Have you been subject to pressure sales for solar?
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 December 2012 at 2:30 pm
A small minority of renewable energy companies are ignoring the rules on selling set down in the REAL Assurance consumer code, to which all MCS accredited installers must adhere.
This is the relevant section of the code:
Sales employees and representatives, whether employed directly, sub-contracted or selling on the company's behalf, must not use any selling techniques designed to pressurise the consumer into making an immediate decision. These techniques are prohibited by law as well as contravening this Code. They include, but are not limited to:
- staying in the consumer's premises for more than two hours (except in exceptional circumstances which must be recorded);
offering consumers an inflated initial price followed by a discount, or equivalent (for example, additional equipment or monitoring devices for free), for
- signing on the day
- agreeing to provide testimonials
- providing customer referrals
- displaying a board outside their home
- providing performance monitoring data;
- withholding price information until the end of the visit; or
- claiming that there is limited availability of the energy generator.
Members are only permitted to offer any discounts of more than £200 where:
- the undiscounted price quoted is a genuine price at which a significant number of retail sales of energy generators can be shown to have been made; and
- the discounts have been specifically advertised a reasonable time beforehand on the website or in press or other media advertising; and
- the discounted price cannot be confused with the undiscounted price by virtue of the length of time it is available for; and
- the discounts apply to every-one irrespective of postcode, region, date, house type or any other limiting factor clearly intended to pressurise a consumer into signing a contract.
Members must not follow up sales visits by further visits or telephone calls offering further discounted prices or other information intended to pressurise consumers into signing a contract.
If you have experienced behaviour that breaks this code your first step is to report the company to REAL.
We are keen to see the back of this kind of behaviour, and are currently calling for ministers to ban companies from signing up customers on the day of a sales visit. Please support this campaign in one of the following ways:
1. Sign the petition - just click here.
2. Write to your MP and ask for their support
3. Tell your story. If you've been on the receiving end of dodgy sales tactics let us know. You can either post your story in the comment section below this blog, or email us.
Read more about it here.By Cathy Debenham
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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