Who can be deemed as a solar orphan? A consumer whose retailer is no longer in the picture or has shut down or liquidated due to various reasons or is no longer in the country, then, you are a Solar Orphan. Well, this would mean that you do not have a valid warranty, cannot avail any repairs, cannot get regular maintenance checked and no customer service. This will lead to losses and a deduction in feed-in tariffs from the government. So, what can be done in these unique situations? Whom should you contact?
Why are solar retailers wiped off the market or go out of business?
The solar industry is indeed booming with business and success yet, some companies failed miserably in their approach to the customers. Many establishments went bankrupt and were incapable to reimburse their losses and had to quit the business. Several of them found solar to be a good opportunity to make shady business ventures. They then fled after a few years when the profits went down or when they made some bucks. Your commitment to them wasn’t worth your time or capital. Companies like True Value Solar and Energy Matters abandoned their customers as the ownership was sold or changes their venture into other fields. No matter what happens to the business, this will only mean that the customers of such solar companies were abandoned and devastated at the same time.
How can avoid being abandoned by the retailers?
Before undergoing the process of installation it is important to check if they are CEC Approved Retailers, You should try to get maximum reviews from the customers and quality assurance. Also, look out for ISO accreditations and make sure the business has Australian ownership. Keep in check the number of years they are in the field and consider only mature companies with over 10 years of experience. The last one is to always read your terms and conditions so you won’t be a victim of fraud due to shady businesses and fake warranties.
How to combat the problem if you are a solar orphan?
Do not fret! If your Solar dealer has bailed out you can still inspect with the manufacturers. They do provide warranties or services to their valuable customers. It is your duty to make sure you have all the documents ready to avail such offers from the manufacturer. To communicate with the manufacturer, always inspect the invoice. In a time of dire need, it’s those little pieces of paper that come to your benefit. So, never throw that invoice. If not, you could also reach your State’s Consumer Support or Fair Trading Agency. Take their advice about what could be done regarding the issue. You could even lodge a complaint concerning the matter. If it is an Australian enterprise, the administration would take it into consideration.
Also, if your retailer doesn’t respond to your call, don’t announce yourself as an orphan. Show a little patience and provide them ample time and make sure to try to discover different alternatives to reach out to them. It’s always better to Google them or their social media accounts or even visit their store. Make sure to check out ABN Lookup. It stands for Australian Business Register. It is a domain that provides unrestricted permit to public data about the establishment.
If it's too much of a hustle-bustle, hire a new retailer!
It is obvious you will be spending extra on the new retailer but you sure won’t make the same mistakes you did then. They will surely take care of your concerns and assist you accordingly. By choosing a Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved installer like https://www.aykasolar.com.au/, you will be able to contact them for any future issues you face. Always remember cheap is not always the best and make sure to lookup for reg flags from the dealers before you buy!