Former solar panel company directors banned for six years

Solartech North East made almost 75,000 unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes to subscribers whose numbers were registered with the Telephone Preference Service

The Big Zero report

Two directors of a solar panel company have been handed six-year bans after their firm made almost 75,000 unsolicited telemarketing calls to drum up business.

Solartech North East, based in Stockton-on-Tees, was established in July 2010 with Christopher Snaith, 51, appointed as Director, followed by Jeffrey Allan Hall, 40, who was also appointed in February 2012.

The company originally operated as a renewable energy firm, selling and installing solar panels to the domestic market in the UK.

According to the Insolvency Service, it was initially successful but due to legislative changes in 2016, it became less cost effective for homeowners to install solar panels.

This impacted the business, which then diversified into installing boilers and other home improvement services before entering into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation in February 2019.

Solartech North East was investigated by Trading Standards and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in 2017 following complaints made by customers and other individuals.

Investigators found between January and June 2017, the company made 74,902 unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes to subscribers whose numbers were registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

The ICO issued Solartech with a £90,000 fine for serious breaches, which remained outstanding as of the date of liquidation in February 2019.

Effective from 25th September 2019, Mr Snaith and Mr Hall cannot, without the permission of the court, be involved in the formation, promotion or management of a company, directly or indirectly for six years.

Jane Knight, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations from the Insolvency Service, said: “Making tens of thousands of unsolicited marketing calls to people who had specifically opted out from receiving them is unacceptable trading practice.

“The disqualifications mean Christopher Snaith and Jeffrey Hall will not be able to run a limited company for six and will protect the public from unwanted sales calls.”

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