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YouGen press release

YouGen backs OFT crackdown, and calls for ban on 'deal on the day'

Posted on 10 January 2013 at 3:36 pm

YouGen welcomes the Office of Fair Trading's advice to energy efficiency firms on business practice and calls for changes in the law on doorstep selling to prevent the worst excesses.

Last month we joined forces with a number of solar and other renewable energy companies to call on climate change minister Greg Barker MP and Consumer Affairs minister Jo Swinson to ban the ability for renewable energy companies to sign customers up to a deal on the day of a sales visit (click here to read the original press release).

“If they are unable to sign a deal on the day, it removes the temptation for unscrupulous sales people to use most of the aggressive sales practices that the OFT is talking about in its letter to insulation, double glazing and solar companies,” said Cathy Debenham, founder of YouGen.

“These are products where it would be wise to compare suppliers and to think about the pros and cons, both of going ahead with the work, and of the approach and quality of different suppliers. Reputable suppliers would expect customers to get several quotes, and would only give a full quote based on a thorough survey.”

YouGen and some of its member installers are encouraging people to support the call for a ban on deal on the day by signing a petition on the government’s e-petition website:, and asking friends, family and colleagues to do so too.

“There are some energy efficiency companies that have been undertaking very aggressive campaigns of telephone cold calling,” added Cathy. “I am signed up to the telephone preference service and yet I still regularly get calls. The way they talk about available grants is often quite disengenuous.

“I welcome the OFT’s work on cracking down on these companies. Making your home more energy efficient is a good investment in both comfort and warmth and in reducing energy bills. UK homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe, and it would be a great pity if people are put off investing in worthwhile home improvements by the aggressive tactics of a minority of companies. If we are to maintain consumer confidence in the idea of improving home energy efficiency it’s important to eliminate poor and misleading practice from the industry.”

YouGen is an independent website offering practical information to help people considering investment in renewable energy for their home or business to make good choices. I contains researched information, plus expert advice, and a directory of installers with customer feedback. With the imminent launch of the Green Deal, YouGen is expanding coverage to include a wide range of energy efficiency measures.

Founder, Cathy Debenham, recognised the need for an interactive  website where consumers and trade can meet and help each other while attempting to renovate her house in an energy efficient way, and finding it very difficult to get good advice.

For more information, please contact Cathy

Useful links:

Office of Fair Trading press release.

Ban deal on the day petition:

Ban deal on the day press release:

Further relevant blogs: A case study demonstrates why this ban is needed; Why we're calling for a ban.

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