A criminal case against Fischer Future Heat has been dropped after the Leicester-based company reached a compromise with the consumer law enforcement agency Trading Standards.
The family-owned business had faced criminal proceedings after it was accused of making false claims to customers about the suitability of its products, Leicester Mercury reported.
Owned by the couple Keith and Maria Bastian, the company was allegedly involved in fraud and aggressive sales practices but the owners denied the accusations.
The conditions imposed by Trading Standards bar the company from referring to its salespeople as engineers and describing their heaters as “storage heaters” when turned off without describing the extent to which they stay hot.
The undertakings agreed upon by the Bastions on behalf of the business and another company Premier Radiators Ltd stipulate that they should not charge call-out fees to customers who have been provided with faulty products.
They should also ensure a product fits into the space provided as agreed with a customer when they ordered it.
The companies also should not claim that customers will save money by using their products unless it is explained that it depends on how it is used and the customer’s electricity tariff.
According to the undertaking, the companies are also barred from claiming that discounts are only available on the day the salesperson makes an offer.
The companies also agreed that they will not claim they do not use sub-contractors when the fact is contrary.
They should also not claim that Trading Standards or any other consumer enforcement group has “worked with” or endorsed the companies.
The firms agreed to conduct spot-checks at the management level to ensure their salespeople correctly inform customers of their cancellation rights.
They will also make sure if a warranty is “parts only” then any labour charges should be clearly stated in advertising, marketing or sales material.
A Fischer spokesperson told Leicester Mercury that not-guilty verdicts were formally entered on September 29 against Fischer Future Heat (UK) Ltd, Premier Radiators Ltd and their respective officers and directors after “Leicester Trading Standards formally offered no evidence in respect of all allegations”.