DOUBLE glazing firms Everest and Anglian Windows have been found to have mis-sold or mislead customers in new rulings.
In the first case, Everest sold a £12,800 loan to an 80-year-old stroke victim who didn’t need to borrow money to pay for the work, reports The Times.
Double glazing firms Everest and Anglian Windows have been found to have mis-sold or mislead customers in new rulings.
The loan meant the customer had to pay £6,500 in interest at a rate of 20% over five years for resurfacing work on his driveway.
Meanwhile, Anglian Windows has been ordered to remove a misleading website claim that customers could benefit from “up to 40 per cent off”.
Following an investigation into Everest over the sale of the loan, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) found that the firm received a £2,700 commission from Clydesdale Financial Services to sell the product.
Rob Cheek, who complained to the FOS on behalf of his dad, Richard Cheek, told The Times the Everest salesmen suggested the loan as a way of “spreading the cost”.
The ombudsman said that Mr Cheek’s health meant Everest should have “taken care to explain the documents” but there was no evidence it had.
It concluded that the agreement was most likely mis-sold and ordered Clydesdale to pay back £4,800 of interest and £200 in compensation.
Martyn James, of online complaints tool Resolver, said “it’s clear” Mr Cheek shouldn’t have been sold a finance agreement.
He added: “Any business that offers loans to people who are older or may be vulnerable should take extra care to ensure that the selling agent is acting responsibly.
“My concern is that countless other victims of inappropriate selling slip through the cracks.”
Mr James told HOAR that any any high value credit deals sold to people who already meet credit checks should face tougher scrutiny.
He said: “After all, if you have the cash to pay up front, why sell a deal with interest?”
Everest was sold back to its private equity owner Better Capital in a pre-pack administration this summer after collapsing due the coronavirus crisis.
Everest told The Times it no longer sells loans but customers can shop around for credit through comparison service Kandoo.
It says it receives no commission on sales.
A spokesperson said: “All payment options were presented to the customer including paying with cash.
“The interest charges and loan term were fully explained. Notes show that the customer took time to think over the options.”
But the company added: “It would appear that Everest Ltd underestimated the vulnerability of this customer and we would like to apologise for any upset caused.”
HOAR also contacted Everest for comment.
Anglian Windows ‘misled’ customers with discount claims
Meanwhile, Anglian Windows has been criticized for its sales tactics and ordered to remove a claim on its website that customers could benefit from “up to 40 per cent off”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled last month that Anglian Windows’ claim was “likely to mislead” because similar promotions had been available since November 2018.
The ruling stated: “There was no intervening period between promotions during which a higher selling price had been established.
“We told Anglian Windows Ltd to ensure their future savings claims did not mislead.”
HOAR contacted Anglian Windows for comment.
Neither Everest nor Anglian Windows is a member of the Double Glazing Ombudsman Service, which resolves disputes with customers.
If you feel like you’ve been misled or mis-sold, follow the steps above.
A few years ago, two DIY mums were left fuming after an Anglian Home Improvements window salesman “told them to consult with their husbands on the budget”.
Hertfordshire-based Everest was bought by private equity firm Better Capital in 2012.
In the 1980s, Everest’s memorable TV commercials, fronted by Derbyshire farmer and former Brain of Britain contestant Ted Moult, became well-known in UK households.
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