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Beware of the online EPC cowboys

Energy Performance Certificates, reporting on the energy efficiency of your home, have been a legal fact of life for home sellers and landlords since August 2007, and you would hope that the market would have settled down by now.

To some extent it has, with many reputable firms and individuals involved in providing EPCs, but sadly the online domestic EPC market can still sometimes have a real flavour of the ol’ Wild West about it, with some of the cowboys who are still out there. Just Google ‘cheap EPCs’ and they’ll come galloping out of the sagebrush.

‘EPCs from £24.95,’ is a typical website headline offer, designed to grab home owners who think they can easily beat the quote they have from an estate agent, because of course, ‘everything is cheaper on the internet’. ‘How can these people do it so much cheaper?’ is a question that home owners apparently don’t bother to ask in the rush to get their credit card out.

Energy Assessor Magazine is currently looking at Rogue EPC Panels, as they are known in the industry, and has uncovered some real horrors which affect both customers and assessors.

It should be said at once that the panel of assessors who actually provide the EPCs on a freelance basis, are not the ones in cowboy boots and stetsons. They are strictly regulated and monitored, and anyone with anything dodgy in their background would be unlikely to pass the vetting procedure to become an accredited assessor in the first place.

The online EPC providers however, the people who put up the websites and take the orders, are completely unregulated. It is some of these businesses that cause problems for customers and the industry.

Sometimes they don’t supply the ordered EPC, probably because they can’t find an assessor to work for the pittance they are paying, or because of their poor reputation, since often these rogue outfits don’t pay assessors for their work. Assessors who have worked for the cowboys and are owed money are left with no choice in the end but to cancel the EPC, so that they can at least recover the money they paid to lodge it on the national database, but that then leaves the customer with no EPC, having to start – and pay – all over again.

Recovering money from these rogue outfits is next to impossible for both assessors and customers, since the address given on the website is often not where the business is actually based, and in any event, once a business name becomes too toxic for comfort, the cowboys just pick a new one and carry on, leaving aggrieved assessors and customers behind, along with their debts.

A more sinister development affected a woman in London recently, who checked on her EPC and found that it had been falsified and was therefore of course invalid. She had to get another assessor, this time a reputable one, and pay another fee, but she has complained to the appropriate authorities, and she tells her story of what happened in Energy Assessor Magazine.

The Institute of Domestic Energy Assessors has been lobbying government for some time to take some action on these problems, but the government is doing nothing at present, which leaves individual home owners to fend for themselves.

It is worth stressing again that not by any means all EPC providers or panels online are cowboys, and it is usually fairly easy to spot those that are by Googling their name to see what is known about them.

Alternatively, contact an assessor direct, either through the Landmark website at www.epcregister.com or by getting your estate agent to recommend someone who isn’t likely to shout ‘Yeehaw’ when you pay.
Written by Terry Wardle, Editor of Energy Assessor Magazine

N.B. If you see any mis-leading ads you can report them to Google here. If you do, we would be interested to hear of any responses.

Update – Please read the comments below for additional information from our readers

Additional update 29.9.14 – We have followed up this article with – Is First Choice EPC worth the risk? after the overwhelming response from visitors.

Please help us by liking us on Facebook (click the link) if this article has been useful to you.

64 Comments to Beware of the online EPC cowboys

  1. sarec's Gravatar sarec
    September 6, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    As a DEA I have been caught out by NextdayEPC. they still owe me money and I will have to write it off as bad debt.

    I did a number of EPC’s for them and they were paying me to start with, lulling you into a false sense of security and the customers I did the EPC’s for were happy,

    you do a few more thinking you will get paid but then the payments dry up, they stop answering the phone and emails and return your mail

    even debt collection agency solicitors fail to recover debts so watch out be aware

  2. September 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Did photos, descriptions and floor plans for a customer recently in Cumbria but NOT he EPC. Called the customer and made appointment and asked about the EPC. Said they had one by a National Company. Needed the EPC to put the stuff on the agents website entry . Found that an DEA in Oxfordshire was on the EPC! – No-one travels 550mi round trip to do a EPC so who really entered the house, Did they have a CRB, Were they accredited? Have they done their CPD? Joke was the ‘National Company charged more than I would have done since it would have been on the back of all the other work!

  3. Philip Wray's Gravatar Philip Wray
    December 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Have been caught twice, not huge sums, but annoying on one occasion I took court action won case (not defended) called in the bailiffs, still could not get my money back. The answer is for DEA’s to set up their own panels on a county wide basis, regulate the fee’s and keep the customers happy. I do not know one DEA who can earn a full time living from doing EPC’s.

  4. Chas Winklepleck's Gravatar Chas Winklepleck
    August 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Howdy I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great work.

  5. Dennis Davison's Gravatar Dennis Davison
    June 20, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Hi, We are having a nightmare with First Choice EPC. We ordered an EPC and paid and they duly sent an assessor. However, on the appointed survey day the assessor ‘phone me from 5 miles away, he had been given the wrong post code, and then when he arrived told me that he had No. 12 on his paperwork and not No, 14. Having corrected this the survey was carried out and 2 days later the EPC was e-mailed with the address No 12. I notified them straight away but and told them that this was urgent as we were exchanging contracts in 7 days time and needed the certificate. We exchange today and still no certificate. All we got were e-mails telling us that we must have given them the wrong details. I asked for proof of this but nothing has been forthcoming. As it happens, I was not aware that there was a register of a previous EPC so we have obtained a copy and will exchange on time. This company should be avoided at all costs and possibly re-named LAST CHOICE EPC.

    • Harvey's Gravatar Harvey
      July 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t even got as far as an assessor with First Choice EPC, its been several weeks and they have not returned any of my calls or emails.

      Any advise on where I stand?

      • Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
        September 12, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        I booked with first choice & was told that they would instruct me on how to pay the booking fee, no instructions were given and i paid the guy on the day thinking that was the end off it, i recieved an email saying i owe then £74.60 as they have passed me on to dept collecters this was all within a week, can’t phone then, the manager was really rude saying that i shouldn’t of payed the guy, he harrased me all day with nasty emails, anyway he finally said that i can pay the booking fee £9.95 to them and the guy has to come round to pay me back, still don’t know how to pay them, still no instructions, can’t believe the grief i am having with this. AVOID THIS COMPANY AT ALL COSTS

        • Alistair's Gravatar Alistair
          September 17, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          I have had the same issue. Paid the assessor in full including the booking fee as he requested.
          Two days later I got an email from First Choice EPC claiming the £9.95 and an additional £15 late payment. I contacted the assessor to confirm I had paid in full and he agreed so I contacted First Choice to query whether the email was sent in error – they ignored my response but set a follow up the next day requesting an additional £50 (total £74.90) late payment charge.
          I understand the assessor is self employed but he is surely acting as an agent of the company and so by accepting my cash payment has varied the T&Cs. I can’t see how it is right to pay First Choice again, let alone all the penalty charges they are requesting.
          Any suggestions how to deal with them in the short term – I would rather not risk finding out I actually am liable, and that the liability has increased to £400.
          Thanks

          • Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
            October 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            I have been in touch with a solicitor as they are saying i owe them £450 now, i have every email of me trying to pay them, i was adviced to print them all off so i have a paper trail, the company are based in spain they can’t do anything in this country and if they took me to court they would be laughed out of court, the worst that could happen is that they would be given just the £9.95, they had no intention of letting you pay just the booking fee, they are hoping to intimidate you into paying, i was advised to not pay under any circumstances.

          • sandra friar's Gravatar sandra friar
            October 24, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            i ignored them, they threatened me with bailiffs, but still nothing was informed by trading standards to ignore if bailiffs were to come i was to say, this case is in dispute. if they take me to court they have to prove i had a contract with them, which i dont so they would lose

    • July 17, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Consider yourself lucky you have had someone come to see you..! I can confirm we are having a similar problem with the same company EPC First Choice. We paid the requested fee on the internet and are still waiting after two weeks for contact to arrange the EPC surveyors visit. No reply to emails and the phone number provided 0845 130 8017 is a constant answer machine message that says you will be contacted within the next 24hrs?? What a joke and what a scam I think! Extremely frustrating and agree should be named Last Choice EPC…

    • UKCHRIS's Gravatar UKCHRIS
      July 25, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Having been caught out by this scammer (a.k.a. EPC Local – same adrress, one digit difference on the phone number) I have contacted Trading Standards through Citizens Advice and instructed my bank to recover the fee through the VISA chargeback scheme and should have the money back in 2 – 3 working days time. I did send a recorded letter but it was refused and returned unsigned for. Avoid FIRST CHOICE EPC and EPC LOCAL.NET

  6. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    June 25, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I ordered an EPC from First Choice EPC last week. Haven’t heard a thing from them, despite ringing twice and leaving messages and emailing them 3 times asking them to contact. The girl I spoke to on reception who’s just paid to take calls was a little defensive and explained that the girls who take the calls for companies like First Choice EPC are getting quite a few calls from concerned people who paid for the service and heard not a lot.

  7. Nic's Gravatar Nic
    July 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Firstchoice is a scam. I have paid, they send an assessor, but no certificate arrived. It is impossible to get hold of them, tried their phone number and email, no answer. STAY AWAY

  8. David Wood's Gravatar David Wood
    July 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    As an assessor I am only too aware of First Choice EPC and their somewhat dubious operation. They bombard me with offers of work, same jobs over and over again for weeks on end, but at such ridiculously low fees that I always ignore them. I know of other assessors in the area who do the same, in fact I can’t think of anyone in the area that will work for them.
    I have on occasion picked up work from people who have paid FirstChoiceEPC and then they didn’t manage to get an assessor and so the householder approached me direct for the EPC, at a similar price, and of course it would have been delivered within a few days. Apparently it’s very difficult to get a refund from First Choice EPC when they fail to deliver!

    If you need an EPC get on the EPC register website http://www.epcregister.com find a local independent assessor and get a quote. They will most likely turn up on time, do the job properly and not cost the Earth!

  9. Moz's Gravatar Moz
    July 17, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I’m an assessor and have recently picked up some work for First choice. The fees are low but I do a few to top up a meagre salary and keep my hand in. I had done 5 and tried to chase up payment but the cheeky sods have given me 3 more pay on the day EPC’s. I collect the full fee and they waive their commission to pay towards the unpaid ones.

    Not recommended

  10. Richard Murphy's Gravatar Richard Murphy
    July 18, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Hi I am a DEA and have done EPCs for First Choice EPC and they get you to do the EPC then do not pay you and they have a sister company called EPC local.
    Their address is a cyber space address so there is no way to chase them. I ve tried to follow there I.P. address and it starts in America then Holland then Germany and then it says this address does not want to be found.
    so be aware dont order off these or do work for them they dont pay.

  11. Margie Binsteed's Gravatar Margie Binsteed
    July 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I ordered an EPC from First Choice EPC and cancelled it by email and phone within minutes. That was 3 weeks ago. The surveyor who was coming out rang my mobile and I told him id cancelled. He said he would let them know. Not exaggerating I have emailed at least 20 times and left them loads of voicemails and I still havent had a refund. I rang the surveyor back and he told me that everything is automated and they have no staff at all. All his correspondance is done via email. My advice DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE FIRST CHOICE EPC.COM

  12. July 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I was extremely concerned when reading these comments and had already placed an order and wanted to cancel and was trying to work out how to do this – to my surprise I did get a call from an assessor who was trying to book the appointment – so credit where credit is due the assessor was lovely and I got my EPC the next day so I am someone who feels its important you don’t always leave feedback when its bad – maybe I was lucky but I was very happy with the service.

  13. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    July 25, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I do not understand why there are people complaining here I got my EPC ordered through this company after being completely let down by 2 other rogue companies and I didn’t pay them a penny until the EPC was done it even says this on the website – I paid the assessor on the day and was extremely happy ? oh well 2 sides to every coin

  14. UKCHRIS's Gravatar UKCHRIS
    July 25, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I have reported First Choice EPC and EPC Local.net to trading standards (same firm) and have recovered the fee I paid up front through my bank using the VISA chargeback scheme. Sadly the amount paid is too small to justify using the ‘small claims court’ approach as the fee is £25 to bring the case.

    Please do add your complaint to Trading Stds and contact your banks to ask for them to recover the fee on your behalf.

  15. Neil's Gravatar Neil
    July 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Stay well clear of this company if you are an Epc provider ! This company owe me money for a number of epc’s that I’ve carried out for them at my cost and in my time !!! You cannot ever get hold of them via telephone or email and this pig ignorant company will never get back to you!! Stay well clear or you will lose money as I have ! Disgusting fraudulent company that I have now reported to trading standards and passed my bill to a no win no fee debt collection agency !!

  16. Neil's Gravatar Neil
    July 26, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Can I ask ? Has any assessor ever been paid by these rip off merchants after carrying out epc’s for them?
    I’ve now sent 14 emails and left 7 voicemails and I still haven’t had a response !!

  17. KS's Gravatar KS
    July 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Don’t touch firstchoice epc with a barge pole, took our money and we got nothing…. now in the hands of the credit card!!.

  18. Lynchy's Gravatar Lynchy
    August 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    FIRST CHOICE EPC SCAM!!

    Like many of the people on here i paid upfront for an EPC from first choice. Again like everyone i got no response to my calls or emails. i bought EPC from a reputable and trustworthy company and put in a dispute claim with my bank. Now suddenly is seems that FIRST CHOICE SCAMMERS have a voice and have started emailing me requesting a 14.95 cancellation fee and threatening me with court action. So in essence they are not happy because i contest giving them 29.95 for free. There are plenty of real charities in the world that i prefer to donate to thanks. Do yourself a favour and stay well clear of

    • Andy's Gravatar Andy
      November 4, 2014 at 12:50 am | Permalink

      I have booked their service and cancelled it next day because that is not suitable for me.

      now they sent me £ 450.00 worth of invoice. I don’t have any clue why.

      how can I come out form this issue. I sent so many emails but no response from them.

      Pls help me. it make more stress nowadays.

  19. Gemma's Gravatar Gemma
    August 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I placed an “order” for an EPC with First Choice EPC. Although I thought I was just registering for an assessor to contact me. Luckily the website told me I could pay the assessor on the day, so I didn’t have to part with any money. However, they didn’t get back to me, so I booked one through my estate agent, at a much higher fee. This was done promptly, then I started getting calls from a First Choice assessor. When I told him I’d had it done by someone else, I received a £14.95 cancellation fee and a threat of court action!! I’ve emailed them and received responses, as I didn’t actually book an appointment with them, so am of course not going to pay. I was worried, but reading all your comments, think I have got away lightly. I thought they would be covered by distance selling regulations, but it turns out their charges are just under the threshold!! Sneaky….

    • Pooja's Gravatar Pooja
      September 8, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      PermaLink

      Please let me know what Citizen Advice Bereau says – I had Mike from EPC stating the same and there is no-way I will pay £14.95 – I will not be paying.

      Please do let me know if anyone has actually had court proceedings

      We should also contact the watchdog about this company.

  20. KP's Gravatar KP
    August 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I have been receiving email from EPC claiming I have cancelled my order with them. They sent me details of an assessor to contact and when I finally got hold of him I was informed that he no longer worked in my area and that he rarely did work for them anyway. He returned the job to them and since then I have had several emails demanding the cancellation fee.
    I have copies of all my emails and will be contacting my solicitor regarding this.
    All my emails to them have been ignored and my phone messages left unanswered.

  21. E's Gravatar E
    August 20, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I was just browsing for a EPC certificate and browsed on First Choice EPC. I just wanted a free quote no obligation.
    Now they are asking me to pay a cancellation fee plus admin costs or they will take me to court!
    Can anyone help?

    • Jason's Gravatar Jason
      October 7, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      I too have had threatening emails from this firm saying I now owe them £495 they are going to take me to court blah blah the exact same email as JoeM above. All I did was ask for a quote on their website, the website actually says “QUICK QUOTE” . I have complained to the CAB which I am waiting for a response. It’s absolutely disgusting how they ……sorry he thinks he can bully people into giving him money. Avoid this company like the plague!!!! My wife is so stressed with the whole thing. Can anyone help?!?

      • John C's Gravatar John C
        October 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Jason, I am pretty sure it won’t go to court. Just testing this message to see if it goes public. There is something I have seen on an international law firm’s site but I don’t want to show it on this site because FirstChoice EPC will then change thier site to get round it. Regards, John

  22. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    August 20, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    This place is a complete and utter scam. They have sent me threats to take me to court for wanting to cancel, despite the 14 day cooling off period. They are also under observation by the police and trading standards for threatening people online. Stay well clear and do not enter your card details into this website.

  23. August 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Similar experience to others. Tried to book an EPC assuming payment taken on the assessment day. Then discovered the flat I own already had an EPC so tried to cancel and asked for a refund as fee already taken. Numerous unanswered emails, phone calls, letters and a successful CCJ (undefended) show this company has utter contempt for customers. I’ve just contacted Citizens Advice with a hope that Trading Standards will be interested. If there are more out there with the same sort of complaints suggest you try the Trading Standards route as this company should be closed down.

  24. Zaka Hussain's Gravatar Zaka Hussain
    August 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Firstchoice epc were an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE to deal with ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE !
    Please do not make the mistake of contacting them because they are useless and even if you cancel within a reasonable time period they will still charge you
    A cancellation fee!

  25. David Smith's Gravatar David Smith
    August 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Micheal Cox at FirstChoice EPC is a scam artist. He’s on a par with the lowest form of pond life. He is scamming everyone, the customers and the assessors. He hides behind an email address and you can never contact him on the phone. His premises only services offices so there is no real way you can contact him. I too have lost money because this vermin and I too have reported him to Trading Standards. DO NOT USE FIRSTCHOICE EPC. IF YOU DO YOU WILL BE SORRY.

  26. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    August 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    First Choice didn’t pay the assessor we used too – poor guy called me to tell me he hadn’t been paid and he wasn’t sure the certificate was even valid. Scammers

  27. Alan's Gravatar Alan
    August 23, 2014 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Do not use Firstchoice. I too have lost money and reported them to Trading Standards. Save yourself a lot of time and money. DO NOT USE FIRSTCHOICE EPC

  28. IB's Gravatar IB
    August 27, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    RIP OFF – RIP OFF
    Firdtchoice EPC claim on their website that they are the cheapest, What they dont tell you is that having already paid for you EPC check and certificate, you will be charged an additional £10 to accessed and download your EPC cetrificate. The fact that they make no mention of this charge until the last moment clearly demostrates that this is, even to them, is a shoddy and disreputable business method. Clearly we will never use your services again, and will never recommend your services to any other landlord, STAY CLEAR find an alternative provider.

    • Dorf's Gravatar Dorf
      August 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I got hit by the extra download fee too. They claim it’s in the T&Cs but I can’t find mention of it anywhere on their website or in any of the emails from them. They also claim ‘The service charge ensures that your EPC is accessible via our website at anytime during the validity period of the EPC.’ which doesn’t even make sense.

      As no one else mentioned it I’m guessing it’s a new trick they’ve brought in

  29. August 27, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    damn wish i had read this before being ripped off by these scum sucking pond life… First Direct EPC should not be allowed to trade. Lets bring them down people

  30. Em's Gravatar Em
    August 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I went online and filled in survey with First Direct and was told it would be £34.95 to issue an EPC including the £9.99 booking fee. I would be called within 24 hours (it was 7 days) and given a booking. I was told I would pay the assessor on the day. The engineer came at 11.30a, and when I went to pay I asked him who I made the cheque out to and he told me pay the £30 fee to his company direct. I asked who took the booking fee and he did not know. I went online and tried ringing First Direct and number just rings out. I went online, checked my email and I had an email that morning at 7am sating I had to pay the £9.99 booking fee BEFORE the assessment or I would incur a further charge of £14.99. I clicked the link and it wanted to charge me £24.95 on top of the £30 fee I had already paid. So I emailed them explaining this and was sent a nasty reply saying I needed to check my terms and conditions. I tried ringing again to speak to someone as I was not made aware of these, nor was I told I would receive an email! I was then sent another email saying they had passed my ‘debt’ on and I was being charged another £50 for this! SO all in all I have been held to ransom and had to pay £104.95 and have no EPC. AVOID AVOID AVOID!

  31. lee's Gravatar lee
    August 27, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I am another customer that is having a nightmare with this company. It was an epc confirmed for a specific day. I received a call from the assessors office confirming that appointment and an email from First Choice confirming the exact date and time so paid 9.95 online booking fee. The Assessor then calls me to cancel the appointment but I am being chased for the cancellation fee. Again like others there is no answer when you ring just a recorded message. When I email first choice it’s Mike Cox who responds. He takes no responsibility or accountability when it was the assessor cancelled on a client and sends a reply stating you have cancelled the appointment. He demands the cancellation fee as well as admin fee or court proceedings will follow. I have contacted my bank for a refund as contract was not fulfilled and was advised to cancel my card to avoid the details being used.

  32. lee's Gravatar lee
    August 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I am another customer that is having a nightmare with this company. It was an epc required for a specific day. I received a call from the assessors office confirming an appointment and time to meet my requirements and an email from First Choice EPC confirming that exact time and date. I paid 9.95 booking fee. The following day I received a call from the Assessor cancelling this appointment. Not in the area. I emailed First Choice to explain what has happened and it makes no difference. I am being chased for a cancellation fee. There is no answer when you ring it’s an ansafone message. When I emailed again it’s a Mike Cox that always respond. He takes no responsibility or accountability he still states I have cancelled the appointment the fee is due or court proceedings will follow. contacted my bank they have put in a claim for this money as well as advised that my card is cancelled to avoid a future debits taking place.

  33. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    August 29, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    This is fraud. Add to the complaints by contacting the national Police Fraud Helpline at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk, or phone the contact centre on 0300 123 2040.
    The more complaints there are, the more likelihood there is that he will be stopped

  34. Graham's Gravatar Graham
    September 1, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Has anyone been had Court action against them for non payment of cancellation fees etc ?

  35. September 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I had my EPC done on 26th aug, and I paid on the day they then sent me a emailing saying that I haven’t paid and its been passed to debt collection and that i owe them £75 in charges and if I don’t pay they will send bailiffs to my house to collect the money, I have called 3 times sent numerous emails and they never get back to me
    does anyone know if a way of getting my money back or am i just wasting my time

  36. David's Gravatar David
    September 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    firstchoiceepc.com also go by the name of epclocal.net and deadirect.com. Also share offices and telephone number with kymsoft.com.

  37. September 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I paid online for an EPC with First Choice EPC on Friday 15th August promising me I would have this within 3 working days, didnt hear anything more so after 3 days I emailed them to which they sent me a generated reply to say they were happy to tell me it has been passed to an assessor who would contact me within 2-3day, still nothing by 1st September so I emailed them again as impossible to contact them by phone, I did receive a reply last night at 22:00hrs stating the name and phone number of the assessor, I have checked the EPC registar and he does exist as a registered assessor but I am unable to get hold of him, left a message requesting he contact me within 24 hours before I report to trading standards, I am now wondering after reading comments from actuall assessors if he has been a victim of the scam too, so prepared to give assessor benefit of doubut, lets see if I get a call back! I will be disputing payment with my bank tonight.

  38. Prasad's Gravatar Prasad
    September 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi everyone – please note here are some facts that will help you I am an assessor and know 6 others that work with this firm.
    They do only now offer pay on the day jobs so all assessors get paid by the customers.
    Once you book you have to pay a £9.95 booking fee the assessors collect the rest on the day.
    They do then have an option to get a 10 year control panel access – you DO NOT have to pay £10 to get this you can obtain this through epc register free of charge.
    They are not as bad as your making out they cant scam me the only way I cant get paid if the customer doesnt pay me so I am happy. I also work for 2 other firms and be careful as they all have cancellation fees but simply I am afraid dont order unless you want to carry out the EPC. This is the cheapest of the 3 firms I work for so all in all they are not that bad. Have a nice day.

    • sandra friar's Gravatar sandra friar
      October 30, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      you dont know what you are talking about, this company have threatened me with bailiffs as they say i now owe them 485 pounds, i did not click accept so do not have a contract with these people i just browsed the site, it is a scam, and guess what no bailiffs ever came, they are scare mongerers frightening people with threats, ignore them and they will go away

  39. Gurminder's Gravatar Gurminder
    September 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi I am an assessor and under the business model if the quote is £39.95 and you press ‘confirm’ then we get your details and the quote is processed to an order you are then asked to pay £9.95 and then I would in that example collect £30 on the day I understand if you cancel the company charges £14.95 so please be sure you want to proceed. There is now no risk with this company as we get paid by you and you only pay when we get the order and then the bulk on the day. You can obtain the EPC certificate free from epcregister online so no further fees are required unless you want access via there website which is not needed in my opinion. I am disappointed to see so many bad reviews as this is my living we generally work sub contracting for a few companies so I do work for firstchoiceepc and local conveyancingdirect and both are pay on the day so no risk but both charge a cancellation fee if you do not proceed. If they were a scam I wouldnt work for them that is for sure.

  40. At's Gravatar At
    September 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I registered my details with firstchoice Epc and was sent an email to confirm the booking. I decided not to use the company and found someone off the Epc register to carry out the work.
    My daughter was playing on my ipad and pressed the confirm button by mistake so I tried to contact them by phone and as everyone has been saying on here it’s just an answer machine taking messages and no one rings you back. I emailed them to tell them the situation and have since recieved a number of emails from Michael saying I owe £14.95 and as I’m responsible for my daughters actions there is nothing he can do. I’ve got 5 days to pay or court proceedings will start. I’m going to citizens advice tomorrow to see where I stand. I feel like I’m being ripped off here, has anyone actually had court proceedings brought on them by this company?

    • john's Gravatar john
      September 14, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      This company sucks you in at 34.95 then every postcode is 39.95 they say pay on the day. No they want your card details and 9.95 then if any changes they charge a further £14.95 don’t know for what as they have already had their booking fee … If you look online you can book direct at 35.00 and 40.00 with no booking fees and no worries of being taken to court – the only people who like them seem to be the poor assessors who can’t get there own work and use a doggie panel like this -be warned it will cost you in the long run

  41. September 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I am a landlord who has booked over 20 EPCs through this company and as a customer you need to know a few things (which I am afraid are in the terms and conditions so they are covered) – just make sure your aware its been covered off a few times by the reports but I can assure you this is the case –

    Yes they are the cheapest in the UK
    You pay a booking fee once the order is passed over to an assessor this is currently £9.95
    The remainder of the quote is required to be paid to the assessor on the day
    You are asked to pay a further £9.99 when the job is done to get the EPC via there system however do not do this use the EPC register its the official government website where it has your EPC and its free – I don’t like this but I guess as they are the cheapest they try and make up the difference however you don’t need to pay it just ignore the email.

    IMPORTANT PARTS – You must pay the booking fee before the assessor comes out or you get a late payment charge – its in the terms and conditions but just make sure you pay before appointment date simple.

    If you cancel no matter for what reason – daughter pressed the button by mistake, I don’t want it anymore etc etc you do have to pay the cancellation fee of £14.95 – its again in the terms and they ARE covered by trading standards as you have ‘confirmed’ your order and the service has started – whether you agree or not they will win the case.

    As long as you know the process use them they are fine if not use your estate agent get but you will get charged £70+

    The reason for this long email is I run a development company ‘builder’ and fed up with people tarnishing everyone with the same brush – don’t get me wrong some of the terms are not to my cup of tea but as long as you know you will be fine.

    I really hope that helps – and yes I am still using them and will continue to use them just don’t pay the download charge you don’t need to.

  42. Rose's Gravatar Rose
    September 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    As someone who is the director of a company, the above that is described is illegal and all who are having these experiences need to report this company so they can be found and prosecuted. Action Fraud as listed above are the correct company to contact – the police work alongside them. In order to process these order to court, the company need to first prove they have a valid case and complete all the relevant paperwork. Any judge would laugh this out of court – if they weren’t furious with this company for waiting state/their time. A CCJ comes AFTER court proceedings have taken place, meaning this company would have to prove to a judge that they were right. If the judge ruled in their favour (which they wouldn’t, because of the 14 day cooling off period) then at that point they would issue the CCJ… but they wouldn’t. This is internet fear-mongering, which is very serious. This person wouldn’t show up in court, as threats on the internet relay on anonymity and being able to hide behind an email address. I suggest all involved block this email address from your email account to receive no further emails, and report this company to Action Fraud. Good luck everyone and let’s hope this person ends up in court themselves for internet fraud and then hopefully, prison.

  43. Elv's Gravatar Elv
    September 4, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I had a similar experience with First Choice EPC. I was told it would take 24hours but it never arrived – when you chase, the phone is constantly on answerphone and no one answers emails. I managed to sort this by contacting the EPC register direcly – search for the accessor number and it will provide contact details. I complained to them and managed to get the EPC sorted. Once completed, I also got the email asking for the £9.95 to download even though you can access the EPC on the register directly for free. Dodgy…

  44. Alan Kipping's Gravatar Alan Kipping
    September 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    First Choice EPC are robbers!
    there is nothing in their terms & conditions that say there is a further charge of £9.99 to download the EPC.
    I have paid it because I needed the EPC.

    I AM GOING TO THE TRADING STANDARDS OFFICER TO LODGE A COMPLAINT

    PLEASE JOIN ME!

  45. NPT's Gravatar NPT
    September 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone contacted watchdog about their experience? I have certainly done so…….
    Its small amounts of money to argue but I have been ripped off also and am very irritated.

  46. Ali J's Gravatar Ali J
    September 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi, thought i would leave my 2 pennies worth and some help if possible. I did the same, looking for a cheap option out, and FirstChoiceEPC were the first link, my wife paid the £30.00 on the day, and no record of visit was left, didnt do much on site. Furthermore no follow up emails on how I can get the certificate. Looking at all the comments, they are definite cowboys – no response to the emails I sent and a useless number that never works. the only email I have is asking for a further 29.95 – over what they stated originally – as they have lumped in the cancellation fee. The site and domain names they are using also looking suspect so I not paying through their portal – one bit of fortune was I googled ” search for EPC” and there is a register of all EPC’s done – and lo and behold my EPC that was done yesterday is actually on the site which i have downloaded as a PDF. So much for their procrastinating – they can screw themselves. I almost do not want to pay the full amount now due to the bad experiences of above. Oh well they can contact me now. Suggest people who do the same if you dont need the hard copy.

  47. glyn williams's Gravatar glyn williams
    September 10, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I too am a victim of First Choice EPC. They took the full payment on the date of the booking despite their website stating no payment taken until day of appointment, which was two weeks hence.
    They cancelled 3 days before the appointment, I have phoned and emailed on numerous occasions and got no response.
    I wish I had seen this forum before I made the booking.
    First Choice EPC are nothing but a bunch of crooks and I urge everyone to have nothing to do with them.

  48. Vicki Kohler's Gravatar Vicki Kohler
    September 10, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Disgusted with this company. Had the EPC done with no problems but when I tried to download the EPC they tried to charge me £9.99 to download it!!! A bit of investigation and I found out that the report is posted to the EPC website and freely available to everyone!

    I will be reporting them!!

  49. John Campbell's Gravatar John Campbell
    September 11, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I had a survey done by First Choice EPC which went to plan but be aware that they then charge a further £9.99 to download the certificate from their site. The certificate can be obtained free by using the site ‘epcregistration’.

  50. laughing's Gravatar laughing
    September 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Same here – didnt hear back so went else where.

    There was no indication of terms and conditions until after the confirm button was clicked and email sent.

    I have recieved a letter stating they will issue court proceedings.

    No chance. I didnt agree to any cancellation fee etc..

    Would like to see them try

  51. Thomas's Gravatar Thomas
    September 14, 2014 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    You can put a complaint into google at https://support.google.com/adwords/troubleshooter/4578507?hl=en re there miss leading add

  52. Pam's Gravatar Pam
    September 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I feel very aggrieved the “service” I have received from First Choice EPC. I ordered an EPC on-line and received a number of emails yesterday requesting the booking fee. I then decided to cancel the booking upon receipt of these emails but found that they were then requesting a £14.95 cancellation charge. Upon double-checking their terms and conditions, I noted that if this cancellation charge is unpaid and remains unpaid then their fees will increase to a maximum of £250, then Court proceedings will be issued. Their terms and conditions are unfair as there is no opportunity to cancel without incurring a penalty charge, and increased charges and the threat of Court proceedings are there if charges remain unpaid. I cancelled approximately 1 hour after booking the appointment so cannot see how they can justify demanding such a charge they did very little. I have contacted them to complain and intend to take this further.

    • Anthony Powell's Gravatar Anthony Powell
      September 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      If First Choice EPC sue you, please send me their details, so I can sue them – for an unpaid fee! I only do one EPC for a new company, waiting for payment before trusting them further; so it is only one fee I am missing.

    • Kate's Gravatar Kate
      September 16, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Same thing has happened to me Pam. But I cancelled within 30 minutes of making a mere enquiry not even placing an order. Have been receiving daily emails from company and Michael Cox demanding £14.95 within 5 days or court action. Spoke to Which Legal and Trading Standards both of whom said company is dodgy and they are in breach of distance selling regulations. I fail to understand how a cancellation charge can be applied as I had not entered into any form of contract with the company and no order had been placed. Clearly a bunch of cowboys and I’m taking the matter further.

  53. September 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    There have been comments on this thread about the address and phone number of First Choice EPC, but the site doesn’t have either now. Can anyone confirm what address and phone number First Choice EPC were using? In fact, does anyone have a screen print or email with the phone number and address that they could send to me – if you have I’ll post an email address. It would be a big help on a story I’m working on.

    Terry Wardle, Editor, Energy Assessor Magazine

    • Gill List's Gravatar Gill List
      October 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes the address is
      The Mainland Business Centre
      Redbourne rd
      Herts
      Hp2 7es

      Ive contacted trading standards watchdog

      even the Police cause they have harrassed me with 38 emails!
      They say I havent paid my £9-95 it never came back as stransaction not gone through.I think getting lot more money from charges,,,,,,,,,mine are At £199 .00 £449 if dont pay by the 9th been arguing with a Mike cox emails only,,,,,

      from

    • John C's Gravatar John C
      October 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Terry, I found something on an international law firm’s site which would I think help people who are having the FirstChoiceEPC experience. Not sure the best way of getting the message to people because FirstChoiceEPC will then try to get round it! Regards, John

  54. Alistair's Gravatar Alistair
    September 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    info@firstchoiceepc.com
    The guy is called Mike. I would gladly share all correspondence I’ve had.

  55. Brynberian's Gravatar Brynberian
    September 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I boked an EPC with Firstchoice EPC and when they had not contacted me by 1400 hrs on the next working day I arranged for the EPC to be done by another company. Very efficient – cam at 1630hrs on the same day.
    When Firstchoice EPC eventually contacted me I told them that they were too late and cancelled.
    Then the emails started coming. After the 4th I informed the company that any further communication would be considered harassment and I asked for their registered address so that I could commence legal proceedings. I have had no further response and certainly not received details of their registered address.

    Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulation 2013 which came into force on 13th June 2014 is the relevant legislation which gives a statutory right to cancel within 14 days. Any terms and conditions which claim to override this are illegal.

    My advice would be “Don’t pay anything upfront to this company.”

    • Daniel Stone Trading Standards's Gravatar Daniel Stone Trading Standards
      October 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi I can categorically tell you your information is incorrect and the court will side with the firm. Your statement is only half correct the law does allow you to cancel but every firm is allowed to charge a cancellation fee to cover costs of admin if its in the terms and conditions this is for the ‘start of the service’ regardless in your eyes whether there’s any cost involved or not – please see one of the largest car insurance companies terms and conditions in the UK we get more complaints about this than anything else and I am genuinely trying to help you all from paying additional charges. You will be required to pay the cancellation fee if your case falls into the details in their terms and conditions such as they have 28 days to complete the EPC so if you cancelled after 5 days due to their marketing guideline date of 1-3 days you have to pay.

      Your right to cancel your insurance and your ‘cooling off’ period
      You have the following rights to cancel any insurance you buy through us:
      • You have a cancellation right which is set out in the policy document.
      • You are also entitled to a ‘cooling off’ period, which ends 14 days after you have confirmed your order.
      If your insurance is a travel insurance policy lasting less than one month, you do not have a ‘cooling off’ period. Any other cancellation rights will be shown in the policy document.
      What you will be charged if you cancel your insurance
      1)Within the ‘cooling off’ period
      If you cancel your insurance, before the end of the ‘cooling off’ period, you will be charged by the insurer for the service they have provided up to the point of cancellation. We will also make a cancellation charge of £25. Our new policy inception or policy renewal service charge and any credit card handling charge made for arranging your insurance will be refunded.

  56. Brynberian's Gravatar Brynberian
    September 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I booked an EPC with Firstchoice EPC and when they had not contacted me by 1400 hrs on the next working day I arranged for the EPC to be done by another company. Very efficient – cam at 1630hrs on the same day.
    When Firstchoice EPC eventually contacted me I told them that they were too late and cancelled.
    Then the emails started coming. After the 4th I informed the company that any further communication would be considered harassment and I asked for their registered address so that I could commence legal proceedings. I have had no further response and certainly not received details of their registered address.

    Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulation 2013 which came into force on 13th June 2014 is the relevant legislation which gives a statutory right to cancel within 14 days. Any terms and conditions which claim to override this are illegal.

    My advice would be “Don’t pay anything upfront to this company.”

  57. G C's Gravatar G C
    September 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I booked and paid for an EPC though Firstchoice EPC in July. The assemment was (apparently) done, but I was never given the results as the assesor said that he hadn’t been paid. EPC never replied to my emails, so I ended up disputing the charge with Mastercard, and got the money back. Today I got an email saying that I had to pay a cancellation fee of £14.95 lest I get taken to court……incredible!

    I pay for a service, I don’t get the service, they don’t reply to emails, and they want to take ME to court!

  58. john keel's Gravatar john keel
    September 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    This is on the paperwork I have.
    Epc company name is Paul Randall contact no. 07548211624
    Property specialist 08451308017
    Or email info@firstchoiceepc.com
    Reg interred office Maryland business centre
    Redbourne road
    Hemel Hempstead
    Hertfordshire
    HP2 7ES
    I had email from a Mike but never heard from him again now they want £495.00 for a cancellation I never made.think I have been conned

    This address that we have on there paperwork we paid 9.99 on
    Ine then a Mr -Annee £30.00 it has been 10 days and I still have no certificate. I am taking all this to citizens advice as I think I have been tricked into paying for nothing.

    • Anna's Gravatar Anna
      October 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I sent a letter of complaint to this address recently, and it was returned by the Post Office, stating Company are no longer there.

  59. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    September 27, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Dear Energy Assessor Magazine,
    I have had a similar experience with ‘First Choice’. They took the fee up front and then nothing for a week. No reply to my emails and their telephone answerphone continually on. None of my messages were replied to. Frustrated I emailed and cancelled and they immediately said they were on it. I said I had had enough.
    After several requests for a refund were ignored I was able to retrieve my initial payment through my card provider.
    Eight weeks down the line, last night, I received a threatening email to say if I didn’t pay a £14.95 cancellation fee within 5 days then they would issue court proceedings. To invoice an amount without an invoice number and then threaten court proceedings if not paid within five days is definitely harassment. Thank you for the information that there is a statutory right to cancel within 14 days – which was what I did.

  60. Daniel Stone Trading Standards's Gravatar Daniel Stone Trading Standards
    September 29, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Hi all I have received numerous complaints about this firm under the cancellation rights unfortunately although you are correct you have 14 days to cancel under the UK law they also have the right to levy a cancellation charge this is not uncommon nearly all home insurance and car insurance companies do the same even if you cancel 30 seconds later – please just read the terms and conditions as this company is not actually breaking the law.

    • Brynberian's Gravatar Brynberian
      September 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      My experience is that all motor and home insurance companies state quite clearly on their websites that there is a cancellation period for distance selling

      • Daniel Stone Trading Standards's Gravatar Daniel Stone Trading Standards
        October 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        No more clearer than firstchoiceepc.com you have to read thoroughly through their terms and conditions and it is a fact for example car insurance companies levy a £25 – £50 admin cancellation fee if I ordered it at 13:00 and cancelled at 13:01 – whether we agree this is fair or not it is legal – nearly all complaints we receive about these companies are down to the customer not reading the terms and conditions. We are here to help but we can only help if you help yourselves.

  61. September 29, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  62. Lee Godber's Gravatar Lee Godber
    September 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I also have had a terrible experience with them. I booked an EPC in June and immediately rang them to cancel as my partner has also booked one. They took my call and immediately agreed to a refund. No mention of cancellation charges. Of course – the refund never came. I chased and chased and chased with no response. So I lodged a complaint with my bank and got my money back that way. End of story – or so I thought. Out of the blue, and 3 months later, I’ve just been inundated with emails asking for payment of £14.95 cancellation charge! I immediately replied to say ‘no thanks’ and then had a quick reply from ‘Michael’. They are happy to discuss the fee 3 months later, but not one reply at the time of the booking! Disgusting company!

  63. Daniel Cooper's Gravatar Daniel Cooper
    September 29, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m now receiving threatening emails from them demanding me to pay!

    I never ordered anything from them I simply looked on there website for a quote. They are now demanding £185!

  64. Neil Bennett's Gravatar Neil Bennett
    September 30, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    WHY IS THIIS WEBSITE NOT TAKEN DOWN?

    I’VE BEEN SCAMMED, AS HAVE MANY OTHERS? Why do we pay Trading Standards who reply with platitudes and say “you should read the small print”.

    There are many “Look Alike Sites” doing the same!

  65. Gill List's Gravatar Gill List
    October 1, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    I thought I had paid the £9-95 fee ….The assesor did come,,seemed ok guy, started getting emails saying I hadnt payed ,I said I had…I checked my bank several times, before satisfied, tried to repay the £9-95 but have charges of £ 74 now…..emails every day some from a Mike Cox .He says its a late payment fee
    You cant get through on the phone,always answer machine
    Sick of it all

  66. Rose's Gravatar Rose
    October 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone checked their terms recently? Seems they’ll now charge £10,000 for giving incorrect feedback on a website. Why would the idiot who is doing this think that anyone would actually take that seriously? Or think they were a legitimate business?

  67. Darren's Gravatar Darren
    October 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Simple question, once I click to say i’ve accepted thier booking, but then cancelled it, am I legally liable to pay the costs of it? They were slow in calling me back after I intially booked it and decided i’d better go with someone else. Getting a little worried as i’ve not clicked to say i’ve accepted any terms and conditions on their website (a little box etc.).

  68. Mr annoyed's Gravatar Mr annoyed
    October 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I was charged £14.95 for cancelling. I thought I was being ripped off after seeing online reviews of the company, and argued the toss with them (him). When I got my final warning, which said I would be charged an additional £50 if I didn’t pay by midnight, I checked with citizen’s advice, who confirmed I needed to pay – it is in the terms (even if it’s not brought to your attention before ‘ordering’.

    I clicked on the payment link, and the additional £50 had been added early, before the deadline. First choice refused to remove the cost due to the emails – this wasn’t in the terms and is not legal. A rip off attempt. The C.A.B. told me Firstchoice were in breach of contract so I posted a letter to the Hemel Hempstead address. No response. Today I received a new, increased charge email – £190 – and the company address has changed to Spain!

    I don’t believe the post above (copied and pasted below) is from a Trading Standards worker. It is true – you are liable, but I think it’s the bloke from First choice trying to add weight to his operation. Trading Standards don’t post on forums (without punctuation), surely?!:

    Daniel Stone Trading Standards
    September 29, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Hi all I have received numerous complaints about this firm under the cancellation rights unfortunately although you are correct you have 14 days to cancel under the UK law they also have the right to levy a cancellation charge this is not uncommon nearly all home insurance and car insurance companies do the same even if you cancel 30 seconds later – please just read the terms and conditions as this company is not actually breaking the law.

    Has ANYONE been taken to court?

  69. MB's Gravatar MB
    October 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    This company sucks? Lucky for me I haven’t lost any money but they continue to make demands for cancellation fees and are now threatening court. I’ve sent several emails to try and rectify the problem to which I receive no response. They have no telephone number or contact address on the website. Steer Clear!!!!

  70. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    October 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had just the same experience. I’m now up to £149.00 in charges and counting. I’ve sent a recorded letter to the uk address which was returned. As it would appear Mike has moved to sunny Spain. Here is a correspondence address he sent with his latest email. Telling me I’ll owe him 259.09 in six Correspondence Address

    First Choice (A035)
    Duquesa Business Centre
    P. O. Box 157
    Sabinillas
    Manilva
    Malaga
    29692
    Spain

  71. Graham's Gravatar Graham
    October 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t cancel or receive the service but am currently being threatened with charges of nearly £500. Has anyone actually received a County Court summons from this S of S ?

  72. JohnA's Gravatar JohnA
    October 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Can you believe that the Epc website incudes the following :-
    Terms and Conditions
    You agree to adhere to all applicable laws, regulations and codes of conduct when using the First Choice EPC website.

    You agree not to:

    Leave factually incorrect feedback about us on another publicly accessible website. A fine of £10,000 will be levied against any individual or organisation found to have left factually incorrect feedback about FirstChoiceEPC.com.

    A “fine”, who do they think they are?

    • JoeM's Gravatar JoeM
      October 4, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I have received the following email today and don’t know what to do?

      On 28/08/2014 you ordered an Energy Performance Certificate via our website from your ip Address of: 86.31.102.64. As per the terms and conditions of the order a booking fee of £9.95 became payable as soon as the assessor booked the appointment with you. You can view the terms and conditions by clicking here. The booking fee should have been paid prior to the appointment taking place which our records indicate was scheduled for 28/08/2014 at 20:00. We sent you 1 emails reminding you of this process. The process was also highlighted to you as you placed the order with us via the website.

      Our records indicate that the booking fee payment was not made by 28/08/2014 at 20:00 and so a late payment administration charge of £14.95 was then added to your order. The combined booking fee and late payment administration charge of £24.90 should have been paid by 29/08/2014 at 20:00 however, this amount remained outstanding and a further administration charge of £50.00 was then added to your order. This brought the total amount outstanding as at 29/08/2014 at 20:00 to £74.90 which needed to be paid by 08/09/2014 in order to prevent further action from being taken and additional late payment charges added.

      You have therefore left us with no alternative but to commence proceedings in order to recover the monies owed. A further administration charge of £125.00 has now been added to your order which brings the total amount owed to £199.90. You can pay this amount now by clicking here.

      If this amount remains outstanding by 09/10/2014 date then our debt recovery department will pass the account to an external debt collection agency in order to recover the debt that is owed to First Choice EPC. A further charge of £250.00 will be added to the existing balance outstanding in the event the account is passed to our collections department. The total amount that we will seek to recover will be £449.90.

      The debt collection agency will add a further charge equal to 15% of the total debt to cover their costs as per the terms and conditions.

      In order to help you better understand these charges, we have created a questions and answers page which can be accessed by clicking here.

      We strongly urge you to settle the outstanding charges at your earliest convenience.

      Regards

  73. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    October 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Having the same experience as you all. I did post earlier this year regarding the ‘service’ and how I reclaimed my money through the VISA chargeback system – which is now specifically mentioned in the T&C’s as incurring a fee! lol. Have had the 5 consecutive emails demanding money and I’m sure I’ll get more from ‘Mike’. I have engaged in pointless conversation with him over email as well, more for my own satisfaction that to realistically achieve anything.

    Ignore the threats – that’s all they are, hollow empty attempts to extort money by intimidation. Should anyone ever receive a court summons I suggest we all join together to squash it for good. THERE CAN BE NO CCJ REGISTERED AGAINST YOU UNTIL A COURT HAS RULED AGAINST YOU AND YOU HAVE REFUSED TO PAY – do not be intimidated by the threats. I have reported this idiot firm to Watchdog and Trading Standards when it first became a thorn in my side in July this year. I would encourage everyone affected to do the same – no court would ever support a frivolous and vexatious claim from this idiot firm.

  74. Darren's Gravatar Darren
    October 4, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Since been in touch with trading standards, CAB and a solicitor. All state the same thing; you are allowed a 14 day cooling off period before charges can be applied when cancelling.
    Furthermore, the solicitor went on to state that is illegal to keep hounding people with constant reminders. He then went on to say, state your position once (i’m not paying), do not enter into any further correspondance and let them take you to court: they’ll lose!
    This is my solicitor’s advice.

    • Brynberian's Gravatar Brynberian
      October 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and
      Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 specifically excludes transactions of less than £42 from the 14 day cancellation rules. However I suppose we could argue that the £39.95 plus the £9.95 charge to obtain the EPC takes the transaction above the £42 limit.

      • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
        October 31, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        The £9.95 is an optional / separate dashboard charge and does NOT form part of the contract for the EPC.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Darren,

      We acknowledge your right to cancel however, we also have a right to charge a cancellation fee for a service that has already started. Furthermore, I think it highly unlikely that a solicitor would offer such advice. It is also very unlikely that a solicitor would offer a judgement based on what a court would decide. A solicitor will guide you through the legal process and offer a “personal” opinion as to the outcome. This is assuming they are in receipt of the full facts of the case in the first place which is clearly not the case here. The reason i say this is that we never dispute the customers right to cancel however, if the service has already started and work has commenced then we are entitled to charge a cancellation fee in order to cover our costs.

  75. October 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I have similar experiences to the above with threatening emails etc etc. “Mike” replies saying that charges will continue to accrue blah blah blah. I have told him that I am not paying any inflated charges and I have just spoken to Trading Standards who agree. They also looked at this forum and commented that the post from the “Trading Standards Officer” was not likely to be from a Trading Standards Officer at all. Their advice was to let Mike keep sending his emails and in the unlikely event the issue is taken to court a judge will not find in his favour and will likely award costs in favour of the consumer!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Jimg,

      Trading standards would never issue such advice. They are not legally trained and are therefore in no position to make a judgement. I would recommend that if anybody has concerns about the late payment fees or anything else for that matter that they speak with trading standards themselves.

  76. m j allen's Gravatar m j allen
    October 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    My current situation with this company is as below. I have ignored their previous threats and will ignore this. They cannot instruct debt recovery (bailiffs) without a court order and there is no way they would take this to court as it would never stand up. Do people realise their office is in Malaga????

    On Tuesday, 7 October 2014, 19:09, First Choice EPC wrote:

    On 08/07/2014 you ordered an Energy Performance Certificate via our website. The order was subsequently cancelled on 26/09/2014 at 1:55 PM.

    As you cancelled the order a cancellation charge of £14.95 became payable as per the terms of your order. You can view these terms by clicking here. We sent 5 reminders advising of the cancellation fee which was due to be paid by 01/10/2014. Each of the reminders advised of an additional late payment charge of £50.00 that would become payable in the event the cancellation charge was not paid by 01/10/2014.
    Our records indicate that the cancellation charge £14.95 was not paid by 01/10/2014 and so the late payment charge of £50.00 was added.
    You were then given until 06/10/2014 to make this payment however, our records indicate that the cancellation charge of £14.95 and the further administration charge of £50.00 remains outstanding. We have made every effort to avoid further action however, we have been left with no alternative but to proceed to the next stage of the debt recovery process which will incur further charges.
    An additional administration charge of £125.00 has now been added to your account which brings the total amount outstanding to £189.95. You can pay this amount now by clicking here.

    If this amount remains outstanding on 11/10/2014 then our collections department will pass the account to an external debt collection agency in order to recover the debt that is owed to First Choice EPC. A further charge of £250.00 will be added to the existing balance outstanding in the event of this happening. The total amount that we will seek to recover will be £439.95.

    The debt collection agency will add a further charge equal to 15% of the total debt to cover their costs as per the terms and conditions.

    In order to help you better understand these charges, we have created a questions and answers page which can be accessed by clicking here.
    We strongly urge you to settle the outstanding charges at your earliest convenience.
    Regards

    First Choice EPC

  77. John's Gravatar John
    October 8, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I have also received countless emails including the one above. Today I have recieved a new email qoute ‘please be advised your account has been passed to an external debt collection agency who will serve a statutory demand upon you for paymet’ It then repeats the text of previous emails re the mounting charges. At the end it warns me that if I am progressing a mortgage application I have an obligation to notify my lender of any change in my financial circumstances. IMPLIED THREAT or what ! Whilst a statutory demand is a serious thing I understand that they can be set aside by a court and may well be if a debt collection agency is using them to collect consumer debts. I have also spoken to the European Consumer Advice Centre who are also very interested in this matter and will refer to their Spanish counterparts. I hope Watchdog and Trading Standards are watching this as well.

  78. John C's Gravatar John C
    October 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I have read all the posts with interest – thanks.

    I became suspicious when the £14.95 cancellation fee increased to £64.95 when I tried to pay it within the 5 days (to get this guy off my back!). I see that many others have experienced the same.

    I have now reached the stage of FirstChoiceEPC passing my “account” being passed to an external debt collection agency who will issue a statutory demand.

    Has anybody had the statutory demand issued?

    I have had a look at the relevant forms on http://www.gov.uk and these need to be issued via a county court.

    This seems unlikely to happen bcause if it does actually go to court, FirstChoiceEPC will need to reveal their details. They know the court will rule against them and then get shut them down.

    Better for FirstChoice EPC to try their luck and try to get some people to pay. The annoying thing is that some people have paid and probably will continue to pay….

    As others have said the funniest thing is the £10,000 fine! Why stop at £10,000? The sky’s the limit!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Another factually incorrect post. We do not hide our address and never have done. The debt collection process is the first stage of the process and court approval is not required for this. Furthermore, in the event we reach a court room, all that is necessary for us to do is to prove that the debt is owed. We are able to do this in 100% of cases.

      As is evidenced on this forum people simply do not read what they are agreeing to. I am of course referring to peoples accusations that they only requested a free quote or claim to have not seen the terms around cancellation. How can we be held responsible for your actions ?!

  79. G C's Gravatar G C
    October 8, 2014 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    I too recieved a further demands for payment today, even though I never even cancelled. My bill is now £189.95. I have contacted my solicitor, and am writing to Trading Standards now. This guy makes my blood boil.

  80. C N Shaw's Gravatar C N Shaw
    October 9, 2014 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I received my email threat today, identical to the above which I will also ignore for all the sound reasons given throughout these comments. What is clear to me is the business model of this firm has nothing to do with the provision of a service, it is to do with extorting greater sums of money by using threats and intimidation.

    I have a written record of inviting Mike to arbitration and him ignoring the invitation, I have written records of my attempts to engage with him before I recalled the money through the Visa system and I have my own ‘letter before action’ I sent him which he ignored,

    Ignore the threats, because thats all they are. Keep contributing to this blog so a solid wall of evidence is built which can be presented to the authorities at the appropriate time.

    I intend to see this firm and its directors shut down and barred from repeating this.

    I am open to joining any ‘class action’ should it become necessary. It won’t

  81. CG's Gravatar CG
    October 9, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Yes, I received email from First Choice EPC demanding £439.95 if I do not pay within 5 days and threatened with debt recovery. I actually never cancelled my epc just got my money back through my credit card company after it was obvious that First Choice epc wasn’t going to send an assessor. Found this web site excellent as I have done exactly what people have said, I have reported them to Trading Standards and ActionFraud police site and have a case pending. I know he can only activate a debt recovery agency through the courts first but the courts need to know exactly the circumstances why somebody has not paid the sum demanded. ActionFraud have been very good and have given me advice on how to deal with this nasty little company.
    Please contact ActionFraud with your details of your case to add more evidence for them.

  82. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 9, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I posted my comment on another page of same topic about crooked EPC sites particularly first choice epc..

    I know many people who have fallen into paying cancellation fees from these frauds. The free quote is not free, soon as u click to get a quote you effectively according to them have bought the service!! Its a trap.

    Surely this cannot go on??

    They also masquerade as http://www.epclocal.net

    Beware!!!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Jules,

      Your post is factually incorrect. The free quote is displayed to you before you even get to the page where you can confirm an order. When you reach the page where you can confirm an order, a button that says ‘Confirm Order’ is shown together with accompanying text that says Please press the confirm order button below to complete your order. I am not sure how much clearer we can be but we will take your post into consideration. I would suggest that when ordering online in the future, you read all text on the page prior to confirming your order.

  83. October 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my latest email after a stack of ‘Last Chance’ warnings

    Please be advised that your account has now been passed to an external debt collection agency who will serve a statutory demand upon you for payment in relation to the cancellation charge, late payment administration charge and collection administration charges that were subsequently added regarding the order you placed with us on 19/08/2014.

    As per our previous emails to you, an additional collections administration charge of £250.00 has now been added. The external debt collection agency will add their own collection fees as per the terms of your order.

    The amount we are claiming for by virtue of a statutory demand is £439.95. You can avoid being served with a statutory demand by making the outstanding payment within the next 24 hours. If you wish to make this payment then you can do so by clicking here.

    Please be advised that if you are progressing with a mortgage application, you have an obligation to notify your lender of any change in your financial circumstances.

    Regards
    First Choice EPC

    Shocking company!

  84. chris's Gravatar chris
    October 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink
    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      As per an earlier reply, the First Choice EPC business is not owned by Christopher Whatcott.

  85. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    October 11, 2014 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    he can’t hide anymore – I strongly beleive one of the addresses linked below is his home address

    I have a crime number from Action Fraud and on Monday the Property Ombudsman will be receiving a call.

    he’s been made bankrupt before, its time he understood that extorting money isn’t a good business model.

    all the information below is freely available to any member of the public – make your own decisions as to whether or not this is the fraudster who is trying to extort money from us.

    http://www.ccdni.com/director-christopher-scott-whatcott

    http://www.ccdni.com/director-christopher-whatcott

    http://www.ccdni.com/director-christopher-whatcott-2

    http://deadirect.com

    http://www.kymsoft.com

    http://www.savi.co.uk

    Savi

    Maylands Business Centre, Redbourn Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 7ES
    Phone: 07957 494 494
    Website: http://www.savi.co.uk

    This agent/agency is a Member with The Property Ombudsman (TPO). Member agents follow TPO Codes of Practice.

    SAVI (HERTFORDSHIRE) LIMITED
    BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRE
    BESSEMER DRIVE
    STEVENAGE
    UNITED KINGDOM
    SG1 2DX
    Company No. 09148568

    Date of Incorporation: 25/07/2014

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      We are not owed by Savi or Christopher Whatcott. We have incorporated the business in order to show legal ownership of the business. We have nothing to hide regarding our practices and want to be as transparent as possible.

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        October 20, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Savi is operated out of this address, owned by Christopher Whatcott.

        https://www.opencompany.co.uk/company/09148568/savi-hertfordshire-limited

        His address appears numerous times linked to rogue EPC panels, just google him. http://www.firstchoiceepc.com is one of many sites he has started it seems.

        What he has done now it seems is incorporate http://www.firstchoiceepc.com business under someone else name, (happened only last week 14th Oct 2014!) but the links are undeniable to his other business… Savi etc..

        http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

        Key Data
        Company Name Savi (hertfordshire) Limited
        Status Active
        Category Private Limited Company
        Company Number 09148568
        Registered Address Business And Technology Centre
        Bessemer Drive
        Stevenage
        SG1 2DX
        Country Origin United Kingdom
        Incorporation Date 25 July 2014
        Company Age 2 months

        CURRENT
        Christopher Scott Whatcott
        Type Director
        Residence England
        Nationality British
        Date of Birth January 1975
        Occupation Estate Agent
        Status Current
        Appointed 25 July 2014
        Address
        52 Colwyn Close
        Stevenage
        SG1 2AW

  86. John Coomber's Gravatar John Coomber
    October 11, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I have now also filled in the forms on the action fraud website. If others feel it is appropriate, then this will help to build the case.

    In addition in the out-law.com website, which is part of Pinsent Masons under a section Online Contract Information -> Incorporation of Terms, it says “…Simply placing terms and conditions on a website is not enough to incorporate them into a contract: the parties must agree that they contract on the stated terms, and they must do so before (or at the same time as) becoming contractually bound. When dealing with customers of a website the seller must ensure that the ordering process requires the customers to read and agree to the seller’s terms and conditions. Best practice to ensure this is to include the terms and conditions as a separate page in the sales process and requiring the customer to acknowledge he has read and agreed them (for example, by clicking an ‘Agree’ button) before proceeding to place an order.”

    FirstChoiceEPC do not have a tick box for terms and conditions as is normal on most other commercial websites. Nor are they likely to because it will 1) draw attention to the fact that an “order” is being placed rather than just a “free no obligation quote” being received and 2) draw attention to FirstChoiceEPC’s rather comical terms and conditions!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      John,

      It is not a legal requirement for there to be a tick box in order for the terms and condition to be enforceable. A simple call to trading standards will ascertain this for you. Furthermore, your comment relating to us not placing a tick box in case it draws peoples attention to the fact that they are placing an order as opposed to requesting a free no obligation quote is quite frankly ridiculous. Do you not think that the “Confirm Order” button is a bit of a giveaway as to what course of action follows after this button has been pressed. If the button isn’t clear enough then perhaps the text that accompanies the button which clearly confirms what happens next (Please press the confirm order button below to complete your order) would draw your attention to the fact that you are about to confirm an order.

      The cost of the quote is displayed on the 2nd and 3rd page of the process and is very visible before you even reach the page where it shows the confirm order button.

      • John C's Gravatar John C
        October 31, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        This is from the Citizens Advice Bureau website. Under step 2, it says “it is important for you to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made”

        On the FirstChoiceEPC website, users do NOT agree to the terms and conditions. This means there is NO contract.

        *****

        Online Contracts

        Example

        Step 1

        You open a shopping website and go to the page on ‘kitchenware’ because you want to buy a toaster. The page displays lots of different toasters with prices and descriptions.

        This is usually called an invitation to treat. The trader is inviting you to look at their goods. At this stage, they are not making you an offer.

        Step 2

        You see a £10 toaster that you like, click on ‘add to shopping basket’ and go to the online checkout. You enter your bank details to pay for the toaster and are asked to tick a box saying you have read the terms and conditions.

        You click ‘confirm’ to confirm your order.

        By confirming your order, you are making an offer to the trader to buy the toaster for £10.

        It is important for you to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made.

        Step 3

        The trader sends you an email that confirms your order. The email contains information about the terms and conditions saying ‘ACCEPTANCE: acceptance will take place when the goods are dispatched to you.’

        You do not yet have a contract.

        Step 4

        You receive an email a week later to say your goods have been sent to you.

        Acceptance has taken place and you have a finalised contract.

        Reply

  87. Rose's Gravatar Rose
    October 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Paul, what’s in that letter from him about mortgage applications and financial circumstances changing; this is the power behind the threat, I think. Most people looking for an EPC will be selling a house and therefore will probably have a mortgage. If there’s a court summons and demand to pay it may threaten the potential to get a mortgage – I think the criminal who is doing this knows that it will scare the hell out of anyone wanting to get a mortgage and this is why he does it.

    He belongs in prison. After all, if someone walked up to you in the street and demanded money you’d ring the police!

  88. John C's Gravatar John C
    October 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Rose, I have the mortgage threat as well. It is just as per Paul’s letter. I think somebody else has written that in order for a CCJ to be issued, he needs to apply for a statutory demand via a County Court. This seems unlikely because the County Court will laugh the case out of court and he knows this. I am confident it’s just a threat. Has anybody had court action / statutory demand?

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      John,

      Thank you for your post. Please be advised that a statutory demand is not necessary in order for a CCJ to be issued. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position in the first place. We offer one of the most competitively priced EPC’s in the market. Furthermore, we are able to do this whilst offering the customer the maximum level of protection possible. The customer is not asked to pay for anything until the assessor has made contact with a customer and a mutually convenient appointment date / time has been agreed. At this point we ask for a small booking fee of £9.95 to be paid to protect the assessor against fake orders and no shows. The balance of the payment can then be paid direct to the assessor on the day of the appointment. This is clearly confirmed as part of the ordering process and with follow up emails.

      It is extremely frustrating that we seem to have found ourselves at the centre of accusations that we are a scam. Accusations that are entirely without merit let alone proof.

      It is true that if a booking fee payment is paid late and the terms of the agreement are breached then late payment charges are added. We are a business when all is said and done and there are costs associated with collecting money and liaising with customers over the debt.

      It is irresponsible of you to post a comment suggesting that a court would laugh our claim out of court. Anybody reading your post might be inclined to take no action at all in the hope that you are correct. You are not correct John and all that we need to do is prove that the debt is legitimate. We are able to do this in 100% of cases.

  89. Les Harwood's Gravatar Les Harwood
    October 15, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I wish I had googled them before ordering my EPC with these people yesterday. They took payment for a full £39.95.
    Have I just handed over money for nothing? What do you suggest I do?

    • Les Harwood's Gravatar Les Harwood
      October 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Just to put the record straight here – They did contact me, someone did come round and perform the deed. So I have nothing against them.
      They worked for me.

  90. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    October 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Glad to have found this. One big scamming company and I got scammed by them I have reported to fraud squad.
    They took full payment off me £39.95 I now accept I have lost it and got a local guy to do it which I should of done in the first place who came straightaway did it all for £40.00 with no problems.
    ‘Mike’ wanted a cancellation fee. Changed my card details as not risking them take anything else or have my details.
    Will always check in future as this guy making a fortune out of us all won’t risk it again.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Sarah,

      Why didn’t you give us the opportunity to address your concerns. Accusations such as these have no merit whatsoever. It seems people are all too quick to jump on the negative feedback bandwagon. It might surprise you to learn that we do in fact have thousands of satisfied customers.

  91. Adnan's Gravatar Adnan
    October 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi All,
    I am a DEA and have done some works for EPC Local and First Choice EPC. Lastt they sent me an email containing job offer with payment terms 28 days. However, It was nightmare to get my first payment after couple of months. Apparently they breached the contact terms. At some point they offered me to do jobs on pay on the day basis. I was about to clear up my due payments through this. Suddenly they stopped offering pay on the day job, and again they start giving me jobs on 30 days payment terms while due was more than £100. I denied all the jobs, and asked them to clear my due invoices first. Thereafter i sent emails several times, but didnt get any reply back.

    I used to think they cheat with assessors only. Now I got total picture here. I guess their actual money machine is to make money by threatening customers to take them to court for not paying their highly charged cancellation fees. I guess only few customers are currently fighting back and and a good number of customers just paid them to get rid off this unnecessary hassle.

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

    After reading this article, it seems there is no authority can stop these scam companies to stop robbing people, other wise how come three companies running their business with so many complains and evidence of wrong doing.

    I know I’ll not get paid for my due invoices, however if anyone need help, I can be a witness with evidence that how they breached their contracts.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Adnan, There is a reason why some of your invoices remain outstanding. Repeated breaches of the terms and conditions with which you accept jobs is unacceptable especially when it involves the customer. If you wish to take this up with us further then please email us directly.

  92. WhatTheFoxHat's Gravatar WhatTheFoxHat
    October 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone in this post ever received a posted letter from ‘Mike’ or is it all just through emails, which aren’t sent through a traceable IP address because he pays a company to send them. http://mandrill.com/?_ga=1.28389948.1017292692.1412792771

    • BeenScammed's Gravatar BeenScammed
      November 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I have been sent a posted mail now. Registered address at the bottom is Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove, London, N12 0DR. Company Reg – 09263969. Later is basically the same as the emails with an offer to reduce the debt from £439 to £189 if paid within a week.

      The funny thing is whether legit or not, i’m sure he’s lost more customers who have read this and stayed away, than he will get from his ‘£14.95’ cancellation fee.

      Would be better business sense for him to have written them off!

      Hey ho!

  93. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    October 17, 2014 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    I was over in Malaga last week, seeing friends. I thought out of interest I’d go see where his office is. It’s just a rent a office building handling many businesses, Mike just had a po box there, and they forward the post onto another address.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      The business address for correspondence is a business centre address. There are a great deal of businesses both large and small who utilise the services of business centres. As an example, the editor of this website uses a PO Box address.

      • Richard's Gravatar Richard
        October 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        So why the move from Hemel Hempstead to Malaga, is the the better weather? Or are you trying to avoid people?

  94. John C's Gravatar John C
    October 19, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    The editor of this website has made his identity clear to everyone. The person behind FirstChoiceEPC has not and uses aliases. Why is that?

  95. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 20, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    They are no longer at this stated address

    Maylands Business Centre, Redbourn Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 7ES
    Phone: 07957 494 494

    This scam operation is operating from a business centre in Stevenage, which also happens to be where a certain Christopher Whatcott lives who claims he has nothing to do with http://www.firstchoiceepc.com that is providing so much hurt to customers.

    Savi (hertfordshire) Limited
    Company Number 09148568
    Business And Technology Centre
    Bessemer Drive
    Stevenage
    SG1 2DX

    Christopher Whatcotts number is 07957 494 494, I’ve tried calling that number and he does answer periodically. Its seems he operates the business there with another person called Paul Randell, who is identified from correspondence from their company.

    Paul Randall contact no. 07548211624
    Property specialist 08451308017
    Or email info@firstchoiceepc.com

    All this info was from research on google and public records. Please spread the word and avoid using them!!!

  96. John C's Gravatar John C
    October 20, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes his diversionary tactics can be quite convincing at first read but that’s all they are. His case is flimsy and his emails and posts are inconsistent with each other. Whilst he claims that it is not a legal requirement to have a tick box checked before placing an order, it is the opinion of an international law firm that this is required. Who is more likely to be correct? In any case it is certainly the case that businesses do have a duty to make efforts to ensure customers fully understand the terms and conditions when signing up. Have FirstChoiceEPC made these efforts…?

    The unfair nature of the terms and conditions would make any potential customer run a mile and that is one reason (I can think of a few others) why he can’t draw attention to them. Even if the terms and conditions were incorporated into the “contract”, they need to be fair. Anybody with a legal background would deem them to constitute unfair contract terms.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 31, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      John C, You comments are entirely without merit. Whether we have a tick box or not the fact remains that we comply with the law and provide a copy of the terms and conditions on the website. We also provide the necessary pre contract information.

      Your fascination with a tick box aside for a moment, as a customer what do you think is going to happen when you click the button that is clearly marked “Confirm Order” ?! Perhaps we should change this to “Confirm Order but please be sure you understand what the words Confirm Order mean before confirming your order”. Would that suffice …. in your OPINION ??!!

      The opinion of an international law firm is irrelevant. An opinion means very little in the eyes of a judge. We had an example recently of another international law firm (Eversheds) who were instructed by a client and then subsequently failed in their attempts to have the late payment fees overturned.

      The process is very simple. You can pay the booking fee when you agree to pay the booking or in the event of cancellation, you will need to pay the cancellation fee as you have agreed to the service starting straight away. If you do not pay either of these fees then of course late payment fees will apply. We realise that forum comments such as your will likely encourage people to do nothing in the hope that what you say is correct.

      Our advice is to seek legal advice. Trading Standards is always a good starting point and its free of charge. You can even remain anonymous John !!!

      Mike

      • John C's Gravatar John C
        October 31, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        This is from the Citizens Advice Bureau website. Under step 2, it says “it is important for you to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made”

        On the FirstChoiceEPC website, users do NOT agree to the terms and conditions. This means there is NO contract.

        *****

        Online Contracts

        Example

        Step 1

        You open a shopping website and go to the page on ‘kitchenware’ because you want to buy a toaster. The page displays lots of different toasters with prices and descriptions.

        This is usually called an invitation to treat. The trader is inviting you to look at their goods. At this stage, they are not making you an offer.

        Step 2

        You see a £10 toaster that you like, click on ‘add to shopping basket’ and go to the online checkout. You enter your bank details to pay for the toaster and are asked to tick a box saying you have read the terms and conditions.

        You click ‘confirm’ to confirm your order.

        By confirming your order, you are making an offer to the trader to buy the toaster for £10.

        It is important for you to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made.

        Step 3

        The trader sends you an email that confirms your order. The email contains information about the terms and conditions saying ‘ACCEPTANCE: acceptance will take place when the goods are dispatched to you.’

        You do not yet have a contract.

        Step 4

        You receive an email a week later to say your goods have been sent to you.

        Acceptance has taken place and you have a finalised contract.

  97. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    This is wholly unfair and people should be aware of this fact – unfair Contract Terms Act may well cover customers caught up in this scam despite what firstchoiceepc.com and ‘Mike’ (an alleged employee of firstchoiceepc) or ‘Daniel (highly unlikely to be a trading standards officer but is a part time contributor to this feed) or Chris Whatcott (owner of firstchoicepec and renown EPC cowboy says and who is clearly are benefitting from this scam business.

    People should be aware of:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/JxCs1qrrl86Zd3qNm8SCL8/civil-laws

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/50

    Firstchoiceepc.com may well refute any challenges to what they believes is a honest business operation… really? this ENTIRE webpage (and others – just google Chris Whatcott and his EPC malpractices) and comments are wholly devoted to uncover the scam they operate.

  98. October 21, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    All,

    This guy has to be stopped there is too much smoke and mirrors here but I think we have a small lead now…. They are incorporated! For £29.99 of YOUR money they have scammed from you they have set up first choice EPC Ltd.UK company number: 09263969

    The Ltd company is registered by this website: http://www.a1companies.com to their offices would you believe!

    Have a look at this website now: http://companycheck.co.uk/company/09263969

    Hello Mr Anthony Graeme Peplar….. (if that is your real name) seems you’re the director? Any chance of a phone number so we can have a chat? Go on…… there are plenty of people on this forum who would like to tell you where to stick your EPC and your cancellation charge!

    Maybe if you actually gave you real name at the end of posts and a phone number and sensible address people would have more respect for you and your pitiful excuse for a company.

    Where would you like me to send the cheque for the £10,000 fine? who shall I make it payable to Michael Cox?

    Thanks,

    James Ellison

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 31, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      James,

      If you disagree with the cancellation charge then please email us and we can discuss this in more detail however, if you cancelled your order for an EPC after the service had already started then a cancellation charge will be payable.

      We don’t want your £10,000 cheque. We simply want what is due to us.

      Mike

  99. flawed logic's Gravatar flawed logic
    October 22, 2014 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    There is definately a lot to find out about this issue. I
    like all of the points you have made.

  100. Albert's Gravatar Albert
    October 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    He has registered another two companies this month along with firstchoiceepc.

    I am waiting to be contacted regarding my epc 20 days gone and counting.

    Anthony Graeme Peplar

    Country Of Residence: South Africa
    Nationality: South African
    Date of Birth: February 1967 (47 years of age)
    Occupation: Consultant

    Company Appointments

    Company Type Occupation Contact Address Appointed Status
    The Publishing Organisation Limited
    Southgate Office Village, Block E, 2nd Floor 286a Chase Road, Southgate
    London
    N14 6HF Director Consultant North Finchley
    London
    N12 0DR 3 October 2014
    Current

    Exclusive Communications Limited
    Southgate Office Village, Block E, 2nd Floor 286a Chase Road, Southgate
    London
    N14 6HF Director Consultant North Finchley
    London
    N12 0DR 6 October 2014
    Current

    First Choice Epc Limited
    Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove
    London
    N12 0DR Director Consultant Winnington House 2 Woodberry Grove
    London
    N12 0DR 14 October 2014
    Current

  101. John C's Gravatar John C
    October 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    When considering this post, bear in mind that one of the reasons why England is a successful country is it has a strong and fair legal system….

    The company has apparently been incorporated on 14 October 2014 – hopefully this means FirstChoiceEPC will file a claim in a county court.

    Do we think a county court will uphold a claim for nearly £500 for not paying a £14.95 cancellation fee? Will a multiple of nearly 33x the supposed debt be deemed to be fair?

    when….

    1. most of the visitors to the website thought they were getting a no obligation free quote

    2. most of the visitors who unwittingly placed orders then cancelled within minutes

    3. the cancellation fee and other terms are not brought to the attention of the users

    4. the terms include £10,000 “fines”

    5. FirstChoiceEPC harass the public with numerous threatening e-mails

    6. Some users who try to pay the cancellation fees within the very short time period (to avoid hassles) have had the fee increased for daring to ask FirstChoiceEPC questions

    7. The owner of the website states a PO Box address in Spain

    8. The owner of the website does not reveal his identity

    9. The owner of the website has a questionable reputation and users do not wish to reveal their financial details to it

    10. Numerous complaints have been made to Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and Action Fraud.

    • sandra friar's Gravatar sandra friar
      October 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      i got on to trading standards who told me the 14 day cooling off period will stand, ignore them, they were asking me for 495 pounds when i did not click accept so have no contract with these people, but i still got threatening emails from them, the last one was to say they were sending the bailiffs, which never arrived, they are scum

      • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
        October 31, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        FAO: Sandra Friar,

        We have never disputed your right to cancel. We acknowledge your rights as a consumer. As a business we also have rights and one of those rights is to charge a cancellation fee for a service that has already started. You will surely understand that costs are incurred by our business. The question you should be asking trading standards is as follows:

        Customer: I ordered an EPC from First Choice EPC and although they say i can cancel, they are saying that I need to pay a cancellation fee as the service has already started. Is this true ?

        Anticipated response from Trading Standards (our words): Yes if the service has already started then the company is entitled to charge a cancellation fee.

        If you ask the right question then you’ll receive the correct answer.

        Your post is irresponsible and serves only to mis inform other customers who may have otherwise paid the £14.95 cancellation fee. These customers are now faced with late payment charges because of the information conveyed in your post and that of others. Unless your post is factually based it will likely do more harm than good.

        We offer a service where the customer pays a small booking fee once an assessor has confirmed an appointment with them and the balance is then paid direct to the assessor on the day of the appointment. We provide our terms of business which are readily available on the website, we make you aware of cancellation fees and we also make you aware of when the booking fee needs to be paid. My only suggestion is that as customer you read the text on the website prior to confirming your order. We disclose everything.

        Regards
        Mike

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 31, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      We are grateful for the laws in this Country which served to protect the interest of everyone. My responses to your points are below.

      1. most of the visitors to the website thought they were getting a no obligation free quote

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE (not for the first time). Copy and paste the following website address and you’ll see just how many times the FREE quote is shown to the customer before you get to the confirm order page. I suggest you get your facts straight before posting in a public forum.

      2. most of the visitors who unwittingly placed orders then cancelled within minutes

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: Once again, please see the above website address. The confirm order page clearly states that by pressing the confirm order button, you are agreeing to the service starting straight away. Please explain your use of the word “unwittingly”.

      3. the cancellation fee and other terms are not brought to the attention of the users

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The terms and conditions are available on the the homepage and every other page of the website. We are complying with the law in this regard. As you have already said John, the laws in the UK are what makes it such a great Country. Unless of course you mean for as long as they go in your favour ?!

      4. the terms include £10,000 “fines”

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: And rightly so. If you think we are going to sit by and let factually incorrect statements about our business or its practices ruin our reputation then you can think again.

      5. FirstChoiceEPC harass the public with numerous threatening e-mails

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The emails are not intended to sound threatening. They are merely intended to give notice about what will happen in the event payments are not received. This is no different to any other debt related letter.

      6. Some users who try to pay the cancellation fees within the very short time period (to avoid hassles) have had the fee increased for daring to ask FirstChoiceEPC questions

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: This is a nonsense statement. Earlier posts suggest that emails are not responded to and now you say that people are being charged for asking a question.

      7. The owner of the website states a PO Box address in Spain

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The reason for this is because we are based in Spain.

      8. The owner of the website does not reveal his identity

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The owner of the website has never hidden his identity. The fact remains that some people believe what they want to believe. If its written on a forum like this then it must be true right ?

      9. The owner of the website has a questionable reputation and users do not wish to reveal their financial details to it

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: A contradiction to your point 8.

      10. Numerous complaints have been made to Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and Action Fraud.

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: We were contacted by Trading Standards last month who wanted to understand our business model in more detail and assess whether we are complying with consumer law. We haven’t had any further contact from Trading Standards. Read into that what you will.

      Regards
      Mike

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      October 31, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      We are grateful for the laws in this Country which served to protect the interest of everyone. My responses to your points are below.

      1. most of the visitors to the website thought they were getting a no obligation free quote

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE (not for the first time). Copy and paste the following website address and you’ll see just how many times the FREE quote is shown to the customer before you get to the confirm order page. I suggest you get your facts straight before posting in a public forum.

      2. most of the visitors who unwittingly placed orders then cancelled within minutes

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: Once again, please see the above website address. The confirm order page clearly states that by pressing the confirm order button, you are agreeing to the service starting straight away. Please explain your use of the word “unwittingly”.

      3. the cancellation fee and other terms are not brought to the attention of the users

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The terms and conditions are available on the the homepage and every other page of the website. We are complying with the law in this regard. As you have already said John, the laws in the UK are what makes it such a great Country. Unless of course you mean for as long as they go in your favour ?!

      4. the terms include £10,000 “fines”

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: And rightly so. If you think we are going to sit by and let factually incorrect statements about our business or its practices ruin our reputation then you can think again.

      5. FirstChoiceEPC harass the public with numerous threatening e-mails

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The emails are not intended to sound threatening. They are merely intended to give notice about what will happen in the event payments are not received. This is no different to any other debt related letter.

      6. Some users who try to pay the cancellation fees within the very short time period (to avoid hassles) have had the fee increased for daring to ask FirstChoiceEPC questions

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: This is a nonsense statement. Earlier posts suggest that emails are not responded to and now you say that people are being charged for asking a question.

      7. The owner of the website states a PO Box address in Spain

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The reason for this is because we are based in Spain.

      8. The owner of the website does not reveal his identity

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The owner of the website has never hidden his identity. The fact remains that some people believe what they want to believe. If its written on a forum like this then it must be true right ?

      9. The owner of the website has a questionable reputation and users do not wish to reveal their financial details to it

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: A contradiction to your point 8.

      10. Numerous complaints have been made to Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and Action Fraud.

      FIRSTCHOICEEPC: We were contacted by Trading Standards last month who wanted to understand our business model in more detail and assess whether we are complying with consumer law. We haven’t had any further contact from Trading Standards. Read into that what you will.

      Regards
      Mike

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        October 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Mike, we know this isn’t your real name yet u persist in trying again to mislead your sorry customers. Just step back a moment and look at the wealth of negative feedback your sole business has produced. It is business 101 that owners of business should take feedback given and ask themselves “what am I doing wrong?” And also “what am I doing right?”.

        My suggestion is not all comments can be taken on face value but certainly not all are wrong. The trend is there to be seen and it’s clear what u are doing is nothing short of a scam.

        Defend is as u must because clearly u have convinced yourself you are right to trample over your customers charges ridiculous “late” payment charges which should never have been levied. Your attempted arguments, however long fail to conceal the fact that this is a scam and predatory. If you have nothing to hide, why then conceal yourself behind alias’, PO box foreign addresses, managed office addresses and no contact numbers at all. You run a business that has been trading since July at least as far I see from your initial negative feedback but only incorporate firstchoiceepc in October as a company.

        We know from many sites and feedback given not only on this site but others that your are in fact Chris Whatcott of many epc panel failures and Savi which operates out of Stevenage. why do you continue doing this??

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          October 31, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          OK Jules. What is it you think we are doing wrong ? Are we wrong for charging late payment fees when customers fail to pay what is rightfully owed and what they agree to pay ? Happy to take your feedback on board so please elaborate on what it is we are doing wrong.

          I recently had to pay a late payment charge during a visit to the UK when i drove into the Congestion Zone in London. I hadn’t paid the £11.50 within 24 hours and so was presented with a late penalty charge of £65 which was set to increase to £195 if ignored. Did i have a hissy fit at Transport for London ? Of course not. I accepted that i was in the wrong and paid the fine. If i hadn’t then it was sure to get far worse for me.

          Why are you accusing us of being in the wrong when we are open and upfront about the service we offer. How can you justify that we are a scam business with predatory intentions ? We have no influence over the customer. We can merely furnish them with the information that will allow them to make an educated decision.

          Lets demonstrate this with an example shall we. A customer places an order and then subsequently cancels said order. The customer is aware that the service starts straight away because we tell them this before they press the confirm order button. The customer then subsequently cancels said order. The customer then receives a payment request for the cancellation fee. The customer huffs and puffs and turns to this forum for guidance. They see the posts where other customers have suggested that they ignore the request for payment as they have 14 days with which to cancel. These posts make reference to conversations with Trading Standards and the like. What these same posts are failing to recognise is that we don’t have an issue with the customer cancelling. This is their right and we fully recognise this right however, what the posts don’t mention is that as the customer agreed to the service starting straight away, we have a right to charge a cancellation fee (£14.95). This is the question customers should be asking trading standards. As we have said before on this forum, ask the right question and you’ll be given the correct answer.

          The customer decides to do nothing on the strength of the posts (by people they have never met) on this forum. We advise customers of the late payment charges in the event the cancellation fee is not paid. Some make a conscious decision not to make the payment. Is it really that unacceptable that we would then escalate the debt to our collections department and then the external debt collection agency.

          We urge everyone to take independent legal advice. Trading Standards are a good starting point and the advice will only cost you your time.

          Mike (real name)

          • Jules's Gravatar Jules
            October 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            The difference is Christopher Whatcott (real name), using the congestion zone as your argument is flawed and shows that you are trying to justify what you are doing with other services by comparing yourself to them. You chose to go into the congestion zone, and therefore knowingly and rightly so got charged for it. I don’t think anyone in this country – and you don’t have to be near or live in london, knows about the congestion charge and its sliding scale of penalty payments should you be late in settlement. Your scam of a service hides behind the pretence of a free quote but in fact is a premeditated attempt to capture customers good faith by charging them and packaging it as late payments. I spare the detail and how you get to the point for charging these late payment fees as clearly it is futile and pointless argument with you considering you spend your time now trawling these feeds to try convince those said sorry customers caught out in your scam that they are wrong and your are right. Not bias is it? a scam operator defending his scam actions in order to prolong his scam operation. Why masquerade yourself as Mike, and hide behind the wall of thin business centre addresses, unanswered emails, fake legal prompting and utilising what is quite clearly abysmal level bad customer service. The fact that you are are still carrying on is astonishing as your ability to try nullify all this negative feedback with your online PR here. Have you googled your company Firstchoiceepc ?? you are going to need some serious online PR work to push down those results.

          • Jules's Gravatar Jules
            October 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            lifted from your above post. Chris Whatcott you are a definition of contradiction.

            “we don’t have an issue with the customer cancelling. This is their right and we fully recognise this right however, what the posts don’t mention is that as the customer agreed to the service starting straight away, we have a right to charge a cancellation fee (£14.95).”

            How can u cancel when the service starts straight away. You are misleading customers straight off the bat. False advertising and clearly a scam by its confusing nature.

            Please stop scamming customers.

          • Harry's Gravatar Harry
            November 1, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            As stated in other posts and the Citizens Advice Bureau website, you need to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made. This does not happen on the FirstChoiceEPC website so plain and simple, there is NO contract.

            FirstChoiceEPC won’t take people to court at the moment because they know they will lose.

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          October 31, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Jules, jules, jules !!

          Your ignorance is bewildering. What concerns me more is that people base their decisions on the nonsense people like you submit on this forum. You are influencing people to ignore the initial £14.95 cancellation fee in the hope that we don’t have a legal leg to stand on. I don’t make the laws i only observe them. If you take a look at CONSUMER CONTRACTS
          (INFORMATION, CANCELLATION AND ADDITIONAL CHARGES)
          REGULATIONS then you might learn something new.

          Just because a service starts straight away doesn’t mean that a customer cannot cancel their order. We are not misleading the customer. The customer agrees to the service starting when they press the confirm order button. A customer can still cancel even after the service has started however, a cancellation charge will be added as per the terms and conditions.

          The free quote is provided on 2 separate webpages. The text is in bold red lettering. The following order process page can be viewed as a reference to this http://www.firstchoiceepc.com/orderprocess.aspx

          If we mention the cost of an EPC in 2 separate areas prior to showing the “confirm order” button then how can this be considered a false pretence. I have long thought that some people need to take a competency test before being allowed to access websites. I am not sure how much clearer you think we can be. The cost of the EPC IS shown to the customer before confirming an order.

          I am still waiting for you to confirm exactly what it is you think we are doing wrong. You are failing to provide any evidence in support of your earlier claims. You must try harder Jules. We are a legitimate business with the best of intentions. I am yet to hear from anybody on this forum who can prove otherwise.

          Mike

          • brynberian's Gravatar brynberian
            October 31, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            It is a fact that (and I have documentary evidence – as per emails which seem to be the only method of communication that you accept) you have been requested by two separate bodies to inform them of the registered address of your company. You failed to supply this to one of these people and suggested to the other that they look at the end of the terms and conditions of your website. The only address on your terms and conditions was a correspondence address in Southern Spain.
            Surely this shows your company for what it is? Devious.

          • John's Gravatar John
            November 1, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            We are grateful for the laws in this Country which served to protect the interest of everyone. My responses to your points are below.

            1. most of the visitors to the website thought they were getting a no obligation free quote

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE (not for the first time). Copy and paste the following website address and you’ll see just how many times the FREE quote is shown to the customer before you get to the confirm order page. I suggest you get your facts straight before posting in a public forum.

            2. most of the visitors who unwittingly placed orders then cancelled within minutes

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: Once again, please see the above website address. The confirm order page clearly states that by pressing the confirm order button, you are agreeing to the service starting straight away. Please explain your use of the word “unwittingly”.

            3. the cancellation fee and other terms are not brought to the attention of the users

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The terms and conditions are available on the the homepage and every other page of the website. We are complying with the law in this regard. As you have already said John, the laws in the UK are what makes it such a great Country. Unless of course you mean for as long as they go in your favour ?!

            4. the terms include £10,000 “fines”

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: And rightly so. If you think we are going to sit by and let factually incorrect statements about our business or its practices ruin our reputation then you can think again.

            5. FirstChoiceEPC harass the public with numerous threatening e-mails

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The emails are not intended to sound threatening. They are merely intended to give notice about what will happen in the event payments are not received. This is no different to any other debt related letter.

            6. Some users who try to pay the cancellation fees within the very short time period (to avoid hassles) have had the fee increased for daring to ask FirstChoiceEPC questions

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: This is a nonsense statement. Earlier posts suggest that emails are not responded to and now you say that people are being charged for asking a question.

            7. The owner of the website states a PO Box address in Spain

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The reason for this is because we are based in Spain.

            8. The owner of the website does not reveal his identity

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The owner of the website has never hidden his identity. The fact remains that some people believe what they want to believe. If its written on a forum like this then it must be true right ?

            9. The owner of the website has a questionable reputation and users do not wish to reveal their financial details to it

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: A contradiction to your point 8.

            10. Numerous complaints have been made to Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and Action Fraud.

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: We were contacted by Trading Standards last month who wanted to understand our business model in more detail and assess whether we are complying with consumer law. We haven’t had any further contact from Trading Standards. Read into that what you will.

          • John C's Gravatar John C
            November 1, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            We are grateful for the laws in this Country which served to protect the interest of everyone. My responses to your points are below.

            1. most of the visitors to the website thought they were getting a no obligation free quote

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE (not for the first time). Copy and paste the following website address and you’ll see just how many times the FREE quote is shown to the customer before you get to the confirm order page. I suggest you get your facts straight before posting in a public forum.

            This is true. Count the number of posts on this site who have said this.

            2. most of the visitors who unwittingly placed orders then cancelled within minutes

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: Once again, please see the above website address. The confirm order page clearly states that by pressing the confirm order button, you are agreeing to the service starting straight away. Please explain your use of the word “unwittingly”.

            Buy a dictionary.

            3. the cancellation fee and other terms are not brought to the attention of the users

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The terms and conditions are available on the the homepage and every other page of the website. We are complying with the law in this regard. As you have already said John, the laws in the UK are what makes it such a great Country. Unless of course you mean for as long as they go in your favour ?!

            Having terms and conditions on a website does not mean users have agreed to them.

            4. the terms include £10,000 “fines”

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: And rightly so. If you think we are going to sit by and let factually incorrect statements about our business or its practices ruin our reputation then you can think again.

            You need to go through a legal process to enforce these fines. Your reputation is rightly deserved.

            5. FirstChoiceEPC harass the public with numerous threatening e-mails

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The emails are not intended to sound threatening. They are merely intended to give notice about what will happen in the event payments are not received. This is no different to any other debt related letter.

            Look at the posts to see if users think your e-mails are threatening. Your threats however amount to nothing.

            6. Some users who try to pay the cancellation fees within the very short time period (to avoid hassles) have had the fee increased for daring to ask FirstChoiceEPC questions

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: This is a nonsense statement. Earlier posts suggest that emails are not responded to and now you say that people are being charged for asking a question.

            This happened to me so it is factually correct.

            7. The owner of the website states a PO Box address in Spain

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The reason for this is because we are based in Spain.

            Search FirstChoiceEPC in scamadviser.com for other reasons.

            8. The owner of the website does not reveal his identity

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: The owner of the website has never hidden his identity. The fact remains that some people believe what they want to believe. If its written on a forum like this then it must be true right ?

            Search FirstChoiceEPC.com in scamadviser.com for other reasons.

            If Mike says it is true, then it must be.

            9. The owner of the website has a questionable reputation and users do not wish to reveal their financial details to it

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: A contradiction to your point 8.

            Flawed logic.

            10. Numerous complaints have been made to Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and Action Fraud.

            FIRSTCHOICEEPC: We were contacted by Trading Standards last month who wanted to understand our business model in more detail and assess whether we are complying with consumer law. We haven’t had any further contact from Trading Standards. Read into that what you will.

            Let’s see what happens if you take somebody to court.

          • Barry's Gravatar Barry
            November 1, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            This is from FirstChoiceEPC

            “I have long thought that some people need to take a competency test before being allowed to access websites.”

            I think it would be fair to ask whether from this thought, FirstChoiceEPC was born to exploit and trap users?

          • John C's Gravatar John C
            November 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            FirstChoiceEPC: “I have long thought that some people need to take a competency test before being allowed to access websites.”

            The statement reveals a lot about the person behind FirstChoiceEPC.

            I would ask users to consider whether from that thought, a website designed to exploit users has been designed.

            Unfortunately for FirstChoiceEPC, their sales process has a number of glaring holes and their threatening tactics are illegal.

  102. Albert's Gravatar Albert
    October 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    This Anthony Graeme Peplar https://www.facebook.com/graeme.peplar.9
    Was a property consultant in South Africa.

  103. Andymac's Gravatar Andymac
    October 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    DIRECTOR OF FIRST CHOICE EPC
    Short name Anthony Peplar
    Year of Birth: 1967
    Director ID: 919096452
    Registered Address

    Winnington House 2 Woodberry Grove
    North Finchley
    London
    United Kingdom
    N12 0DR
    Registered tel no .02084926363

  104. John C's Gravatar John C
    October 31, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    This is from the Citizens Advice Bureau website. Under step 2, it says “it is important for you to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made”

    On the FirstChoiceEPC website, users do NOT agree to the terms and conditions. This means there is NO contract.

    *****

    Online Contracts

    Example

    Step 1

    You open a shopping website and go to the page on ‘kitchenware’ because you want to buy a toaster. The page displays lots of different toasters with prices and descriptions.

    This is usually called an invitation to treat. The trader is inviting you to look at their goods. At this stage, they are not making you an offer.

    Step 2

    You see a £10 toaster that you like, click on ‘add to shopping basket’ and go to the online checkout. You enter your bank details to pay for the toaster and are asked to tick a box saying you have read the terms and conditions.

    You click ‘confirm’ to confirm your order.

    By confirming your order, you are making an offer to the trader to buy the toaster for £10.

    It is important for you to agree to the terms and conditions for a contract to be made.

    Step 3

    The trader sends you an email that confirms your order. The email contains information about the terms and conditions saying ‘ACCEPTANCE: acceptance will take place when the goods are dispatched to you.’

    You do not yet have a contract.

    Step 4

    You receive an email a week later to say your goods have been sent to you.

    Acceptance has taken place and you have a finalised contract.

  105. Sam Jones's Gravatar Sam Jones
    November 1, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    On the website, scam adviser.com if you search , this is what appears :

    Notes:-
    The owner of the website is using a service to hide their identity
    This website is 220 Days old
    The website expected life (365 days) is relatively short.

    Analysis Details:-
    Although this website appears to be based in Germany there are other countries involved and you should review this information carefully and decide if it is as you expect.Although being a new website, does not make it un-trustworthy, as with any new business you should be extra vigilant and do your own research before placing an order or making an investment.
    This site is using an anonymous service – which prevents us from identifying the site owner. This can sometimes be just so that the owner does not receive spam, but be aware that many scam sites use this as a method to hide their identify. If this is an ecommerce site – we would suggest you confirm the business address with the website owners.

    The website has been newly registered with a short life expectancy, which follows the pattern used by many fraudulent and fake selling websites. Please be vigilant and take extra care before providing any payment information.

  106. Sam Jones's Gravatar Sam Jones
    November 1, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Search FirstChoiceEPC.com not FirstChoiceEPC.co.uk

  107. Sam Jones's Gravatar Sam Jones
    November 1, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Take note of the last point. As most people on this post would agree DO NOT POST ANY PAYMENT INFORMATION

  108. TeeTeeUK's Gravatar TeeTeeUK
    November 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I wish I would have read these comments before ordering!

    On 03/09/14 I clicked the order button, after a few hours I emailed advising of cancellation and heard nothing from them.

    The following day a chap called to arrange an appointment time but I advised that I would not be confirming an appointment as I had cancelled. He was very polite.

    2 months later I have recieved a letter demanding £439.95 for non paid cancellation. The letter fabricates a history of trying to collect when I have heard nothing from them at all.

    I have sent the following reply via email today:

    Dear M. Cox

    I write to acknowledge your letter dated 30th October 2014, and recieved on 1st November 2014, advising that you have tried unsucessfully on 5 seperate occassions to recover a cancellation fee of £14.95 and are subsequently requesting £439.95, which you are willing to discount to £189.95 should the amount be paid in full by 6th November 2014.

    Please note the following:

    1. I dispute the original £14.95 cancellation fee
    2. I have recieved no other correspondance from you attempting to collect payment as described in your letter. This is your first and only attempt to date, therefore making your letters content fictious at very least

    I believe your business practise to be dubious, fraudulent and harrassing in nature and I would therefore appreciate the matter being heard before a judge at the earliest convenience. I therefore welcome you taking legal action and would ask that you do so immediately.

    I look forward to recieving the court summons so that the matter can be reviewed independently. In the meantime should I recieve any further demands for payment I will regard the matter as harrassment and take the appropriate action.

    Yours Sincerely,

    I will keep you posted as and when I get a reply.

  109. FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
    November 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    John,

    You are misleading your public. Oh the irony !!

    My only advice is that people speak to trading standards or citizens advice directly as opposed to believe John C’s interpretation of consumer law.

    John – Your post makes reference to a customer who might buy a toaster. We don’t sell toasters. In fact we don’t sell products of any description. We are offering a service NOT a product. The difference between what we offer and your example above which can also be found by following the link pasted at the end of this post is that the trader is inviting the consumer to look at their goods. This is referred to as an invitation to treat. Perhaps you missed this in your own post.

    The post that John C should have pasted from the citizens advice bureau’s website is as follows. In the interests of continuity this has also been lifted from the website of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

    How a contract is made

    A contract is a legally binding agreement you enter into with the person selling you the goods, service or digital content. The contract is not finalised until certain legal actions have taken place.

    In law, making a contract contains several elements. The most important are the offer and the acceptance.

    Usually, you will make an offer to the trader to buy their goods. The trader will then accept your offer and you will have a contract. It can be difficult to know whether the trader has accepted your offer.

    Has the trader accepted your offer to buy?

    To work out whether the trader has accepted your offer, you’ll need to check the following:

    the wording of your confirmation email or letter. For example, it might specify that the trader has accepted your offer
    the terms and conditions. For example, they might say when acceptance takes place
    whether the goods have been sent out or the service has started – if they have, it would be safe to assume that the trader has accepted your offer
    if payment has been taken. If payment has been taken from you this does not necessarily mean acceptance has happened, but it could be a good indicator.

    —END—

    FAO John C, As you raise a FREE no obligation quote on our website and press the “confirm order” button you are making us an offer to buy. As you do this (we will process your order), the service starts. This is our acceptance of your offer. As a consumer you have now entered a legally binding contract with us. You are legally obligated to pay the booking fee and the cancellation charges in the event you decide to cancel. The terms and conditions apply in the event of late payment.

    John C, your posts are irresponsible and could end up costing people more money in the longer term especially if they believe the nonsense you write on this forum. I have no doubt that you’ll find a way to point the finger of blame in our direction though. At the end of the day, people are responsible for their own actions. Its just a shame people are easily influenced by posts similar to yours.

    The following link is from the CAB website.

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_different_ways_of_buying_e/consumer_buying_by_internet_mail_order_or_phone_e/how_a_distance_sale_contract_is_made.htm

    Mike

    • John C's Gravatar John C
      November 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      This is from Pinsent Mason’s website. Users can decide if they believe Pinsent Masons or FirstChoiceEPC.

      Incorporation of terms

      The terms and conditions on which the parties are contracting must be agreed by both parties and incorporated into the contract between them. Simply placing terms and conditions on a website is not enough to incorporate them into a contract: the parties must agree that they contract on the stated terms, and they must do so before (or at the same time as) becoming contractually bound.

      When dealing with customers of a website the seller must ensure that the ordering process requires the customers to read and agree to the seller’s terms and conditions. Best practice to ensure this is to include the terms and conditions as a separate page in the sales process and requiring the customer to acknowledge he has read and agreed them (for example, by clicking an ‘Agree’ button) before proceeding to place an order.

      However, to reduce the number of pages in the purchasing process, many websites use a different process, by placing a link to the terms and conditions from a page during the sales process, and requiring users to tick a checkbox to confirm that they are accepting those terms and conditions. Without ticking the checkbox users should not be able to proceed with the purchase. Underneath the checkbox users should then be offered buttons to click to proceed with the sale (for example ‘Purchase’ or ‘Buy Now’), but alongside this must be a button allowing them to withdraw from the sale (for example ‘Cancel’).

      You should avoid using words like ‘I have read, understand and accept the terms and conditions’ next to the checkbox. In the opinion of the Office of Fair Trading, you are then encouraging users to make undertakings that could be untrue (users can check the box without actually reading or understanding the conditions). Instead place a notice above the checkbox warning users that it is important to read and understand the terms before placing their order, and then use words such as “I accept the terms and conditions” beside the checkbox.

      • John C's Gravatar John C
        November 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        If FirstChoiceEPC are so sure that their sales process and late payment charges comply with all the necessary requirements, then why haven’t I been taken to court yet?

        • Jules's Gravatar Jules
          November 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Still amazes me that Chris Whatcott owner of firstchoiceepc believes he can change people’s view that he is an honourable, customer service, non-scam business by posting his replies here on this board which is essentially devoted entirely to unravel and advise people of what his scam business is about. Clearly he knows there is something wrong about his business as he spending an increasing amount of time here. People know about you now Chris, you are all over the Internet, u can hide behind your many schemes u have devised so u can try remain distant but u will and are getting caught out. It’s embarrasing for u that however u try to improve your standing, your misguided PR attempts fall flat.

          • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
            November 3, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Jules, First of all Chris Whatcott does not own FirstChoiceEPC.com. We spend so much time on the forum in the hope that people will ignore ill informed people like you and take independent legal advice before additional late payment charges are added. We continue to reiterate the importance of taking advice from trading standards rather than listen to people like you.

            Mike

      • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
        November 3, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        John C,

        It is true that in certain circumstances a tick box is required in order for the terms and conditions to be enforceable however, this isn’t one of those circumstances. An example of when a tick box is required could be when you are entering into a subscription based service.

        John C – Why don’t you just phone Trading Standards and publish your findings here ?? Your posts are misleading so many people. The number for trading standards is 03454 04 05 06.

        Your earlier post asked why you hadn’t received any court action yet. I can assure you that if money is owed, it will be pursued and collected. If you would like to tell me your order reference number i’ll expedite your case. We can then post the result in this public forum.

        Mike

        • John C's Gravatar John C
          November 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          If and when you take me to court, I guarantee you will lose.

          • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
            November 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            John C,

            That is not something you can guarantee. You do seem fairly convinced though so how about you tell me your order number and we’ll issue your CCJ within the next few days. If you’re right John C and we lose then you’ll be hailed a hero to many. Incidentally, this is the second time of asking.

            You see John C, terms of business exist for a reason. They exist to protect businesses such as ours. If they weren’t enforceable then there would be no point to their existence. I’ll let you think about that a little.

            Mike

        • John C's Gravatar John C
          November 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

          The number of cases that you have tells a story in itself. I’m sure you’ll look forward to attending each case at the court nearest to each the defendant.

          • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
            November 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            We won’t be attending John C. Thats what we pay solicitors for.

            John C – Did you phone trading standards regarding the issues discussed in your last post ? I think you owe it to anybody that has been following you on hear to at least post the truth.

            We are 100% upfront and honest about our business practice and we would appreciate the same in return.

            Mike

  110. TeeTeeUK's Gravatar TeeTeeUK
    November 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had a prompt response – ironic considering my email advising that I wouldn’t be confirming my order went unanswered. Todays email however got the following:

    Thank you for your email.

    What are you disputing exactly ?

    You ordered an Energy Performance Certificate from us on 03/09/2014 at 9:55 PM. You agreed to the service starting straight away and accepted the terms and conditions of the order. Our assessor (Mohammed Khan) contacted you on 04/09/2014 at 9:00 PM only to be told that you no longer require the EPC and have made alternative arrangements. The order was duly cancelled at your request however, a cancellation charge of £14.95 became payable at this point. Whilst we acknowledge your right to cancel, we also have a right to charge a cancellation fee for a service that has already started. The terms and conditions clearly outline the late payment charges that will be added in the event of late payment.

    There is nothing dubious or fraudulent about our business practice. Simply put, you entered into a contract with us and have broken said contract.

    We will issue a County Court Judgement next week and let a judge decide.

    Regards

    Mike

    Let’s await the papers!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 4, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Natasha Sampson,

      Thank you for your post.

      No such email to advise that you wouldn’t be confirming your order was received by us. Why would you send us an email to advise that you won’t be confirming your order. Surely if you were genuinely under the impression that you hadn’t confirmed your order then you would simply do nothing ?? I mean, i wouldn’t look at a product on Amazon or eBay and then email the seller to say that I won’t be proceeding with my purchase. The only time i would do that is if i wanted to exercise my right to cancel.

      There a lot of people saying they only enquired about the cost of an EPC (despite the price being shown in 2 areas prior to the confirm order button being shown) but nobody has denied pressing the “Confirm Order” button. Furthermore, nobody has offered an explanation as to what they interpreted this button to mean.

      The ordering process is very simple and straightforward.

      Your court papers will be with you early next week.

      Mike

  111. brynberian's Gravatar brynberian
    November 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I await a response to my comment of 31st October 2014 although it may be taken that your silence “tells a tale.”

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 3, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Apologies for not replying sooner although i am not sure what tale you think our lack of a reply tells ?? Please elaborate so we can help you further. We were asked where our address information can be found and the appropriate response was given. Our address information is available to view on the website.

      Mike

      • brynberian's Gravatar brynberian
        November 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        You were requested to provide details of your registered address in the UK and failed to provide this information. Apologies for my poor geography but I do not think a correspondence address in Southern Spain is a registered address in the UK.

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          No we didn’t. We simply advised where they could find the details. They are at the foot of the website.

  112. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 1, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    With respect to FirstChoiceEPC’s posts on this site, do people think that

    EITHER

    1. FirstChoiceEPC are concerned about users’ supposed debt building up to ridiculous levels? (which if legally valid, FirstChoiceEPC would collect after taking the matter to court and which would be higher than the initial cancellation fees)

    OR

    2. FirstChoiceEPC are trying to convince users to pay the late payment charges because FirstChoiceEPC know they are not legally enforceable?

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 3, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      John C,

      In actual fact, we would much prefer people pay when they are supposed to. If they don’t and we use additional resource collecting payment then it stands to reason that we will need to recover the cost associated with that resource.

      A lot of people have ignored our repeated requests for the booking fee and cancellation fees (£9.95 & £14.95). Why are these same people then so surprised when late payment charges are added ? Perhaps you can explain that one to me John C !!

      Mike

      • Unpaid DEA's Gravatar Unpaid DEA
        November 4, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Hi Mike,

        A very good point. People should pay what they owe. How about you pay me for the EPCs that I did for your company? You have never paid me, and have never replied to any emails or phone calls.; You promise to pay within 30 days, but never have.

        Do you have a response?

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Hi DEA,

          Have you emailed our accounts department regarding this ? Have you entered your account details into the control panel as requested ? Have the EPC’s been uploaded and invoices generated by the system ? Are you 100% sure the payment shouldn’t have been paid by the customer direct to you on the day of the appointment ?

          There are a number of reasons why your invoice might not have been paid yet. Please email our accounts department if you haven’t already done so.

          • Unpaid DEA's Gravatar Unpaid DEA
            November 5, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            I carried out 3 EPCs for you and uploaded the EPCs. I received “thank you” emails from you followed by the raised invoices from you. The references were EPCs 027805, 028232, 028042. I have replied to each of these emails this morning, so that you have the original emails that you sent. These were for payment by you, not the client.

            You promised to pay within 30 days, and have not done so. Please pay these invoices immediately, as they are now about 4 months old.

            I will happily come back on the forum and confirm that payment has been made once you have done so.

            Thanks.

  113. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    November 2, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I have just spoken to Action Fraud who are very helpful with advice on how to deal with First Choice EPC. They have asked me to spread the word and encourage as many people as possible to contact them about First Choice EPC so they can put your minds at rest too.
    ring 03001232040 or visit web site http://www.actionfraud.police.uk

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 3, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Jen,

      Another post by somebody who is misleading customers. Once again we will reiterate the importance of speaking to trading standards yourself and NOT be influenced by posts such as these.

      We were very concerned by your post so we called Action Fraud ourselves and spoke with a gentlemen by the name of Lawrence. He advised that we are not guilty of committing Fraud. In order for our actions to qualify as Fraud they need to fall into one of the 3 sections of the Fraud Act 2006. I have highlighted these below for your information.

      1. Fraud by misrepresentation – If we are charging for something that we do not make clear in the terms and conditions then we would be guilty of fraud.

      2. Withholding Information – If we withhold information then this would also be fraudulent. We make it very clear when the booking fee needs to be paid and we make it very clear about the cancellation charge that needs to be paid in the event you cancel your order after the service has already started.

      3. Abuse by Position – This doesn’t apply to our business type.

      Action fraud made it very clear that customers should be speaking with Trading Standards as this is a Civil issue and not a Criminal Issue. There made it very clear that no Fraud is taking place. You’ll understand when i say that this didn’t come as a surprise to me.

      Mike

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        November 4, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Delusional. I mean look at all the posts on this site. Not one supports your ‘facts’ it’s emabrrassing u continue to spew your nonsense. You prey on your customers. 100% certain the people on this site and the reason they are here posting what they post, categorically do not believe the sham words your write. You called action fraud? I bet as your alias Mike. U do everything in a undercover nature because your name on the Internet is already so so bad.

        As John C says in his numerous posts.. All your threats have come to nothing. No court will support such activity.

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Jules,

          We have responded to every post honestly.

          Would you be so kind as to explain what it is you think we are doing that is illegal or how people can misunderstand the meaning of the “Confirm Order” button.

          In our view and the view shared by our solicitors, this is the clearest call to action any business can ever have. Unless there is a alternative meaning to the words “Confirm Order” i am not so sure what else you expect us to do.

          Mike

  114. Dav's Gravatar Dav
    November 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I ve just emailed BBC watchdog and my local paper as my elderly father has also have managed to get myself stupidly involved with horrible company who are demanding 189.95 in 7 days or 439.95 if he don’t pay all for thinking he was getting a free quote it’s a scam, do not pay up!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Hi Dav,

      Can you confirm if your father pressed the “Confirm Order” button and then subsequently cancelled his order with us ?

      Regards

      Mike

      • Dav's Gravatar Dav
        November 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Hi, do you have a telephone number where you can be contacted on and/or a office address I can visit to discuss this matter further?

        • Jules's Gravatar Jules
          November 6, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          Unfortunately Dav, he doesn’t deal with customers by telephone, and his so called correspondence address is Spain! He hides behind the net and email because he knows he is scamming customers yet he pretends that he is being honest by posting his replies here as he knows he is guilty but needs to convince others he is not. His website is used simply as a vehicle to obtain payments surreptitiously.

  115. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 5, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    The bigger picture is that the existence of legislation and guidance around consumer contracts and distance selling, including making sure terms and conditions are read and understood by consumers is designed to protect consumers from unfair businesses.

    A judge will ask:

    1. Has the consumer been protected here?

    Answer is clearly NO.

    2. Has the consumer read and understood the terms and conditions?

    Answer is clearly NO because no consumers would agree to the terms and conditions if they had indeed read them.

    3. In any event, are the terms and conditions fair?

    Answer is clearly NO. For example, no business can unilaterally impose £10,000 fines.

    4. Are the terms and conditions enforceable?

    Answer is clearly NO because of the above reasons.

    With respect to CCJs, these are issued by county courts after a judge rules in favour of a claimant. A judge is clearly not going to rule in favour of this claimant.

    With respect to using solicitors, any solicitor will realise your business has no chance of winning in a court but will happily collect your fees (though I am sure they will then have to pursue you for unpaid invoices like the DEAs)

    With respect to providing my “order details”, I do not have an order because I have neither a contract nor an order with FirstChoiceEPC, despite pressing various keys on FirstChoiceEPC’s website.

    In order to expedite claims against FirstChoiceEPC, why don’t you confirm your name and UK address on this website?

  116. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    November 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Do not Touch this firm with a bargepole.
    Do not pay them a penny.
    Con men.
    I have just contacted action fraud as advised above. I advise everyone to do the same.

    This company should be shut down. Total fraudsters.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi Barry,

      Thank you for your comments however baseless they might be.

      I am assuming that Action Fraud have advised you that no Fraud has been committed ??

      You ordered from our website on 4th November. As you ordered via the website you accepted the terms of the order which included the cancellation fee in the event of cancellation. Your order started / was processed to a local assessor (within 0.43 miles of your property to be exact). The assessor made contact with you and you advised him that you already had an EPC and was cancelling your order however, the reason you gave us for cancelling was because of feedback seen on this forum.

      We have so far applied a cancellation charge of £14.95. If this remains outstanding then late payment charges will be added. We have advised you of this in separate email correspondence which has been acknowledged by you. You have so far refused to pay the cancellation fee preferring to use the words “I will see you in court”.

      I would emphasise at this point that we acknowledge your right to cancel however, as a business we also have the right to charge a cancellation fee for a service that has already started.

      We have advised you to take independent legal advice and to speak with trading standards but you have categorically said in an email to us that you are not interested in doing this. You can imagine my surprise when i saw your feedback confirming that you have spoken with action fraud rather than trading standards. This course of action defies logic in my opinion. In any event, no fraud has been committed and action fraud will have most likely advised the same.

      We have no desire to charge anymore than what is owed. No good can come from refusing to pay the cancellation charge. At the end of the day, you accepted the terms when you placed the order. It is as though you feel the terms and conditions are unenforceable. I can assure you this is not the case.

      Unfortunately, this is a well travelled road for us with customers refusing to pay the initial cancellation fee and then complaining on forums such as this when late payment charges are added. The service we offer has proved valuable to so many. You don’t have to pay anything until an assessor has made contact with you and you have agreed an appointment. You can then pay for the EPC on the day of the appointment. A small booking fee is payable to ourselves once the appointment is confirmed in order to safeguard against fake orders.

      I am disappointed that you have chosen this course of action.

      Regards
      Mike

  117. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    November 6, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    My husband now owes 439.95 for a EPC that he cancelled after reading these reviews, how can that be right? When no service has been received!! No emails just a random letter weeks later with no phone number to discuss it, Its got to be a scam I have also contacted watchdog Dav and got a reply back asking more details so I’m hopeful they look into it further to warn others if nothing else and track down this rogue company.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 7, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Hi Laura,

      All customers are given every opportunity to pay the initial £14.95 cancellation fee. The late payment fees are mentioned in the terms and conditions. If you speak with trading standards you will realise that we are entitled to charge a cancellation fee for a service that has already started. The cancellation fee was £14.95 however, late payment charges have now been added as a consequence of late payment. Did you read the terms and conditions before confirming your order ?

      Mike

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 7, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Hi Laura,

      Please let me have your order number or email it to me so that i can look into your order in more detail. I am concerned that you said no emails have been received and just want to make sure they were sent. In the meantime, can you check your spam / junk folders.

      I will not publish any of your personal contact information on this forum. You can email us if you prefer.

      Joan

      • Laura's Gravatar Laura
        November 7, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Hi Joan I am not putting my email address on here but if you give me a phone number I will be happy to phone you or even better a office address and i will drop everything and come to meet you

        Regards

        Laura

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 8, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          Laura,

          If you read our post again then you’ll realise that I haven’t suggested in any way shape or form that you post your email address on this forum.

          Do you think its possible although as a business we provide all of the legally required pre contract contract information that perhaps people aren’t reading it properly ?!

          Josh

          • Laura's Gravatar Laura
            November 8, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

            Can you just give me a phone number please to discuss my payment? Surely any normal business has a phone number and a office, this matter has put me right off using Internet for buying things, once I ve spoken to you I will be happy to pay up if I owe you money even if it is 400 pound for pressing a button(i won’t make this mistake again) just I want peace of mind first and to close this situation

            Regards

            Laura

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      John C,

      Once again you have shown yourself to be as uninformed today as you were yesterday, the day before and the day before that. Terms and conditions do not need to be sent in a durable form / medium if the cost of the service is below £42. The cost of the EPC is £39.95 however, we are increasing our fees and as a consequence we will be sending the terms in a durable medium. You will understand that these will be sent after the consumer has confirmed their order (after the event) as required by law. You see John, in law the consumer is deemed to have read the terms and conditions prior to the terms being sent in a durable form (as advised by trading standards). The idea of sending the terms in a durable form is so the consumer has proof that the terms have not been altered. Nothing needs to be agreed post contract as long as the terms supplied by durable medium are the same terms that were agreed at the time of placing the order.

      The online contract is established on the very simple principal of offer and acceptance. The consumer offers to buy an EPC for £39.95 (as at the time of writing) and we accept the consumers offer when we process the order and the service starts.

      In any event, the terms and conditions are clearly shown on our website which as you point out is a requirement or would be if the price of the product was £42 or more.

      I would suggest that if you ask the right question of trading standards you will get the correct answer.

      Your suggestion that as a trader we would need to prove that the consumer has read the terms and conditions prior to confirming an order is nonsense and would invalidate 100% of online contracts. The only requirement is to make them available to the consumer. This said however, we have now added a line of text above the confirm order button which specifically says as follows:

      “Please press the confirm order button below to accept our terms and complete your order”.

      The word terms is a hyperlink which will open a separate page to our terms and conditions page. We have made this change in part because we are listening to the feedback received. We also wanted to test just how much of a difference this would make to the “average” consumer. The answer came in the form of Barry Catto who posted on this forum on 5th November at 2:41pm. Mr Catto was one of many customers who confirmed his order following our change and is one of many who have then proceeded to cancel his order and post a negative review on here. Mr Catto has refused to pay the £14.95 cancellation fee. As a business what would you have us do next John C ? Are we within our rights to add late payment charges and eventually pursue the matter through the County Court as we are doing or should we simply do nothing ??

      By the way, I am still waiting for you to confirm your order number so we can expedite what you owe our business. I only say this so that you can post the courts decision on here. Unless of course there is a reason why you wouldn’t want this to go to court 😉

      It seems ignorance is no defence especially when it comes to defendants claiming to have only visited our website for a quote and had no idea that by clicking the “Confirm Order” button they were … errr …. confirming an order !!

      John C & all other forum contributors, We are very much open to listening to your feedback and will act upon your feedback if we can identify an area that requires improvement. With almost 5,000 EPC’s under our belt we have to also consider the feedback of those who managed to use the service without any of the issues many of you report on this forum. Our end goal is to find a balance that works for all.

      Mike

  118. D C's Gravatar D C
    November 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know why the money came out of my account straight away when it states that the payment will not be taken until the survey is done and Iwould be contacted within 28 days, and still I am waiting for someone to contact me over a month later?
    I am lucky if I get an automatic reply to my emails, so it seems you have made the cancellation, so not only would I like the money you stole from my account (as you stated it is not taken till the survey is booked, and no one has contacted me) I would like a cancellation fee from First Choice EPC/EPC Local.net or whatever you are calling yourself….
    As you seem to reply to messages on here but not my emails, it seems this is the way to find out ??????

  119. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 7, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    The paragraph below is taken from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills publication “Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Charges) Regulations”

    It is of direct relevance to the FirstChoiceEPC cancellation fee situation that some users are experiencing.

    [search the above and it will be a pdf on the http://www.gov.uk website]

    Section D. Application to Distance Sellers

    I am an online trader selling to consumers. What do I need to know?

    6. You must make information on main characteristics, total price (including any delivery or other charges), and if applicable the minimum duration of any obligation and how to terminate, clear and prominent, directly before the consumer places their order.

    The important points include

    a) …you must make information…

    b) …on total price (including other charges)…[e.g. cancellation charges]

    c) …clear and prominent…

    d) …directly before the consumer places their order.

    Note the words DIRECTLY BEFORE i.e. cancellation charges and late payment fees can not merely be stated on a separate page of terms and conditions.

    There is absolutely no way that a judge or solicitor will interpret the FirstChoiceEPC cancellation charges and late payment fees being stated on a separate page of terms and conditions with no link and no check box during the devious and shambolic sales process as being DIRECTLY BEFORE.

    This is entirely consistent with Pinsent Masons interpretation.

    END OF.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 7, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      John C,

      Your interpretation of the information you are reading is incorrect. Not for the first time. There is no legal requirement for us to mention anything about the cancellation fee before the confirmation of an order. Your consumer rights are designed to protect you when buying goods and services and there is no requirement for this information to made available prior to the order. This is why online businesses have terms and conditions.

      I would now ask you for the 4th time to speak with Trading Standards and then post their view here. You are misleading members of this forum and that is unfair. Why are you avoiding this suggestion ? Perhaps you already have and didn’t like what you heard. The only conclusion i can draw from this is that you are so hell bent on destroying the reputation of our business that you will deliberately post information with a very one sided view and that is largely untrue.

      John C – We had our first successful CCJ’s awarded in our favour yesterday which just goes to show once again that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      I will once again advise anybody uncertain about their rights to speak directly with Trading Standards.

      END OF.

      • James's Gravatar James
        November 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        It just goes to show the language u use to get your point across is as professional as your business…. not! Customers arriving here are angry. You are here trying to turn the tide and get your dishonest point across. Treating them like this is not helping you. It only reinforces the resolve of the people caught up in your scheme. U will be found out. Christopher, Mike, Daniel, whatever you are called as you are hiding behind your shell of a company with no provided numbers…. scam scam.

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 8, 2014 at 12:17 am | Permalink

          James,

          I hear what you are saying however, you’ll understand when I say that it gets a little frustrating reading the same old baseless accusations. Even in your post you have suggested that we are “trying to get our dishonest point across” but you don’t elaborate as to why you feel we are dishonest. You speak of us as being found out but don’t elaborate beyond that. In closing you refer to us as being a scam business but again, provide no basis for your accusations.

          I am yet to hear from anybody who can add validity to the accusations. Can you James ?

          We are not here to turn the tide as you say. We are merely trying to reply to as many of the posts as possible. If people have concerns then we want to address those concerns. We have completed on almost 5,000 EPC’s since launch and have many happy customers. We’re clearly doing something right.

          Mike

  120. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    November 7, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    It is very apparent that the person from First Choice EPC is not a professional just by their terminology and manner, please, to all of the people who are being harassed by this individual, report him to Action Fraud, and don’t be drawn into further discussion. Any legitimate organisation would not correspond with people in this way, this person will be caught (by the more complaints that are reported) and end up in court himself for fraud.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sarah,

      If we were guilty of committing a Crime then we would expect to be hauled before a judge and given an appropriate sentence. However, we are not guilty of committing an offence in any way shape or form. We comply entirely with the law.

      There are lots of posts dedicated to accusing us of this that or the other but not one of these posts has highlighted what it is you feel we are doing that is so wrong.

      I have myself spoken with action fraud (as indicated in an earlier post) and they are themselves confident that we are not committing fraud. The main reason is because all of the conditions relating to the order are mentioned in our terms and conditions. Instead of encouraging others to report us to action fraud why don’t you report us and post your findings as an update to this post. Your accusations are baseless and of of no help to anybody.

      I consider myself to be professional in all of my business dealings however, there is only so much I will tolerate. Sully our name if it makes you feel better. I would just rather your posts were based on facts and not assumptions.

      You have simply jumped on the bandwagon of other negative reviews. You have brought nothing new to the forum and have only demonstrated to be as ignorant and lacking in common sense as many other contributors before you. If this kind of language makes me sound unprofessional then so be it.

      If anybody is in any way concerned about our business practice then they should contact trading standards. This is advice that i reiterate over and over again. For your information, their number is 03454 04 05 06.

      Regards
      Mike

  121. Jimbo's Gravatar Jimbo
    November 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks guys! So glad I did my homework on this company before I made the mistake of giving them my card details. Any company who charge hidden fees to cancel even within 14 days and crazy amounts weeks later is not fair a customer first company even if it is legal to which I doubt it is so I’m thankful to find this site before I was the next victim
    I mentioned them to my local estate agent and they had heard about them already so word is getting around so keep up good work 🙂

  122. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I have spoken with Trading Standards and their comments are as follows :

    “Under the Infornation, Cancellation Rights and Charges Regulations, for terms and conditions to apply to a contract, there is a burden of proof upon the Seller to prove that the Consumer has read the terms and conditions which must be in a durable form (e.g. a page of terms and conditions on the web-site or an e-mail to the Consumer) prior to entering the contract. If the Seller can not prove this, the terms that the Seller wishes to incorporate into the contract are defined as express terms which need to be agreed between the Seller and Consumer after the contract has been entered into.

    In other words

    a) merely stating the terms and conditions on a page in the website is not sufficient to incorporate the terms and conditions into the contract.

    b) for the cancellation fees and late payment charges to apply, FirstChoiceEPC need to either

    i) prove the Consumers have read them prior to entering the contract

    CLEARLY, THIS CAN NOT BE PROVEN

    Or

    ii) agree the terms and conditions after the contract has been entered into

    CLEARLY, THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED

  123. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I have spoken with Trading Standards and their comments are as follows :

    “Under the Infornation, Cancellation Rights and Charges Regulations, for terms and conditions to apply to a contract, there is a burden of proof upon the Seller to prove that the Consumer has read the terms and conditions which must be in a durable form (e.g. a page of terms and conditions on the web-site or an e-mail to the Consumer) prior to entering the contract. If the Seller can not prove this, the terms that the Seller wishes to incorporate into the contract are defined as express terms which need to be agreed between the Seller and Consumer after the contract has been entered into.”

    In other words

    a) merely stating the terms and conditions on a page in the website is not sufficient to incorporate the terms and conditions into the contract.

    b) for the cancellation fees and late payment charges to apply, FirstChoiceEPC need to either

    i) prove the Consumers have read them prior to entering the contract

    CLEARLY, THIS CAN NOT BE PROVEN

    Or

    ii) agree the terms and conditions after the contract has been entered into

    CLEARLY, THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 8, 2014 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      John Coomber,

      Once again you have shown yourself to be as uninformed today as you were yesterday, the day before and the day before that. Terms and conditions do not need to be sent in a durable form / medium if the cost of the service is below £42. The cost of the EPC is £39.95 however, we are increasing our fees and as a consequence we will be sending the terms in a durable medium. You will understand that these will be sent after the consumer has confirmed their order (after the event) as required by law. You see John, in law the consumer is deemed to have read the terms and conditions prior to the terms being sent in a durable form (as advised by trading standards). The idea of sending the terms in a durable form is so the consumer has proof that the terms have not been altered. Nothing needs to be agreed post contract as long as the terms supplied by durable medium are the same terms that were agreed at the time of placing the order.

      The online contract is established on the very simple principal of offer and acceptance. The consumer offers to buy an EPC for £39.95 (as at the time of writing) and we accept the consumers offer when we process the order and the service starts.

      In any event, the terms and conditions are clearly shown on our website which as you point out is a requirement or would be if the price of the product was £42 or more.

      I would suggest that if you ask the right question of trading standards you will get the correct answer.

      Your suggestion that as a trader we would need to prove that the consumer has read the terms and conditions prior to confirming an order is nonsense and would invalidate 100% of online contracts. The only requirement is to make them available to the consumer. This said however, we have now added a line of text above the confirm order button which specifically says as follows:

      “Please press the confirm order button below to accept our terms and complete your order”.

      The word terms is a hyperlink which will open a separate page to our terms and conditions page. We have made this change in part because we are listening to the feedback received. We also wanted to test just how much of a difference this would make to the “average” consumer. The answer came in the form of Barry Catto who posted on this forum on 5th November at 2:41pm. Mr Catto was one of many customers who confirmed his order following our change and is one of many who have then proceeded to cancel his order and post a negative review on here. Mr Catto has refused to pay the £14.95 cancellation fee. As a business what would you have us do next John C ? Are we within our rights to add late payment charges and eventually pursue the matter through the County Court as we are doing or should we simply do nothing ??

      By the way, I am still waiting for you to confirm your order number so we can expedite what you owe our business. I only say this so that you can post the courts decision on here. Unless of course there is a reason why you wouldn’t want this to go to court 😉

      It seems ignorance is no defence especially when it comes to defendants claiming to have only visited our website for a quote and had no idea that by clicking the “Confirm Order” button they were … errr …. confirming an order !!

      John C & all other forum contributors, We are very much open to listening to your feedback and will act upon your feedback if we can identify an area that requires improvement. With almost 5,000 EPC’s under our belt we have to also consider the feedback of those who managed to use the service without any of the issues many of you report on this forum. Our end goal is to find a balance that works for all.

      Mike

  124. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 9, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    So now Trading Standards are talking nonsense. To be clear, the comment about traders needing to prove consumers have read the terms and conditions is not my interpretation but a statement from Trading Standards.

    Would it invalidate 100% of online contracts? No because most legitimate websites can prove this.

    How can that be proved? An example is ticking a checkbox to say “I have read etc”. Therefore if FirstChoiceEPC are really taking user comments seriously that is another step out of many that could be taken.

    Why have FirstChoiceEPC put the statement “Please press the confirm order button below to accept our terms and complete your order.” Because FirstChoicEPC know that without that statement, the terms do not form part of the contract. To be clear though, this is a necessary but not sufficient condition. i.e. more needs to be done.

    In summary, FitstChoiceEPC’s view is everyone including Trading Standards are talking nonsense. However, FirstChoiceEPC are a whiter than white organisation and all the regulations do not apply to them.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 9, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      No John C we are not suggesting that Trading Standards are talking nonsense but your interpretation of what your are hearing is nonsense. It is quite possible that you are NOT asking the correct question(s). In your defence however, it does seem to depend upon who you speak with at Trading Standards. I will reiterate again, there is no requirement in law or otherwise for us to provide a tick box or even a statement confirming that the consumer has accepted the terms and conditions. The only requirement is that we have made “reasonable” attempts to bring the terms and conditions to the attention of the consumer. In other words, they need to be accessible form the website. We had done this previously and we continue to do this by virtue of the amended line of text and the hyperlink to the terms and conditions. In the case of Mr Barry Catto and others since, it has made no difference whatsoever. The inclusion of a tick box would not make any difference either. Some people simply do not read terms and conditions. Incidentally, Mr Barry Catto still hasn’t paid the late payment charge of £14.95 as a consequence of your posts and next week a late payment charge of £50 will be added to his account.

      Are we wrong for pursuing what is rightfully owed to our business as per the terms and conditions or in the case of Mr Catto would you still say that we are being unfair ?

      I would suggest you make another call to trading standards and ask them one question per call. The first question you should ask is whether it is a legal requirement for an online business to have a tick box in order for the terms and conditions of an agreement to be enforceable. If the answer is yes then i would ask that you request to speak with a supervisor as you have been advise the opposite. I would be grateful if you will publish the answer here.

      We are meeting with trading standards next week with a view to obtaining something in writing from them that confirms we are acting in full accordance with the law. The uncertainty that you promote on here is proving to be too time consuming for all and contributes to peoples decision to do nothing and consequently end up paying more in late fees than was necessary.

      You have made a suggestion in your previous post that we are not legitimate but have failed once again to provide any proof in support of your accusation.

      Matt

  125. Big Basher's Gravatar Big Basher
    November 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mike,Matt,Joan,Chris Whatcott or whatever

    i want to pay my ‘£400 fine’ in cash so what time will you be in your office and we will pop in to sort it out

    Regards

  126. Francisco's Gravatar Francisco
    November 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Itss such as you read my mind! You seem to undferstand so much
    about this, such as you wrotee the book in it or something.
    I think that you simply could do with some percent to force the message home a little
    bit, however other than that, that is excellent blog.
    A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  127. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    There is an interesting paragraph from the publication, “Off-premises sales – after 13 June 2014” which is available on Business Companion, a government-backed website whose strap line is “trading standards law explained”

    The sentence “you cannot charge any cancellation fees” is particularly interesting.

    “EFFECTS OF WITHDRAWAL OR CANCELLATION

    If a consumer withdraws from a contract or exercises their right to cancel, both your and their obligations under the contract are ended. In addition you must reimburse the consumer all that he has paid you, including any original delivery costs (you cannot charge any cancellation fees).”

    No doubt FirstChoiceEPC will argue that either this is nonsense or this does not apply to them!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I will tell you it is nonsense John C because it is nonsense. We are entitled to charge a cancellation fee where the service has already started. See the following which is shown at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

      When you buy a service, such as broadband or a mobile phone contract by distance sale, the law says you can usually cancel your contract within a cooling-off period. A distance sale is when you buy something without face-to face contact, for example on the internet, by phone, mail order or through the TV.

      Sometimes, if you agree for the service to start straight away or within the next 14 days, you lose your right to a cooling-off period or you may have to pay for the service supplied before you cancel.

      This page tells you more about when you lose the right to cancel, what you may have to pay and how long the cooling-off period lasts.

      Part of a service is carried out during the cooling-off period

      If you specifically ask for the service to start straight away or within the next 14 days and you were informed about the conditions, time period and procedures for cancelling and also that you may have to pay reasonable costs if you cancel, then you will have to pay for the part of the service which has been supplied, when you cancel.

      Example

      Moray orders a broadband service over the internet which starts the following day at his request. He receives an email within seconds of ordering explaining his right to cancel the order, after-sales information and where to write with complaints.

      Moray will have the right to cancel until the end of 14 days starting the day after he placed his order. As he asked for the service to start during the cooling-off period he will have to pay a proportional amount up until he lets the company know he is cancelling.

      Hope this helps you to understand now John C. I do have a feeling we’ll end up going around the houses for some time yet though 🙂

      Matt

      • John C's Gravatar John C
        November 10, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        The particular example that FirstChoiceEPC have given is for broadband and telephone contracts where it is clear that a service has started and the consumer has benefitted from that.

        If no service has been provided by FirstChoiceEPC, then no cancellation charges can be made by FirstChoiceEPC.

        If every organisation could get round the regulations that say “you cannot charge cancellation fees” by claiming the service has started (when it clearly has not) then there would be no point in having that piece of regulation.

        What FirstChoiceEPC do not seem to realise is that the regulations have been written to protect consumers. However, FirstChoiceEPC seem to think that the regulations have been designed to protect organisations such FirstChoiceEPC from unscrupulous customers looking to take advantage of them.

        FirstChoiceEPC can choose whatever way to interpret the regulations. But a county court judge (if it gets that far) as well as interpreting the regulations that are designed to protect consumers, will look through to the spirit of the regulations in order to make a decision.

        The conclusion should be obvious to everyone apart from FirstChoiceEPC.

  128. James Ellison's Gravatar James Ellison
    November 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Wow this guy “Mike” Just doesn’t get it does he? We are well informed mate and your lack of professionalism and arguments are not upheld what so ever.

    I like how you hide behind posts on this forum and emails and don’t have the balls to post a phone number on this site so people can actually ring you up and speak to you about their orders, no company that is worth anything doesn’t have a phone number.

    Have you taken anyone to court? NO…. would you win…. Clearly not…..

    You didn’t even want my cheque for £10,000 for posting nasty things about your website on here.

    Mike, do us all a favour and f@ck off, we are all sick of emails demanding money that is not owed.

    You won’t even post your name or phone number.

    It really has gone far enough.

    If you have paid, claim the money back through your credit card, then add info@firstchoiceepc.com to your junk email and set it to delete. They will not call you up or write to you the guys is spineless and a fraud.

    Hopefully this will ruin his scam and put him out of business, the more charge backs he gets the worst his rating will be.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      James,

      You are clearly not as well informed as you think you are. I am yet to see a post that supports the accusations. We are fully aware of our rights its just a shame the contributors of this forum aren’t.

      Its really not a question of having the “balls” as you put it but more about being an internet business. Lots of internet based businesses don’t have phone numbers. If you’d like a call from me then please let me have your number and i’ll call you without delay.

      Have you taken anyone to court? YES…. did we win?…. Obviously yes….. Why ? because the law protects law abiding businesses and helps enforce the terms and conditions of the agreement between the 2 parties.

      You didn’t even want my cheque for £10,000 for posting nasty things about your website on here…… Mainly because we don’t know who you are ??!!

      Mike, do us all a favour and f@ck off, we are all sick of emails demanding money that is not owed. If you placed and order, entered into a contract with us then you’ll find that those terms are enforceable.

      Merchants services are in support of businesses that play by the rules.

      Another accusation of us being a scam business which has no merit in the absence of proof !

      I bet you’re the type of guy that would blame your late homework on the dog 😉

      Own it James !!

      • James Ellison's Gravatar James Ellison
        November 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Mike,

        How are you? How’s things chap? Business Bad? Good!

        You still seem to be hiding behind the we are an “internet only” business well if you were a Proper business or you had a call centre (you used to but they got tired of answering the phone to complaints from people who were very unhappy) I have emailed you my number and you haven’t called me, oh wait were you the withheld one I missed?

        Come off it mate, you haven’t chased anyone through the courts and if you did then people would rally round and get your case thrown out.

        You know who I am I have an order with you which you failed to deliver, like many of the others that are posting things on here!

        Own it? You’re the owner chap now shut the site, stop harassing people and think of a new Sensible business, scamming people is not a Business.

  129. Unpaid DEA's Gravatar Unpaid DEA
    November 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Further to post 113, I emailed you the copies of the emails that you sent to me, promising to pay me, but you haven’t paid me and haven’t replied, either to my email address, or to the post, but you have replied to subsequent posts, so it would be reasonable to assume that you are aware of my reply to you on post 113 and also to your email address.

    I can only assume what any reasonable person would assume, that you do not intend to pay me, and maybe never had any intention of paying me.

    Do you have any further comments?

  130. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    November 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m so pleased I googled last choice epc before I fell into their trap as well thanks for the info people I will just ring a local firm for a fair service not some scam artists 🙂

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 12, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your feedback Carol. We are not scam artists and there is no evidence supporting your accusation.

  131. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    In the same website that FirstChoiceEPC refer to in post 128, adviceguide.org.uk, there is a page called, “Extra rights to information when you buy electronically – distance sales”

    Half-way down the page it says “If you order online….

    If the trader has not provided a facility that allows you to identify and correct any errors made when inputting the order, you can end (rescind) the contract.”

    The purpose of this step is it makes users stop and check that you really wish to place the order. A good example is on the Amazon website. A box on the top right says “Continue – you can review this order before it’s final.” After you click this box, it says “Buy now”. Even after you click this, you can cancel at no charge.

    Now, let’s consider some questions:

    1. Have FirstChoiceEPC provided a facility to identify and correct any errors when inputting the order?

    2. If FirstChoiceEPC have not provided this facility, why do users think they have not provided it?

    3. If FirstChoiceEPC have not provided this facility, can users end the contract?

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 12, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      More nonsense from JohnC. Can’t wait for tomorrows instalment 🙂

      We are are single product website and such a condition does not apply. Furthermore, you can only order one EPC per order so the possibility of ordering more than you intended to has been removed.

      We do however provide customers with an option to review and correct any contact information.

      It is interesting how you make reference to the Amazon website. Did you know that by placing you order you are agreeing to their terms and conditions. There isn’t a requirement for the customer to tick a box accepting the t&c’s before the order can be processed. I think you should email Amazon without delay and point out where they are going wrong. I should think you’re an expert on the subject by now … !!

      Once again John C your interpretation of consumer law leaves a lot be desired. The expression clutching at straws springs to mind.

      5th of asking but how about letting me have your order number so that we can progress with a claim in the county court. Not quite sure why you are avoiding this. Could it be because you know you don’t have leg to stand on.

      Chat tomorrow JohnC !

      Matt

  132. Andymac's Gravatar Andymac
    November 11, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    First choice epc are scammers that do not come up with the services they offer after they have taken your money. I paid for an epc and didn’t get it in the 28 days stated in terms and conditions so I’ve called my credit card company and asked for a chargeback.

    Anthony Peplar does not answer to emails…

    NO PHONE NUMBER= SCAMMER

    DONT USE FIRST CHOICE !!!!!!,!,

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 12, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      AndyMac,

      We have repeatedly emailed you asking for your CORRECT number so that we can arrange an appointment. What else would you have us do ?

      Matt

  133. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    November 12, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    You are going to end up getting closed down. You are a criminal and a bully. Any judge reading this forum will see this, and see that your correspondence and interaction is very unprofessional, threatening, and appalling business practice. Please post your correct address and phone number where all of your unhappy customers can confront you directly (I’m betting you don’t as predictably, most bullies are also cowards).

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Sarah,

      Accusation after accusation all in the absence of factual information that proves anything you are saying to be true. This isn’t us being unprofessional we are merely stating that facts that are so obvious.

      In your earlier post you advised people to report us to action fraud but don’t say why. I am inviting you in this open forum to explain in detail why it is you think we are guilty of a crime. I am guessing your response will be more of the same. If you can identify just one area of our business practice that is unlawful then i’d be happy to hear it.

      Lets hear something that has merit please Sarah so we can feel as tough we are progressing towards a solution.

      Do you honestly think that if we were doing anything wrong we’d still be trading today ??!!

      Matt

      • John C's Gravatar John C
        November 14, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        The guy at FirstChoiceEPC is basically a liar. He makes claims on these posts that are simply not true. According to him, none of the distance sales regulations apply to FirstChoiceEPC. In fact, many of the regulations have been written to protect consumers from scam outfits like FirstChoiceEPC.

        One of the reasons he is posting on here is to try to convince people to pay his ridiculous late payment fees and escalating charges.

        If he thought these could be claimed in a county court by his solicitors, he would be making outlandish claims on these posts. He mentioned “clutching st straws” in a post 132. That really is IRONY!

  134. Frankie's Gravatar Frankie
    November 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    NEVER GET INVOLVED WITH FIRSTCHOICEEPC.COM it has terrible reviews, sneaky terms and conditions for customers, fails to pay its DEAs, I could list more, overall is a terrible outfit! Stay well clear and warn others! ! !

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 13, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Frankie,

      And our evidence is ?????

      Matt

  135. Andymac's Gravatar Andymac
    November 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I have not received any emails from First Choice Epc asking for my phone number .The funny thing is every email I have sent you has my phone number attached to it so don’t try and wriggle out of it.

    WHY DONT YOU GIVE ME A UK PHONE NUMBER SO I CAN PHONE YOU INSTEAD OF MESSING ME ABOUT ?????????????????

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Whats your order number Andymac and i will call you myself tomorrow.

      Mike

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        November 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        I mean what sort of business is run from a complaints forum??? You should know your customers by now are trying to call you. Yet you spend your time ignoring them.

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          We’re not running the business form a forum Jules. We’re merely trying to understand what it is people think we are doing that is so terribly wrong.

          • Jules's Gravatar Jules
            November 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            What!? You still don’t understand why people are posting their complaints here in this forum? What are u doing on here then if u are failing to understand what every customer that has fallen in your trap are saying about your scam?

            Can someone anyone post any UK phone number that firstchoiceepc can be reached on?

      • Andymac's Gravatar Andymac
        November 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        You know what my phone number is as it was on every email I’ve sent to yours selfs!!!!!!!
        OH YOU DIDNT REPLY TO MY EMAILS DID YOU !!!!!!!!!

        Your one man band company is a shambles ,you cheating scammer ,you should be put in prison for what your doing……

        • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
          November 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          What is it you “think” we’re doing Andymac. Please send your email to me again with the word Andymac in the subject line and I will make sure it receives my urgent attention. I apologise if your emails have not been answered in the past. As far as i am aware, all customer emails are responded to.

          • andymac's Gravatar andymac
            November 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            AS I WAITED MORE THAN 28 DAYS FOR AN EPC OFF YOUR COMPANY AND DIDNT EVEN RECEIVE A PHONE CALL FROM A DEA. I PAID FOR ONE FROM ANOTHER COMPANY AND RECEIVED THE EPC REPORT IN 3 DAYS ,SO I WOULD LIKE A FULL REFUND AS FIRST CHOICE EPC COULD NOT EVEN SORT AN EPC OUT IN 28 DAYS AS STATED IN TERMS AND CONDITIONS.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • I've been ripped off by first choice epc's Gravatar I've been ripped off by first choice epc
            November 25, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            First choice should give every customer they have ripped off a full refund with none of the bullshit 14.95 cancellation charge.
            First Choice EPC should stop trading as they are CON outfit who don’t even have a contact phone number ????

            By !!!!!!!!!!!!COWBOYS!!!!!!!

  136. Unpaid DEA (still)'s Gravatar Unpaid DEA (still)
    November 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Reference my previous posts 113 and 130. Interesting that First Choice EPC have not paid me, despite his invite to contact him, and he has not replied to my emails, nor replied on this forum.

    I guess we can all make our own minds up about whether he ever intended to pay.

    Readers may be interested in the following link:

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

    Do you still not have any comments about why you have not paid me for work that you asked me do for you, that I have done and supplied to you, and for which which you have acknowledged receipt, and promised to pay?

    Or are you just a thief?

    Prove me wrong

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Did you read the terms and conditions when you started doing work for us ???

      Matt

      • Unpaid DEA's Gravatar Unpaid DEA
        November 14, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        Go on then, please explain. What term and condition have I apparently broken?
        You offered me the EPCs to do, I accepted the jobs, I sent you the EPCs, You asked me to register my bank account details, which I did, you sent me two emails, the first acknowledging the receipt by yourself of the EPC, and the second advising that payment would be sent within 30 days.

        So far that seems to me like you are happy with what I have done for you. Is this not the case?

        Please advise me what specifically in the terms and conditions you are referring to.

  137. Aaron's Gravatar Aaron
    November 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    He won’t give a number because he isn’t running a legitimate business. Any normal, rational company is transparent and will do the utmost to protect their reputation and treat customers fairly, not con them out of money in such a way. This person isn’t transparent and it’s very apparent in all their dealings, in additional, the terminology they use is clearly not that of a professional. Anyone can see this. It’s also ridiculous that they keep refereeing to ‘departments’, when there’s only one person (probably sat in a shed somewhere), who is in this ‘company’.

    Can anyone post on here if they’ve been taken to court or had any written, postal correspondence?

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Aaron, You refer to us as being a con but without evidence, your accusation is entirely baseless and without merit. If you look through the past posts on here you will see a pattern emerging which is that there are plenty of accusations about what it is you think we are guilty of but there is a distinct lack of evidence. The reason for this is that we are complying 100% with the law.

  138. November 14, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    So it looks like Mike and Matt were both working late at the same time last night – unlikely story to make it look like there is more than a single employee….

    Nov 13 @ 10:50pm – Reply to Post 136 by Mike
    Nov 13 @ 10:52pm – Reply to Post 137 by Matt

    Also the way in which they both respond to posts is exactly the same therefore suggesting there are actually the same person.

    Surely anyone who wants a successful business would not enter into constant email ping pong especially if they are in the right. It’s just bad business and bad press for them. You don’t see the MD of Tesco’s jumping on a forum when we complain about our delivery being late…? Just a thought..

    There are numerous posts and blogs all over the internet complaining about this company, all saying the same thing from both sides of the coin (the customers and the assessors)

    Make you own decision, but know which one I would make….

    • John C's Gravatar John C
      November 14, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Any employee of FirstChoiceEPC would have left by now and would need to go to court to recover unpaid wages.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      NoName, Now thats irony !

      We are a team of 6 and often work late from home. Replying to posts is not part of our day job but we do think its important to respond to our customers where we can in the hope of understanding the issues they face. The challenge for us at the moment is that nobody seems capable of intelligent dialogue on the subject. The discussion (if you can call it that) lacks depth and meaning This forum and many like it seem to exist so people have an outlet with which to vent.

      I think you’ll find that most big corporates including Tesco have facebook and twitter accounts purely so they can communicate with their customers and respond to any concerns. I doubt they entertain ill managed forums like this though.

      Jackie

      • Laura's Gravatar Laura
        November 15, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        So you are saying you have 6 people working from home and 2 happened to reply on this forum randomly at 10.50pm and 10.52pm on a Wed night to different posts. Sounds very likely that don’t it Jackie,Joan,Matt,Mike and the ‘other’ 2 late workers

        • Jules's Gravatar Jules
          November 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          That’s right, tescos is a public company with face and I can walk into the shop on the street. You trade in UK, has correspondence address in Spain and no face. Embarrassing comparison… It gives credence to all on this website that u are a liar known scammer that u continue to post here. Keep it up, like all your other known previous businesses this one will also hit the dust.

          http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

      • November 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        ‘NoName, Now thats irony !’

        That was the point fool – more garble. My mistake Jackie, it seems you have a ‘team’ (of 1!) of people who use the same aggressive text in their responses.

        I have no interest in you, or your shabby company legal or not, I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t hand over any cash.

        I will say though I continue to be amused by your blog responses and feel confident anyone you do actually take to court could quite happily build a case to refute you and your plea’s, merely on your aggressive emails\letters\blog responses and severe lack of clarity on your site (and please don’t mention the ‘Confirm Order’ button again – it very tiring). 😉

        Last thought, as soon as you show you face(s) at a court hearing I’m someone will be quick to snap a picture and post it publicly, but then you wouldn’t appear anyway – get a shady lawyer to do it for you!

        All the best to you little man\men\woman\women!

  139. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 14, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The guy at FirstChoiceEPC is basically a liar. He makes claims on these posts that are simply not true. According to him, none of the distance sales regulations apply to FirstChoiceEPC. In fact, many of the regulations have been written to protect consumers from scam outfits like FirstChoiceEPC.

    One of the reasons he is posting on here is to try to convince people to pay his ridiculous late payment fees and escalating charges.

    If he thought these could be claimed in a county court by his solicitors, he would NOT be making outlandish claims on these posts. He mentioned “clutching st straws” in a post 132. That really is IRONY!

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      JohnC, We have missed you. Our responses to you over a period of time have served only to help you interpret the law correctly. You have made references to pieces of legislation that simply aren’t relevant to our business model. You have insisted that people can cancel without any cancellation charge even where they have agreed to the service starting straight away. This is incorrect. You have advised people to ignore the terms and conditions as they are unenforceable when in reality we have already proven they are. The reality JohnC is that you have no idea what you are talking about. My only recommendation is that people pick up the phone and speak with trading standards themselves.

      JohnC – This must be the 6th time of asking but why don’t you provide us with your real name and your order reference number so that we can expedite your case with the county court. I am surprised you aren’t grabbing this opportunity with both hands in light of what it would mean to those who follow your posts.

      You can clearly talk the talk John C but can you walk the walk ?!

  140. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    November 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Its only a matter of time before everyone knows that its Chris Whatcott running this business and Mike and Matt or whomever he has chosen in his Wheel-0-name that he spins each time he replies in this website. I’ve posted this before on this site and he says it isn’t (of course he would) but research on the internet and you will see his thumbprints are all over firstchoiceepc, how it is run and the other EPC sites he previously set up.

    People know that when firstchoiceepc post here, the words are untrust worthy. Why are people posting on this site, its because they got scammed! It is embarrassing and people know that whatever firstchoiceepc post here is so bias and deluded that he has resorted to sarcasm and sending aggressive emails to get money for what?

    He is hiding because of his dark past running many other schemes!

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

    You must be proud of what you have achieved. A successful scam business.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Jules,

      This business is not owned or ran by Mr Whatcott. A simple search at Companies House would demonstrate that.

      Once again Jules, more accusations without any proof of any wrong doing on our part. Oh and its not sarcasm, its witty banter 🙂

      If you feel as though we have wronged you in any way then please email us and we’ll right that wrong without delay.

  141. Micky's Gravatar Micky
    November 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Some interesting posts on here and a good read,I need a EPC myself and after googling them this is a company I will be going no where near! You lot saved me thank god.

  142. Thomo's Gravatar Thomo
    November 15, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Maybe we should look at how they are getting law abiding clusters in.

    1-They say on their google add from £34.95 but I have checked all post codes and they all come out with £39.95 – please supply the areas covered by £34.95 as per the google add

    2- no upfront fees as per the google add – but they want £9.95 booking fee when the dea contacts you.

    I have reviewed the http code on the web site and it a generic code so they are misleading you it only delivers one response the same as if hundreds of orders came in with no email or vendor detail on they would get generic requests for EPCs …… pretty much it is a manual system

    Also you may want to read this
    http://old.estateagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/Whatcott-firm-still-operating-EPC-business

    We look forward to another response

  143. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 16, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    FirstChoiceEPC’s aggressive responses to my posts confirm that he knows that he has fallen foul of the regulations but he wants to try to give the impression that somehow none of the regulations DESIGNED TO PROTECT CONSUMERS apply to them so that they get scared into paying.

    These cases are clearly not going to go to court because he know he is not going to win. However he runs a high risk of being closed down by the county court judge. Will he risk winning one case when his scam which is probably collecting loads of £14.95 cancellation fees etc would get closed down?

    If it smells like a scam to the county court judge, then the county court judge will treat it as a scam.

    Why would I give my personal details out to a criminal? He is clearly not going to take me to court but would instead send some heavies around to, er, shut me up.

    Witty banter from FirstChoiceEPC? Nobody is laughing with you but a lot of people are laughing at you…

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      John C,

      You’re an idiot if you believe any of what is in your posts. The only suggestion I have is that people contact trading standards themselves. I sincerely hope people pay little attention to your ramblings and seek advice for themselves. Failure to do so can and already is costing the customer more than it needs to.

      You seem comfortable making all sorts of accusations about what a judge may / may not do with no evidence to support this. This is your opinion and yours alone. Do you honestly think that if we were not adhering to the law that we’d still be trading today.

      When all is said and done, all we ask is that the customer adheres to the terms and conditions and does what they agree at the point of the order. If they did this then the late payment system wouldn’t exist. It only exists because some people are incapable of doing what they have said they will do. We have no control over who is charged late payment fees.

      We follow the rules and offer the best service we can.

      Mike

      • Unpaid DEA (still)'s Gravatar Unpaid DEA (still)
        November 18, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Mike

        So how about doing what you say will do in your terms and conditions, and paying me? You have ignored a number of my posts now, although you are clearly replying to others. Perhaps you don’t have any reason for not paying me, other than deception, and you would rather keep quiet on this matter?

        As you have gathered, I will keep posting this so that it stays current.

  144. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    November 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone post a UK phone number that firstchoiceepc can be reached at?

    Oh wait, they dont want to be contacted…

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      November 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Let us have your phone number and we’ll call you. We don’t have a problem with speaking to customers on the phone. It just isn’t our preferred method of communication that’s all.

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        November 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Preferred method of communication? looking at the evidence on this page, seems like your preferred way of communication is aggressive, sarcasm, talking down the very customers who have unfortunately fallen in your scam trap, spout blindly your terms and conditions that any court will find as excessive, unreasonable and totally unfair. How can you demand money for not even providing a service and charge customers their right to cancel? Your history of operating scam schemes – which is plastered all over the internet shows you have no credibility, no ounce of honesty and no one on this forum believes what you post.

    • I've been ripped off by first choice epc's Gravatar I've been ripped off by first choice epc
      November 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      First choice should give every customer they have ripped off a full refund with none of the bullshit 14.95 cancellation charge.
      First Choice EPC should stop trading as they are CON outfit who don’t even have a contact phone number ????

      By !!!!!!!!!!!!COWBOYS!!!!!!!

  145. Unpaid DEA (still)'s Gravatar Unpaid DEA (still)
    November 17, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Ref post 137, you seem to have forgotten to reply. You know that you owe me payment for 3 jobs, so why not just pay it per your own terms and conditions?

  146. Zoe's Gravatar Zoe
    November 17, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I used recently First Choice EPC and their service was very good but they charged me twice for one certificate so I really don’t know who to contact to ask for refund of £39.95..
    Matt/Mike can you help please…
    Thank you and Regards

  147. John C's Gravatar John C
    November 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I do not think that it is my “opinion alone” that a judge will rule against the victims (sorry “customers”) of FirstChoiceEPC. Look through this page for evidence of this.

    I am happy to say that I have explained the situation to Trading Standards and their suggestion was to ignore FirstChoiceEPC. Not only did Trading Standards say that FirstChoiceEPC have not followed the regulations correctly, Trading Standards said any late payment charges and additional costs if they were proved to be applicable, but it would be a massive if, would need to be fair. Trading Standards said a multiple of 30x (c. £500 on £14.95) would be deemed inappropriate and constitute Unfair Contract Terms.

    County Court Judges are not stupid people and remember the existence of the Consumer Protection regulations – the clue is in the title.

    As soon as I received multiple threatening e-mails, my first thought was SCAM. My gut instinct (and I am guessing most other victims’) is hardly ever wrong.

    • John C's Gravatar John C
      November 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully obvious typo in bold: I do not think that it is my “opinion alone” that a judge will rule IN FAVOUR OF the victims (sorry “customers”) of FirstChoiceEPC. Look through this page for evidence of this.

  148. Dan's Gravatar Dan
    November 19, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Any chance after taking payment in full (£39.95) 18 days ago that I might in fact have an assessor try call me to make an appointment? (Order 33249) If you don’t reply I will reclaim my money through my bank and you can stick your £14.95 cancellation charge up your back side!

    • Thomo's Gravatar Thomo
      November 20, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Hi first choice EPC
      You may want to look at the Blackpool hotel in the news tonight – says in its T&C any bad reviews are subject to a £100 fine – I know you are seeing £ signs here but guess what
      1) whiles the court said they ( the hotel) were not braking the law with their T&C that they were unfair….. Yes you guest it the judge and trading standards backed the customer
      2) the hotel had to pay back the charge and compensation
      3) how many customers who have paid their 30x fee or even their 2x fee could claim this back by going to court
      4) It would make help if any solicitor of any family who has paid this would take on such a case and I feel we would get the same result

      ……….

  149. Andymac's Gravatar Andymac
    November 26, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    First choice should give every customer they have ripped off a full refund with none of the bullshit 14.95 cancellation charge.
    First Choice EPC should stop trading as they are CON outfit who don’t even have a contact phone number ????

    By !!!!!!!!!!!!COWBOYS!!!!!!!

  150. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    December 3, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    You guys at First choice are clowns.
    Behave yourselves.
    I had all the usual threatening emails. Last chance to pay blah blah blah.
    I have not and will not pay you a penny. You went quiet for a while, then this morning I received an email stating……
    Thank you for your order. Please confirm 3 dates and times you would like an appointment.
    Exactly one month from the first email I received.
    And today I have now received a letter stating its the last letter before action.
    I welcome it. And Im so glad you have had to pay for the stamp to send it.
    On another note. You say I confirmed the order from an ip Address which appears not to be mine.
    Everyone check your letter then do a simple WHATS MY IP ADDRESS search on google.
    Chances are it won’t be yours.

    CLOWNS The lot of you. Im looking forward to seeing the beliefs turn up. Cant wait.

  151. Ray - unpaid DEA's Gravatar Ray - unpaid DEA
    December 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Hey! You guys at First Choice. Any chance of paying me for Order number EPC -032396? Just to clarify, was payment terms within 28 days, 28 months or 28 years?

  152. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    December 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I have spoken to a television show who are interested in this story. please people get in touch with me if you want I cn pass the details on. hopefully get the fools shut down

  153. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    December 5, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I hope so Barry. It’s about time this guy is stopped scamming people. Like many people who have had the unfortunate experience with first choice epc – many whom have described their frustrations and incredulity of what he is doing on this site will welcome this. I can share with you my researched information on firstchoiceepc and its owner if you want.

  154. John C's Gravatar John C
    December 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Hi Barry, I can summarise all the relevant links etc of the mainly government web sites that clearly show this disgraceful firm has not followed the rules. John

  155. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    December 8, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    This is very important and applies to every consumer of first choice EPC and his associated companies i.e. epclocal

    I have it under very good authority that first choice epc are in fact breaking the new consumer regulations which came into force in July 2014, I will go in depth here and summarize at the bottom because this is going to be a long explanation.

    The companies terms and conditions are designed to try and bypass the full contracts and cancellation regulations by using the low value regulation (below £42) which states that the full contracts and cancellation do not apply and only partly apply. The important things in this case that he is trying to bypass are:

    1, not having to send to the consumer a contract in a non volatile format

    2, not having to send to the consumer the cancellation terms and conditions in a non volatile format

    Non volatile in this case means in a form that cannot be changed i.e. by email or by post etc, terms and conditions on a website are not sufficient.

    As far as 1, is concerned, if the service is below £42 then he is exempt from sending the contract, this also gives him the right to start the service if the consumer agrees, and in his terms by pressing the “accept” button the consumer is agreeing. If the value of the contract was above £42, he is NOT allowed to start the service without sending the contract confirmation.

    As far as 2, is concerned, if the service is below £42 then he is exempt from sending the cancellation terms and conditions, if the contract is above £42 then by law he has to send the cancellation terms and conditions, if he does not he is subject to hefty fines, and also not sending the cancellation terms and conditions makes the contract unenforceable in law.

    This is the exact regulation that this points to:

    “2. Contracts which are only partly covered:

    Low value off-premises contracts (value less than £42) are exempt from the information and cancellation provisions of the Regulations but subject to those on additional payments and charges and delivery and risk.”

    Now I hear you saying how does this help.

    Well very simple.

    For this company to conclude the contract, he is charging an additional £9.99 for a booking fee, and an additional £9.99 to retrieve the EPC certificate from his website, the true value of the contract is £59.97, and as such he must comply with the full contracts and cancellation regulations. The reason being is this part in the above regulation:

    “but SUBJECT to those on ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS and CHARGES and delivery and risk”

    This is there to protect the consumer from traders using the £42 threshold, in the exact way that first choice epc is to try and be exempt from the full contracts and cancellation regulations and still adding more charges.

    So to summarize.

    1, as the true value of the service is above the £42 low value threshold he has to, by LAW, send out a contract confirmation and cancellation terms and conditions in a non volatile format.

    2, he is not allowed to start any service UNTIL he has sent out the contract confirmation. (which means in his threatening emails where he says he has started the service and there is a charge for this. HE CAN’T SAY THAT or apply any charge)

    3, until you receive the full cancellation terms and conditions you have a right to cancel the contract at any time with no penalty, the contract is unenforceable until you receive the full cancellation terms and conditions.

    4, Nothing he says, no threats he makes, no terms in his terms and conditions in his website can override the consumer regulations or your statutory rights.

    In other words. he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. if he took anybody to court he would get burnt down in flames.

  156. chris's Gravatar chris
    December 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Received my Letter before Action today (and yes I realise I am acknowledging receipt) but shall ignore it as I have ignored all the other previous threats, lies and attempts at extortion. I have retained all the evidence I require to slap this down if it evers gets to a county court but I doubt they’ll want to pay the CC fees to bring the action – it will be very expensive exercise with nil return for them.

    Why not just concentrate on providing the service you are selling?

    I find it highly amusing that you are quick to reposnd to comments here but never replied to any of my requests for an appointment at the time I paid for your service. If you had acted in good faith you would have been able to keep the money I paid you and I would have had my certificate. As it is you have acted in bad faith and are being dealt with accordingley.

  157. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    December 11, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Also remeber his threats of action from debt collectors hold no water,
    these ore the powers they have .. or I should say do not have :
    Debt collectors can’t:

    • Visit or enter your home without permission. They are required to tell you when they are intending to visit you, and get your consent.

    • Enter your house or take any goods.

    • Act in a way that threatens or intimidates you.

    • Discuss your debt with anyone else.

    • Call you at unreasonable times, or when you’ve told them not to.

    • Visit you at work.
    In other words they have absolutely no powers unless you give them permission …

    The only people that can enter your home or take your possessions are court appointed bailiffs, and then there are some limitations to what they can do.

  158. John C's Gravatar John C
    December 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Bailiffs can visit if and only if the county court rules in favour of the claims from this shyster. Clearly these cases will not even be going to court, let alone upheld.

  159. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    December 16, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    correct, the only threats I am getting are threats of debt collectors, he knows that he will not win in court so this is his last attempt at bullying cash out of people.

  160. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    December 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Currently two sites that look very similar in terms of business model: http://www.firstchoiceepc.com and http://www.epclocal.net

    beware of both sites as it has the hallmarks of a Chris Whatcott EPC website. The language used, the website stylesheets, content, terms and conditions and correspondence addresses are all the same. His previous EPC websites – all failures and now closed had the same content… he just rehashes them.

    You can read here his previous websites he has run and also ones he is using now.

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

  161. Ray - unpaid DEA's Gravatar Ray - unpaid DEA
    December 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure all of us would like to wish http://www.firstchoiceepc.com a very merry christmas

  162. Carl's Gravatar Carl
    December 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Im not so sure I agree with you Ray. Personally I hope and wish all of them a painful demise. I cannot understand with all the alleged overwhelming evidence against these people how they still get away with it. By now I would of thought if the legal system isn’t working for folk – the accreditation bodies should post warnings to ALL assessors. This would at least stop most assessors doing work and lodging EPC’s and them getting assessors to do work in the first place.

  163. Ray - unpaid DEA's Gravatar Ray - unpaid DEA
    December 23, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    So true Carl! Accreditation bodies need to do more. Too content to sit back & take lodgement fees

  164. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I have recently reported this scammer to the police. The officer I spoke with gave me very strict instructions not to pay anything to this company. They took £39.95 off me for a job undone. I worked hard for that money and I have no intentions of letting them keep it. Watch this space Whatcott, I want my money back

  165. David's Gravatar David
    December 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    For those that want definitive proof that they should just ignore Whatcott/First Choice EPCs illegal threatening demands for money for absolutely nothing is here.

    From the European Law database, The most recent law passed on Consumer Rights.

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32011L0083

    Many articles here apply to his dodgy operation being wholly illegal.

    Article 9 and 14 is enlightening.. the right for Withdrawal.

    If you want the guidance to this Consumer Rights directive, the corrosponding partner document is here that explains in detail a example interpretation how the directive should work and be applied.

    http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/files/crd_guidance_en.pdf

    Ignore any threats made to you by First Choice EPC and report to applicable authorities. They run a scam and Whatcott should not get away with it.

  166. David's Gravatar David
    January 6, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Everyone should read this. You can make your own minds up about what is clearly the obvious… Whatcott of course denying any involvement but evidence mounts against this. Scammers will always, always deny first, try mis-direction to preserve their fraud and scam business.

    Link to view here:
    http://energyassessormagazine.com/epc_boss_denies_panels_link.html

    An excerpt from the article:
    The formerly bankrupt businessman behind a number of failed ‘cheap EPC’ businesses has claimed he is not involved with a trio of panels currently causing controversy on online forums.

    Christopher Whatcott (left) claims he has no involvement with controversial websites First Choice EPC, DEADirect and EPC Local – see Panels Demanding Hundreds of Pounds for details of claims against them – and we have also received the same claims from First Choice EPC.

    But the online EPC businesses themselves subsequently seemed to be confused over the issue. They told us in an email on 25 September: “We are in no way connected to Christopher Scott Whatcott”. But in response to an aggrieved customer they told him in an email on 11 October: “Your comments will be passed to Mr Whatcott”.

    We emailed First Choice EPC, and asked how it would be possible for them to pass comments to Mr Whatcott when, according to their earlier email, he was “in no way connected to” their business. In response they told us that they had only been in contact with Mr Whatcott after our article appeared.

    Following our article in September (below) – see Rogue Panels Boss ‘Back in Business’ – Mr Whatcott, 39, told us on 30 October that our article had left him feeling “harassed and distressed”, and on the following day he said that because of his fear of violence against him he had reported the matter to the police.

    He told us in his email: “Your recent actions and the publication of an article alleging that I am a rogue trader have left me feeling harassed by you. The contents of your publication have left me feeling distressed, anxious and worried about the safety of my family. Furthermore, your publication is affecting my business. I am therefore requesting that you remove the publication from your website and stop printing further lies about me.”

    However there is information which suggests that Mr Whatcott is linked to these controversial EPC websites, and despite requests for him to provide evidence to support his denials, he has failed to do so.

    In response to questions we had put to him about his links to a number of EPC panels, including those we mentioned above, which were traced in part through website hosting data, Mr Whatcott said: “I am a web developer and develop and host websites for a number of businesses. It is for this reason that there is a connection with the IP addresses.”

    However Mr Whatcott did not give us addresses for any websites which promote his services as a web developer, and neither we nor anyone else who has investigated his business affairs has reported seeing any such sites or being aware of any businesses of this sort which he has run. Nor did Mr Whatcott give any specific information on which websites he claimed to be hosting for other people.

  167. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    January 7, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Would be interesting to know if anybody has had any so called debt collectors come to try get some money … obviously 100% sure nobody has .. I invited these scammers to take me to court and try recover whatever money they think I owe .. No court summons as of yet .. just the latest threats of debt collectors, they quite obviously know that they will loose in court, and that judgement will then be applied to everybody they have tried and have scammed, and opens the door to claimbacks …

  168. jules's Gravatar jules
    January 9, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Agree, 100% sure no court summons and debt collectors at all. All threats and bullying tactics.. hallmarks of the scam he runs. Amazing thing is he is still running his website Firstchoiceepc.com and advertising in google. A New Year and obviously trying to get new victims to pay him scammed money that he clearly enjoyed over the christmas. Unfortunately for any future victim … he has disappeared from this forum – not that it made any slightest bit of difference when he was attempting to appease his victims..and is still scamming.

  169. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    January 11, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    My heart bleeds for this weasel Whatcott. So he feels the need to report matters to the police? Well, this reptile has robbed me of my money, then sends me a flood of threatening emails, and a threatening letter to my property. If I ever get the chance to meet him, he will learn to regret that. I do not like being robbed and I do not like being threatened, and I certainly do not like the intrusion upon my personal property. Are you reading into this Whatcott?

  170. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    January 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    A totally enthralling read. Love the offensive manner in which Whatcott responds, almost like he is actually enjoying the experience. Something else that interests me is his apparent (and overwhelming) fixation with the use of various aliases – there are some unusual postings on here, I wonder who is responsible for these? Most odd. It’s almost like a multi split-personality disorder, one minute he is Mike, then he becomes Matt, and then… who knows? Perhaps he is getting some weird type of comfort from all of this? Or it may be that he simply does not even know who he really is anymore
    Thinking of contacting a German friend of mine (Otto von Sour-Krout), a well-respected psycho-shrink, see what he thinks of it all. He specialises in amateur lobotomy techniques and is particularly adept at botched attempts of electro-shock therapy

  171. William's Gravatar William
    January 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    The only time Whatcott is happy is when he is scamming… its what he does it seems having read the numerous articles detailing his prolific failures and mostly bankrupt ventures…If he isn’t scamming then what is he to do? He has launched and closed as many EPC websites he should be in the Guinness book of records. for shame. Successful in business is isn’t, successful as a scammer… well unfortunately for us members of the public he is preying on…. The thing he doesn’t understand is his profile, his name, his address, his face is all over the net. Yet he still comes back for more… He may have stopped replying on this website.. but he sure is still reading…right Whatcott???

  172. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    January 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Just heard back from my friend Otto, here is his preliminary diagnosis on this character Whatcott, I hope everyone’s German is up to scratch as I did not have the time to translate his text:

    “Achtung my friend Crispin, how nice of you to send me zeez details, of course zis Votcott is an interesting subject to me. Zis progressive use of uzzer names is perhaps suggesting to me zat here ve might have ze classic psycho-freak, viz also maybe ze split-personality disorder. Now, zhere could be a number of reasons for zis condition, I give you for vun example, maybe zis Votcott voz very naughty boy und mama, papa perhaps shut him avay in cupboard, zis is just vun example vich might lead to zis kind of mental condition in later life. I am such intrigued to study zis pathetic screwball in more detail. Perhaps you might arrange for me to meet zis Votcott fruitcake? I sink an intensive course of perhaps ice bathing und severe shock treatments vould be of much benefit to zis poor tortured crackpot. Zen perhaps follow zis viz some minor brain surgery. As always, best vishes to you Crispin… Otto”

    Well, there you have it, possibly some good ideas in there I think. Reading through the lines, Otto is obviously quite sympathetic and sincere in the way he cares about this wretched soul. Come out of the shadows Whatcott, there are only people here waiting to help you

  173. David's Gravatar David
    January 29, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Maybe, just maybe… finally the authorities are going to do something about Whatcotts scamming websites. There is hope.

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/probe_into_controversial_panels.html

    Here is a excerpt from the article:

    PROBE INTO CONTROVERSIAL PANELS

    Fraud line acts on First Choice EPC complaints

    27 January 2015

    Police and Trading Standards have been asked to look into the trading practices of three controversial panel websites which have allegedly left some assessors unpaid and left many members of the public feeling harassed and frightened after receiving demands for hundreds of pounds which they say they don’t owe.

    A government minister has now said that such demands are illegal, and that consumers have the right to seek compensation from businesses for “misleading or aggressive commercial practices”.

    EAM has already featured several articles on the behaviour of websites First Choice EPC.com, DEADirect.com and EPCLocal.net, which have been the subject of public complaints to police, Trading Standards and consumer helpline Action Fraud.

    Following an appeal by EAM Editor Terry Wardle, Jo Swinson (left), Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, has revealed that Action Fraud passed information about the businesses in November to police in Hertfordshire, where the sites are believed to be based.

    She said: “I can confirm that Action Fraud disseminated the potential frauds, to which you refer, to Hertfordshire Police in November 2014.”

    A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Financial Investigation Unit told us yesterday: “Both Hertfordshire Constabulary and Trading Standards have been informed of the reports via Action Fraud. Trading Standards are currently looking into these reports.” The spokesman added that if criminal allegations came to light as a result then the force would investigate them.

  174. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    February 17, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Has anyone noticed, he has removed the 1-3 day delivery from his website, and some of his terms have been altered, I am assumimng that trading standards have told him to do that because he is breaking regulations.

  175. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    February 17, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    By the way, I have another address for first choice epc if anybody is interested,

    Firstchoiceepc
    Flat 30, Marylebone Road
    London
    NW1 5PH

    This is exactly how it is written

    The letter is signed Mike Cox,

  176. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    February 25, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    This guy Chris Whatcott won’t learn or change his practices. This is what he does and doesn’t know anything else besides setting up EPC scam businesses. None of his EPC businesses (see the many links in the comments posted here on this site) have lasted and there is very good reasons why. He uses multiple addresses for shady business purposes because he thinks none can link back to him.

    Its scam nature and bad practices leaving customers high and dry catch up to him so he has to change the business name, website names, visibly using fake names like Mike Cox, Matt who? etc.. to hide behind and threaten customers that don’t give up their money for no service. Great model businessman right? what is fact that is undeniable – he is a previously bankrupt individual owing thousands of pounds in this EPC industry to customers and to DEA assessors. Not a great record or reputation right?

    Its unfortunate people before engaging with him on his website don’t google him and check out the business name that he operates under as invariably they won’t willingly do business once they see the many reviews, comments and negativity.

    Its embarrassing enough for a supposed owner of a EPC website business with no UK correspondence address nor advertised telephone number or email that gets responded to openly comments on this forum in such aggressive and threatening manner that goes to show he doesn’t care about his customers or take the high ground with a business owner should take when providing a basic customer service. Just expect more vitriol from him in the future as now he is on the constant defensive and has no recourse to demand anything.

  177. Dan's Gravatar Dan
    March 6, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Dan 1 – 0 first choice , if like me this prick has tried stealing your money, ring your bank and ask them to do a chargeback to your card. The shit head rejected my claim twice and my bank returned the payment to him until I lost my temper with the poor bloke on the phone, third time round first choice dropped the case an I have my money back. Ignore his threats, the arse hole is full of shit

  178. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    March 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Desperate “Dan”

  179. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Things are going tto get very interesting as far as court is concerned .. watch this space :)..

  180. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    March 11, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with post 177 above. In many cases, the business feedback of First Choice towards certain individuals is quite distasteful, and this is not the way a reputable company should behave. This is not right. My personal advice, steer well clear

  181. philainsy's Gravatar philainsy
    March 17, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    firstchoiceepc keep well away they have taken my money
    and done nothing for it , they dont show up at your home
    they dont respond to email there is no phone number
    the only option i have left is to take them to small claims court my last message to them is below

    why is there no responce from your company ?
    i am going to bolton town on thursday to the small claims court
    you will need to pay back my money and the court cost

    WARNING DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO THIS COMPANY
    (ALSO IT IS PART OF EPCLOCAL – KEEP AWAY )

  182. David's Gravatar David
    March 20, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Whatcott has switched sites and actively soliciting using his other site:

    epclocal.net

    Same terms as in his first choice epc site, even same PO box address for correspondence in spain. No registered business address, but is providing a 0845 130 8016 on the homepage but I very much doubt you will get any reply or answer from him.

    Customers… dont use this website! You will only regret it!

  183. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    And isnt that interesting .. Whatcott has a company called Savi, a little bit of light reading for you all

    http://whatstheidea.org.uk/blog/?tag=chris-whatcott

  184. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Haha .. have a look at this guys http://www.saviepc.co.uk .. he is at it again, obviously not getting the customers from firstchoice after all the bad publicity .. I think with his looming court cases too he knows firstchoice are about to be closed down.

    And isnt that interesting .. Whatcott has a company called Savi, a little bit of light reading for you all

    http://whatstheidea.org.uk/blog/?tag=chris-whatcott

    • Chris Whatcott's Gravatar Chris Whatcott
      March 26, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Good afternoon Mr Davis,

      Please be advised that I am indeed the owner of SaviEPC.co.uk and also Savi.co.uk. I have never made any secret of this fact. Furthermore, our contact details can be found on each of the websites as can our trading location. If you have any questions i’d be delighted to address them for you.

      Regards
      Chris

  185. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 28, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I just made a post of what to look out for when dealing with EPC panles like http://www.saviepc.co.uk, http://www.firstchoiceepc.com and http://www.epclocal.net. Have a read .. you may find it usefull 🙂

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=68053507#post68053507

    If you follow some of my suggestions then both the EPC company and the consumer should have a nice easy experience 😉

  186. Michele's Gravatar Michele
    March 30, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Why are there still rogue people like this around!! Why are they aloud to advertise!
    Trading Standard please put a stop to these dishonest people.

  187. Michele's Gravatar Michele
    March 30, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Beware. I ordered online from FirstChoice EPC, and subsequently cancelled within 24hr. (cooling off period) emails kept. I then had a call arranging appointment so I thought ok they have been prompt I will go with it. Then the survey was carried and then I got a please pay now!! I was baffled I paid up front. The assessor said not a problem I will take it up with EPC. I thought that was the end. Next day I was chasing for cert that I had paid for and the assessor was having trouble being paid as EPC said no payment received. I then received a call stating that they were two different companies. I said how as I only ordered one cert and you arranged with me. Long and short is I paid the EPC local the sum and done a charge back on EPC Net as they had not contacted me to arrange appointment within the 28 days promised on there website or respond to any email. Now two weeks later I have three emails asking for payment of service , but I have received no service, and cancelled in 24 hr , legal cooling off period. So EPC.NET you keep sending emails and I will respond in the same way as your customer service department does!!!

  188. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    This is the contents of a letter I recieved today from the Governments Department for Business innovation and skills in responce to communications I have had with Jo Swinson MP and minister for consumer affairs

    “Thank you for your email of 25th March to Melanie Young at the Department’s Central Drafting unit about FirstchoiceEPC. I have been asked to reply.

    I am sorry to read about your experiences with this company.

    Hertfordshire Trading standards are aware of the business practices of FirstchoiceEPC and an investigation is currently ongoing. I am however unable to give you the contact details of the trading standards officer handling the investigation. As advised by trading standards, please ignore any threats or letters from this company. See: http://energyassessormagazine.com/probe_into_controversial_panels.html .”

    Thats from the GOVERNMENT .. so make your own mind up :).

    Anybody has been scammed contact me firstchoiceepcscam@gmail.com

  189. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    April 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Seems people are getting the same kind of service with saviepc that they had with firstchoice

    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/saviepc.co.uk

  190. Michele's Gravatar Michele
    April 7, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Date: 3 March 2015 10:03:27 GMT
    To: michele *****>
    Subject: Your payment to EPC Today

    3 Mar 2015 10:03:26 GMT
    Receipt No: 1023-8662-5774-3216
    Dear michele ****,
    You sent a payment of £39.45 GBP to EPC Today.
    This charge will appear on your statement as payment to PAYPAL *EPC TODAY.
    Merchant information
    EPC Today
    ijaz.jazi@gmail.com
    http://epctoday.net
    Instructions to merchant
    None provided
    Dispatch information
    michele rye
    4 barrow chase
    Chelmsford, Essex
    Cm2 6gd
    United Kingdom Delivery method
    Not specified
    Description Unit price Qty Amount
    Energy Performance Certificate £39.45 GBP 1 £39.45 GBP

    Total: £39.45 GBP

    Receipt No: 1023-8662-5774-3216
    Please keep this receipt number for future reference. You’ll need it if you contact customer service at EPC Today or PayPal.
    Use PayPal when shopping online
    It looks as if you already have a PayPal account. When you shop online, it’s faster and easier to check out with PayPal. Your financial information is securely stored and never shared with retailers when you pay.

    If you have any question, use our Help Centre at: http://www.paypal.com/uk/help.
    Thanks for using PayPal – the safer, easier way to pay and get paid.
    Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response.
    Copyright © 1999-2015 PayPal. All rights reserved.

    PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A.
    Société en Commandite par Actions
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    RCS Luxemburg B 118 349

    Copyright © 1999-2015 PayPal. All rights reserved.

    PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A.
    Société en Commandite par Actions
    Registered Office: 5th Floor 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449, Luxembourg
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    PayPal Email ID PP1469 – 40da13372e4

    AND IM STILL GETTING DEMAND AND THREATNING EMAILS ABOUT BALIFFS!!

  191. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    April 10, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Come on Whatcott and firstchoice, put your money where your mouth is .. I just called the courts, they told me you have till 4pm today to pay your court fee’s.. I realy hope you are not chickening out after all of your threats that you take people to court and take it all the way ..

    You can pay online, dont worry if you cant make payment today, they are going to send you a pay or else reminder to give you another 7 days.

  192. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    April 13, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I have just had confirmation from the court today 13th April that firstchoice have NOT paid the court ffees and the claim is bieng referred back to the judge to be struck off … this is how much notice you can give to these scam companies and the threats they make .. absolutely non. But if you do get a court summons you must defend it.

    I am the second person I know of that firstchoice have chickened out and not paid the court fees, I am sure if firstchoice thought they had a case and were abiding by all the consumer regulations they would not turn down the chance to recover nearly 500 quid (that they are claiming they are owed) from each of us.

  193. Peter Dowd's Gravatar Peter Dowd
    April 16, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Firstchoiceepc
    A Journey from Initial Order to Court (almost!)

    As a customer(?) who has been issued with a summons by firstchoiceepc, I thought it would be helpful to others in a similar position if I were to summarise the sequence of events.
    I placed an order for an EPC in September 2014 and cancelled three days later. I then received the customary 5 emails threatening the charging of a cancellation fee together with the consequent penalties for non-payment. I took advice from Which? Legal services and was informed that under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which came into force on 13th June 2014, I was not liable for any charges if I cancelled within 14 days in respect of a distance selling contract.
    I sent an email requesting the registered address of the company and asked what was the legal basis for their cancellation charge of £14.95. The reply from Michael Cox stated that the address was contained in the Terms and Conditions and that they “do have a legal right to charge a cancellation fee.” The address in the terms and conditions was a mail box in Southern Spain.
    In further email correspondence with Michael Cox he suggested I took legal advice. When I informed him about the results of this legal advice he stated “I can assure you that this is incorrect advice. I assume they will compensate you in the event this progresses as far as the courts. May I suggest you speak with Trading Standards and let us know what their point of view is.” I contacted Trading Standards and they reiterated the advice and further advised that I do not pay any money to this company. Trading Standards also emailed Michael Cox and received the following reply “I am at a loss to understand why you would offer a consumer such poor advice let alone advice that is factually incorrect” and “I would suggest that Trading Standards get their house in order.”
    At this stage I was quite appalled by the arrogance of the man and decided not to continue email or any other correspondence with him.
    At the end of October 2014 I received a letter through the post from Michael Cox and in it he stated that he intended to take me to court for £439.95 but would settle for £189.95, if I paid this within one week. I made no payment.
    I received an invoice dated 1st October 2014 for £439.95. The interesting thing about this invoice was that it included a Registration number and registered address at Woodbury Grove. In fact the company was only registered with Companies \house on 14th October 2014.
    In mid-November I received a further letter informing me that proceedings had been initiated through the County Court and also stating “We remain open to resolving this issue and in the event the court offers mediation we will accept this offer as a way of reaching a positive conclusion to this matter. We would hope that you will also accept the court’s offer.”
    On 19th November I received summons issued through Money Claims Online for £439.95 plus a court fee of £35. I filed a defence but did not file any counterclaim. I did not offer to go to mediation because I could see no chance of agreement.
    I consider that I do not owe a penny and firstchoiceepc seem prepared to settle for £189.95 or thereabouts. Furthermore I sent a copy of my defence to the Woodbury Grove address but one month later it was returned by the Post Office: “Refused”. This seems to indicate that the Woodbury Grove address is simply “an address of convenience”.
    A date was set for the court hearing and the claimant (firstchoiceepc) was instructed to pay the hearing fees (£75). No hearing fees were paid and the court granted an extension of time. At the end of this time extension the fees still had not been paid and therefore the court instructed that the claim be struck out.
    Conclusions: This Company seems to be playing a game of “poker”. They subject the consumer to a barrage of emails and letters containing threats in the event of payments not being made. They are prepared to use all manner of extortion and even pay a £35 court fee to instigate proceedings in the hope that the defendant will be intimidated or agree a compromise via mediation. When this does not have any effect, they decide that the defendant will be prepared to meet them in court and so they decide to “call it a day” and cut their losses. One must assume that there are enough people who succumb to the bully boy tactics and pay up. I was lucky in so far as I did not pay any money up front. There seems little chance of recovering anything from firstchoiceepc, even through the courts.
    The advice I would give, from my experience, is don’t pay anything and “call their bluff.”
    (The following websites seem to be connected and trying the same tactics: firstchoiceepc.com, saviepc.co.uk and epclocal.net (not to be confused with epclocal.co.uk))
    Thursday, 16 April 2015

  194. philainsy's Gravatar philainsy
    April 22, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    these are cowboys KEEP AWAY DO NOT PAY THEM
    i paid them neally £40.00
    i have not seen them not heard from them
    NOTHING – ZIP – LOST MY MONEY
    I Keep contacting them but get no replies to emails
    there phone number does not work
    WARNING (DO NOT PAY) WARNING

  195. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 22, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Savi.co.uk and saviepc.co.uk trade from the same company address which is:
    Business & Technology Centre, Bessemer Drive, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2DX.

    Its a business centre which rents offices within its location has it own website http://www.btcstevenage.co.uk

    Whatcott cannot run now or hide like he did with Firstchoiceepc.com which was registered at some shell company address and ignored all post.

    This location is serviced business centre of which I am sure the owner of the business centre will not want scammers and rogue traders operating in its confines.

    Will see what happens but it already is obvious his scam continues under saviepc.co.uk

    Its funny as Savi is a company name he has used before.. but registered at different addresses and has a tarnished reputation.

  196. David's Gravatar David
    April 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it funny that Chris Whatcott or should I call him by his invented name he used for this forum Mike Cox of firstchoiceepc…has no more comments to post, as after all his grandstanding, threats and pretence to take people to court for not paying his ‘fees’ and ridiculous ‘Charges’ in his illegal scam business turns out after being taken to court himself to counter those said ‘fees’ he ran and didn’t face up to it as he would have been laughed out of court.

    So say what else Chris Whatcott? Anymore empty threats for court action? You just proved your own scam by not following through your own words.

    So you have moved on to saviepc.co.uk and epclocal.net to try the same scam business again. It’s unfortunate that there will be people caught up in your scam again and will see it too late maybe but here’s to hope that they read about you and your scam businesses on the Internet first.

  197. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 23, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    So those customers that Chris Whatcott managed to charge illegal fees by using threatening behaviour can launch a process to claim back their money and damages now that he has admitted firstchoiceepc was wrong to charge those amounts.

    Laughable that all the time he was professing to all in this forum he was right to charge those stupid fees and even not even satisfying basic online trading regulations.

  198. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 23, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Article was published here:

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/panel_admit_charges_were_wrong.html

    Controversial panel First Choice EPC, which has been accused of threatening consumers with ‘scam’ fees, has admitted it was in the wrong after backing out of two court actions when members of the public vowed to fight their claims.

    The panel, together with websites EPC Local.net and DEA Direct.com – the last of which no longer seems to exist – has featured a number of times in the magazine after complaints from assessors who claimed they had been left unpaid, and members of the public who insisted they had been harassed to pay excessive and unwarranted ‘additional charges’.

    Many of the consumers who received these demands claimed they had only made an enquiry or asked for a quote on one of the panel sites, but were then hit with a £14.95 cancellation fee, which was quickly boosted by ‘additional charges’ to almost £500 when they refused to pay.

    After a Trading Standards investigation into the business was begun late last year, First Choice EPC launched two county court actions against members of the public who had refused to pay ‘cancellation fees’, but both actions have now been struck out by the courts after the panel business backed off when the actions were defended.

  199. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    May 5, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Again Chris Whatcott is adamant that his websites, saviepc.co.uk firstchoiceepc.com epclocal.net are not contravening any regulations. This is why he is from another planet as another commentator in this forum has suggested as he repeatedly refuses to acknowledge actual law and makes up his own. He pretends to be knowledgable in running a website eccommerce business but has failed each time.

    Kevin Davis has already mentioned regulations u are not complying yet u steadfastly ignore it and pretend it doesn’t apply to you??

    So for everybody’s benefit who come here looking for information on Chris whatcotts scam business and why he doesn’t comply…..

    The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002:

    You must clearly display your website’s “terms and conditions”.
    You must provide clear information on a products price, tax and the cost of delivery.
    You must acknowledge all orders.
    You may refer to professional or trade schemes if applicable.
    You must display your business name, company registration number, your VAT number, your geographical address (a PO Box is not allowed) and other direct contact information such as email address and telephone number.
    You must define clearly any marketing offers and the conditions of these offers.
    If you send unsolicited emails you must identify these as being unsolicited.
    You must clearly identify any emails to customers which are of a commercial nature.
    You must always identify the sender of any electronic communication.

    Secondly this regulation is quite clear that Chris Whatcott is ignoring…

    The Distance Selling Act 2000 (updated in 2013 with additional amendments)

    You must provide clear and concise information about your products before purchase.
    You must show clearly postage and packing costs.(if applicable)
    You must indicate whether VAT is included on the prices shown.
    All goods (excluding perishable) are subject to a 14 day returns period whereby a customer can cancel or return their order.
    Every order online must be followed by written communication (normally an email).
    Your terms and conditions must stipulate that a customer has a right to return goods for a full refund, other than return postage costs.

    So anyone here can see Chris Whatcott and his websites break many regulations. He will continue to ignore and pretend he isn’t contravening any. People here can make their own minds up.

    Two more regulations his website business is not complying with:

    Data Protection Act 1998 – Importantly you must register under the Data Protection Act if you collect personal information including customers, employees or future customers. If you are not registered and are in breach of the act, this will certainly have legal ramifications for you and your business. The act applies to a business of any size.

    ICO Cookie Law – am sure he is tracking customer information data on his websites using cookies. Yet he doesn’t display this fact to customers arriving on his website.

    Ignoring regulations is what chris Whatcott does with regularity that befits a scam. By saying he is 100% compliant yet he isn’t shows he is more accustomed to lie to customers than actually serving them in the right and proper manner.

  200. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    May 5, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    In short, avoid Chris whatcott’s website business scams at all costs!! Firstchoiceepc.com saviepc.co.uk epclocal.net

    Am sure he will relaunch more scam websites doing same EPC business but under different names. Beware of hem and be careful!

  201. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I have just posted this on my blog, but it would be relevent to all saviepc customers

    Please be aware that Whatcott is not giving his customers the full information of the products he is selling prior to you pressing the confirm order button, he is not informing you that you are not actually buying an EPC certificate, rather that you are buying a referral service which will then put you in contact with an EPC assessor if he can find one who you then have to buy the epc service from and pay them directly. This will probably be seen as misleading if this ever goes to court. Call consumer advice on 0345 404 0506 and action fraud police on 0300 123 2040 and tell them you are being mislead by a website and you are concerned that you have are being scammed.

    Please read more here

    http://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/services/accurately-describing-goods-and-services

    http://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/services/consumer-protection-from-unfair-trading#Misleadingactionsandomissions

    I would say that the saviepc adverts is misleading as you are expecting to buy an EPC certificate from this company, and I would say that their website is misleading as they do not make you aware clearly before order that you are not buying and EPC certificate from them, but only a referral service from them.

    Please take screen shots of all of their website pages as evidence,

  202. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 20, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Seems Saviepc are using a debt collection agency called Debt Guard Solicitors (part of Irwin Mitchel who do the no win no fee cases) to try intimidate people into paying up, its a do-it-yourself service that costs saviepc £2 for them to send a letter that makes things look official to try intimidate. As with any other DCA .. they have absolutely no powers or rights to recover any money from you,

    It apprears that Debt Guard are not at this letter stage involved, they are just sending the letter on behalf of Saviepv .. only after a court case win, and a bcourt appointed bailiff has been appointed can they recover any money, a long drawn out business.

  203. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Dear oh dear Mr Whatcott .. when will this ever end .. I have a feeling very shortly !!!!!, you can only get away with a scam for so long before it catches up with you .. Like it did last time, and with firstchoiceepc. I see your still in denial and trying to convince everybody that you are doing nothing wrong and everybody else is in the wrong here ….

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/new_panel_site_draws_complaints.html

  204. andy's Gravatar andy
    May 29, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Still scamming!!! he is unrelenting this Chris Whatcott.

    so saviepc.co.uk is 100% compliant…that is hilarious, who is he kidding… its the same as firstchoiceepc.com with a different wrapper!

  205. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    August 1, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I have just received an email from Hertfordshire Constabulary. A suspect has been interviewed and the case is still being investigated. Unlucky Whatcott. You should hopefully be shut down soon

  206. Unpaid DEA's Gravatar Unpaid DEA
    August 3, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Excellent news. Anyone who has paid for an EPC and not received it, or has done an EPC and not been paid should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards on 01707 292429 quoting their Prosecution Number 170 of 2015. Hertfordshire Police confirm that a suspect has been interviewed but the case is still pending.

  207. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    August 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    There a many of us who have received this letter .. looking forward to whats coming up :)..

  208. Julia's Gravatar Julia
    February 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    PANELS BOSS WHATCOTT IN COURT

    14 January 2016

    Panels boss Chris Whatcott has appeared in court denying a series of charges in a Trading Standards prosecution relating primarily to the use of controversial ‘additional charges’ on an EPC panel website.

    Mr Whatcott, whose full name is Christopher Scott Whatcott, pleaded Not Guilty to nine charges, the full details of which are given below, when he appeared before Watford Magistrates Court on Friday 18 December 2015.

    The charges put to him alleged offences under the Fraud Act 2006, and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Several of the charges refer to a website called First Choice EPC.

    The first charge alleged that Mr Whatcott “whilst purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, was knowingly party to the carrying on of a business for a fraudulent purpose, namely the solicitation of payments that he knew that he was not entitled to”.

    It was also alleged that Mr Whatcott sought payments of £439.95 in two cases and £434.95 in another case, “which he knew was or might be untrue or misleading”, and that he was “advertising his business online in a manner which failed to disclose that the nature of the business was seeking to obtain work that could be offered for sub-contract to third-parties”.

    In addition it was alleged that Mr Whatcott was engaged in misleading, unfair and aggressive commercial practices.

    The hearing was adjourned until Monday 1 February, again at Watford Magistrates Court. Hertfordshire Trading Standards told us that they expect a trial on the charges to go ahead on that date and EAM is seeking confirmation from the court.

    Every effort will be made by EAM to have the latest information on Mr Whatcott’s next court appearance, but readers who are interested in attending should bear in mind that dates for court appearances can be changed at short notice, and cases can be rescheduled on the day for a variety of reasons, so no court appearance date can be guaranteed.

    The charges to which Mr Whatcott entered Not Guilty pleas on 18 December 2015 were as follows:

    1. Between the 19th day of February 2015 and the 13th day of March 2015, Christopher Whatcott, being a person outside of the reach of section 993 of the Companies Act 2006, and whilst purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, was knowingly party to the carrying on of a business for a fraudulent purpose, namely the solicitation of payments that he knew that he was not entitled to, CONTRARY to section 9(1) of the Fraud Act 2006.

    2. On 19th February 2015 Christopher Whatcott, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another, made a false representation to Sandra Hargrave, namely that she owed a payment of £439.95, which was and which he knew was or might be untrue or misleading in breach of section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, CONTRARY to section 1 of the same Act.

    3. On 7th March 2015 Christopher Whatcott, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another, made a false representation to Sally Probert, namely that she owed a payment of £439.95, which was and which he knew was or might be untrue or misleading, in breach of section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, CONTRARY to section 1 of the same Act.

    4. On 13th March 2015 Christopher Whatcott, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for himself or another, made a false representation to Jennifer Horsley, namely that she owed a payment of £434.95, which was and which he knew was or might be untrue or misleading in breach of section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, CONTRARY to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006.

    5. Between the 30th day of December 2014 and the 2nd day of February 2015, Christopher Whatcott, purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, knowingly engaged in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence, namely advertising his business online in a manner which failed to disclose that the nature of the business was seeking to obtain work that could be offered for sub-contract to third-parties and materially distorted or was likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer with regard to the product, CONTRARY to Regulation 8 of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

    6. Between the 30th day of December 2014 and the 13th day of March 2015, Christopher Whatcott, purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, knowingly engaged in a commercial practice, which contravened the requirements of professional diligence, namely seeking to operate his business in a manner such that consumers could be unfairly penalised for cancelling a contract and materially distorted or was likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer with regard to the product, CONTRARY to Regulation 8 of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

    7. On dates between the 2nd day of February 2015 and the 13th day of March 2015, Christopher Whatcott, purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, engaged in a commercial practice, namely a commercial practice that was a misleading action, namely engaging in a course of conduct of advising consumers by e-mail that a cancellation fee was due, when they were not, and which were therefore false information and untruthful in relation to the consumer’s rights or the risks they may face, and which caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision the average consumer would not have taken, in breach of Regulation 5 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and CONTRARY to Regulation 9 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

    8. Between the 2nd day of February 2015 and the 13th day of March 2015, Christopher Whatcott, purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, engaged in an unfair commercial practice, namely a commercial practice that was prescribed in paragraph 26 of schedule 1 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, in that he engaged in a course of conduct of making persistent and unwanted solicitations by e-mail to consumers, CONTRARY to Regulation 12 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

    9. Between the 2nd day of February 2015 and the 13th day of March 2015, Christopher Whatcott, purporting to trade as First Choice EPC Limited, engaged in an unfair commercial practice, namely a commercial practice that was aggressive, in that he engaged in a course of conduct of persistently demanding payments for cancellation from consumers, which significantly impaired or was likely significantly to impair the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product concerned through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence and thereby caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision which the average consumer would not have taken otherwise, in breach of regulation 7 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and CONTRARY to Regulation 11 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

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