It is generally not recommended to purchase solar panels or a solar and battery system from someone who knocks on your door or contacts you through telemarketing, as these methods are often associated with scams or poor-quality products.
It is suggested to seek out reputable, local companies that have been in business for at least ten years and have good reviews from friends or online sources.
Avoid buying from door knockers or telemarketers, and consider enrolling in the Do Not Call Registry to avoid unethical sales calls. If considering solar panels or a solar and battery system, seek qualified local suppliers or installers for expert advice.
Watch out for door to door solar scams in Australia
Anybody purchasing solar from a door to door solar salesman or selling it through a telemarketing phone call will most likely be disappointed after a relatively short time. It is not the recommended path to purchasing a solar system.
People claiming to be delivering government subsidies, selling energy-saving gadgets or giving away too cheap-to-be-true solar systems and batteries are frequently involved in solar scams or will deliver most likely a poor outcome. At least, that’s the experience of solar industry observers over the past 15 years.
The unexpected sales pitch
If you get an unexpected phone, email, or door to door solar salesman proposing any of the above. Be aware that you may be part of an attempt to sell what is in the industry known as crap solar.
If you are not convinced it is a scam or tempted by their great offer, ask for their company information and how long the company has been operating. Ask for the ABN and check how long they have been around. If it has been less than ten years, we recommend moving on. If they offer it, call them and see if they are authentic before moving forward.
In numerous instances, we’ve discovered the door to door solar sales industry selling relatively poor-quality systems to unsuspecting individuals. Regrettably, pensioners are often the targets, lured in by overpromised solar outcomes like a no-bill situation.
So the irony can be that you get a door to door solar salesman, they sell you something of poor quality AND you pay a top price.
Furthermore, telemarketing over the phone usually is undertaken by large energy retail and nationwide solar sales companies. Not the smaller, quality-focused local companies.
Solar installation offers
So solar installation offers from companies from 400km away. Do not entertain them; put them in the bin. In most cases, these solar system offers lacked thorough site inspections. They were sold via call centres by poorly trained sales staff. Rushed sub-contractors handled their installation, and any after-sales service, if present, was slow and sluggish.
Regularly these door to door solar sales companies hit a regional town like Grasshoppers, come in fast, and sell 30 systems. The crew then comes out, installs them rushed, and it’s all sold on price and promise.
Afterwards, when something goes wrong, trust me, trying to get these companies to return is a major act. In many cases, you will never see them again. Then one has to contact the local quality-focused installer for help. Unfortunately, one job is often beyond service, as the cheapest gear has been used and is poorly installed without complying with the Australian Standard rules. So the whole lot must be removed and started from scratch—a costly mistake.
What to do about these solar scam calls
You can enlist on the Do Not Call Registry to avoid these telemarketing calls. If you still receive a call while on this list, you can be confident the organisation is acting unethically, as they are not supposed to use your number. You can also complain about it to the Do not call service.
So my advice is to forget about door to door solar salesmen, forget about telemarketing. Instead, if you want a solar system, ask your friends and pick a good local company that’s been in business for at least ten years. In those circumstances, you minimise the risk of having a problem in the future.