Rogue solar retailer stripped of accreditation

A rogue solar retailer has been stripped of its accreditation by Australia’s top clean energy body after claiming it left hard-working Australian families in the dark.

Melbourne father Michael O’Connell paid solar retailer Simply Solar & Storage nearly $8,000 for solar panels in December.

“So we paid, waited for the reservation date, which we weren’t given. They never came for the first one,” O’Connell said. A topical matter.

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A rogue solar retailer has been stripped of its accreditation by Australia's top clean energy body after claiming it left hard-working Australian families in the dark.
A rogue solar retailer has been stripped of its accreditation by Australia’s top clean energy body after claiming it left hard-working Australian families in the dark. (A current affair)

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“I contacted the lady in the office and rebooked it. They never showed up for the second one.

“So after the two no-shows we started to get a little nervous, we contacted them and asked for a refund.”

After six months of waiting, O’Connell had still not received the refund.

Melbourne father Michael O'Connell paid solar retailer Simply Solar & Storage nearly $8,000 for solar panels in December.
Melbourne father Michael O’Connell paid solar retailer Simply Solar & Storage nearly $8,000 for solar panels in December. (A current affair)

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“They blocked me, never answered my calls. So if I tried to call I would have to use a blocked number for him to answer, or for the lady I was dealing with,” said O’Connell.

“They push you to get the solar, they push you to pay upfront. We work hard every day to earn our money and then we come and give it to them. Yet they keep your money and then take a refund, he nothing happens.”

It was a similar story for Gayle Burley, who waited six months for her solar panels to be installed by Simply Solar & Storage.

It was a similar story for Gayle Burley, who waited six months for her solar panels to be installed by Simply Solar & Storage.
It was a similar story for Gayle Burley, who waited six months for her solar panels to be installed by Simply Solar & Storage. (A current affair)

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“Through April 2022, there were a lot of emails back and forth,” Burley said.

“We were promised the GM would call us tomorrow to book an installation, we were promised they would call us in a week to book the installation date.”

As the panels were finally installed in April, the drama continued.

“I called our electric company and they have no record that we installed solar power,” Burley said.

“It makes my blood boil because we should get the rebates. It is indeed money that we are losing.”

It is not only customers who complain about the solar seller, but their own suppliers and former workers, who have claimed A topical matter they are owed unpaid wages and pensions.

A supplier has claimed that it owes Simply Solar & Storage nearly $100,000 and is trying to have them shut down through the courts for insolvency.

Despite repeated requests, company owner Brooke Chadwick and her husband Josh, who runs the business, declined to comment on the case.

According to leaked information from multiple company sources, Simply Solar & Storage owed more than $50,000 in refunds to customers.

A supplier has claimed that it owes Simply Solar & Storage nearly $100,000 and is trying to have them shut down through the courts for insolvency.
A supplier has claimed that it owes Simply Solar & Storage nearly $100,000 and is trying to have them shut down through the courts for insolvency. (A current affair)

Australia’s leading body for the clean energy sector, the Clean Energy Council, withdrew the company’s accreditation after finding it had “engaged in conduct detrimental to consumers”.

The Clean Energy Council has developed a solar power buying guide to help Australian customers avoid such situations.

“Most are doing the right thing and people are reaping the benefits,” said Clean Energy Council national affairs director Arron Wood.

“I think people should be careful of high-pressure sales tactics,” Wood said.

“Don’t buy from someone who goes door to door, be sure to use an approved solar retailer and also get this solar buying guide – so you can do your homework.”

Clean Energy Council Statement

“The Clean Energy Council, acting as administrator of the code, has found that Simply Solar & Storage has engaged in behavior that is harmful to consumers and should therefore be removed as a signatory.

“We believe that taking large down payments or the entire balance of a system with no intention of fulfilling contractual obligations to supply and install a solar system is behavior that is harmful to consumers. rectifications or refunds to consumers without fulfilling such promises are not consistent with the best practices the program was designed to provide.Simply Solar & Storage’s actions are considered conduct that could bring the Code into disrepute.

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