Energy firm apologises for letter error after man brings them to court
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A company that helps people access a government funding scheme for heating has agreed to apologise for errors in a letter sent out to homes in Great Yarmouth, after being taken to court by an individual.
Ivan Murray-Smith, of St Olaves, privately issued a court summons to a Manchester-based firm called Energy Saving and Grants Ltd, after receiving a marketing letter from the company.
Mr Murray-Smith, 30, said he felt the letter may have been misconstrued as being sent by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, so attempted a private prosecution against the firm.
However, an agreement was made between Mr Murray-Smith and firm director Matthew Wood and all charges were withdrawn.
The agreement was reached on the grounds that Mr Wood would send a letter of correction and apology to the homes contacted in the borough - believed to be a minimum of 70 households.
Mr Wood said the errors on the letters were that the letters ‘Ltd’ were missing from the company’s name and that the full company address was missing.
He said: “We had the letter checked by the Advertising Standards Office prior to sending them out, so I’m a little gutted about how it all came about.
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“We are a very small company of just five people with no real higher line of command, so it could have all been resolved with a simple telephone call.”
Mr Wood added as a consequence of the issue, a number of people who had sought their help would now be left without heating until after Christmas due to the hold-ups it has caused.
Mr Murray-Smith said: “When I first received the letter, I genuinely thought it was from the borough council and it was only when I looked closer that I realised it was not.
“I was naturally concerned this letter might be misleading, especially to elderly or vulnerable members of the community, which is why I launched the private prosecution.”
Mr Wood also agreed to pay Mr Murray-Smith £15 to cover the costs of bringing the case to court.
Mr Wood added: “I wish he had simply phoned the office, rather than going down this route.”