Amber Sound News
Builder prosecuted over false 'Trusted Trader' claim
A builder has been fined for implying he was a registered `Trusted Trader’ in the first prosecution of its kind brought by Derbyshire County Council.
Matthew Lambert, 38, of Newhaven Road, Chaddesden, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Derby and South Derbyshire Magistrates Court yesterday.
County council trading standards officers began investigating Lambert, who was trading under the name of East Midlands Construction, in November 2011 after receiving a complaint from a Borrowash resident.
The Borrowash man told trading standards officers that Lambert had carried out work on his driveway at his home, costing £1,900, but it had not been done to an acceptable standard. Although he had complained to Lambert the problems had not been put right.
Lambert had earlier told the customer that he had applied to be a `Trusted Trader’ – a county council trading standards register which lists reputable tradespeople in the county.
The householder had also later seen an advert for Lambert’s business in a local magazine which was accompanied by the county council `Trusted Trader’ logo.
The first charge related to the fact that Lambert and his purported business – East Midlands Construction Ltd – had never been a Trusted Trader member and he had never applied to join the scheme.
The second charge related to a quote for work which Lambert gave to the customer, which was on headed paper giving the name of his business and a website address which had also appeared in the magazine advert.
Trading standards enquires revealed the website address –
www.eastmidlandsconstruction.co.uk - was owned by a business which had nothing to do with Lambert and was not connected to him in any way.
The website Lambert was claiming to be his is legitimately owned and run by East Midlands Construction Professional Builders Ltd and the director of this company told trading standards officers that Lambert had no authority to use it.
The director also told trading standards that he had received complaints from customers and suppliers of Lambert who wrongly thought they were dealing with the proper company.
The third charge relates to Lambert’s failure to give the customer the legally required written notice of a seven day cooling off period to think about the contract to do the work and change his mind.
Lambert pleaded guilty to all three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was fined £150 for each charge.
He was ordered to pay £300 towards costs and an additional £15 victim surcharge.
George Wharmby, Amber Sound FM News
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