Scots couple lose £11,000 to rogue spray foam insulation firm

A Scottish couple have been left devastated after they were conned out of their life savings by a rogue spray foam insulation firm. The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, paid £11,000 to a company that claimed to be accredited by the National Insulation Association (NIA) and promised to make their home more energy-efficient. However, the firm did a shoddy job and left their loft in a mess, with foam covering their water tank, electrical wires and wooden beams. The foam also caused dampness and mould in their bedroom, which led to their ceiling collapsing.

Spray foam insulation scams on the rise

Spray foam insulation is a type of material that is sprayed between and over the rafters in the loft, filling all the gaps and creating a barrier against heat loss. It can help homeowners save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. However, the industry is unregulated and there are many rogue traders who prey on unsuspecting customers, offering cheap deals and false guarantees. These cowboys often use substandard products and install them incorrectly, causing damage to the property and health risks to the occupants.

According to Trading Standards, there has been an increase in complaints about spray foam insulation scams in Scotland and across the UK. Some of the common issues reported by consumers include:

  • Being pressured into signing contracts without being given enough time to read them
  • Being misled about the benefits and risks of spray foam insulation
  • Being overcharged for the work or asked to pay upfront
  • Being given fake or invalid certificates or guarantees
  • Being unable to contact the firm after the work is done or finding out that they have gone out of business
  • Having difficulty selling or remortgaging their property due to the presence of spray foam insulation

How to avoid spray foam insulation cowboys

The NIA, the trade body that represents the insulation industry, has issued a warning to homeowners to be vigilant and do their research before hiring a spray foam insulation firm. The NIA advises consumers to:

Scots couple lose £11,000

  • Check the credentials of the firm and make sure they are members of the NIA or another reputable trade association
  • Ask for references and testimonials from previous customers and check online reviews
  • Get at least three quotes from different firms and compare them carefully
  • Read the contract and terms and conditions carefully and make sure they understand what they are signing
  • Never pay the full amount upfront and only pay by credit card or bank transfer, not cash or cheque
  • Ask for a written receipt and a copy of the guarantee or warranty
  • Keep all the paperwork and documentation related to the work
  • Report any problems or complaints to the firm, the NIA, Trading Standards or Citizens Advice

What to do if you have been scammed by a spray foam insulation firm

If you have been scammed by a spray foam insulation firm, you may be able to get your money back or have the work rectified. You can take the following steps:

  • Contact the firm and explain the problem and what you want them to do. Keep a record of all the communication and evidence of the work done
  • If the firm is a member of the NIA or another trade association, contact them and ask for their help in resolving the issue
  • If the firm is not a member of any trade association or does not respond to your complaint, contact Trading Standards or Citizens Advice and seek legal advice
  • If you paid by credit card, you may be able to claim a refund under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which makes the card provider jointly liable for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by the trader
  • If you paid by debit card, you may be able to use the chargeback scheme, which allows you to ask your bank to reverse the transaction if you have not received the goods or services you paid for
  • If you have a home insurance policy, you may be able to claim for the damage caused by the spray foam insulation, depending on the terms and conditions of your policy
By Zane Lee

Zane Lee is a talented content writer at Cumbernauld Media, specializing in the finance and business niche. With a keen interest in the ever-evolving world of finance, Zane brings a unique perspective to his articles and blog posts. His in-depth knowledge and research skills allow him to provide valuable insights and analysis on various financial topics. Zane's passion for writing and his ability to simplify complex concepts make his content engaging and accessible to readers of all levels.

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