October 2013 saw yet another conviction for someone working for a roof coating company.
Thomas Storey, 43, admitted four offences following an investigation by North Tyneside Council’s Trading Standards team. He was a self-employed sales contractor for a questionable business called “Restore a Roof” based in the North East.
The author of the report, Duncan Bennet made the following statement:
‘Restore a Roof’ sold a roof coating treatment costing thousands to property owners across the North East, claiming it would extend the life of the roof and save money.
However, the work was purely cosmetic and could not protect the roof as promised.
The trading standards service, which is delivered for the council by Capita, investigated the company following several complaints from elderly and vulnerable people.
Business owner, James Laidler, 38, had previously admitted EIGHT offences earlier in the year.
The court heard that “Restore a Roof” misled customers as to the benefits of the coating system. The court was also told that:
Restore a Roof cold-called householders seeking to sell a roof coating treatment that cost, on average, over £2,000. The houses that were targeted often had roofs of age and condition that required remedial work.
Most of the victims were elderly and vulnerable people who believed that the work would protect their roofs and was a viable alternative to paying for a new roof.
While the coating treatment improved the roof’s appearance, Restore a Roof misled people about its benefits and that the work was guaranteed.
More information can be found on the North Tyneside Council website.
It is fantastic that local councils and the courts are now highlighting not only questionable sales tactics but also the fact that roof coatings are “purely cosmetic”.
This isn’t the first conviction in the UK, in April 2013 two members of a roof coating company were given custodial sentences. Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd Director Phillip Christopher Twose, 59, and salesman John Colin Gumbrell, 52, were both sentenced to 12 months in prison for “rogue trading offences.
At the time, Mike Pigrem, the council’s head of consumer and business protection made the following statement:
There were over 500 potential victims. I believe this is a landmark case exposing the ‘roof coating scam’ which has taken hold in the UK over the last decade.
He went on to say:
The prosecution and sentence should send a strong message to the large number of other companies out there who also cold call for roof coating work.
In our opinion, there is no doubt that moss causes no damage whatsoever to tiles and the roof coating process is a wholly unnecessary treatment.
You can read more about the New Look Roof Coating scam here.