Although solar energy is advertised as a clean energy, it can be a dirty business. Thousands of consumers have been taken advantage of by dishonest solar panel salesmen who trick them into signing unfair and illegal leases and contracts. The sales pitch is always similar – “Here are free or low cost solar panels that we will install on your roof, and all you need to do is sign and your energy bills will decrease and you may even be able to sell energy back to the power companies.”
However, there is a lot more to solar panel installations and solar panel contracts that the sweet sales pitch. There are thousands of complaints of solar panel contract schemes, scams and fraud that leave consumers wanting to sue the solar panel company to get out of deceptive and unfair contracts, and to avoid large financial problems. Some of the largest solar companies that have been accused of wrongdoing are Vivint Solar, Solar City and Solar Mosaic.
The law firm of Whitney, LLP represents consumers and can help home owners that were tricked into signing a contract for solar panels fight back against dishonest and unfair sales tactics. We offer Free Consultations. Call us at 410 583 8000.
We represent homeowners across Maryland, including in Baltimore, Pasadena, Cockeysville, Owings Mills, Temple Hills, Marlow Heights, Cockeysville, Germantown, Silver Spring, Frederick, Waldorf, Glen Burnie, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Ellicott City and Salisbury. We may also represent clients in select other states depending on the claims.
Solar Panel Energy Sales and Running Credit Without Permission
Many home owners have discovered that after a solar salesman came to their house, a hard inquiry was made on their credit without permission. The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects consumers against unlawful credit checks, which can cause a consumer’s credit score to drop.
A solar company salesman is not allowed to run a homeowner’s credit without permission. Some salesmen will trick customers into E-signing a tablet or iPad and claim that a signature is needed simply to allow them to begin a discussion about solar, to perform a roof inspection, or some other pretext. However, the salesman may be lying, and is using the E-Signature to run a credit check or bind the homeowner to a contract.
If your credit was run without permission by a solar panel company, or you did not knowingly sign a contract, you have rights and can take action to have the inquiry removed, cancel the contract and recover compensation.
Solar Panel Company Contract Fraud and Tricks
Solar energy salesman have been accused by many homeowners of using fraud and forgery to trick homeowners into signing contracts. E-signatures on a tablet are often used to conduct the fraud, due to it being very easy for the salesman to misrepresent the document that is actually being signed. It is also difficult for consumers to read the full document of what the are being asked to sign.
Solar panel companies have used fraud to deceive home owners into signing contracts while pretending the signature was going to be used for some other purpose, such as authorizing a roof inspection or permission to provide an estimate. However, the homeowner then begins to get letters in the mail notifying them that a contract was entered into, payments are due, or some other negative impact is happening or is about to happen.
Solar energy companies have also been accused of tricking customers into signing long term contracts that may cause the customer to lose their home if payments are not made on a strict timetable.
Whitney, LLP’s solar panel energy fraud lawyers help solar customers fight back against fraud and deceptive practices.
Forgery in Solar Panel Energy Contracts
When a home owner receives a copy of a contract for solar panel installation that they did not sign, but a signature and initials are listed by their name, it is due to forgery. Solar panel and solar energy salesman have been accused of forgery in numerous complaints and lawsuits across the United States.
Forged contracts are not valid, and the defense of forgery can be used to help homeowners get out of bad solar panel energy contracts.
For example, in South Carolina, a woman selling solar panels was charged with forgery over $10,000. Read about the case here.
Common Solar Energy Complaints
Here are some of the most common solar panel complaints from consumers:
- The solar salesman said I would save money, but my monthly utility bill went up. It is no secret that salesman lie to consumers, but this is such a common complaint and goes against one of the mainstay solar claims, which is that going solar will save money on a monthly basis;
- There is a lien on my house by the solar company. The contracts that some homeowners are tricked into signing can contain many different harmful clauses, including the solar company placing a lien on the house if various payments are not made on time.
- I did not sign a contract for solar panels, but the company says I did and I owe money. Dishonest salespeople forge and misrepresent contracts in order to make the sale. There are defenses to fraudulent contracts that allow them to be broken.
- My room is leaking after the solar panels were installed. Solar contracts often contain a provision requiring the solar company to perform a water-tight roof installation. If your roof is leaking and the company will not fix it, they may have breached the lease, and you may be able to break the solar contract.
Whitney, LLP Represents Victims of Solar Energy Contracts Frauds
If you have a problem with your solar panel contract, or were defrauded in some way involving a contract for solar energy, call us for your Free Consultation.
There are a variety of state and federal laws that protect consumers and allow them to fight back against dishonest solar companies.
Call us at 410 583 8000 for your Free Consultation, or use our Quick Contact Form to begin.