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Trading standards wrote seven times to warn company, based in Somerville Park, off Halifax Road, over infringement
7:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
A south Bradford home improvement company has been fined nearly £7,000 after incorrectly claiming it was a member of the Consumer Protection Association (CPA).
Artisan Home Improvements, whose managing director is Darren Mark Ludbrook, was fined £6,000 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court yesterday and ordered to pay £689 costs after pleading guilty under Consumer Protection Regulations for the false use of a logo. The company is based at Somerville Park, off Halifax Road.
The action was brought by West Yorkshire Trading Standards, which received a complaint from the Consumer Protection Association last November saying it had written to Mr Ludbrook seven times informing him not to use the CPA logo because his membership ended on October 8, 2009.
Consumers who employ a member of the CPA get deposit protection and a ten-year insurance-backed guarantee on all installations.
The CPA kept getting complaints from the public despite their letters to Mr Ludbrook and checks on the Artisan Home Improvements website resulted in more letters being sent, but they were unanswered, trading standards said.
Trading standards also got a complaint in August last year from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) because a member of the public had seen the FMB certificate displayed on Mr Ludbrook’s website despite him not being a member.
In a statement trading standards said using a trust mark or authorisation mark without certification is a banned practice and offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
“This is because it may mislead potential consumers into contacting a business they may not have contracted with otherwise,” the statement said.
“The FMB logo is a sign of quality workmanship which is recognised by consumers.
“Tradepersons seek to be members of trade associations to gain a greater amount of work, which results in greater financial income and to gain a competitive edge against competitors.”
David Lodge, the divisional manager at trading standards, said: “Trading standards works closely with a number of trade associations and always acts upon any complaints that are made to us.
“This result shows that the courts take these matters very seriously and will hopefully serve as a warning to any traders who use trade logos dishonestly.”