The BBC’s Watchdog programme put an end to the roof coating scammers going by the name of Smartproof. Smartproof which was a trading name of smart coat Ltd were forced to close after the public cottoned on to their tricks.
Matthew Martin Preston who was the director of the Leeds-based firm was disqualified for nine years. Matthew Martin Preston was responsible for allowing the company to carry out dodgy sales practices which didn’t have any regard for the customers.
Preston is not allowed to become directly or indirectly involved in the management, formation or promotion of a company. The insolvency service investigated Preston for a period of time, and he has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State the business, innovation, and skill.
Smart coat Ltd trading as the name of was offering roof coatings and renovations and was construing false stories about how the coatings prolonged the life of a roof, and the retain heat inside the home of up to 25%. Smartproof sales reps also stated that the roof coatings also came with a piece of mind 10-year insurance backed guarantee. Over 200 Smartproof customers tried to redeem the ten-year insurance backed guarantee, but Smartproof failed to deliver with every customer.
When the investigation into Smartproof was on the way by the BBC, they discovered that their sales team targeted the more vulnerable people in society. The elderly were easy pickings for the sales teams because they easily give in to high-pressure sales tactics. These elderly victims were coerced into having thermal roof coatings applied onto the roof for a ridiculous amount of money. Not to mention the thermal roof coating was applied as a very poor standard they didn’t even hire professionals to do the work.
Several days after the roof coating was applied, one customer had noticed that the roof was leaking which raised the alarm bells as this coating came with a 10-year guarantee.
Smartproof had the audacity to refuse customers their mandatory cooling off period, but they continued to take deposits from new victims who recently signed up to have a roof coating applied to the home.
The BBC put an end to this thermal roof coating scam by setting a trap. A female actor was in a house set up with cameras to catch Smartproof in the act. A chartered surveyor looked at the roof before Smartproof applied the coating and he noted that the roof was in good condition and only required some basic maintenance. The Smartproof salesman, on the other hand, claimed that the waterproof coating that was applied to the roof in 1980 had all but eroded and if she left it any longer to get it sorted out she will be looking at a hefty reroofing bill which would be over £10,000. The actress was then quoted over £4000 but was then told she could have the coating applied for £2000 but only if she signed up for it today.
When the work was underway a high-pressure jet wash was used to blast the roof tiles of any moss and debris. A pressure washer used on a roof is a bad sign in itself has pressure washers should never be used on roof tiles as they shorten the life of the tiles and water can find its way into the roof space. The workers were also walking across the roof and could have potentially broken more tiles.
The total amount of time to complete the job is five hours and 20 minutes. The job was originally touted to take two days. There was no pre-survey before the work commenced and the loft was not inspected. The workers had no sense of health and safety precautions, and the roof had more broken tiles after the work was completed than before it started.