A Milton Keynes business has been fined for misuse of the Gas Safe Register and Trustatrader logos.
In a case taken by Milton Keynes Council Trading Standards Department, Andrew & Cody Stevens, a father and son team of plumbers, who trade as Master Plumbing Contractors Ltd, pleaded guilty in Milton Keynes Magistrate Court to offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The company’s website and vehicle made reference to being Gas Safe registered and Trustatrader members by displaying logos for both.
This information was false and misleading.
The company had previously been members of the Trustatrader scheme but their membership had lapsed. Despite attempts by both Gas Safe Register and Trustatrader to have these logos removed, the company continued to use them.
Trading Standards had also made attempts to get the logos removed before the prosecution was taken so that consumers were not duped into using the company thinking they were Gas Safe Registered or members of Trustatrader.
Cody Stevens was fined a total of £1,400 for the offences, ordered to pay costs of £700 and a victim surcharge of £90.
Andrew Stevens was fined a total of £800, costs of £300 and a £40 victim surcharge.
The company, Master Plumbing Contractors Ltd was fined a total of £800, costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £40.
Sue Crawley, MKC trading standards manager, said: “It is important that members of the public can feel safe when engaging with tradesmen in Milton Keynes, that they are what they say they are. The consequences of employing someone who is not Gas Safe registered could be catastrophic.
“We take matters like this very seriously. Traders that infringe the law can expect further action taken against them, which can result in a prosecution as in this case.”
Jonathan Samuel, chief executive, Gas Safe Register, said: “Anyone wishing to carry out work on gas appliances must be on the Gas Safe Register. If they are not, they are breaking the law and will be prosecuted.”
Trading Standards advise that anyone considering using a plumber to check on the Gas Safe Register that they are authorised to do that work. Details can be found on www.gassaferegister.co.uk where customers can type in their postcode to find locally registered engineers. There is also lots of useful information on the website regarding gas safety in the home. If you have concerns that businesses are using logos illegally these can be reported to www.citizensadvice.org.uk who will pass details to Trading Standards as well as offering consumer advice.