Turbines Tree

Is First Choice EPC worth the risk?

There has been a storm of protest from both assessors and customers over the business practices of online EPC provider First Choice EPC, and complaints are said to have been made about the organisation to police and Trading Standards.

According to posts on this blog, not only is the panel often failing to pay assessors or produce EPCs, but it is accused of using bullying tactics and threats to try to enforce additional payments, such as ‘cancellation fees’ from customers who, in some cases, say they had simply made an enquiry or asked for a quote – which the firm’s website claims is free.

When the original blog post about all manner of online EPC providers, was checked recently there were 39 comments/posts, of which an overwhelming 90% were critical of First Choice EPC. Of 32 posts from customers 30 out of 32, or 94% were critical. Of the seven posts from assessors, five or 71% were critical, and the other two were from assessors who felt their earnings were safe because customers paid them direct – though we understand from First Choice EPC that that system has been withdrawn for the moment “while we iron out some technical issues”.

The response from the business, signed ‘Mike’ (presumably Michael Cox, the name on emails to assessors and customers), said in relation to assessors complaining they have not been paid: “There is no such thing as non-payment. All invoices are settled in line with the terms of business.”

The email said that customers complaints were either not true or were “fabrications”, and that the business had not received any contact from the police or Trading Standards.

It added: “Negative reviews are a part of any business. We all accept that praise is seldom forthcoming for a job well done. We have completed thousands of EPCs and accept that we won’t be able to please everybody, which is especially true when the customer themselves are to blame.”

These comments are probably not going to satisfy many of the people posting on this site.

One poster said he was pressured into paying £105 with additional fees to what he claimed was one of First Choice EPC’s associated website, and said he didn’t even get an EPC. Many others mentioned attempts to extract a ‘cancellation fee’ from them, in some cases even though First Choice had failed to get anyone to do the EPC.

An aggrieved customer said: “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 three 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.”
First Choice doesn’t appear to be taking phone enquiries any more, since there is no phone number on its website, nor is there an email or mail address or a company name, though there is a contact form.

A couple of posters did say they had had no problems, but the overwhelming majority referred to the panel as a ‘nightmare’ and urged others not to deal with them. One said they should be called ‘Last Choice EPC’.

One assessor who posted made clear that he refuses to work for the panel. He said: “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.”

Another said: “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. Their address is a cyber space address so there is no way to chase them.”

A poster called Neil wrote: “Can I ask? Has any assessor ever been paid by these rip off merchants after carrying out EPCs for them? I’ve now sent 14 emails and left 7 voicemails and I still haven’t had a response!” As far as we could see, that post didn’t get a response.

A number of posters say they have complained to police or Trading Standards, and at least one person reported obtaining a county court judgement against First Choice EPC, but the address which was on the website, at Maylands Business Centre, Hemel Hempstead, has since been removed.

The website only had a ‘virtual office’ at the council-run centre, and ceased to rent it in mid July. Staff at Maylands say they don’t know where the business is now.
We put all the information in this article to First Choice EPC prior to publication and their full response is given below.

The First Choice EPC response:

“There is no such thing as non payment (of assessors). All invoices are settled in line with the terms of business. I am really surprised that anybody would suggest otherwise. In fact, we have changed the business model recently so assessors are paid direct by the customer on the day of the appointment. However, we have reverted back to the old model whilst we iron out some technical issues. We no longer offer telephone support however emails are responded to.

“This is not true (customers not receiving EPCs) and each case should be looked at on a case by case basis. The reason for the non delivery of an EPC could be as simple as the EPC has been filtered to the recipients spam/junk folder.

“Again, simply not true (customers complaining of being harassed into paying ‘cancellation fees’ when they say they have only made an enquiry or sought a free quote). We do offer a system where the customer can raise a free no obligation quote. The text on the quote page clearly details what will happen in the event they press the ‘confirm order’ button. There is no bullying involved, only the customers free will. I would suggest you speak to some of the assessors who have worked with us and actually adhered to the terms of business before sealing our fate.

“Again an absolute fabrication of the truth (customers complaining of being harassed for other additional fees). It is true that we charge late payment fees and cancellation fees which we are legally entitled to do. We are a business when all is said and done. Cancellation fees are not an alien concept amongst EPC panels.

“The dashboard access charge (£10 to recover an EPC – which customers complain they weren’t told of in advance) is entirely optional and gives the customer 10 year access to their control panel. This is mentioned in the terms and conditions. The EPC is otherwise sent.

“Negative reviews are a part of any business. We all accept that praise is seldom forthcoming for a job well done. We have completed thousands of EPCs and accept that we won’t be able to please everybody, which is especially true when the customer themselves are to blame. You make reference to being reported to the Police and Trading Standards but we are yet to be contacted by either for our comments. I assume you also observed the comments left by assessors who speak out in our defence. It is unclear whether your interests rest with the assessor or the customer.”

Written by Terry Wardle, Editor of Energy Assessor Magazine

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67 Comments to Is First Choice EPC worth the risk?

  1. Lee Godber's Gravatar Lee Godber
    September 29, 2014 at 7:12 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!

  2. Neil Bennett's Gravatar Neil Bennett
    September 30, 2014 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Now that I have read the article fully and their resoponce, it is obviously an “OUT & OUT SCAM” as the unsuspecting customer skimming the T&C’s is then charged and upon lack of their fulfillment of the contract and forced to pay the Cancellation Charge (as I was) to avoid the additional charges, I have the confirmation for whatever it may be worth that EPC will take no further action!

    So much for reporting toTrading Standards & the Online Fraud Squad!

    • Kirsty's Gravatar Kirsty
      October 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Can I just ask did you pay the initial alleged cancellation fees? Also, when and how did you get the confirmation that there would be no further action?

    • sue huckle's Gravatar sue huckle
      March 25, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      I have just been coned by First choice, I booked for 2 epc cerificates, on the 9th march had comfomation number,no appointment, advert says no payment will be taken untill get certificate, checked bank, they have taken two full payments of 39.95 on the 10th march, cant get through via phone or email, phone just says its not taking any inquiries, by phone, email just bounces back.any body know what to do next.I have been in touch with bank and trading standards, how can they get away with fraud?

  3. Jason's Gravatar Jason
    October 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    My wife pressed the free quote button and was then inundated with emails saying she had booked a survey.she called to complain and was rudely told that you booked a survey. It’s a total scam. She was then told that she owed a cancellation fee of £14.95. I have tried to call these people again but the number doesn’t connect. Now she is getting threatening emails saying……..
    On 11/08/2014 you ordered an Energy Performance Certificate via our website. The service started the moment you pressed the confirm order button from the originating ip address of: 81.174.157.133. The order was subsequently cancelled on 12/08/2014 at 4:12 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 17/08/2014. 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 17/08/2014.

    Our records indicate that the cancellation charge £14.95 was not paid by 17/08/2014 and so the late payment charge of £50.00 was added.

    You were then given until 22/08/2014 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 06/10/2014 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.

    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

    This is harassment and bullying at its very best. Has anyone got any ideas on what to do?

  4. Sarah wells's Gravatar Sarah wells
    October 2, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    2 weeks ago I completed their on-line form and waited for an engineer to call. After 4 days of hearing nothing I went to an alternative company. First Choice requested a payment of £15 for cancelling the appointment and despite my protest that no appointment was ever made they have sent me threatening emails saying that as I didn’t pay the cancellation fee I now owe them £180 and if I don’t pay, it will increase to over £400, which they will then pass to the debt collectors. I would advise everybody to stay away from this company.

  5. Jenny Dayton's Gravatar Jenny Dayton
    October 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I am having the most upsetting & frightening time with them. Having inquired on line for a free no obligation quote in August this year I have had a barrage of threatening emails demanding cancellation fees of £189.95 & threatening me with debt recovery company increasing the charges to £439.95 if I dont pay up in a few days. I never placed an order but was so worried by the threats that I sent a cancellation letter within my legal rights during the cooling off period of 14 days to make it clear I wouldn’t be paying anything to them. They are still perusing me causing ,e a lot of worry & stress. I have reported it to Trading standards via the consumer helpline already & am ringing the police today as I don’t think Mike should be allowed to bully & threaten people like this. DO NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR THIS COMPANY.

    • Kirsty's Gravatar Kirsty
      October 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Please let us know how you got on and see my posting below about my dealings with them.

  6. JohnA's Gravatar JohnA
    October 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Here is an extract from the terms and conditions on EPC first choice website :-Your EPC completed within 1-3 working Days !
    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:

    Damage, interfere or disrupt the website or access to the website;
    Gain or attempt to gain unauthorised access by any means to any restricted First Choice EPC computer networks or systems;
    Make available, upload or distribute on the First Choice EPC website any materials or files that contain viruses or any other harmful software;
    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” ha ha who do they think they are?

  7. Kirsty's Gravatar Kirsty
    October 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    We have had exactly the same experience as the above situations. After several phone calls to the CAB the conclusion is to NOT PAY. IF it goes to court it will take a long time and you can agree to pay £1 a week until the debt is paid off. It’s a risk but it’s far better than giving in to these shysters. STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE, no doubt they have prayed on some weak people and made a pretty penny from them already.

  8. Billy Bob's Gravatar Billy Bob
    October 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    Report this company to the above address.

    I too am having the same problem, aggressive emails, now threatening court action as money not been paid, last request was that I part with £185, if not paid by the 6th it would go up to the previously mentioned £495 or whatever the ridiculous amount they have plucked from the thin air (even though I still have time on my previous threat to cough up!)

    I have spoken to CAB and they have suggested that in the unlikely event that this ever goes to court it could be arranged that a payment of £1 a week is paid until the debt is settled. I am prepared to take this risk, it does seem very unlikely to go to court, especially as they are claiming the business is ran from Spain, does that mean that it would go to a Spanish court?

    Please make sure you report them if you’re having any trouble with them, I figure the more the merrier and surely someone somewhere will take heed.

  9. False Economy's Gravatar False Economy
    October 6, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I am having similar issues with First Choice – has anyone had any action taken against them yet, or do all the threats eventually go away?

    My legal advice is that the debt could not be enforced, but IF it did go to court, and IF the magistrate had a funny turn it would be be pain.

    Incidentally, is this the real Michael Cox? http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

  10. Gill List's Gravatar Gill List
    October 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    my bill is £199.-00 if dont pay by 9th oct £449 -00 in charges
    not paying!!1

  11. Brett's Gravatar Brett
    October 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Exactly the same experience as you guys above
    I’ve replied yo there demanding emails by asking them to please take me to court as if would be laughed out and remember debt collectors have no legal rights to demand monies only registered court bailiffs can demand money and as mentioned this would be laughed out of court, so far I’ve sent 5 replys asking questions about my so called debt to them and Suprise Suprise not had one reply from them other than demanding money emails total conmen please no one give them a penny every please just ask to be informed of the court date from then

    • tatyhead's Gravatar tatyhead
      March 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for all these letters, feeling so much better now, had no intention of paying, for they broke there contract first by taking payment before any appointment was made. 😉

  12. WhatTheFoxHat's Gravatar WhatTheFoxHat
    October 7, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Great link. Thank you. This makes me feel better.

  13. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    October 8, 2014 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Ring action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ who are VERY interested in First Choice EPC’s activities.

    They will tell you exactly what you should & shouldn’t do when dealing with them as well as putting your mind at rest.

    • Sherryl's Gravatar Sherryl
      October 9, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that Jen I have just received an email (at 12.40am) telling me that ‘court proceedings have now commenced’ This is because When I tried to pay the booking fee the Barclaycard paying in ŵebsite was unavailable, I sent proof from my bank statement that payment was sent when the website was active but 20+ emails later First Choice are still demanding payment and have added on several other charges bringing the amount to £449.95!
      HOWEVER, whilst composing this reply to you I have just received another from our friends! They have just discovered that I did pay the booking fee!! ‘Sorry for any inconvenience ‘
      The moral of this is DONOT PAY, STICK TO YOUR GUNS AND DONT LET THE CON MAN BULLY YOU INTO PAYING

  14. Sara's Gravatar Sara
    October 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I have had exactly the same happen despite me having had a call from a gentleman the day after I told two assessors that I didn’t want an appointment just a quote. I suspect the man was Michael Cox! ! He actually said they must have had an IT problem and would ensure it got resolved. I have reminded them of this conversation in several emails to no avail but I just keep getting the demanding emails for payment which is now at £495. On a recent email which I sent at 10pm on a Sunday I did confirm I was going to report them to trading standards and the police to which I got an instant reply saying they couldnt discuss my matter any further and suggested I take legal advice – obviously this scam is being monitored out of hours. I will be reporting it on the Police Fraud site.

  15. C N Shaw's Gravatar C N Shaw
    October 9, 2014 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    I received my email threat today, threatening debt collection etc and charges in the £100’s which I will ignore for all the sound reasons given throughout these comments and the earlier article which led to this specific article. 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

  16. Mark vowles's Gravatar Mark vowles
    October 9, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Hi have had identical treatment from this co as many of you have listed we even had the EPC carried out and have a receipt to prove it but this”company” are still threatening us with debt recovery. Will keep a close eye on internet to see how we all fair good luck.
    STAY AWAY FROM FIRST (Last) CHOICE

  17. October 9, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

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  18. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 9, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    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.

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

    Beware!!!

  19. C N Shaw's Gravatar C N Shaw
    October 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear Chris Shaw,

    Thank you for your email earlier today and the feedback posted on the energy assessor forum. You will be interested to learn that the content of your post is largely factually incorrect. The original post by Terry Wardle is also factually incorrect and his fate awaits him in the coming days.

    Your comments will be passed to Mr Whatcott for him to decide whatever course of action he deems appropriate.

    In closing, i would like you to consider how you would feel if somebody posted factually incorrect information about you or members of your family on the internet only for those very same comments to be embellished and blown out of control by other hell bent on manipulating the truth. Furthermore, how would you then feel if those same members of your family were harassed and bullied because of personal information that had been leaked about them. I really think you should have given more thought to your intended course of action before putting yourself forward as the peoples champion.

    Regards
    First Choice EPC

    and shortly after……..

    Dear Chris Shaw,

    Further to my earlier email, and as a courtesy to you i decided to look into your order in more detail to establish if there was indeed a rightful claim for a cancellation fee and it transpires that indeed there is. Furthermore, it appears as though you placed your order on 1/7/14 and commenced marketing of the property for rent on 2/7/2014. Further investigation on Monday will determine whether or not you breached EPC legislation. People in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones Mr Shaw. We will also ask our collections department to perform a track and trace search against all known addresses in order to ascertain your current address for collection purposes.
    Regards

    First Choice EPC

    hmmmm, I wonder if the police will view this as a threat, I shall add it to my crime report

  20. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 20, 2014 at 8:31 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

  21. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 20, 2014 at 10:05 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!!!

  22. A N Assessor's Gravatar A N Assessor
    October 22, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    It certainly appears that the majority of, in not all of the posts,are from customers that have gone on to,Google and entered ‘Cheap EPC’ and since doing that you’ve then found that things haven’t quite gone to plan! What a surprise! If you pay as little as possible for a professional product / service what do you expect???? £30.00 – £35.00 for an EPC is redicioulous yet the reason that these companies exist is because of ill educated individual that do little if any research first hand……. And just get drawn in by a price and then wonder why it is that you’ve been or are being chased £100’s for nonsensical / non justifiable reasons!

  23. brynberian's Gravatar brynberian
    October 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    This is not a particularly helpful response.

    These people are trying to EXTORT money from innocent people and they must be stopped

  24. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    October 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Just on the off chance others following this particular feed doesn’t know about the other feed with related threads about this topic. That feed has many more comments of which people to be aware off!

    Apologies to those that already know about that feed!

    http://www.housingenergyadvisor.com/blog/beware-of-the-online-epc-cowboys/

    • Simon's Gravatar Simon
      March 2, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Hi Jules Did you receive any reply from this company? and what was the outcome of your cancellation ?…thanks

  25. Sara's Gravatar Sara
    November 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I recieved a letter in post today headed letter befor action with an invoice. They have said if I make a payment before 6th Nov they will reduce the chrarge of £439.95 to £189.95. I have emailed on several occasions telling them I never requested a report however they have chosen to ignore me. There are no contact details on the letter other than the registered office which is Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove. London N12 0DR. I am still going to stand my ground on this scam and now contact Police Action Fraud

  26. Ronny Deila's Gravatar Ronny Deila
    November 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I spoke to Consumer Services today explained my story, they advised that this falls into The Consumer Contracts (information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Here’s the letter I sent today (by Recorded Delivery)

    First Choice EPC
    Ground Floor
    2 Woodberry Grove
    London
    N12 0DR

    Dear EPC,

    (quote legislation)

    On (date of online enquiry) I entered into the following contract online: EPC.

    I did not receive a confirmation to arrange appointment for a Domestic Energy Assessor to assess my property.

    Under the above Regulations, as I received no confirmation from yourselves to arrange date I have the right to 12 months and 14 days from receiving cancellation notice to cancel the contract.

    I am therefore giving notice that I want to exercise this right to cancel my contract with you.

    Please confirm within seven days of receiving this letter that the contract has been cancelled.

    Hope this helps..

  27. November 4, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!

    As an established EPC provider for the last 7 years, we have had numerous request from this and similar companies requesting Energy Surveyors to undertake works. We refuse to assist First Choice EPC and treat them as a flight-by-night scam.
    Look for Accredited Assessors at https://www.epcregister.com/ and just pay a little extra for complete peace of mind, and an authentic EPC Report.

  28. S MUNIR's Gravatar S MUNIR
    November 7, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    First Choice EPC. Simply fraud. They took payment from my card even though it clearly says on the website no money will be taken till the day of the appointment. I tried to chase them up for a Certificate, but they ignore emails from their website and if you call them it’s automated service which says email them. So u go round in circles. I today reported to Consumer helpline who agreed and put me through with the fraud Police who also agreed and will look into this. So what a good business this is where u can simply take money for free off customers what a scam.

    • MAP's Gravatar MAP
      November 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Like yourself I did exactly the same paying upfront in September and have had no reply to anything. I also reported to Action Fraud the situation but have heard nothing yet. I just feel a huge fool for being scammed in this way. I have since paid a different company recommended by my estate agent and the EPC was e-mailed with 24 Hours. I wish I had looked into this so called company before paying my money.

  29. Mags's Gravatar Mags
    November 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    NEVER EVER USE FIRSTCHOICE EPC
    This company is currently threating us with court action when I have received no service off them at its a disgrace and a scam! My advice is don’t pay and contact watchdog, action fraud, trading standards, newspapers anyone to stop others falling into their trap!

  30. Ronny Deila's Gravatar Ronny Deila
    November 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Has anybody ever received a court hearing date from these and in what court?

  31. Craig Hewitt's Gravatar Craig Hewitt
    November 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Had a few conversations with this Micheal Cox about there company only the other day, As he was trying to scam my parents. I found out that he is in a mass of debt and lives in Spain. Address of where he lives can be forwarded. The company is now registered in the UK now. We also received a letter stamped in the county we live in, in Yorkshire which makes me question how sad this bloke really is. I also have over 30 emails to and from Micheal Cox which I class as threatening. Also look out for a Christopher Whatcott.
    Please all contact watch dog and other organisations about this fraudulent company
    Address is First Choice Epc Limited
    Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove, London, N12 0DR.
    The company was registered on the 14 October 2014 so you can now contact watch dog, trading standards and other organisations
    This is the current director as Micheal Cox isnt aloud by British Law to be a Director or own a company-
    Name – Anthony Graeme Peplar
    Type – Director
    Residence – South Africa
    Nationality – South African
    Date of Birth – February 1967
    Occupation – Consultant
    Status – Current
    Appointed – 14 October 2014
    Address – Winnington House 2 Woodberry Grove
    London
    N12 0DR
    https://www.opencompany.co.uk/company/09263969/first-choice-epc-limited

    Key Data
    Company Name – First Choice Epc Limited
    Name Variation – First Choice Epc Ltd
    Status – Active
    Category – Private Limited Company
    Company Number – 09263969
    Registered Address –
    Ground Floor
    2 Woodberry Grove
    London
    N12 0DR
    Country Origin – United Kingdom
    Incorporation Date – 14 October 2014
    Company Age – 1 month
    Classification (SIC)

    If Mr Cox or anyone from there company would like to dispute this then please try. You have the Hewitt Familys details I look forward to speaking to you. Or please call around.
    If anyone would like more information on Micheal Cox I will be have to speak to you about this.

    • David's Gravatar David
      November 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Craig, Firstchoiceepc is Chris Whatcott’s company…. Mike, Michael Cox whomever he is masquerading as are simply aliases. This is how he trades. He likes to hide behind shell companies setup off the shelf using their company services to setup a web of directors so he doesn’t use his own name as to not get traced.

      Who would want to go into business with Chris Whatcott when his name is plastered everywhere on the internet after many previous EPC scams. After having researched deeply into him and his previous business (all have closed since as he was made bankrupt a few years ago)

      http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

      A lot of information is on this forum if u should care to read thru all the comments, but the address you mention (Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove, London, N12 0DR) is indeed firstchoiceepc registered office address but is simply just a serviced address. He does trade from there at all.

      If he was really a honest business man, why would he be so evasive, trade in the UK but only have a correspondence address which is a PO box in Spain!!???

      Because of Chris Whatcotts history in business failures he doesn’t want to be found or linked to businesses he runs as they are scams.

      I am sure u have see the other forum on this website :
      http://www.housingenergyadvisor.com/blog/beware-of-the-online-epc-cowboys/

      Many similar experiences of customers.

      This is the address where he does operate from it seems which is his other business called Savi.

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

      • David's Gravatar David
        November 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        A lot on information on how he has run different EPC sites is on the internet, many people who have posted here have also done a lot of research on him and his shady business practices. Some I know have approached national media and other media outlets, blogs detailing what he is doing. Its safe to say there will be many stories run about him and he won’t be able to hide.

  32. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    November 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    From my research Craig, firstchoiceepc is simply a company registered at a serviced address (just google that address to find out the company that manages that address), he doesn’t trade from there. The owner is just hiding behind it so he doesn’t get found out – at least he is trying not to. But these days it is relatively straight forward to find information and it seems to me the links are to Chris Whatcott – if u google his name, u will see a raft of information on his unscrupulous practices.

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

    Have u seen the other forum on this website? Many many similar exposé on him too and customers with same experiences.

    http://www.housingenergyadvisor.com/blog/beware-of-the-online-epc-cowboys/

    There is a lot of information on Chris whatcott and his companies in that forum. It is also clear, Mike, Matt or whomever he chooses to respond as is the same person and of course it isn’t real names. He doesn’t even answer the phone or reply to emails. He only sends emails out and threatens customers.

    Lets see how long he can keep this up. He is being found out he cannot keep up.

  33. November 15, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    PLEASE DO NOT USE FIRST CHOICE EPC! To anyone of the above people being bullied by First Choice EPC – simply ignore them.

    It’s a company owned by a known scammer and as such will not be able to pursue any ‘debt’s he claims you owe. Sit back, relax and use a local company to provide your service.

    We are a Yorkshire based company with excellent feedback (see FreeIndex) and have been running since 2005. We are owed for just 1 EPC job we did in good faith for First Choice, but needless to say we won’t be doing any more!

  34. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    November 20, 2014 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    If you want to put this guy out of business keep clicking on the Google sponsored link. Every time you do this it costs him a significant amount. I know. I pay £2000 a month to google for my sponsored link.

  35. john's Gravatar john
    December 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    It is true about first choice epc they are nothing more than a scam. If you have had an email reply of any kind from them you are lucky I can’t get any response at all after 6 weeks. I suppose I shall have to take the money loss on the chin but all I can say to anyone looking for an EPC, make First Choice your absolute last choice don’t be added to the growing list of people who have been ripped off by them.

  36. Peter James's Gravatar Peter James
    December 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid to say I too have been ripped off by this bunch of thieving cowboys. No reply to repeated emails, no phone number on their website anymore etc etc.

    I feel embarrassed to have been taken in by them as I am normally quite alert to online scammers; lesson learned. I just hope there is someone out there reading this who will learn from my mistake and avoid being yet another genuine customer ripped off by First Choice EPC.

  37. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    December 3, 2014 at 11:51 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 bailifs turn up. Cant wait.

  38. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    December 4, 2014 at 5:25 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

  39. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    December 5, 2014 at 11:49 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.

  40. Jess's Gravatar Jess
    December 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I too have had an appalling experience with First Choice EPC. If anyone is reading this blog to see if they are worth dealing with – just don’t.
    I used their website to see if I could book an EPC for my elderly grandmother after needing to sell her house to fund a move to a care home. As we didn’t live close to her house I wanted a specific date for the EPC as I knew I’d be there. They couldn’t make it but still harassed me into paying – after my grandmother subsequently died. At a time when you’d expect people to be sensitive they were the complete opposite. I paid the ‘cancellation fee’ even though I think it’s completely wrong as I just couldn’t handle the stress of the threat of a small claims court whilst dealing with my grandmother’s loss. I hate First Choice EPC for how they have dealt with me.

  41. Ronny Deila's Gravatar Ronny Deila
    December 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I received this e-mail same day as Barry I think!

    Here’s mail

    Requesting appointment date / time‏

    Requesting appointment date / time

    First Choice EPC (noreply@firstchoiceepc.com)

    Add to contacts

    02/12/2014

    To: @HOTMAIL.CO.UK

    noreply@firstchoiceepc.com

    Dear ,

    Thank you once again for your recent order. Please confirm 3 dates and times of when you would like an appointment scheduled for. You can notify us by clicking the Appointment Request link below.

    Appointment Request

    Alternatively, you can email us using the Reply here link below.

    Reply here

    Regards

    First Choice EPC

    EPC-030978

  42. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 7, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I paid this sham outfit an upfront fee of £39.95. Waited 3 weeks and still no contact, chased it and email returned as undelivered, with an indication to click on “Support Ticket”. This is rubbish, as all you get is a further unscheduled wait. Went back and cancelled and then began to receive constant reminders to pay an additional amount of £14.95!!! What the hell was this for? I had already paid upfront, they should be returning my money, not adding extra. If you deal with this online rubbish company, you will almost certainly regret you ever did so. Their directors are somewhat suspect and their plethora of registered addresses are of an extremely dubious nature. It is virtually impossible to get your money back from these scammers

  43. Sara's Gravatar Sara
    December 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I had the e mail this weekend asking for 3 appointment dates after I have already had the letter saying last chance before action. Cant even be bothered to even reply. This company is a joke but the sad thing is unfortunately some people will get scared with the constant emails/letters any pay and that is probably one of the reasons this vicious person continues to do this.

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      December 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carl, wait for my post to go live .. you will find that a very interesting read :)..

  44. Carl's Gravatar Carl
    December 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Simple DO NOT DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE. From what I see on the majority of post they don’t’ pay assessors or indeed treat their own customers fairly. As an assessor I have completed one job and that’s one too many. 3 emails sent for their job ref:032615 client was somebody I knew so I know he has paid 1st Choice. All I got was automated email responses saying they will contact me. Invoice still outstanding from 20/10/14
    My experience is I have more chance winning £10 on the lottery than this shower paying their debt. I look forward reading more about this bunch.

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      December 8, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carl, wait for my post to go live .. you will find that a very interesting read :)..

      • Gilda1's Gravatar Gilda1
        March 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kevin
        Thanks for for all your reports, my husband did the click thing and we waited for weeks no months for something to happen but nothing so went to our credit card and got the money back, and a few months later surprise we are now being bombarded with e-mails we are now up to the £400 odd and the next move is court. Found this site and now feel a little better as were no spring chickens, and to be receiving all these e-mails is very worrying.Now have a letter from our credit card asking for an explanation as they have had a letter from first choice. Tomorrow I shall be ringing the action fraud police to see what they have to say, I am also in the throws of compiling a e-mail to watchdog to see if they can bring this company to the attention of the courts.

  45. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    December 8, 2014 at 7:45 pm | 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.

  46. Simon's Gravatar Simon
    December 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Steer Clear!

    Clicked on the button at first choice epc website for a free quote as it stated. It took months for a reply with a cascade of emails, claiming that a service has begun and a cancellation fee of £14.95 was due with further increases on failure to pay.

    What planet does this person live on? Will not pay you a single dime!
    It’s the nature of physics you give me a service I pay. But with first choice epc or whoever he poses to be has a different understanding of common sense. You never gave me a service so no pay, simple! Regardless of the terms on your website (a pile of nonsense) which basically states that he has all the rights and you have none.

    This is clearly an act of Phantom fraud which will not be unscathed. They prey on weak people to pay with bullying tactics threatening to take things to court etc… Regardless of what these thugs say ,DO NOT PAY!!! All you’re doing is giving them more of an excuse to mug more people. I hope they do end up in court; most likely a custodial sentence will be given.

  47. chris's Gravatar chris
    December 10, 2014 at 3:33 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.

  48. paul nobbs's Gravatar paul nobbs
    December 11, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    EPC have taken payment from me twice and have never provided any assessor or even tried to contact me. I have since had to gain an EPC from another company. I have asked First Choice EPC to refund me. The have an auto reply service saying my email has been received. But no responses. I have come to conclusion that this is a ROGUE TRADER and are criminals who need police investigation for their fraudulent operation.

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      December 11, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Paul, contact your bank and instruct them to make a chargeback of the fees, tell them that you have been scammed by this company and that you want them to investigate.

  49. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    December 11, 2014 at 10:24 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.

  50. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    December 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I have had a problem with these guys mascarading as first choice EPC and also EPClocal.net.

    The registered company address is: 2, WINNINGTON HOUSE WOODBERRY GROVE, LONDON, NORTH FINCHLEY, N12 0DR

    Director of the business: ANTHONY GRAEME PEPLAR

    I have sent numerous emails to no avaial and the phone number is useless as there is no answer. Be careful.

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      December 16, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      ANTHONY GRAEME PEPLAR is a south african, he has been made the company director of over a dozen companies, mostly at woodberry grove within the last 3 – 4 months, including first choice ECP .. this sounds extremely dodgy to me, there are no records that I can find of him being a director of a company before this point.

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        December 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        2 Woodbury Grove is a managed service address that company formation company http://www.a1companies.com use. Companies wishing to hide behind serviced addresses and use nominee directors they can appoint do so to keep customers from finding them. Anthony Graeme Peplar is such nominee director name used by company formation services. The company First Choice EPC is a sham and used for scam purposes.

    • David's Gravatar David
      December 17, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      From my research in Chris Whatcott – owner of previous several bankrupt EPC businesses – owing money to many and leaving customers high and dry – mostly through his scam actions – First Choice EPC is another one that has all his fingerprints.

      2 Woodbury Grove is a managed service address that company formation company http://www.a1companies.com use. Companies wishing to hide behind serviced addresses and use nominee directors they can appoint do so to keep customers from finding them. Anthony Graeme Peplar is such nominee director name used by company formation services. The company First Choice EPC is a sham and used for scam purposes.

      Read other research into Chris Whatcotts activities :

      http://energyassessormagazine.com/rogue_panels_boss_whatcott.html

      There are many articles and links on this forum and websites, I have posted some previously here also.

      Also read the other link on this website that relates to First Choice EPC. http://www.housingenergyadvisor.com/blog/beware-of-the-online-epc-cowboys/

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      December 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Currently two sites he uses: 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

  51. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it might be a good idea for a group to get together and file a joint action against this rogue outfit. This would also help to spread the legal costs to an affordable level for each

  52. James's Gravatar James
    December 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    I too received a confidential letter to my home address saying to pay 449.90£. If paid before 21/12/2014, needs to pay only 199.90£. I already lost 30£ which I paid to person came to my home and till now not received any certificate. Send several support tickets and no number to speak to anyone. I am not going to pay for the service I haven’t received.

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      December 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Nobody at all has a right to come onto your property and demand money, or threaten to take your possessions, unley they are a ppointed by the court, if somebody does, tell them to get lost, if they refuse call the poliuce and tell them you have an univited person on your property and you wish to have them removed for tresspass, unless you get a court letter, any other letter is meaningless .. then bin it and dont worry … This is a bullying and threatening technique used by many scam artists.

      The net is closing in on this company… wont be long now.

  53. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    December 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Currently two sites similar to each other most probably operated by Chris Whatcott uses urls: 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

  54. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I received a letter and invoice yesterday from First Choice (signed by M Cox). The amount being stated as £439.95. This relates to a so-called cancellation fee of £14.95 plus costs. This same letter also quotes the dates of my initial request and the date of my cancellation, which amounts to 29 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes, almost 2 days after the expiry of their 28 day terms of contract. Obviously I am therefore due a refund of my initial payment of £39.95 I have queried this point via their “info@” email address. For some reason they do not wish to respond. There is also a comment in this letter regarding the service starting the moment the confirm order button is pressed. Now, this particular feature operates on a 24/7 basis, importantly not a working day basis. This latter point is very specific and should be noted. I have got absolutely nowhere as regards a refund of my initial payment of £39.95, so have therefore requested a chargeback from my card provider. I am also following up on this and reporting the matter as a possible potential fraud, thus by withholding my due refund and also exerting unnecessary, illegal, aggravated harassment in return. I think that my card provider will probably be interested in this information and are more likely to follow up on it in a more serious manner

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      December 18, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Everything about it is illegal. Its fraud and extortion. He asking for money for zero service. Everyone should know – and the people that have read these forums know this, is to NOT give any money to this fraudster. Scammers target those that readily give up just because they aren’t any wiser to know any better and for what is perceived a easier path. Don’t give in to this scammer!

  55. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Update: My card provider has now begun an investigation to contact the merchant bank of First Choice EPC, could be interesting. But, whoever you are out there, I would strongly advise to not have any dealings with this online company. Do not click on anything on their website. It is best to not even enter their website!!!

  56. James's Gravatar James
    December 19, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I have got a deadline to pay before 21/12 11:08. If you pay before that a discount is there 199£ after that it will go to a debt recovery and 498£. I already logged a complaint with action fraud and consumer trading. As I am looking for a mortguage i worry whether it will affect my credit scoring. What I needs to do for stop affecting my credit rating. Do I needs to call any other agency and report this incident ?

    I have read in previous communication about C.A.B. What is that ?
    Please can anyone advice me on this.

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      December 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      There is absolutely no reason to pay the silly fees or fines created by firstchoiceepc. It won’t get anywhere in court and certainly bailiffs cannot enter your house for these reasons to recover whatever invents costs he has imagined up. No one here on these forums has had any evidence of court proceedings nor bailiffs. All empty threats pushed on unsuspecting customers. The scam Firstchoiceepc has created should be ignored! Don’t pay him. It will only fund him more to continue with his scam and create future scams.

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      December 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Like many deby collection agencies, this company is employing a technique to try to get some money off you … do you really think they would give you a discount of 200 quid if they thought that they had a legal right tyo take it all .. of course not .. they know they can get ZERO money from you this way … just trying to bully you and think they are doing you a favour .. bin all letters from them .. the only letter that will mean anything and you need to take notice of is a letter from court, this clearly wont happen, they would then have to show themselves .. a court will take a very dim view of a company acting in the way that this company is.

  57. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I have had a lengthy conversation with a fraud officer, his advice is definitely do not pay, he was quite adamant on this, in fact I was actually ordered not to – SO DON’T DO IT. There is something obviously very wrong. I was told that if it ever went to court, which is highly unlikely, an amount of £14.95 would only end up in the region of £80 with costs. Whoever is doing this is merely plucking figures out of the air to end up with an amount of £400 plus, they would never be awarded anywhere near this kind of amount in court. It was also pointed out that the obvious danger if you do pay is that they will probably see you as an easy mark for a possible further scam at a later date, remember they already have your details. The threat of passing the “debt” onto a recovery agency is also almost certainly another part of the scam, very likely another company with links to First Choice. Anyone ever turns up at your door, ask them to leave. If not, just phone the police and have them removed. Personally I would take a couple of photographs as well, this could be useful. I now have a crime number and a password, and was advised to retain all communications from First Choice. I also contacted CAB who have forwarded on the information to Trading Standards. What really sums this up is that everyone I spoke with was shocked at the figures that I quoted to them, in fact I had to restate them on two occasions. What a great way to make a living, take people’s money, don’t do the work, and then charge them again with an extortionate amount for having to go elsewhere to have it done. To date, I still have not received the refund of my £39.95. I hope that you will all sleep a little better now, I will. Make sure you retain all of their nasty emails and letters that you receive, report everything to fraud police and CAB/Trading Standards. Let’s have an end to all of this nonsense, I’ve certainly had enough of it. Come on Whatcott, Cox, Peplar, or whatever your name is, give it up and leave everybody alone

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      December 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      I too have a crime reference number from the action fraud police, and also a reference number from trading standads, have also been in touch with the competitions and markets authority (the old office of fair trading) .. actually dont bother with this one .. they are pretty toothless …. but may be worth sending them an email anyway.

  58. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    December 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    After several back and forth emails to these scam artists, I pointed out to them that sending debt collectors is pointless (this is their threatening way to try to get you to pay up .. ALL legitimate companies would go to court first, then pass on the debt to a collection agent) as they have no powers, and invited them again to proceed in court if they ever want to get anything from me (I have invited them several times in previous messages to take this course too) … So lets see if they send a court summons to me .. I kind of suspect they wont .. and I welcome if they do ….

  59. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    December 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Read the First Choice EPC response above. There is a quoted line here that includes the statement “what will happen in the event they press the confirm order button”. Should this be seen as a threatening comment? Surely not from a perceived reputable company? Sounds more like a threat to me

  60. James Halinson's Gravatar James Halinson
    December 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Similar experience to others on here. Currently on a ‘final email before debt collection’ with £449 of charges. Have reported to Trading Standards and Action Fraud, both advised to ignore emails and not pay a penny.

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      December 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Debt collectors are powerless … if and thats a big if they come to your property .. tell em to bugger off or you will do them for tresspass, then call the police if they dont go away, and tell them not to contact you again or you will do them for harrasment .. only take notice if you get a genuine court summons .. which is extremely doubtful as this scam artist has no defence for his actions if you defend yourself.

  61. David's Gravatar David
    December 29, 2014 at 10:03 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.

  62. David's Gravatar David
    January 6, 2015 at 11:17 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.

  63. 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 …

  64. 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.

    • Garry's Gravatar Garry
      January 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Had all the threats and emails and posted letter still waiting and would welcome a court hearing. The guy has never obviously heared of the distance selling Act of 2013. Disappointed Fraud Action and /or Trading Standards have not acted upon extorting money with menaces. Complete and utter Scam artist.

  65. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    January 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Yep, Trading standards, the action fraud police and Competitions and markets authority (the old OFT) are all guttless, and probably toothless too .. No wonder these guys continue with this type of scam .. they should be shut down immediately.

    A UK business with an untaceable German domain/website, run by a South African (officially that is) with a Spanish correspondence address, an 0845 number that is just an answering service, and no reply email address .. how hard is it to figure that one out.

    By the way by not putting a valid reply email address, and registered address on all his emails (a web reply form is not sufficient) he is again breaking regulations. And not having a contact telephone number on his website again is breaking regulations.

  66. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    January 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    My bank have refunded me the £39.95 while they are continuing with their investigation into this scammer,

    I am surprised I have not yet had a court summonds for £10,000 (as per the terms of his small print) because of all the comments I am making about him … I wonder why that would be, because they are all true I would imagine.

  67. Ronny Deila's Gravatar Ronny Deila
    January 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Re my post of 3rd November, I sent letter by recorded delivery. Yesterday I got a return envelope from Royal Mail with a non receipt sticker saying letter refused…….

  68. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    January 20, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Well at the moment all his emails have dried up, last one I got was around the 6th Jan telling me he had started court proceedings … yea right haha …. probably hoping I would have contacted him to make a settlement offer … this guy is a complete idiot.

  69. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    January 21, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Re Post 68 above. Sounds like this Whatcott is getting a bit desperate. Probably broke again by now, perhaps he spent a bit too much of our money over Christmas and New Year, needs to top up his overdraft

  70. David's Gravatar David
    January 23, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Firstchoiceepc.com is still trading and advertising on Google..crazy as that sounds…. Whatcott is not stopping as he needs to top up his scam money pot. The fact that he is still continuing means he doesn’t know how to do anything else as his history record shows he just sets up epc sites and attempts to also be a estate agent .. I only hope people Google him on the net before engaging him.

    • Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
      January 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      I generally google everybody I deal with, this was the one time I was in a rush and didnt do it .. more fool me …. having said that when something like this happens its an oppertunity to broaden one’s knowledge, and my consumer law knowledge has now been greatly improved .. and my bank have already given my cash back .. but they are still investigating firstchoice .. I really cant understand how pathetic the action fraud police and strading standards are .. no wonder conmen pull these scams, not just once but several times, they must be making a small fortune, and probably only paying a small fine when they eventually get told to cease trading…

  71. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    January 23, 2015 at 5:54 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

  72. William's Gravatar William
    January 26, 2015 at 5:18 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????

  73. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    January 26, 2015 at 5:48 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

  74. 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.

  75. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    February 2, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    excellent, lets hope they shut him down quickly, and fine him tens of thousands .. if they have the balls to do it ..

  76. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    February 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I think Whatcott should be locked up. Look at the amount of trouble he has caused to so many people, through this disgusting fraudulent scam. There are comments on here by people who are obviously extremely worried and distressed. Whatcott has used threats, extortion and deceit to create this situation, it has all been thoroughly planned. Ok, fine him, but he will always be a potential threat to the public, so therefore he also deserves a custodial sentence, pure and simple – make him think twice before trying it again

  77. Mark R's Gravatar Mark R
    February 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear.
    I wish I had read all of this 20 minutes ago. BEFORE I had just paid £39.95 for an EPC. Dead money??

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      February 9, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      It’s not dead money Mark, call your credit card company and tell them you have been scammed and you want them to make a chargeback of the money you paid, then call the Action Fraud Police and the trading Standards and tell them you hgave been a victim of a fraud and you want them to investogate, just google to get the contact numbers.

      This scammer is already being investigated and the more people that complain about him the better and sooner we can get him closed down.

      Google should start taking some responsibility for this type of scam, anybody can put a google add on like this and its very quick and free to set up a website similar to this scammers website .. easy money, and I would think now he is just trying to get as much in his bank account now as possible before he is shut down .. I am also suspecting his bank account is probably in a foreign country.

  78. W Morris's Gravatar W Morris
    February 10, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Whatcott seriously needs therapy. I think he is completely warped. This guy is dangerous. I received a “noreply” email yesterday requesting that I click on a “reply here” option, in order to arrange for an appointment. I originally made the order for an EPC report on 21 Oct 2014, and have since received numerous threatening emails and a threatening letter demanding hundreds of pounds from me. What is going on inside this guy’s head? Why is he contacting me now, over three months later, asking me to arrange for an appointment? He must be totally out of touch. I must admit that I am not at all happy with the fact that my details are being retained within a database that can still be accessed by this scammer. I do not think that the authorities are handling this very well, Whatcott should not be allowed to continue to harass, certainly not over three months down the line, targeting specific individuals. I think he is quite mad and I just want to get this guy out of my life

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      February 10, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Sadly like every scam artist he is not concerned with how his scams effect those bieng scammed .. all I know is usually what goes around comes around, I am assuming you asked your bank to make a chargeback, now just ignore his emails and dont let it upset you anymore, this is not going to go any further, he will not take court action or any other action as this will expose his scam, Like all scammers, he goes for the easy targets.

      I requested several times for him to take me to court to claim any money he thinks I owe him, 6th Jan I had an email telling me he had started court proceedings, nearly 6 weeks later nothing .. and there never will be anything .. just lies and threats to try make people pay up ..

      He will get whats coming to him one way or another ..

      I agree the authorities are taking way too long to sort this out, every day can you imagine possibly hundreds of people paying him 39.99 and he is just sitting there watching the cash roll in,

      Google should be made accountable when such a scam is bought to their attention and they do not act.

  79. 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.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      February 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kevin Davis,

      The terms and conditions have not changed and the 1-3 day delivery has not been removed. You claim to know an awful lot about our business model but in reality, you know nothing about it. The terms that are shown as i type this message are for a different business model to the one that was in place when you (or your wife Linda Davis) placed your order with us. We alternate between the different business models to suit the requirements of the business. You will notice that the business model in place today is one where you can pay the assessor on the day of the appointment. The terms and conditions reflect this payment option as opposed to the payment option where you pay the full amount upfront. The terms and conditions are different but only because they reflect a different business model. We comply fully with legislation.

      Mike

  80. 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,

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      February 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kevin,

      I can only assume you obtained that address from the Court Papers you received recently. You have spent so much time advising people not to pay based on your belief that we will not progress matters through the Court but on the day you receive Court Papers from us, you decide to be economical with the truth. I would suggest that you convey the truth from this moment forward and not what YOU think people want to hear.

      If a debt is owed to us we will pursue this debt through the County Court. You disputed the original charges despite our best efforts to guide you in the direct of current legislation. You have chosen to be influenced by the many articles and other forum comments about our business as opposed to taking the FREE legal advice on offer from trading standards.

      This matter is now in the hands of the Court.

      Mike

      • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
        February 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Where I got the information is no concern of yours thank you very much.

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      February 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Please be advised that the Marylebone Road postal address referenced here is for Court Papers only. Any correspondence received that is not from the County Court Business Centre will be returned to sender unopened.

  81. FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
    February 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    For somebody who has loose lips you appear to have gone vey quiet on the subject of whether Court Action has commenced against you. Can you kindly confirm if you have received your court papers yet ?

  82. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    February 17, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, there you have it. First Choice EPC, what a delightful character this Whatcott is. A continually changing business model must be a real bonus for customers, very reassuring. “Loose lips”, what a wonderful way to address a customer, most professional. I see that “Mike Cox” has suddenly entered the fray. Where has “Matt” gone? Is he still with us? I would hate to think that anything untoward has happened to him. And I would love to have that “Trading Standards guy” back. He was a real hoot

    • FirstChoiceEPC's Gravatar FirstChoiceEPC
      February 18, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Hi Crispin,

      Matt is still very much with us but thank you for asking about him. Our business model doesn’t continue to change. We adopted the 2 business models from inception. We use whatever works best for the business. Kevin Davis ceased being a customer of ours when he breached the terms of the agreement. As for your reference to the trading standards guy, I can’t comment since i have no idea who you are referring to.

      Mike

  83. February 18, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    This is meant to be a forum for advice and help but seems its now gone to meaningless playground tit for tat ….. I now have CCJ papers land on my front door so thankyou for the last 109 comments which clearly wished I HAD NOT trusted so what am I meant to do now guys ….. what let me guess ignore it etc how can I !!! I am in a regulated job as a financial adviser and if I get a CCJ I will fail fitness and properness and will lose my job thanks for nothing forum how about getting your facts right or am I the only one who this has happened too !!!!

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      March 2, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      RE post 83. David Ross

      Sounds fishy to me you should be making comments blaming a forum that is airing the dirty laundry of a scam artist like chris Whatcott and his company First Choice EPC.

      You being a so called Financial Advisor regulated by the FSA should be smart enough to understand that what Firstchoice is doing is a scam and their actions have no recourse nor claim. Its just threatening tactics. Simple, and I mean simple! research besides what this forum has uncovered should be enough to supplement your own knowledge.

      The language you use really shows no correlation to the profession and technical knowledge of the role you say u are employed as. An embarrassment more like.

      Try again Whatcott..or whomever alias you want..

      • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
        March 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Does anybody else when they mouse over Davis Ross name in post 83 get a link to firstchoiceepc … haha .. nice try to mislead firstchoice, misleading on a forum just like you misslead on your website, not very smart of you to put a link to first choice on Davis Ross name though. :)..

  84. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    February 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Hello “Mikey”, how nice. Love this thread
    Just need a little more of your help here – First you refer to the singular “our business model”, then in plural “we adopted the 2 business models”. So which model are we at now? And how do you quantify these models? Do you call them Plan A and Plan B?

  85. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    February 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    hahah the Whatcott is back commenting… well well…yeah like he will arrange to pay court fees to ALL the people who he says owes him money. Let him do it, he won’t of course..How about the people that he owes money to? A person that has a history of owing money to people and then being made bankrupt to avoid paying those monies… yeah great track record…

    Its not going to happen this court action as everyone here he is supposedly taking court action on will deny they owe money.. therefore Whatcott may have to make an appearance in court himself which he WONT want to do as that will reveal himself to everyone…. he has spent so much effort trying to proclaim he isn’t who he is yet is hiding behind fake names like Matt and Mike… I would love to see “Mike Cox” in court. hahah…

  86. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    February 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh, one other thing “Mikey”, just thought of it

    Re Post 81 and your reply to my Post 82 – The way I read this is, so, after you have decided to “cease” with an aggrieved customer, it then becomes a free-for-all for First Choice EPC personnel to insult that former customer at will, this is basically how it comes across “Mikey”. I doubt that referring to someone as “loose lips” would be of much use in trying to resolve any aggrieved issues – did you learn that one at business school “Mikey”?

    You should learn to calm down a little more “Mikey”, keep taking the medicine, I worry for you sometimes old chap

    Any news on the business model(s)? Been checking through on this one again, seems that you have probably actually used about three options for this – I’m thinking a Plan C perhaps?

  87. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    February 20, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    First Choice seems to have gone a bit quiet again

    I’m thinking that perhaps poor old “Mikey” has most likely painted himself into a dark corner somewhere, perhaps laden down with reams of paperwork on all of his “business models”, that he can’t decide on which one to use next

    I also note on “Mikey’s” reply to Post 79 above, he initially quotes: “The terms and conditions have not changed…”, then at the end of this same reply he states: “The terms and conditions are different but only because they reflect a different business model.”

    First Choice, what exactly are you trying to say?

    Crispin

  88. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    February 28, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Just to make it clear, I have never been, and never will be a customer of firstchoiceepc, nor have I ever paid them any money, and I can catagorically state I have never and will never receive a court summons from these people.

  89. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    February 28, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    What I will say though is that I am indeed helping somebody who has received a county court summons from first choice epc, and these are the facts that I am sure firstchoice will confirm here.

    As first choice has a correspondece address in Spain which is not dodgy at all (sarcasm), and as we all know their serviced office turns away registered post there was no way for me to get an address to send a court summons to them, so after several of their threatening emails, twice I invited firstchoice to send me a court summons.

    I asked for this for 2 reasons, the first reason was that it would be the only way to get an address that I could use in a court case – mission accomplished, the second was so that I could then make a claim or more specifically a counter claim against thair claim, which now has been done, this counter claim includes the original fee of 39.99, the court costs, and I added an extra cost for time I have spent dealing with this.

    I would urge ALL and ANYBODY who receives a county court summons from firstchoice to make a counterclaim as above, and dont forget to add “compensation cost” for whatever amount you think would be appropriate.

    I am sure that firstchoice will now confirm to everybody here that they have indeed received a counter claim from one of their customers.

  90. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    February 28, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Davis Ross, I would like you to contact me if you can, I can tell you what to do and give you some information which you can use. I will set up an email address and post it here so that you can contact me directly, I will need proof that you are who you say you are, and also proof of the court summons as this is now a legal matter.

    Email to use is firstchoiceepcscam@gmail.com

    Remember, a county court summons means nothing, its the judgement the judge makes thats important, you have a right to defend that claim and to make a counter claim if you wish.

    Judges dont like scam artists !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers

    kev

  91. jules's Gravatar jules
    March 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Bravo, Kevin Davis for persuing scam artists like first choice epc.

  92. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    It still going to be several weeks before the case is heard, but will keep everybody updated.

  93. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like whatcott and his chronies are trying another tactic .. I am sure its not going to be long before firstchoiceepc close ther doors and they need to find another income stream.

    http://www.energyassessormagazine.co.uk/idea_warning_on_dea_opportunity.html

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      March 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Whatcott up to his scam tricks again with a new site? … we know he cannot attach his actual name to any business, as a simple google on him nullifies that for anyone to take him seriously so his only option is to try the nominee and proxy route to hide himself.

      How many alias’ has he used on this forum alone??

      Seriously though, charging almost £1700 upfront for what? come on. really? The infamous Whatcott legend grows.

  94. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Does anybody else when they mouse over Davis Ross name in post 83 get a link to firstchoiceepc … haha .. nice try to mislead firstchoice, misleading on a forum just like you misslead on your website, not very smart of you to put a link to first choice on Davis Ross name though. :)..

  95. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Davis Ross from post 83 or should I say firstchoiceepc .. you have been BUSTED haha

    After inspecting the elements in his post look what I found

    David Ross

    February 18, 2015
    at 11:29 am
    | <a rel="bookmark" title="Permalink to this comment"

  96. John C's Gravatar John C
    March 3, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “David Ross” – fuc*whit!

  97. phil's Gravatar phil
    March 4, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    i have paid for my epc but not heard a thing from them
    they said wait upto 28 days on there website
    this 28 days have passed
    i have emailed them 3 times and had no reply
    there is no telephone number to ring them

    now i am wondering how i can get my money back !!

  98. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 5, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Just thought I would share this little titbit

    https://www.scamadviser.com/check-website/firstchoiceepc.com

  99. Tim D's Gravatar Tim D
    March 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Sound familiar? or at least similar in that Firstchoiceepc is trying to take customers to court for not paying for something that either they didnt get or was a trap…hiding behind a scam T&Cs for the sole purpose to extort money form people is a fraud, no two ways about it. Hope you get your day in Court firstchoiceepc / Whatcott and your many names you use.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-31755020

    Three conmen have been jailed for a £4.5m fraud selling bogus advertising space to small companies who were taken to court if they did not pay up.

    Paul Good, 53, and Darryl Shellard, 45, both from Liverpool were convicted of fraud and jailed for eight and seven years each.

    Lee Doran, 45, of Huyton was sentenced to 16 months for admitting fraud.

    Merseyside Police said one businessman even lost his home as a result of the scam.

    The fraud involved sales staff, such as Doran, posing as cold callers from the emergency services to sell advertising for non-existent publications, said police.

    ‘Devastating effect’
    Shellard, and Good of Knight Street, Liverpool, targeted small firms and start-up businesses sending a sample copy to their clients who were then given 28 days to pay in full.

    Det Con Clare Walsh from the force’s Economic Interventions unit said some offences dated back 10 years with victims spread across the UK.

    “This type of fraud is not a victimless crime – while initial amounts taken were often small, in some cases bills eventually ran to thousands of pounds, which had a devastating effect on the business and individuals involved, with one business owner even losing his own home as a result of their actions.”

    Shellard, of Tancred Road, also admitted perjury in a civil court.

  100. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 9, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Things are going tto get very interesting as far as court is concerned .. watch this space :)..

  101. phil's Gravatar phil
    March 9, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    i have sent first choice epc quite a few emails now and i had 1 responce saying they will sort this out soon
    but they have not sorted anything out and they have stopped replying to me , its looking like 40 pounds down the drain , wonder if i can take them to court for theft they have taken my money and not done a thing for it
    i bet they have a big villa somewere abroad
    keep away do not deal with these cowboys

  102. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    March 10, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Hmm! Still no clarification on the business model(s). Personal opinion, it looks a little bit suspect to me, not exactly my cup of tea

  103. Ru's Gravatar Ru
    March 13, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I disputed the EPC after i ordered online and got xero response from the company. Now i get a letter from my bank saying i owe them 29.95 due to cancellation charges and also chargeback. So they now owe me £10 refund but i need to follow online process for obtaining it?! Any advice?

  104. annoyed's Gravatar annoyed
    March 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi I ordered a quote, website states no monies will be taken until day of appointment, no one has called me and they took my money. Have not be able to get through on phone and they do not respond to emails.

  105. David's Gravatar David
    March 20, 2015 at 12:46 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!

  106. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Well as the money taken for any EPC was taken by EPClocal.net, and can be proved by bank statements .. then any court case would also involve EPClocal. So he cant get off scott free with that I dont think so.
    Whatcotts days are numbered, trust me :)..

  107. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 21, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I wonder who told Whatcott to remove the Spanish correspondence address from his website .. I am so glad I took screen capture’s of his website back in December :)..

  108. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    March 22, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    The plot thickens

  109. David's Gravatar David
    March 23, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Yes for sure. Whatcott cannot hide the money trail… The bank accounts will be under his name.. epclocal.net or firstchoiceepc.com its one the same.

    He must think people are stupid for not realising both site operate under the same hood just because the Spanish correspondence address now is removed from one site.

  110. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Was just searching for a local epc and guess what… came across this site saviepc.co.uk. I never buy anything online without checking especially from sites i have never used before. I thought I will report it here as the site looks like the epclocal.net one and same branding as this Savi estate agency company that has been referred to on this website many times apparently owned by this Chris Whatcott.

    I checked a few sites by googling subsequently Savi and Chris whatcott sounds like I will keep away from them!

  111. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 23, 2015 at 3:42 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.

  112. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    And guess what .. NO registered address .. breaking the law again.

  113. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 23, 2015 at 3:48 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

  114. Roger's Gravatar Roger
    March 24, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I recently requested an EPC from First Choice through the advice of my letting agent. I paid the fee( £39.95) upfront for the survey, and despite the advert saying that no money would be taken until the appointment and date had been arranged. Within 24 hrs it had been taken from my account and I had a email stating that they were not a scamming business ( where did that come from, I only wanted an EPC). After waiting for some time and getting no response from emails or phone calls I contacted NAT WEST VISA payments which in turn investigated my complaint and refunded my fee. Was that the end of it, no they are now chasing me for a cancellation fee which has now escalated to £400+ pounds . Never once have I cancelled the this transaction, why would I, all I wanted was an EPC if they could find a cancellation statement from me prior to me paying the fee of £39.95 I would have paid the £9.45 ish without complaint. I have also contacted the Action Fraud with view of taking this further, also I will be contacting the Trading Standards to see what there view on First Choice are. In the whole of my life I have never been so poorly treated as with First Choice along with threatening emails and what I have read from customers and DEA’s I suppose it’s not surprising.

    • Adriana's Gravatar Adriana
      April 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I too have been subject to this scam. I should have read the reviews of this so called company. I normally do, but in a rush as usual!
      Barclaycard repaid the payment and are investigating First Choice EPC and EPC Local.
      The ActionFraud team have pass all my details to my local Police what they say is sufficient evidence to pursue them.
      Really disappointed to see their website is still operating to subject more customers to their fraudulent ways!

  115. Ru's Gravatar Ru
    March 24, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I am in touch with trading standards who are investigating this company. If you want this company to shut down then please get in touch with trading standards ASAP.

  116. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 25, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    For everybodies information who have been scammed by firstchoice .. They have had no company director since 19th December when Mr Peplar (obviously a front) resigned, I have just called companies house and they have confirmed to me that this is in non- compliance with the requirements of a company to be able to trade, and in effect firstchoice has been trading illegally (putting aside all the other illegal ways they are trading) since 19th December. How this applies to anybody who has paid firstchoiceepc any money for any service is simple. A contract between you does NOT exist and any contract firstchoice try to use to scam money from you is unenforceable.

    I know of several people who have tried to make a chargeback of any money from firstchoice and his merchant bank have declined to repay and saying that they do not beleive this company has done anything wrong.

    Now you have proof and I would present this to your bank as proof and insist that the bank makes the chargeback on the evidence that there has been no contract between you and firstchoice as firstchoice are non compliant with the companies house regulations for trading.

    You can confirm this by calling companies house and asking if there has been a director since 19th December. Companies house phone number is 0303 1234 500 and firstchoice reg No is 09263969

    And Whatcott if you are reading this .. I have a direct link between firstchoiceepc, epclocal.net, saviepc, and savi.co.uk.

  117. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 25, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    You will just need to check your paperwork though about the above, as firstchoice no longer have a company registration number on their website.

  118. Nash's Gravatar Nash
    March 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    Thank you Kevin.
    I received the same emails and will not pay any single penny. This is against the basic principles and protection offered for online/ecommerce trade.
    Keep on reporting to action fraud and follow up regularly to stop this scam.
    perhaps there is a solicitor out there who is willing to help all those who have contributed here and win free publicity as a good socially responsible firm.

  119. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 28, 2015 at 11:33 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 😉

  120. Andrew's Gravatar Andrew
    March 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I paid online to have EPC done in one of my rental properties. They charged my credit card £39 on 16/12/14. Although on their website they advertise EPC carried out in 1-3 days, I waited 2 weeks for someone to contact me but no one did. I tried to call them on a 0845 number they had on their website but a voice recorded message only directed me to an email address. I emailed several times 3-4 weeks of placing my order but no one replied for several more weeks. Then out of the blue I get an automated email (or at least what it looked like) asking me to email them on a different email address. So I emailed asking for a full refund. Few weeks later I get an email saying my complaint has been passed over to the accounts department.
    Several months have passed now and not hearing anything back from their accounts department I decided to call my credit card company for my credit back. As soon as my credit card company refunded me the £39 I am bombarded with emails from first choice about cancellation charge. I get an email off them everyday saying if I dont pay this cancellation charge they will add extra admin charge etc etc. I apparently now owe them near £500 and they are taking the matter to the court! LOL
    I contacted them asking for their postal address so that my solicitor can write to them but they have not responded.
    Fistchoice EPC is run by a total moron who tries to apply scaremongering tactics in order to get people to pay up.
    Ive told them to take me to court. I very much doubt they will do that as they know they dont have a case against me or for that matter against any of the other customers theyve tried to con.

    This wally needs to be locked up and websites shut down.

  121. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 30, 2015 at 6:45 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 :)..

  122. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 30, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    And just to remind anybody here thats been scammed, if you get a court summons from firstchoice, epclocal or savieepc, send me an email here :
    firstchoiceepcscam@gmail.com

  123. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    March 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Some other advice, do not go through the normal channels of phoning your bank up to make a chargeback because you are dealing with muppets,

    Write an email to the CEO, you can find all CEO email address for any company here http://www.ceoemail.com/ a very good and useful site,

    ALWAYS complain to the top to get anything done, you may want to try the regular chanels first, but I would go straight to the top in light of the fact that others have not sucessfully had a refund.

  124. 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

  125. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 5, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Strange that this scam is still able to be active

  126. Rashmi Paun's Gravatar Rashmi Paun
    April 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I paid for an EPC and have not heard back from them after over a month.

  127. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    April 10, 2015 at 10:34 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.

  128. Lauren's Gravatar Lauren
    April 10, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ve also been a victim of First Choice EPC, I normally check these things out but was in a rush and just merrily went ahead, mainly because they said I would receive an appointment in1-3 days!!
    I am now receiving the cancellation fee’s after obtaining a charge back from by bank.
    I am concerned if I don’t pay that my Credit file will be effected. 🙁

  129. David's Gravatar David
    April 13, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Typical empty threats by Whatcott to extort more money from customers who thought they were getting a legit service. From what his record shows.. And it is extensive…He is used to having multiple CCJs against his name. He is used to scamming people that’s simply what he does as he isn’t clearly learning from his previous ventures…he knowingly and actually wants to scam as that’s the only way he can earn money.

  130. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    April 13, 2015 at 11:32 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.

  131. David's Gravatar David
    April 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts are that Whatcott reckons he has got away with it by dumping firstchoice and moving to saviepc and epclocal.net

    Seems like this is what he does once the heat is too much on his scam websites. Re-skin and continue.

  132. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought, but surely, if proved, any act of extortion would normally be subject to an automatic jail sentence? There appear to be people on here that have been subjected to psychological harm, which I believe is included within that definition

  133. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    For someone who keeps spouting off about “complying” with this, that, or the other (so-called) legislation, why hasn’t he addressed the situation(s) regarding his own CCJ’s? Whatcott has only ever given me one single answer, and to only one of my queries. The guy is useless and totally insignificant

  134. Energy Assessor's Gravatar Energy Assessor
    April 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    After long time i got a job offer from saviepc.co.uk, that i used to get from firstchoice (scam),

    Same language, same database, just changed the name.

    Usually when people order epc online they do not search for any review whether its a scam. And once they get caught, they suffer.

    How come the same fraud keep trapping customers again and again..

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      April 21, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      This is laughable! he’s emailing the same energy assessors in hope they will work with him again…different day, different website, same old scam!!!

      Wake up Whatcott…people are onto saviepc.co.uk, this time you cannot even deny like u profusely did to owning Firstchoiceepc….everyone knows you are behind saviepec.co.uk.

  135. Kev Davis's Gravatar Kev Davis
    April 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Here is a quote from a letter from the court from one of the customers of firstchoice after firstchoice issued a court summons and firstchoice did not pay the court fees as the summons was being defended till the end and Whatcott chickened out. The letter along with my court case is documented in the link below.

    “I have now received an official letter from the court stating that the claim has been struck out and that the claimants is liable to pay the Defendants costs.”

    I am now waiting for my similar letter. Whatcott will not stand up to those that challenge him and who do not back down.

    You can read more here (I have tried to put a link but its not showing, so add the dots in place of the spaces)

    epcscam weebly com

  136. Peter Dowd's Gravatar Peter Dowd
    April 20, 2015 at 1:14 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))
    Monday, 20 April 2015

  137. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Come on Mr Whatcott, explain yourself

  138. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 22, 2015 at 2:04 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.

  139. David's Gravatar David
    April 22, 2015 at 3:55 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.

  140. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 23, 2015 at 9:10 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.

  141. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 23, 2015 at 9:13 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.

  142. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    A very interesting link

  143. April 24, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi all,

    My name is Christopher Whatcott. If anybody wants to discuss any aspect of my EPC business then please email me at info@saviepc.co.uk and I will happily call you back.

    Warm Regards
    Chris

    • David's Gravatar David
      April 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Admitting you were wrong to charge customers your silly fees is one thing. Running away from paying court fees after a customer launched a countersuit against your own claim in trying to intimidate them to paying is another. Proved one thing that all your claims are baseless, you took it as far as you thought it would take to intimate and extort money from people but didn’t bargain for the fact that someone may stand up to your wrongful claims.

      So when are your going to refund all those customers who got caught out by you and knew nothing better but to respond to your threats by paying those cancelation and late payment fees?? After giving everyone the run around and not responding to emails and calls, u expect people to want to listen to young all about your EPC business?? People just want their money back you gained illegally or simply what they thought they had bought from your website. A EPC. Seems you can’t and not willingly to deliver either.

    • Andrew's Gravatar Andrew
      April 28, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Suddenly now admitting you were wrong to charge customers your silly fees is one thing. Running away from paying court fees after a customer launched a countersuit against your own claim in trying to intimidate them to paying is another. All it proved is that all your claims are empty, as are all your threats to take people to court. You took it as far as you thought it would take to intimidate and extort money from people but didn’t bargain for the fact that someone may actaully stand up to your wrongful claims.

      So when are you going to refund all those customers who got caught out by you and knew nothing better but to respond to your threats by paying those cancelation and late payment fees?? It’s obvious it’s not going to happen as it was a scam.

      After giving everyone the run around and not responding to emails and calls, u expect people to want to listen to you about your EPC business NOW?? People just want their money back you gained illegally or simply what they thought they had bought from your website. A EPC. But this is way too late now. You have proved youself dishonest on so many levels no one here in this forum and hopefully those that Google you would want to do business with you.

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      April 28, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Suddenly now admitting you were wrong to charge customers your silly fees is one thing. Running away from paying court fees after a customer launched a countersuit against your own claim in trying to intimidate them to paying is another. All it proved is that all your claims are empty, as are all your threats to take people to court. You took it as far as you thought it would take to intimidate and extort money from people but didn’t bargain for the fact that someone may actaully stand up to your wrongful claims.

      So when are you going to refund all those customers who got caught out by you and knew nothing better but to respond to your threats by paying those cancelation and late payment fees?? It’s obvious it’s not going to happen as it was a scam.

      After giving everyone the run around and not responding to emails and calls, u expect people to want to listen to you about your EPC business NOW?? People just want their money back you gained illegally or simply what they thought they had bought from your website. A EPC. But this is way too late now. You have proved youself dishonest on so many levels no one here in this forum and hopefully those that Google you would want to do business with you.

      • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
        April 28, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        If you had not guessed I am one of the people that sucessfully defended, and made a counterclaim against firstchoice, in the face of all the cr*p they were spouting, and I am in contact with MANY others that have been scammed and guess what .. they are still getting, even today, threats of court action if they dont pay the cancellation fee, Firstchoice are relying on the fact that MOST of the people they are scamming do not read these blogs, and still cashing in on that fact.

        So sadly most of the customers of firstchoiceepc are still being scammed and have no idea this is totally illegal.

  144. Sarah Rawding-Ward's Gravatar Sarah Rawding-Ward
    April 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I have had a bad experiecne with Savi EPC as well. I paid £39 for an EPC assessment back in March and after hearing nothing from them for two weeks (after stating it needed to be done ASAP) emailed (and messaged using the online messaging service) to cancel and ask for a refund (unfortunately this company appears to have no contact number to actually speak to someone). When almost three weeks after booking an engineer finally called me I explained the EPC assessment had already been done with another company. Yesterday I received an email asking for payment of a cancellation charge -a cancellation charge for a service that was not provided and which I have already paid for!

    Buyers beware of this company!!!!

    I will happily forward on copies of the emails Christiopher Whatcott and would be more than happy to discuss my experience of your service, although I very much doubt I will get a response…..watch this space…..best wishes

  145. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Hello Chris

  146. Sarah Rawding-Ward's Gravatar Sarah Rawding-Ward
    April 26, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Surprisingly, I got a reply very quickly from my email to Christopher Whatcott informing me that I didn’t need to pay the £9.95 cancellation fee, however I have not yet heard back from him as to whether I will get a refund for the £39.95 I paid for a service not received…….If anyone has any details as to how to report this company I would be grateful to receive them.

  147. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    April 27, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Those that want to speak to Chris Whatcott after all the lies he has spun on every forum he has posted on either as himself or as one of his alias’. Get ready to listen to more reasons why his epc businesses aren’t illegal and that he doesn’t just take orders from his websites then disappear. Am sure he has very good reasons why he doesn’t respond to customer emails or calls (if u are lucky any published telephone number is actually real)

    Fact is all the threats he used in order to extort payment from customers he justified. Now is says it was wrong to charge such cases payments. Only because he didn’t follow up in court as he says he was going to do. The truth came out in the end. Who are u going to believe?

  148. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 27, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if some of the “customers” of First Choice are ever going to get any kind of redress. There are some on here that have clearly been subjected to a certain degree of distress, probably leading to sleepless nights for some I would imagine, most likely worrying about the threat of bailiffs arriving on their doorstep. Basically, it’s a kind of physical harm via psychological means, call it what you will, but racking up a (basically illegal) charge of £14.95 to an amount of almost £500 has to be a very nasty thing to do to a “customer”, and this all just for the sake of an EPC report. Incredible, especially when you consider that the people “running” this “business” actually felt perfectly justified in doing so, they even posted comments to “guide” you through the “relevant legislation”, whilst completely disregarding it themselves

    On another subject, why is someone still allowed to continue to “run” a “business”, after having previously failed to attend to outstanding CCJ’s that have been awarded against them? Most odd

    It would be interesting to find out the exact status of both “Matt” and “Mr Mike Cox”, the latter having responded to one of my earlier posts

    Not enough methinks being done here by the relevant authorities, sad to say

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      April 27, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Crispin,

      This is one reason, in a reply sent to me from one customer of firstchoice that was scammed

      “During the time I was waiting to see if I would get my money back, I got in touch with Action Fraud who told me: “there are insufficient viable lines of enquiry for a successful criminal investigation. Therefore your report has not been sent to a local police force or other law enforcement organisation for a criminal investigation at this time”. Makes you wonder what the point of this body might be.”

      And as Far as Whatcotts business model goes for Savisepc, some replies from one of his customers.

      “I received the following:

      · A quote email asking me to click to confirm the order

      · An order confirmation email which broke down the costs for the first time and said their £9.95 is due when an assessor confirms an appointment date. This has the terms and conditions attached from the website, including some sort of cancellation policy and something that they call a cancellation form which is just a bare bones bit of text at the end of the T&Cs.

      · 1 minute later I had another email to say that their work was done and an assessor has been allocated. Pay now, or at the latest when the assessor confirms date / time.”

      So whatcott is trying to get around the cancellation period by immediately after order stating that their work is done, This is clearly not the case and I would argue that is would take more than 1 minute to contact an assessor, arrange and discuss terms, get them to agree the fee, and get confirmation that they will do the job.

      I would think that to confirm that their referral service is complete, Savieepc would need to forward the details of the assessor, phone number, address and registration number, until this point I would argue no service has been completed, and I would have pleasure in arguing that in court as Savie would need to provide all contact and agreements they would have made with the assessor to complete their referral service.

      The next email the customer got was from the assessor several days later who wrote

      “The assessor called to say his office stopped him from coming. They uncovered a hidden charge of £8 for registering the EPC document, which would take their earnings to £22. I told them that I would pay the £8, just to get out of this potential mess. I gave the guy £38 in total.

      He did the assessment, confirmed it’s the first and last time they will deal with saviepc and have now sent the EPC to me direct.

      I paid saviepc £9.95 earlier but they still refuse to speak to me.”

      • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
        April 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        In otherwords, I would argue that you do not need to pay the referral fee until the assessor has contacted you and arranged to do the EPC certificate, until this point I would concider that the referral service has NOT been completed.

        • April 28, 2015 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          Hi Kevin,

          I can confirm that the booking / referral fee doesn’t need to be paid until the assessor has made contact with the customer and confirmed an appointment date and time with them. The booking / referral fee then needs to paid prior to the appointment taking place.

          The cancellation form you refer to in your post is one provided by the trading standards and is referred to as a model cancellation form. It’s a legal requirement.

          We are not trying to get around the cancellation period. The customer has a right to cancel however, where the customer has expressly requested that the service start straight away and has accepted that they will be liable to pay for the service received up to the point of cancellation then we have a right to charge for the service received up to the time of cancellation. You have highlighted the work involved in allocating an assessor which is work that should be chargeable in the event the customer cancels the service after some of the service has been received.

          There is nothing to argue Kevin, all of the information you make reference to is provided to the customer with the exception of the assessors address.

          The majority of assessors we work with are fully aware that the lodgement fee is to be paid by them. These charges are not hidden. I am not sure who the customer is that you are referring to but we don’t ignore our customers. Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide me with an order number so that i can follow this up and ensure the customer receives the service they deserve.

          Regards
          Chris

          • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
            April 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            So why dont you provide all this information, the fact that you are a referral business, the fact that you do not run a “No upfront payment – You will not be charged for your EPC until the day of the appointment” as you charge £9.99 from the advertised EPC fee as a referral fee, the fact that the EPC can take up to 28 days all BEFORE the customer presses the confirm order button.

            Do you not think this would be a more transparent and correct way to inform the customer of what they are actually receiving, rather than informing them after they have pressed the confirm order button.

            It would be a very simple statement to insert into your website directly before the confirm order button.

  149. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Kevin

    Tell that to Mr Whatcott. No doubt he could probably come up with some kind of “legislation” to dispute it. He likes to compare his “business” with totally non-relevant examples

    • April 28, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Crispin,

      Please be advised that my business model is 100% compliant.

      I would be happy to address any questions you might have in this regard.

      All the best
      Chris

      • Mark's Gravatar Mark
        April 29, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Scam. So why aren’t you explaining to all here why you didn’t follow through with Kevin Davis’ counter suit against your ridiculous charges? Same for others that responded to your court action with their own. So many times in this forum and in actual emails and letters to customers you threaten court action yet we know it’s just lies as you have no grounds to do so. Now you are using your real name after using fake names before. More Lies. 100% compliant? It’s a joke. You still don’t even reply to customers and handle requests such as cancellations in a proper manner. People here know this. It’s great that you are posting comments here as it shows what type of scammer you are.

      • Andy's Gravatar Andy
        April 29, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Business model is 100% compliant? Compliant to your own beliefs you mean to be exact. Your websites, firstchoiceepc.com and saviepc.co.uk have already shown that they fail on customer service, consumer regulations and honesty. It’s compliant for scamming.

        100% laughable.

        Keep avoiding the courts Chris Whatcott. You talk a lot but when it comes down to it you disappear. Bravo.

  150. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Hello Chris

    Do you not perhaps think that your turnaround times might be considered somewhat latent?

    Reason I ask this is that when I arranged for an EPC through a local assessor, I was actually offered a same day appointment, there and then whilst on the phone. Job done

    The important phrase here is at the end of the last sentence, “Job done” – I would imagine that this is all any customer really wants

    There was never any mention of any interim cancellation charges, and, in the unlikely event of any personal emergency, I could have merely re-booked if I so wished to do so. It was a nice, easy, friendly transaction

    Ok, it cost a little more, but at least I was not at threat of losing any money over it, nor of receiving any subsequent nasty emails, or letters arriving through my door demanding hundreds of pounds

    Based on my own experiences, I would not recommend the use of online arrangements for something as basic as an EPC survey. I have found most online terms and conditions to be both complex and also somewhat ambiguous, I do not think that they are worth the risk. I found it far easier (and a lot safer) to arrange for this type of thing through a local assessor, after all said and done, that is what they are there for

    This is just a personal viewpoint, based upon my own arrangements for an EPC

    It is all about peace of mind, and getting the job done Chris

    As an online EPC provider, do you have any thoughts/comments on this?

    Best wishes, Crispin

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      April 29, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      And lets face it Crispin, All Whatcott is doing is googling a local assessor close to the customers address and giving him the customers details. Basically what you have done, and what we did when firstchoiceepc ignored us, and we decided to get it sorted directly, little did we know at the time that we would face a court summons, Sucessfully defended.

      In otherwords, for the sake of a simple google search, and a phone call, which the customer can do themselves, he is charging £9.99 and still with the EPC not 100% guaranteed done, as per the quotes in my previous post where the customer had to pay an extra £8 to the assessor so he would come out and do the job.

    • April 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Crispin,

      I just wanted to acknowledge your message and to advise that i will provide a more detailed response tomorrow.

      All the best
      Chris

  151. April 29, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kevin Davis,

    In response to your post please be advised that it is not as simple as you clearly believe. We have arrangements in place with hundreds of assessors throughout England and Wales at highly competitive prices. We do not simply Google an assessor. Furthermore, we never refer our customers to an assessor who is not prepared to do the work at the pre agreed fee.

    The fee of £9.95 is only charged when the assessor has spoken with the customer and they have mutually agreed on a date and time that is convenient for both of them. I find it difficult to believe that an assessor has charged the customer an extra £8 beyond what was agreed. If this is a genuine case then I would appreciate you passing the details to me so that I can take action against this happening again. Again, whilst i find this difficult to believe, the assessor concerned would find himself/herself in breach of the terms under which he accepted the referral. This is something we will need to address as a matter of priority.

    I would be grateful if you will forward me the details of the assessor or better still ask the customer to contact me direct.

    Regards
    Chris

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      April 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Sorry but your response does not relate to the experience’s of the many customers who are contacting me. And they do try to contact you, but you ignore their messages.

      If its simple as googling for me to get an assessor in 24 hours after firstchoice tried to f*cked us over, its that simple for you, or any person who wants to save themselves a few quid by not using your company, when they do not beleive they are using a referral service, but are in fact ordering an EPC certificate as you do not make them aware in your adverts or clearly in your website just before the order button.

      I know that you do not have arrangements with a network of assessors, and I know that you tout the orders on the assessor forums, and you also cold call assessors to do a job local to them, I am in contact with many assessors now, I know exactly what is going on. And as you well know many of these assessors know your past history, and current business practices with your various companies, and they have all openly said in the assessor foums that they would not deal with you, some you have scammed before and not paid, and you still are touting business from them.

      And you do ask for payment as soon as you have told the customer that an assessor has been arranged, this after 1 minute of the customer confirming the order. I have every email from you to them forwarded to me from every one of your customers who contacts me with a problem with Saviepc or firstchoiceepc.

      • April 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kevin,

        I am sorry to say that your response has only served to highlight just how little you know about my business model.

        1. We do in fact have arrangements with local assessors who receive a regular supply of work form us. Can you prove otherwise ?

        2. We do not tout the orders on the assessor forums. It is not necessary for us to do this as we have arrangements in place with assessors in all areas. See point 1 above.

        3. We do not cold call assessors either. Again not necessary. I can only imagine what an administrative nightmare this must be for anybody that does run a business like this. In my opinion, anybody running a business in the way you suggest could surely justify a fee of £9.95.

        Payment is due after we have processed the order to the assessor however, we make it clear that we do not expect the payment until the assessor has contacted them and arranged an appointment. I would suggest that you copy the email you have access to in its entirety here. Its doubtful you will do this as it will demonstrate how baseless your claims are.

        I am sorry to say this but your claims lack credibility. You are making assumptions about a business you have little or no knowledge of and are unable / unwilling to support your otherwise baseless claims with any evidence whatsoever.

        Regards
        Chris

        • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
          May 1, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          You know Chris, this is exactly the same statement you kept giving me with firstchoice, and I proved you wrong their and called your bluff ewwith the court case, you also made the same statement with respect to the regulations, again I called your bluff and proved you wrong,

          Here are some commentes from the linekin assessor forum with the heading

          “Savi EPC

          Have started receiving emails from this company – I believe this to be the same company that several years ago, as a newly qualified energy assessor, I did work for and who subsequently refused to pay any of my invoices. When I tried to collect payment by visiting their office the police were called and advised me that I had little or no chance of payment even if I took legal action against the company. I would advise anybody thinking of taking work from Savi EPC to think again.”

          1, Please do not go anywhere near savi
          Only last week I had a client of mine explaining that they had been taken for a ride by this company . Be aware of them and avoid . I hope they contact me that should make for a very interesting conversation .

          2, Thanks to this forum……………news of the cowboys travels fast! I’ve had emails from savi too, but had already decided not to engage with them. It’s good to get my suspicions confirmed!

          3, YES! it’s the same company …They will not pay you.

          4, This is the email that I revived from them about payment that they still owe me.
          Hi David,

          Thank you for your email.

          Please be advised that we are a startup business and have no outstanding invoices.

          Regards
          Chris

          5, Ha ha Savi offered me £35 for a 6 bed house!!! Lol. Guesses what my reply to that was! Anyway I don’t release epcs unless paid and their terms are 28 days

          6, A google of Chris Whatcott is really revealing.

          7, I am doing very well with EPCs working for several estate agents and solar companies, at decent wages. Cherry Picking. I gave up on google as full of panels like yourself offering Stupid Price EPCs, and ‘paying’ £30 to DEAs. I have already taken one to court for non payment to sum of £1000 and won andbeen paid!

          Thats just one of the forums, and those are all from assessors

          Seems you are touting for work !!!!!! or are you going to deny the comments above, just like you deny every other comment made against you ?

  152. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Why ask a third party (Kevin Davis) to sort customer problems out? The customer has already said that they could not get an answer from the provider. It seems a very odd way to run a business. I have no wish to point a finger, but are you sure that you really know what you are doing Chris? Your business model seems to be somewhat bizarre to say the least

    I have to say…amazed, Crispin

    p.s. Please let me know of your “detailed response” Mr Whatcott, I would be most interested in your thoughts

    • April 30, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi Crispin,

      To clarify, i am not asking Kevin Davis to “sort a customer problem”. I have simply asked him for the details so that I can validate his claim. Without this information and in the absence of any communication from the customer (where the issue highlighted matches Davis’s claim) i am at a loss to know what else to do. I am sorry you interpreted my response as anything different.

      Regards
      Chris

      • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
        April 30, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        I can confirm that the customer (and not only the one I have referred to) has tried to contact you several times, You do not have a telephone number on your website, and as you are well aware as a distance seller the regulations state that you HAVE to have a telephone contact number, and he has not received any email replies to his messages

        I suggest that you get a working phone that customers can contact you and speak directly to you, and when they message you you reply to their emails.

        Its not for me to act as a forwarding message service, and if you did bother to reply, and at least give them the option to phone you directly then they perhaps would have no need to contact me.

        The simple reason you do not have a working phone number is the same reason that you never had one on firstchoiceepc website, because of all the unsatisfied customers you get which you obviously do not want to communicate with.

  153. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 30, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    This seems to be yet another merry-go-round with Mr Whatcott. I am not quite sure that he is fully aware of what he is actually supposed to be doing. Seems to be on a different planet to everyone else. All a bit sad really

  154. April 30, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Crispin,

    I am not sure what value you are adding to this forum. Your reference to me being on another planet is unnecessary and totally unjustified.

    There is nothing bizarre about my business model and it works well for the majority of people. I am sorry you’re having difficulty getting your head around it.

    In view of your previous comments i will not be replying to any further posts you make. I have no desire to engage further with you.

    Regards
    Chris

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      April 30, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      A distance selling business that is internest based that does not have a working telephone number is not only bizarre, but it is also as you know against regulations.

      Crispim makes some very good arguments as do the other contributors here,

      • May 1, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        No Kevin, it is not against regulations at all.

        Perhaps you can point me in the direction where the legal requirements are for us to have a telephone number. Should i list some very well known companies that don’t offer telephone support of any kind ??

        Chris

        • Andy's Gravatar Andy
          May 4, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Admitting you don’t offer any support to customers now in a forum that is principally serving those customers caught in your scam proves you to be even worse than what people already thought of you and your so called ‘business’. Bravo.

          • Andy's Gravatar Andy
            May 5, 2015 at 9:03 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.

          • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
            May 5, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            He is clearly tracking and collecting customer information via cookies as he mentions as with firstchoice, when he is trying to get payment the customers ip address (I think as a threat to make the threat look “more” credible), this can be acheived through cookies

  155. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    April 30, 2015 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Point taken Chris, I do not really wish to converse any further with you either. You should leave the forum my friend, you have done enough damage as it is
    Crispin

  156. John C's Gravatar John C
    April 30, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Everyone who goes through the posts can see Chris Whatcott

    – tries to extort money from “customers”
    – uses threatening language
    – thinks he is above the law
    – lies blatantly
    – makes fake posts pretending to have a CCJ (but gets found out)
    – treats “customers” with contempt
    – has multiple misleading and disingenuous websites
    – uses multiple aliases
    – denies the obvious (ie is on another planet)

    I could carry on but would summarise him as a SCAM ARTIST and NASTY PIECE OF WORK

    STAY CLEAR ANY NEW POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

  157. Crispin Tasty's Gravatar Crispin Tasty
    May 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    A MESSAGE FOR ALL

    Online review sites are there for everybody to use. With increasing threats of online scamming, these review sites are a valuable tool for the safety of the customer, whether purchasing an item or a service

    All you need to do is Google reviews for First Choice, or Savi, or Whatcott and you will receive the information that you need

    I have no wish to offer any further views nor advice on this site whilst a known scammer has apparently assumed the role of “forum moderator”. Christopher Whatcott has appeared on here for a reason, and I’m still wondering why? I will continue to monitor the forum, for my own interests

    Just for your information Whatcott, I don’t have any difficulty in getting my head around anything, and that includes you my friend. I am not particularly fond of your personal innuendos. Perhaps you should be concentrating more on becoming a fit and proper business operative, respond to customer concerns, and actually supply a service that you have been paid for

    Kind regards to all, Crispin

  158. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    May 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    #whatcottscam

    Please retweet.

  159. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    May 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Crispin’s comment above #157 is correct. These forums serve and aid to the benefit of the customers caught in scams and offer advice for those that have been placed in those same situations as the others.

    If anyone reads the comments posted here can make their own mind up whether Chris Whatcott is a serial scammer that lies to customers and runs from the same court claims he brought against customers himself therefore proving without doubt he was scamming all along. What does he have to say about that? Nothing. Just like all the threats he has made to customers in trying to extort customers for money. Those same fees he has now stated publically he was wrong to charge yet he was chasing customers via email and physical letters using threats like court and bailiffs.

    Avoid saviepc.co.uk Avoid firstchoiceepc.com Avoid epclocal.net

  160. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 7, 2015 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Now where have I seen this before .. deja vu

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5235393

  161. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    May 7, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Now why am I not surprised of this same story repeated over and over again of customers falling into Chris Whatcott’s trap. He’s a proven to be unscrupulous and will continue to do so. Ignore his threats, he has shown that he will not follow through any of his claims for his ridiculous late payment charges and fees as he knows it is just a ploy to e tort money. It is not a serious business but a scam.

    Avoid saviepc.co.uk

    Avoid firstchoiceepc.com

    Avoid epclocal.net

  162. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    May 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Another site that customers have been posting on, this time a group on LinkedIn that Chris Whatcott is presently commenting on actively defending his scam and illegal website activities.

    https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/104906-5990535670228094978

    Customers have no choice but to resort to forums and groups for advice because simply Chris Whatcott does not provide telephone service number to call or other contact means. This is contravention of the Electronic Commerce Regulation and he knows it.

  163. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 8, 2015 at 4:57 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,

  164. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    May 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Even as far back as 2010 Chris Whatcott was running scam EPC businesses. Express-EPC

    Fast forward 2015… still the same… just different name of EPC company. Saviepc.co.uk and firstchoiceepc.com

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2010/nov/14/energy-certificate-expressepc-failed-assessor#comments

  165. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 20, 2015 at 9:01 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.

  166. vikki scott's Gravatar vikki scott
    May 24, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I wish i had discovered this forum before ordering an EPC certificate from Savi last week;
    I quickly realised it was a scam so cancelled within 24 hours, I had received no contact from an assessor and no appointment had been made. Yet I am now being pursued by them for a cancellation fee of £24.95 with will increase by £50.00 if I do not pay within 4 days (not taking into account that its a bank holiday weekend). The cancellation fee was for ‘service received up to the point of cancellation’ – what service!?!
    None of the E mails I have received from them have been sent within normal working hours – in fact most have been sent after 10.00pm and my initial cancellation fee was sent with just a 24 hour deadline for paying.
    I am currently 7 months pregnant and could really do without the added strees of this scammer trying to extort money from me for a service that has not been received, however I have not and will not be paying Savi epc a single penny and its reassuring to know that others have done the same
    I have already contacted CAB and trading standards and will be reporting this company to the action fraud police should the matter continue (which im sure it will!)

  167. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    May 28, 2015 at 4:05 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.

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/new_panel_site_draws_complaints.html

  168. andy's Gravatar andy
    May 29, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    amazing this Chris Whatcott.

    Lets see how long this savieepc.co.uk keeps going. Its attracting the same attention and bad news as all his other websites like firstchoiceepc.com epclocal.net express-epc…. And is he really wondering why? Because of his embedded scam principles …

  169. June 3, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Seems another dodgy website has appeared that is ripping off the design of the epc register to mislead customers – http://www.epcregistered.com/

    Whats interesting is that if you read their terms and conditions they are very similar to that of first choice and savi with threats of charging £250 if they don’t pay in time etc….http://www.epcregistered.com/terms.php

    I wonder if this is also run by Chris Whatcott….

  170. Barry Catto's Gravatar Barry Catto
    August 1, 2015 at 12:26 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

    • Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
      August 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Barry,

      You are not the only one that has received the letter from the Hertfordshire constabulary .. There are many of us that have received the letter .. Looking forward to whats coming up next :)..

  171. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    September 8, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Let’s hope the scammer Chris Whatcott finally gets stopped.

  172. Chris M's Gravatar Chris M
    October 16, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    LowcostEPC SCAM still running on 15/10/15.
    Savi.co.uk etc
    Beware, do not use!

  173. Laurence Powell's Gravatar Laurence Powell
    December 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Recently, my house building has been completed and now it is time to get an Domestic EPC for me. For the very first time I heard about it and now I got to know about it in detail through this blog.

  174. Julia's Gravatar Julia
    February 5, 2016 at 4:23 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.

  175. Kevin Davis's Gravatar Kevin Davis
    February 7, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Just thought you all may be interested in this, finally Whatcott has been prosecuted and found guilt with sentencing due on February 24th

    My only regret is that he pleaded guilty after 3 days of the opening of the trial, and because the trial then ended I did not have my day in court against him as I was no longer needed as a witness for the prosecution .. and what a day that would have been .. I may still turn up at his sentencing though … just to bring this story to an end 🙂

    http://energyassessormagazine.com/panels_boss_admits_trading_offences.html

  176. Robert Vaughan's Gravatar Robert Vaughan
    June 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    He owes me £120.00 for none payment of EPCs carried out

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