Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona is alerting consumers to illegal automated phone solicitations- or “robocalls”- from an unknown company promising energy savings for switching to solar energy.
Consumers say the phone calls come from a phone number with an area code out of Yuma, but when they call the number back the number is disconnected. Typically robocall operations will use computers to place thousands of phone calls at once, while making any phone number they wish appear on the call recipient’s caller ID.
While going green makes sense for many consumers, and utility companies and the government offer incentives for homeowners to purchase some solar equipment, BBB cautions consumers to make informed decisions, and to look out for misleading and secretive marketers and contractors.
“There are marketing groups that use robo-dialers or door-to-door appointment setters to obtain customer leads,” Katharine Kent, owner of The Solar Store, told BBB. “Once a system is sold, a third party is hired to install the system.”
Kent went on to caution that Arizona law requires all companies involved in the transaction to have a contractor’s license, including telephones solicitors who subcontract work to solar contractors.
Robocalls hawking shadowy green energy savings schemes are not without precedent in Southern Arizona. BBB received numerous calls in 2013 from Southern Arizona consumers who reported receiving robocalls from mystery solicitors that refused to provide identifying information.
Consumers should be wary of all robocall solicitations- which are illegal- and should be extremely wary of giving any personal or financial information to sales representatives who refuse to disclose the name of the company they work for.
BBB and The Solar Store offer the following tips for those leasing, buying or installing solar panels themselves:
Talk to your energy (electric) company.
Find out about federal and state/provincial tax credits.
Choosing a business
To find a business you can trust, or to write a Customer Review- positive or negative- about a company you did business with visit www.bbb.org/tucson.