Solar Fraud In Arizona

Solar energy systems are growing in popularity with each passing year. Unfortunately, there are numerous issues that all consumers should be aware of before deciding to purchase solar panels. This article will give insight into common tactics that solar salespeople are using and how homeowners can spot these red flags.

The Solar Salesman ​

It’s happened to most of us, a salesperson knocks on the door and interrupts your day. They offer to sell you things that you didn’t know you needed, and still probably don’t. The old phrase “snake oil salesman” originally applied to those traveling from home to home, peddling wares that were often ineffective at best and poisonous at worst. These days there are not many industries that still rely on door-to-door sales. The solar industry in Arizona is a significant exception to this general rule of door-to-door salesmen being headed the way of the dodo and the dinosaurs. 

Let’s review some of the ways you can protect yourself from fraudulent sales pitches presented by door-to-door salespeople. 

The Red Flag of Solar Sales

This article utilizes the term “fraud indicator” to mean a sales tactic used during a sales pitch. However, fraud indicators do not always mean fraud is occurring and do not always mean that the salesperson has set out to deceive a consumer.  

Fraud indicators are simply warning signs and caution markers. It’s important to slow down and check your resources before committing to anything. We have compiled a list of indicators to keep an eye out for if you are approached about purchasing solar. 

1. Aggression

 If a salesperson is very insistent to come inside your home, or that you come outside of your home this is something to be wary of.  

Arizona’s climate favors the door-to-door salesman. When it is 115 degrees outside natural empathy can cause consumers to invite a salesperson inside. However, accepting a solar salesperson inside your home gives them access to observe your living space and make observations and deductions about who you are as a consumer. They could also make you uncomfortable in your own home. 

Additionally,  stepping outside into the heat will only serve to make you uncomfortable as well. Being uncomfortable is a vulnerability because you will be more likely to agree to something to make the uncomfortable moment end.

2. "Too Good To Be True" Offerings

When a sales pitch includes specific promises but does not include any real data for you as a consumer it often indicates that the salesman is engaging in “puffing” or “peacocking” to make a deal sound too good to be true. 

By law, ARS § 44-1763, a solar sales pitch that makes promises of performance or savings must include within it the information upon which that promise is made.  So, if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is. If those specific promises are made in the pitch, they must also be included in the contract which completes the sale. A helpful tip to remember is if specific promises are made during your sales pitch then check your contract for phrases such as “no promises are made by this contract” before you sign. This could save you a lot of grief. 

3. Targeting

Targeting is when a salesperson intentionally engages with a consumer who may have any kind of disabling circumstance. 

This targeting could also be when a solar salesman intentionally speaks to only one person in a marital unit. This indicates fraud because the salesperson is focusing on a single spouse so they can more effectively exert influence without running the risk of the other spouse catching on and stopping the sale. 

The Tactical Takeaway

These are not the only sales tactics, however, we hope it helps you to notice any and all potential red flags during a sales pitch. As we mentioned before the best way to avoid this from happening is to slow down and review the details of your contract before committing to anything.

Contact Counxel Legal Firm​

If you have purchased or are considering purchasing a solar power system and you have questions/concerns please do not hesitate to contact Counxel Legal Firm to speak with one of our attorneys. We would be happy to review your contract and ensure you are protected. 

Note: This article was written with Arizona residents in mind, however, we offer legal counsel in additional states. If you do not live in Arizona but would like to discuss your solar contract we would be happy to assist you. 

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