Solar PV: how to complain if you've been mis-sold
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 July 2011 at 9:25 am
Q: I just received a call from Anglian (0845 296 9668) who were offering an incredible 40% discount on their products. They were claiming you don't need direct sunlight for solar PV, only daylight and that PV can be placed on a north facing roof. Is there someone who I could complain to, as I know that less aware people would believe their mis-selling.
A: It's interesting that this question came in on the same day that Which? published it's latest investigation into the sales of solar panels. Anglian was one of the companies it names and shames.
Your first port of call for dodgy sales techniques for solar panels and other renewable energy technologies is the REAL Assurance Scheme Consumer Code, which all MCS accredited installers must sign up to. This covers all aspects of the installation before, during and after the contract. Mis-selling, and offering discounts if you sign-up on the day are both things that are covered in the code.
There is a section on the website about how to complain. You can either download a pdf form, or fill in an online form. There's a rather convoluted flow chart on the page which shows you how your complaint will be dealt with.
There is currently a small loophole that allows sales companies to sell on behalf of MCS accredited installers without being members of REAL. This loophole is about to be closed. It is still worth reporting mis-selling by these companies to REAL, although they probably don't have as much power over companies that aren't a member of the scheme.
If that doesn't bring you any joy, you can report the company to trading standards: enter your postcode here to find your local branch.
Misleading advertising can be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority, but I'm struggling to find an equivalent for dodgy telephone selling. So give REAL a try, and do let us know how you get on.
More consumer guidance about solar PV from YouGen
Photo by emdotBy Cathy Debenham
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