Consumer Affairs Victoria is urging consumers to exercise caution when purchasing solar panels and other solar related products, following the issuing of a public warning notice.
The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, Simon Cohen, used his powers under the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) to issue the public warning about Solar Orb Pty Ltd (Solar Orb), following a spike in consumer reports relating to failure to supply and install solar panels.
Since 11 October 2017, Consumer Affairs Victoria has received 29 contacts from consumers about the business conduct of Solar Orb, relating to specific issues. These include:
- accepting deposit payments for solar panel supply and installation
- failure to supply or install the solar panels
- failure to refund deposits after non-supply and non-installation of the solar panels.
Consumers have told Consumer Affairs Victoria that Solar Orb would request a 10 per cent deposit for the supply and installation of the solar panels and arrange a date for installation.
Following payment of the deposit, consumers stated that they did not receive any products, and Solar Orb did not attend to install the solar panels on the arranged date.
Impacted consumers have been seeking refunds of their deposits from Solar Orb ranging from $3,000 to $19,000, totalling more than $200,000 in deposits.
Despite repeated efforts by consumers to contact Solar Orb, once the deposit payment was received the company became uncontactable.
“The volume of contacts and reported conduct of Solar Orb warrants the issuing of a public warning notice,” Mr Cohen said.
“The reported conduct of Solar Orb has caused significant distress to affected consumers and it is vital for potential customers to be aware of this conduct and exercise caution about entering into agreements with any company that requests deposits or up-front payments for the supply of solar panels and other solar-related products.”
On 2 November 2017, Solar Orb Pty Ltd was placed in liquidation.
Consumers who paid by credit card and have not received goods or services they purchased from Solar Orb, should immediately contact their bank or credit card provider to seek a chargeback. For more information, view our Chargeback page.