Solidor is launching a Weasel Word Watch campaign. It’s a campaign on social media to raise awareness of misleading statements about products and their benefits.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines ‘Weasel Words’ as something someone says either to avoid answering a question clearly or to make someone believe something that is not true.
Solidor CEO Gareth Mobley explains: “The industry has a problem with brands implying their products have certain qualities that they simply don’t. This campaign is designed to highlight that issue.”
Ensuring products are fit to sell has become much more important since the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Now any product can be returned by a consumer up to six years after purchase if it can be proven that the fault was present on delivery.
“Now the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is in force,” adds Gareth, “retail installers need to be confident that the products they’re selling do what they say they do. They should be careful not to imply they do more than they actually do. There should be no grey areas. ‘Weasel words’ create these grey areas by fudging or stretching the truth, so people think they’re selling something that they’re not. Over claiming can lead to expensive and reputation-destroying returns, as well as endless hassle with unhappy customers.
“Unfortunately,” Gareth explains, “as we’re seeing with security, some sections of the industry are stretching the truth, using words and phrases that imply their doors comply with the new Document Q regulations when they do not. The new PAS24 cut test Q uses is more demanding, and those that pass the old test, won’t pass the new one when it is introduced. That is doubly wrong because it puts the installer, who buys the product on trust, in an impossible position.
“For all our sakes it’s time for the industry to clean up its act,” says Gareth. “We’ve started this Weasel Word Watch campaign with #WeaselWords to out the false claims in the media and clean up the industry.
“Watch out for weasel words in the press and on social media and have your say using #WeaselWords on Twitter.”