BBB Consumer Suggestions: “Free solar panels” can price tag you large time. How to spot a phony present and discover a trusted enterprise | Information

If you want photo voltaic panels, be pretty watchful when evaluating installation delivers. Con artists use deceptive product sales practices and lies to trick householders out of money and individual details. If you have gained an provide for “no cost photo voltaic panels,” it could be a rip-off. Constantly appear for enterprises you can have confidence in — like Accredited Enterprises applying the BBB Seal. Here is what you really should know.

How the fraud operates

A person contacts you through e mail, mobile phone, social media or even in particular person, as in scenarios claimed to BBB Rip-off Tracker. They are pretending to be a solar company salesperson. The “agent” has a particular provide: they can put in solar panels on your home for a really reduced charge – or even free. This amazing deal is only out there for a constrained time, so you need to act now!

From right here, the rip-off can just take various turns. In some variations, the scammer is immediately after your individual information and facts. They check with you to fill out sorts with your banking information “to see if you qualify.” Other periods, the “photo voltaic consultant” claims you have to have to spend upfront charges, which they assure will be reimbursed by a (non-existent) authorities plan.

BBB Scam Tracker has noticed several reports of this form of scam. One home-owner was approached by a door-to-doorway salesperson “professing he could get me a new roof additionally solar machines, with a govt rebate for 26% off cost, essentially spending for the new roof.” Just after accomplishing their study, the homeowner located that although a government rebate method existed, the salesperson misrepresented it to make a sale.

In one more scenario, a homeowner spoke on the cellphone to a “solar engineer” just after being approached in individual. “The engineer claimed they could make it price tag-free of charge for us. He said they had concluded their installations in our community and fulfilled their quota but would attempt to squeeze us in.” Nevertheless, the conversation took a unusual transform when the “solar engineer” questioned for personal info. When the home-owner declined to response, the dialogue received heated. “We ended the conversation, and I obtained a nasty text… It was wholly unprofessional.”

A person other home-owner described, “Scammer utilized printed notes left at front doorways, pretended to signify flexibility without end photo voltaic firm. A call to the company disclosed that particular person was not one particular of their employees, and they will not send out representatives going doorway to door. Speak to details on printed observe asked to be contacted by phone or text information.”

How to steer clear of solar panel cons

Do your study. Legitimate incentive applications and reputable photo voltaic vitality contractors do exist. In advance of you acknowledge an unsolicited provide, do some investigate on solar businesses in your region. Look into every company’s track record and business enterprise techniques before signing a services contract.

 Don’t give in to superior-strain product sales strategies. Con artists want to provoke an psychological response that would induce you to give in to their requests without considering it through. Just take your time know that a reputable organization will not force you to act. If another person makes use of intense product sales practices on you, it is really ideal to slice off communication instantly.

• Get competing bids. Make contact with numerous photo voltaic installers if you prepare on going solar and get bids from each individual firm. If another person is pulling a con, they will be significantly less difficult to location this way.

• Question a lot of inquiries and consider the responses. Question thoughts about any element of a agreement or proposal you do not comprehend. If the company will get upset about your concerns, refuses to response them, or is imprecise with their answers, think about it a purple flag.

Find photo voltaic panel installers close to you and photo voltaic vitality contractors near you at BBB.org. You can also discover BBB’s information to heading solar, our Residence Enhancement HQ, or our Roofing HQ.