Following the announcement of Safeglaze going into administration, Kevin Buckley, Group Chief Executive of the Glass and Glazing Federation, has issued a statement to clarify that Safeglaze was not in any way connected to the GGF and/or its group of commercial companies and to underline the importance of consumer protection when administration or liquidation occurs.
It is always unfortunate to witness the failure of any business within the glass and glazing industry – and doubly so when it is the closure of a large, high-profile business such as Safeglaze.
Even though Safeglaze was neither a GGF Member nor a FENSA registered company, the GGF Group still sympathize with the individuals who may have been affected including; employees who have lost their jobs, suppliers who may have suffered financially and homeowners who have possibly been left without any deposit protection or insurance backed guarantees.
Recent media coverage would indicate that a number of current and future Safeglaze customers are in a state of confusion and are concerned as to where they stand with regards to their guarantees, paid deposits and incomplete installations.
We understand that Safeglaze was part of other trade organisations and we hope their customers will be protected and supported through this catastrophic period.
As the leading trade association to the glazing industry, the GGF appreciates that economic uncertainty can affect businesses both large and small. The GGF and its commercial companies, often meet with Members and clients to listen to their concerns and to offer help where possible, to ensure they continue to run their businesses effectively.
It is important to mention our unrivalled support to thousands of companies connected to the GGF Group. The examples below underline our commitment to consumer facing companies.
- All GGF Member installers have been trading for a minimum of 3 years – there are no phoenix companies in the GGF.
- All GGF Members and FENSA registered companies have been vetted and have premises, products and employees fit for purpose.
- GGF consumer facing companies comply with the GGF Consumer Code of Practice, which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and has strict requirements regarding the conduct of Member companies ensuring they comply with all relevant consumer legislation.
- Homeowners using GGF Members have free access to the GGF Conciliation Service in the unlikely event of a dispute with a GGF Member company.
- The Glazing Arbitration Scheme (TGAS) is also in place to help GGF Members and FENSA companies reach resolutions with homeowners.
- All GGF Members and FENSA registered companies must offer their customers a warranty insurance policy (insurance backed guarantees) to protect the homeowner in the event that the installation company fails.
- The GGF Members offer homeowners free automatic deposit protection using the GGF Deposit Indemnity Fund which was set up in 1981 and is now the industry’s best deposit protection safeguarding deposits and instalments of up to 50% of the contract value or £12,500 (whichever is lesser).
- All FENSA and GGF installers are trained to MTC (Minimum Technical Competency) level to ensure installations are fitted to the standards set in Building Regulations.
These are just some of the main benefits offered by GGF Members and FENSA companies that clearly demonstrate the value of homeowner protection.
We advise all homeowners looking to have glazing work carried out at their home, to thoroughly check the credentials of any firm they are looking to employ and to check what (if any) trade bodies they are registered with. We also recommend that homeowners make sure they are using a recognised Competent Person Scheme such as FENSA and to obtain protection for both guarantees and any deposits paid, to ensure they are protected, should the worst happen.
In the meantime, in order to determine the best avenue for recourse and raise any concerns regarding the closure, we advise Safeglaze customers to contact the relevant associations/schemes to whom Safeglaze were affiliated with and used to offer their customers protection.