Summary of Council decision:
Two points were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
The home page of www.jobworthdoing.co.uk, an energy efficient home improvements company, seen in February 2019, stated "98% of customers would recommend us" and "Heavily accredited in recognition of our high quality standards". Further text stated "We completed over 30,000 installations with a consistent satisfaction rate of 98%".
The complainant whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated:
1. "98% of customers would recommend us" and "a consistent satisfaction rate of 98%"; and
2. "Heavily accredited in recognition of our high quality standards".
1. Install Base Ltd t/a Job Worth Doing said that the source of the claims “98% of customers would recommend us” and “a consistent satisfaction rate of 98%” was a customer care questionnaire that their customers returned to them after installation was completed. The questionnaire included a question which asked whether the customer would recommend Job Worth Doing to others. The results were expressed as a collated percentage. They said that the statement was reviewed regularly to ensure the veracity of the claim. Job Worth Doing provided collated results from June 2016 to May 2019, as well as a copy of the questionnaire. Job Worth doing said that variation in the numbers of questionnaires being returned from different regions was the result of a company-wide restructure and re-organisation of the business in early 2019. They said that redundancies had resulted in a reduced level of service in some of the administrative areas. As a result, the sample contained in the report was not reflective of the level of questionnaires completed. They said that in future they intended to replace the written questionnaire with a digital version to improve accuracy of reporting.
2. Job Worth Doing provided a document showing standards met by their group companies and products. The standards listed were in the names of various entities, including: Indigo, Claytons, Weatherseal, Penicuik, St Andrews, St Helens, Zenith and Clearwin. The list included British Standards as well as accreditations from FENSA (a government authorised scheme that monitored building regulation compliance for replacement windows and doors), the British Board of Agrément (BBA) and Secured By Design (a police initiative to improve building security). They also provided a copy of a certification from the BBA for Indigo Products Ltd. They explained that Install Base Ltd t/a Job Worth Doing was the group installation company for a number of other trading names owned by the Kairos Group. Job Worth Doing was not a consumer-facing sales operation. There was a legal obligation for trading names to be FENSA accredited. That did not extend to Job Worth Doing and Job Worth Doing did not advertise that it was FENSA accredited. They said that Indigo Products Ltd was a company owned by their parent company and sat within the wider Latium Group. Indigo Products Ltd was the sole and exclusive manufacturer of the products sold by the Kairos Group and installed by Job Worth Doing.
The ad stated “98% of customers would recommend us” and “a consistent satisfaction rate of 98%”. The ASA considered that consumers would understand this to mean Job Worth Doing held customer survey data that consistently showed that around 98% of customers were satisfied with the service they had received and would recommend Job Worth Doing to others.
We noted that the customer care survey provided referred to both Zenith, which we understood was the sales company, and Job Worth Doing, which carried out the installations. The survey results indicated that out of 18,894 customers who had installations during the period of June 2016 to May 2019, 0.37% had declined the questionnaire. Of those who had accepted the questionnaire, 42% returned it and 97.81% of respondents answered “Yes” to the question “Would you recommend Zenith to others?”. However, there was significant variation in the response rate from different regions in which the company operated – for example, in one month there were zero surveys returned from Bristol or Portsmouth, while over 60% of customers from Norwich returned their surveys. While some degree of variation was to be expected, we considered the significant differences between regions suggested that the survey had not been administered in a consistent way in different locations.
We had not been provided with detailed information about the survey design or methodology. We noted Job Worth Doing’s comments that return rates had been affected by staff redundancy. However, we considered that we had not seen adequate evidence to substantiate the claims “98% of customers would recommend us” and “a consistent satisfaction rate of 98%”. We concluded that the ad was misleading.
On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).
We considered that consumers would understand the claim "Heavily accredited in recognition of our high quality standards" to mean that Job Worth Doing had been awarded a large number of independent accreditations, over and above the basic quality standards that it was required to meet. Many of the standards they listed were British Standards relating to the performance and quality of windows and doors, which we understood were mandatory requirements for those types of products and their installers. The list also included lifetime guarantees for which the product manufacturers were responsible, rather than Job Worth Doing. The FENSA accreditations for replacement door and window installers were held by various trading names of Kairos Group companies, but not by Job Worth Doing, who we understood actually carried out the installations. The Secured by Design and BBA accreditations were held by Indigo Products Ltd.
We did not consider that the evidence provided was sufficient to substantiate the claim "Heavily accredited in recognition of our high quality standards", as consumers were likely to understand it. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Install Base Ltd t/a Job Worth Doing not to make the claims “98% of customers would recommend us”, “a consistent satisfaction rate of 98%” or "Heavily accredited in recognition of our high quality standards", or claims that were likely to have a similar meaning for consumers, unless they held sufficient evidence to support their claims.