Two directors of a Welsh company that falsely claimed to be NICEIC registered have been fined more than £12,000.
Jason Roberts, 36, of Abertillery Road, Blaina, and Carl Jenkins, 37, of Alma Street, Abertillery, had used the NICEIC logo without permission.
Both men had been directors of A Grace Electrics Ltd in Abertillery when they breached the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 Act.
They pleaded guilty to using the logo on a vehicle and an advertisement following a joint investigation by NICEIC and the Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen trading standards team.
The firm had originally been members of NICEIC but had their registration cancelled after ignoring a consumer complaint.
Mr Jenkins also pleaded guilty to not using reasonable care or skill during their work, and for not issuing cancellation rights to their customers.
The company directors were ordered to pay £2,625, as well as £960.99 council costs, and £170 victim surcharge – totalling £3,755.99.
Mr Roberts, was ordered to pay £1,500 and a £170 victim surcharge, while Mr Jenkins was ordered to pay £2,600 and victim surcharge of £170.
The court also heard that Mr Jenkins went on to set up another company in Abertillery, C Jenkins Electrics Ltd, and continued to lie of his affiliation with the NICEIC between November 8 2016 and August 1, 2017.
The logo was used while the firm responded to potential contracts on Mybuilder.com Mr Jenkins had also stated on the site that the company had been trading for three years when it had been set up in September 2016.
He pleaded guilty to using the logo without authorisation and falsely stating that the company had been trading for three years.
The company was ordered to pay £2,250 costs, council costs of £771.03, and a victim surcharge of £170 – a grand sum of £3,191.03. Mr Jenkins was also ordered to pay £1,500.
Cllr Fiona Cross, the executive member with responsibility for public protection at Torfaen council, said: “Trade associations such as the NICEIC offer peace of mind to customers so it is absolutely right that businesses that fraudulently claim membership of these organisations are investigated and prosecuted.
“In this case the directors of these companies not only fraudulently claimed membership but also treated their customers illegally too, so this is a fantastic result.
Anyone who is suspicious of a contractor falsely claiming to be NICEIC registered should check the NICEIC website at www.niceic.com which contains a full list of all those contractors registered with NICEIC.
“These latest prosecutions show how seriously we take misuse of our logo,” commented NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy.
“It also sends out the message that anyone thinking about misusing our logo will be caught and dealt with appropriately by the courts.
“The NICEIC name is associated with quality and we will work with the appropriate authorities to protect those contractors who are legitimately registered with us and have the quality of their work assessed on a regular basis.”
Contractors caught falsely claiming to be members will be named and shamed on the NICEIC website and their details passed to Trading Standards.