Misleading claims and hard-sell tactics are being used by salesmen working for a Bradford-based double-glazing company, it was claimed today.
After carrying out an undercover investigation, experts at consumer organisation Which? said they were astounded by the tactics used by four major double glazing companies, including Safestyle UK, based in Eldon Place, off Manningham Lane.
Which? asked Safestyle UK, Anglian, Everest and Zenith Staybrite to visit at least four addresses across the UK to give a quote to undercover researchers for the cost of new double glazing.
One of the Safestyle salesmen offered a lower price to sign up during the visit. Another Safestyle salesman offered a discount to sign up on the same day, according to Which? All four quoted a very high initial price – in one case Safestyle’s final price was 75 per cent less than the original quoted.
The Which? sales expert said: “One of the salespeople called their manager. Confirmation of pricing or ‘special’ deals from an authority figure are perceived by the consumer as more credible – and so strengthen the salesperson’s position.”
Which? also said one of the salesmen made racist comments, a claim Safestyle UK dismissed as “unfounded allegations.”
In the article, Which? highlighted what it termed “dodgy claims” made by salesmen for each of the four firms.
In the case of Safestyle, it said one of the salesmen claimed the company had been vetted by the Government. In truth, the Government does not vet double glazing companies.
Which? claimed that a Safestyle salesman said that, by law, through Trading Standards, you could only give up to a ten-year guarantee.
The reality is that companies can give a guarantee for as long as they like.
In response to the first so-called ‘dodgy claim’ relating to Government vetting, Rick Short, head of customer standards at Safestyle UK, said: “While not an entirely accurate statement, we surmise the representative was trying to convey that Safestyle UK is part of the Trustmark scheme which promotes Government-endorsed standards.”
In relation to the second claim, in which it was alleged a salesman alluded to a ten-year guarantee being the maximum by law, Mr Short said it was “obviously an incorrect statement”.
He said: “However, it is advisable that companies only offer guarantees that are realistic and for a length of time that they can expect to be able to honour the terms of the guarantee in full.
“We note the reference to racism being made and we completely dismiss such comments as unfounded allegations. As anybody who knows, Safestyle UK, the company is a very diverse and racially harmonious organisation.”