/ Home & Energy

Have you been mis-sold green home improvements?

Drawing of a home with energy efficiency ratings

With the temperature set to dip from unseasonable highs earlier this week to more typical teeth-chattering January temperatures, the Office of Fair Trading’s report into the energy efficiency industry is timely.

If you want to keep your home warm and cut down on your energy bills, insulating your property is the obvious place to start. From simple measures like loft insulation, to more costly and complex things like a new boiler or upgraded heating systems, the payback can be significant both financially and in terms of comfort.

I was therefore worried to see that the OFT’s report, published today, found instances of poor practice. It highlights the use of high-pressure sales techniques, unclear information about paperwork and cancellation rights, and poor quality installations. These will be familiar to anyone who has read our investigations into cavity wall insulation or double glazing sales – research that the OFT drew on in their own report.

Energy efficient spotlight on the Green Deal

The spotlight is about to be shone all the more brightly on the energy efficiency sector later this month, with the launch of the Green Deal. This report will make further uncomfortable reading for the government, who have placed a great deal of faith in the scheme being a ‘game changer’ in this area.

The OFT’s report shows that there is real potential for problems, since people rarely go through the process of improving their homes’ energy efficiency. The OFT also said that the measures that people install are often complicated. This heightens the opportunity for mis-selling – something that we have long been concerned about with the Green Deal due to its novelty and complexity.

It’s essential that the government keeps a close eye on the Green Deal. They have committed to take enforcement action if any providers break the rules – and we’ll be carrying out our own mystery shopping exercises to make sure they keep their word. In the meantime, we have put together a Green Deal checklist for anyone thinking of having an assessment.

Given the OFT’s findings, clearly the guidance and advice in place for energy efficiency installers and salespeople at the moment is not sufficient. Further action is needed. I’m also pleased to see that the OFT will be opening an investigation into the energy efficiency sector. We will work closely with the OFT and the government in the coming months.

Have you had any good or bad experiences with energy efficiency traders? Are you thinking about taking a Green Deal loan?

Comments
gail cogle says:
22 February 2015

Hi
My names is Gail and I have posted here before. Just a quick update ‘re the advice given by Marty Stephenson. I also reported Tivium to action fraud department. They were very interested about this company and have taken everything I have said to them on-board. They have also said to report this to trading standards but advised on ringing the national office of trading standards and let them know your information. Also insolvency bureau as they are very interested in tivium as well. Don’t give up hope . Gail

Martyn Stephenson says:
24 February 2015

Another useful contact is Gateshead Trading Standards direct number … I have spoken to a lady who seems to be very much on the case, I have her name but feel its not appropriate to post it here. The number for Gateshead TS is 0191 4333894. They are looking towards prosecuting Tivium, if I remember the term correctly, for “Offences under the Fraud Act”.

Please encourage everyone on the forum and other you might know to contact:
1) Action Fraud, and arm of the police; 0300 1232040
2) Gateshead Trading Standards; 0191 4333894
3) National Trading Standards; 03454040506

Martyn

Martyn Stephenson says:
24 February 2015

Hi Everyone.

Please keep going, I think the net is closing on Tivium.
On a sunny note on this sad tale of Tivium is:

To my absolute amazement last Wednesday I got a call from Tivium. Asked me if they could arrange for an assessor to call round to look at the fitting of the boiler that had be granted under the terms of Green Deal. Thinking quickly, I thought this is an opportunity to speak to a Tivium in person….
The bones of it are Tivium arranged for an assessor to call on me who was getting paid by them. Arranged for someone to come out the next day … the next day!! I have been chasing them for 9months to get nowhere and they can get an assessor out the next day!!
The assessor contacted me and again to my amazement it was the same one as came for a previous appraisal, yabadabadoo….. he arrived as arranged and I recorded the conversation over a typically English manner, over a cup of tea. I got what I wanted and then told him the purpose of accepting the offer of his visit.

Martyn

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Hi everyone
Today I have spoken to the National Trading Standards office with regards to Tivium. Unfortuneatly the lady I have spoke to doesn’t hold out much of getting any money back as there are 49 other people in the same position as ourselves. They do have all the details and will be persuing the matter but she also said that the address they have for correspondence is an empty house. I would’t let these Tivium ft a light bulb let alone a boiler as they seem quite incapable of even answering the phone. Good luck to everyone.

Alan Glendinning says:
24 February 2015

Re.Tivium.Here is an update on my e.mail on 17 January 2015.
Sent e.mail to Tivium on 29 January 2015.
Was suprised to receive a reply next day,from a Mr Lloyd Temple,stating what i had already been
told in 2 unsigned letters and 1 phone call.
Assuring me he was working hard to get accounts department to send me a refund.
Waited 14 days no refund. Sent further email. Got reply on the 23 February this time from a Sarah Littlewood with apologies that i had not received my refund and she was working on accounts department .
These people have no thought for the trouble been caused to honest people.
Iwas also told by trading standards that if I went to court I was not sure to receive anything back from Tivium.l

Martyn Stephenson says:
24 February 2015

My submission to the forum has been strongly edited … cant blame the people checking as it was quite damning towards the assessor and Tivium employees by name …
Lets keep up the pressure on the authorities to bring Tivium to justice
Martyn

I have had some things edited which might have been useful and it is difficult to get any satisfaction because of all the things against us. I cannot take my Judgement further and I have put a complaint in to Action Fraud. I know I will not get my money back from them as I am in the same situation as everyone else. I am waiting to see if things will go further with them and I have had no response to my email from Stroma who still seem to be dealing with them. This gives them clarity to be able to function as a limited company in business with Green Deal.

Anne

Hi there Anne, can you please provide me with details about your email to Stroma, that you are waiting for a response.

Stroma are a certification company that isn’t ‘dealing’ with Tivium although we are assisting in complaint handling and guidance for the supply chain and customers. Mostly from an advice point of view, steering customers in the right channels for seeking refunds, with trading standards and Citizens Advice.

And I am guessing when making a complaint you need to know which company actually did the selling.

It is probably best to contact the citizens advice, or it may be useful for victims to pool together and make a joint claim on these companies maybe on FB, Twitter or something similar?

From Money Expert.Com December 2014

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Martyn Stephenson says:
28 February 2015

I have started a Facebook page called John Smith Tivium to make best advantage of social media.
Please share this message with other posts.
As a larger group they are much more likely to be brought to justice.
Martyn Stephenson

Yet another story about this company:

learoyl Unread 08-12-2014, 2:18 PM
MoneySaving Newbie

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default another victim
[My in-laws paid £299 to Tivium] which they were told they would get back when their free boiler was installed. Unlike some people they did actually get a boiler installed. My mother-in-law phoned to see when they would get their £299 back and the person she spoke to said that unfortunately they would have to apologise but the money had ran out. Next they had a phone call from their electricity supplier who said that they would now be paying an additional 99p per day for the next 11 years because of this boiler. This was not explained to them and they are now very distressed. We have tried to price up the boiler that they got and it looks to cost around £800. They apparently are being charged nearly £4,000, how is this a good deal? My in-laws are pensioners, surely any credit agreement lasting 11 years at this stage of life has to be questionable? I have asked my mother-in-law to call citizens advice to see if she can get out of the contract. Since hearing about this I have done some research and it does look like the ‘green deal’ thing does involve paying for a boiler through your electricity bills but my Mother-in-law was told it was a free boiler, she even questioned why they would want give her a free boiler and was told it was a government initiative because the government need to get their ‘figures’ down. Being a trusting person she believed them.

I rang and spoke with a Stroma Representative to say that Tivium Ltd is not a member with them any more and is not registered with them from July 2014. This means that they cannot register with any other green deal registered body under that name for the installation of boilers. The address Tivium registered with them was: Level 3 207, Regent Street, W1B 3HH.

Anne

207 Regent Street London is just a mail drop office.

Martyn Stephenson says:
28 February 2015

Search for John Smith Tivium on Facebook

Jeanieurmie says:
28 February 2015

Regarding tivium I revived this email from the fraud intelligence bureau this week, worth reporting Tivium to them, if enough people do then they have a stronger case, Tivium have already moved offices three times, twice before Christmas and once after, i was told all three premises are residential, sounds like they are on the run, I have also been told there is not much chance of getting my £299 back, its been a learning curve and hopeful we will not fall into this sort of trap again, if theses scumbags are stopped because of our misfortune then that will be payment enough!

I’m writing to let you know about the current position of your report.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) collects information from reports and puts
information it receives to the most effective possible use, either through investigating crime
or using the information to disrupt and prevent future criminal activity.
Your report has been assessed by the NFIB and the information you have provided has
helped the police to begin taking steps to disrupt the activities of suspected criminals. This
activity could result in the closure of:
• Fraudulent websites,
• Telephone numbers,
• Bank accounts.
Unfortunately we cannot provide further information about this. One of the reasons is due to
the sensitive nature of police work which cannot always be made public.
It can take time for disruption requests to be fully processed, so please be assured this is
happening and no further action is required on your part.
The NFIB has not closed your report following this. As hundreds of new reports of fraud are
gathered every day and added to our systems, any common links with existing reports will
be picked up and can lead to new investigative opportunities. The NFIB work closely with
other regulators in the UK and abroad, to stop fraudsters. We also use all reports to inform
our prevention activity to reduce the number of victims of fraud.
Thank you for taking the time to report this matter to us.

[This comment has been removed. Please not name company individual’s or their contact details. Thanks, mods]

Wayneb says:
3 March 2015

At this very moment I am caller number 3 on to tivium. Lets see when I get through fat chance of £299.00
They really need to fold or face up.
Wayneb 3949

clare searle says:
5 March 2015

Hi everyone ,we are also a victim ot tivium and all your stories are exactly the same as ours.
I can’t believe we fell for such a scheme.We cancelled straight away after i googled them last august.
I not only hate the fact they have our money but the time and effort i’ve put in to reclaim our refund.
To add insult to injury our boiler broke down 4 weeks ago and we have 3 young children.Really could do with the £299 to go towards a new boiler.Can’t believe the goverment haven’t regulated this green deal properly.

Hi tried to search for John Smith Tivium and the page is not recognised on my facebook account states cannot find. wondering if it has been deleted Help cannot add my comment Anne

Martyn Stephenson says:
9 March 2015

The page has been blocked as it was not using a real name that could be supported by their identity requirements. I have started a new group using my own Facebook account. The new group is called Not Friends of Tivium … please join in and post.
Regards
Martyn

Hi I have passed message on to Not Friends of Tivium through my Facebook Account and hope more people will join in the effort too. Thanks Anne

Desmond R Yemm says:
10 March 2015

Not Friends of Tivium
We paid £275-00 11th of November 2014, E Mails, Phone Calls, nothing works,

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[This comment has been removed – please do not posted individual’s contact details. Thanks, mods]

Look on facebook and find out more

picture of new director on FB

I can’t find the fb page!

MFP says:
15 April 2015

[This comment has been removed – please do not posted individual’s contact details. Thanks, mods]

type in his name state where he works

Gary L says:
11 March 2015

Hi all, I have recently had a visit from Gateshead Trading Standards and given them a witness statement regarding my £299 payment to TIVIUM Ltd for a Green Deal Assessment, to which, like many others have not received an assessment or a payment refund.

I have also issued a CCJ and contacted Gateshead County Court to issue a Warrant of Control, but unfortunately they tell me that the Company is now out of their jurisdiction so the bailiff has returned over 20 warrants of control as they cannot find the company to issue them. So I guess they have moved on again and doubt very much that I will get my money back and is probably not worth spending a further £75 to issue the Warrant of Control, however I have not rejected this next step, as yet.

Finally and as a last resort, I have contact the Action Fraud Line and given them a statement too, they have told me that I will hear back from them within 28 days, I would suggest others do this too.

If anyone knows of TIVIUM’s whereabouts, I would be more than happy to issue a Warrant of Control, and I guess that they are also following these comments to help them avoid giving anyone their money back. I am so annoyed at these people that if I knew where they were I would face up to them myself.

Regards
Gary L