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Solar Panel Installation Issue

By mickey - 17 June 2011 10

Back in Feb, I signed up with an interstate energy provider to install a 1.5kw solar panel array, to connect to the grid. The panels were installed in a reasonable timeframe- within 4 weeks of signing up.

This is when things went bad. ACTPLA came to inspect and informed me that there was an issue and they had contacted my installer and they were supposed to come and fix it before it would have to be reinspected.

No installer came, but I did receive a call saying that the issue was fixed and I should book my appointment with ACTPLA again, which I did, this was about 4 weeks after the initial inspection.

The ACTPLA inspector came and informed me that the issue had not been fixed at all and the whole process would have to be done again. I have thereafter contacted the energy provider and they seem to be very lax in getting back to me with any updates.

My question is – what options do I have in my case? It has been 3 months now, and I have solar panels which are doing nothing- which amounts to financial loss as well.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Solar Panel Installation Issue
adi 7:15 am 20 Jun 11

Auntyem said :

kevn said :

LOL unless yr the woman I work with, this also happened to the woman I worked with.

Or unless you are the guy I work with because the same thing happened to him.

There seems to be a common problem here…

LOL looks like im not the only one. These companies should not be able to get away with substandard customer service. I have paid for a service, and i expect a reasonable level of service in return. I had heard on the news about a couple of months ago, how an energy company had to reimburse a customer for the period from install to hookup to grid.
By any standards 15/03-20/06 is sufficient time for them to fix up whatever issues they have. ACTPLA has not told me what the problem is exactly, but they did mention that they have contacted the installer and informed them on both occasions. The worst part is that the installers never came to fix after the first inspection, but had the audacity to call me and ask me to arrange a 2nd inspection and assured me that things had been fixed. I am sure no one visited the site, unless they fixed it ‘remotely’? and I am sure of this because my parents were home visiting me from overseas for the last couple of months and they were home all day and if someone had come and entered the premises or climbed on top of the roof, they surely would have realised, and so would have both my dogs.
So as you can imagine I am very displeased with the installers.

‘unfortunately, I have to email you again – to bring to your attention the fact that your installer has still not contacted me. I did receive a call from a XXXX XXXX last week and he did mention that if I had not heard from the installers within 2 business days I was to call him, which I did on wednesday the 15/06. He mentioned that he would confirm with the installers and get back to me shortly, it has been 2 days and I have had no contact with him as yet.

Our solar panels were installed on the 15/03, ACTPLA has thereafter done 2 inspections, failed both times, as per my previous emails to you.
I really appreciate and acknowledge your assistance with my enquiries, but can you please escalate as a matter of priority now, this has gone on for way too long as you can imagine, and if the fault is not rectified by the end of next week, then I will have to look at other options, like escalating to the ACCC or demanding a refund and financial damages.

I had not expected this level of service from a reputed brand and though my case is probably an exception, I would still expect xxxxx xxxxxx to ensure that my issue was rectified asap. Not only that, I have barely had any communication or updates, unless I have inquired myself.’

parle 6:11 am 20 Jun 11

Felix the Cat said :

But it’s ok for the interstate energy provider to defraud the OP?

the fraud you’ve suggested would be criminal and with the credit card provider, particularly if they said ‘didn’t authorise transaction’.

your idea has merit though, the op could dispute the transaction by saying the ‘goods’ haven’t been received in full and the card company will then investigate, most probably withholding payment of the full amount from the panel installer for a month or so while they ask questions.

Felix the Cat 9:05 pm 18 Jun 11

parle said :

Felix the Cat said :

Presumably you have already paid for this? If you paid by credit card ring the bank and tell them you didn’t authorise a transaction of $XXXXX to Shonky Solar Pty Ltd and get them to reverse the transaction.

ah yes, a false statement with an intent to defraud, that’s what you want to do.

But it’s ok for the interstate energy provider to defraud the OP?

Auntyem 10:12 am 18 Jun 11

kevn said :

LOL unless yr the woman I work with, this also happened to the woman I worked with.

Or unless you are the guy I work with because the same thing happened to him.

There seems to be a common problem here…

Martlark 12:01 am 18 Jun 11

Solar panels that don’t generate electricity don’t cost me money. So this is a winning situation for us poor people.

kevn 9:54 pm 17 Jun 11

LOL unless yr the woman I work with, this also happened to the woman I worked with.

parle 8:11 pm 17 Jun 11

Felix the Cat said :

Presumably you have already paid for this? If you paid by credit card ring the bank and tell them you didn’t authorise a transaction of $XXXXX to Shonky Solar Pty Ltd and get them to reverse the transaction.

ah yes, a false statement with an intent to defraud, that’s what you want to do.

Felix the Cat 6:26 pm 17 Jun 11

Presumably you have already paid for this? If you paid by credit card ring the bank and tell them you didn’t authorise a transaction of $XXXXX to Shonky Solar Pty Ltd and get them to reverse the transaction.

steveu 5:17 pm 17 Jun 11

this sounds like a common story, and I have a feeling I know which firm you are referring to. There seems to be alot of electricians who are not up to speed on working with DC voltage etc. and have stuffed up a number of installations. I think office of fair trading would be the first step.
The problem is, in a few weeks Im sure the installers will wind up the company, leaving people in the lurch with the effective destruction of the grid connected solar industry in NSW and ACT.

helium 4:53 pm 17 Jun 11

Find out why ACTPLA failed the inspection as they are many potential reasons, try and get the contact number of their sub-contractor in Canberra and deal direct with them if they will let you.

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