The LCA regularly receives reports of companies either using the LCA logo or claiming to be members when they are not. This is sometimes an understandable oversight but sometimes it can be something more concerning. There have been a couple of recent cases that we would like to highlight to members that demonstrate that the LCA takes these inaccurate and sometimes false claims seriously and that sanctions are being employed.
Our first action where this is reported to us or where we come across it, is to politely ask the company in question to stop making the claim as it is misrepresentation and is an illegal act. If they remove the claim, we generally take no further action. We do spot checks to ensure that the false claims have not reappeared after an amount of time as part of our due diligence. Where the claims are not removed, or re-appear, we formally ask them to cease and desist and involve Trading Standards before moving to legal action.
In recent months we have had numerous cases come to light where several companies have specifically claimed, in written communication with their customers, that they are members of the LCA. In one case a company went to the length of creating a forged LCA membership certificate. These more extreme cases have led to a need for the LCA to take a stronger line over what are clearly fraudulent claims to LCA membership.
In the last year we have:
- Terminated a company’s application and stated that we will not accept a new application from that company, or any other company where any of the directors of that company is a director of the other company, for a further five years.
- Terminated a company’s application and stated that we will not accept a new application from that company, or any other company where any of the directors of that company is a director of the other company, for a further year.
- Sent six cease and desist notices to companies making false claims to LCA membership.
- Reported three companies to Trading Standards.
The management committee of the LCA feels that it is only fair to our membership that we take a robust approach to companies making fraudulent claims. Whilst we cannot take directly punitive legal action, we can exclude such companies from our membership and have recently done so.
If you are aware of any companies making false claims about LCA membership, either claiming to be members or claiming registration for a category that they do not hold, please report this to email@example.com.