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An anonymous whistle-blowing procedure is now in place for consumers and HETAS registered installers to notify HETAS of non-compliant work. The helpline is designed to ensure consumer safety and prevent bad installations, providing both action and solutions.
Registration Manager Jo Courtney-Wiggins runs the helpline from the head office in Tewkesbury.
Jo says: “We always want to hear about businesses falsely claiming to be HETAS registered, who appear to be misusing the HETAS brand or those who do not comply with standards and regulations. As an organisation, our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. We would implore anyone with any concerns about rogue traders in your area or non-compliant installations to get in touch. We’re proud to have the support from various sectors, manufacturers and organisations in the industry. Working alongside influential organisations such as BFCMA, SFA, SIA and sweep associations (APICS, The Guild and NACS) allows us to provide the most up-to-date information and informed advice.”
Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS, adds: “Enforcement against rogue traders and those pretending to be HETAS registered has become more common in recent years. We partner with Trading Standards, and our registration team have provided numerous and regular Witness Statements to support legal enforcement nationwide.
“Talking to HETAS installers every day, we know the frustration they can feel about installers who undertake very poor work, whether registered with us or not. This year, several businesses have been suspended and/or removed from the registration scheme as a direct result of the whistleblowing procedure. Conversely, when we receive complaints about installers that are not justified, we have been able to support installers and present a clear case to the customers concerned. Where there are safety concerns we always want to hear about them and will either act or advise as appropriate.”
“Sadly there are times when non-registered businesses misuse the HETAS brand and mislead customers. Through our Primary Authority partnership with Trading Standards, HETAS has developed a robust process for dealing with logo misuse. If you are aware of someone misusing the HETAS brand, please let us know so we can initiate our processes. In more complex cases we work with Trading Standards and we have several recent cases of enforcement by Trading Standards. Get in touch with the team on firstname.lastname@example.org along with evidence of brand misuse.”
Bruce says the ultimate goal is for HETAS to be recognised as the go-to resource for any solid fuel, wood and biomass heating related queries so the organisation can continue to encourage the improvement of products and promote high standards of quality, design, safety and efficiency.
The HETAS complaints process is available on www.hetas.co.uk/consumer/complaints-policy. Get in touch with Jo or the HETAS team direct to discuss whistleblowing on 01684 278170 or email email@example.com