Fischer Future Heat UK being prosecuted for False Claims

Posted 27th Jul 2022
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A trial of four people accused of fraud and aggressive sales practices is expected to start next month. The complex case, prosecuted by Leicester City Council, focuses on Fischer Future Heat UK, based in Frog Island, Leicester.

The electricity company is accused of making false claims to customers about its products, overstating how good their heaters were at storing heat and how much people could save on their household bills by using their heating ststems. Court documents say one sales representative offered to take a customer to the bank to pay for a heating system before they had a chance to change their mind.

The defendants deny the charges, which relate to complainants across the UK. There are further counts relating to another, related, business called Premier Radiators Ltd.

READ MORE: Fischer Future Heat UK to face allegations of fraud and aggressive sales practices in court

A pre-trial review hearing was held at Leicester Crown Court this morning. The defendants are: Keith and Maria Bastian, both 57 and both of Lutterworth Road, Aylestone, Leicester; Isabelle Bastian, 28, of Sanvey Gate, Leicester city centre; and Graham Nicholls, 71, of Kenwood Road, Knighton, Leicester.

The counts include:

  • Fraud by false representation against Fischer Future Heat UK Ltd, which Trading Standards alleged was carried out with the consent or “connivance” of, or was due to the neglect of, the company’s founders Keith and Maria Bastian, and Isabelle Bastian, who worked for the business. Namely:
That the consumer would save money on heating their homes by installing and using their heating systems;That their heating systems were a suitable and economical match for the needs of the consumer’s household;That the heaters were capable of storing heat to a more than a minimal degree;That the heaters were suitable replacements for night storage heaters;That the heaters were bespoke, and custom built to the customer’s precise requirements;That the heating systems were compatible, safe and appropriate to be installed using the existing power source and electrical arrangements present in the consumers home.
  • A claim that Keith and Maria Bastian and Isabelle Bastian were accountable for the business when it “engaged in an aggressive commercial practice by misinforming consumers as to their statutory rights to cancel“.
  • An allegation suggesting Keith, Maria and Isabelle Bastian should be held accountable for “an aggressive commercial practice by a sales representative offering to take a consumer to the bank to enable them to pay for a heating system in full, which, in its factual context, taking account of all of its features and circumstances, significantly impaired, or was likely to significantly impair, the average consumer’s freedom of choice through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence, by placing undue pressure upon the consumer to pay immediately and thereby caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision which he would not have taken otherwise”.
  • That the company “engaged in an unfair commercial practice by falsely stating that heating systems would only be available on particular terms, namely a discounted price, for a limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice”.
Nicholls is facing four charges relating to fraud.
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