An Ilkeston businessman has closed his home improvement firm after it was the subject of an alarming BBC Watchdog investigation last year.
Jason Rowan, the owner of EnergySave, said the company had been unable to recover from the reputational damage caused by the consumer affairs show broadcast in June.
Undercover reporters for the BBC had documented aggressive selling practices targeted at vulnerable customers, false claims about the company’s products, and instances of racial discrimination and intimidation towards members of staff.
Jason, 45, said: “The BBC broadcast forced us to engage a legal team to clear our reputation and set the record straight, and due to subsequent events I have taken the decision to close EnergySave.
“I am a family man, and employed many local people, all of whom meant a lot to me personally and professionally, and this has been one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make.
He added: “The TV broadcast ruined our once great reputation, and many of our staff encountered abuse and bullying as a result of the accusations made.
“I spent thousands trying to clear our name, because I truly feel that we were been misrepresented, and this has unfortunately led to the downfall of the business.”
Appealing a court charge for motoring offences in December, the Bentley-driving father of three from Chellaston claimed he faced exceptional hardship and had cut his workforce from 300 to 120 after sales nosedived.
It is not known how many employees remained at the time of closure.
The company, which was based in the old Ilkeston Co-op building, sold wall insulation, coating systems, double glazing and conservatories.
It was targeted by Watchdog after concerns were raised by the family of a customer with Alzheimer’s.
At the time, Jason said: “The programme sensationalised many aspects of what happened, although we acknowledge that some mistakes were made.”