Excessive costs, lies, humiliating behavior: since Monday, November 13, an extensive case of fraud in renovation and insulation work has been tried before the Limoges criminal court. A process that reveals more than dubious practices, a kind of ‘BDPA method’ for defrauding vulnerable people.
“Your heritage, our priority” The motto of the company BDPA Rénovation sounds like a bitter joke today, as its activities seem to be entirely focused on pursuing the financial heritage of their elderly customers.
The works? “That wasn’t the goal.” admits Pascal B., the commercial director and real manager of the SAS. “Then what was the purpose?” asks the chairman of the audience. “Making money,” answers the man with an imposing build, who was convicted of similar crimes in 2017.
This Monday, the couple he forms with Angeline D. will be questioned for four hours about the fraudulent practices of the company they founded in October 2018.
It starts with a prospection that the Perigord couple do not deny: from a call center in Morocco, the company pretends to be a control body mandated by insurance companies or directly by the state. Lies aimed at gaining trust from the person on the other end of the line.
After making the appointment, the on-site salespeople will pose as “inspectors”, provided with a “pro BTP” card flanked by the three-color logo, to carry out an inventory: wood-eating insects in the frame, roof damaged… It is always the same commercial arguments that are put forward.
According to the files presented from the first day, the sellers then propose work and the chamber discovers practices that are sometimes aggressive towards the most vulnerable.
The technique used is “one-shot”, consisting of obtaining the customer’s signature on the first visit without any indication of the withdrawal period. The prices charged? “At the head of the customer”: “2000 euro break bonus”, we can read this on an order form.
And when a ‘good customer’ comes along, ‘you only give up when he has no more money’, the president describes, using as an example: a pensioner who alone has twelve purchase orders, for a total amount of more than 200,000 euros. . Average age of alleged victims: 80 years.
Another process mentioned during the investigation and reported by the President: damage committed by craftsmen to charge for additional work, to the point of peeing in the attic to make it look like there’s a water leak…
Pascal B. calmly answers all the president’s questions and acknowledges most of the facts he is accused of. A pose that contrasts with the one he adopts in several videos and photos shared on the company’s WhatsApp group and intercepted by investigators. Filmed by his colleagues, we see him humiliate some of his clients, even featuring the disabled son of an elderly couple in obscene photo montages. In another video, he flashes two middle fingers at the camera as he recommends work to the customer behind him, to the mocking laughter of the filming employee…
In turn, the sixteen defendants are interrogated by the President about the same methods: they were salespeople or directors of BDPA agencies spread across seven departments (Allier, Dordogne, Eure-et-Loir, Gironde, Loir-et-Cher, Lot, Haute-Vienne).
They all say they were motivated by the lure of profit, encouraged by a system that pushed them to do so “making numbers” : below 20,000 euros in turnover per month, salespeople earned the minimum wage… Enough to encourage them to “BDPA method” sign as many contracts as possible. Their reward could then amount to 8,000 euros. As for the moral aspect of the matter, many respond that they did not agree with the practices of their hierarchy…
Since the company’s liquidation in January 2023, some have resumed commercial activities by installing heat pumps or air conditioning systems. For “organized gang fraud, deceptive trade practices and aggressive trade practices”they risk a prison sentence of up to 10 years.