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Trading Standards take action against Fireplace Business

12th April 2017

A Local business has been found in contempt of court after breaching an Enforcement Order previously issued following action taken by Highland Council Trading Standards.

On the 12th April 2017 at Inverness Sherriff Court Ms Diane Urquhart, Director of Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre and Mr Michael Armour also of Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre were found in breach of an Enforcement Order issued under the Enterprise Act 2002 and in contempt of court.

A very high number of complaints about non-delivery and shoddy workmanship had been received by Trading Standards and an Enforcement Order had been obtained from the Sheriff Court in November 2015. The Order placed a condition on the business that they must improve their business practices by ensuring that future work undertaken by them would be carried out with reasonable care and skill and without excessive delay. The business continued to be monitored by Trading Standards and further complaints were received which indicated that their business practices had not improved and that they had breached the terms of the Enforcement Order.

Trading Standards Manager David MacKenzie said: "We will work with businesses to ensure compliance and improve trading practices. However, we will not hesitate to take firm action against businesses that persistently treat consumers badly."

The Highland Council Trading Standards is part of Corporate Development, Highland Council, Glenurquart Road, Inverness

The Highland Council Trading Standards obtained an Enforcement Order on the 3rd November 2015 under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 against Inverness Fireplace and Heating Centre in relation to work not being carried out with reasonable care and skill and within a reasonable time as required under common law.

The Enterprise Act 2002 provides an alternative to prosecution for Trading Standards authorities. It seeks to deal with bad practices in a constructive way by imposing legally-binding requirements on businesses and individuals in relation to their future trading activities.

Investigations under the Enterprise Act can lead to a range of outcomes, depending on the seriousness of the breaches and the attitude and co-operation of the individuals involved. Informal assurances from businesses are often appropriate "disposals" for less serious cases. The next "level" being a formal undertaking as to future conduct. This is a legally-binding document signed by the representatives of the business. The final option is an Enforcement Order. Breach of an Enforcement Order may be contempt of court which is punishable by an unlimited fine or imprisonment.

The Enterprise Act provides the framework for taking legal action in terms of breaches of a wide range of consumer protection legislation. In this case, officers found evidence of breaches of the following both civil and criminal legislation as follows:

• law of contract relating to the provision of sub-standard work and failure to complete work within a reasonable time.

• Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (as amended) by failing to make available to the recipients of an information society service, in a form and manner which is easily, directly and permanently accessible (a) the name of the service provider; (b) the geographical address at which the service provider is established; (c) the details of the service provider, including his electronic mail address, which make it possible to contact;

• The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015 by failing to disclose its registered name on (a) its business letters, notices and other official publications; (b) its bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements and order forms; (e) its bills of parcels, invoices and other demands for payment, receipts and letters of credit;

• The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015 by failing to disclose (a) the part of the United Kingdom in which the company is registered; (b) the company's registered number; (c) the address of the company's registered office; on (a) its business letters; (b) its order forms; and (c) its websites;

• The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 by failing to give consumers the prescribed information regarding that contract

• The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 by failing to deliver goods to the consumer within 30 days of the contract, in circumstances where a specific date of delivery was not agreed;


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