There are few things more frustrating and stressful as a homeowner than trusting a contractor with your home and having them disappear before the work is finished. In worst-case scenarios, they leave with some of your money! Solar installs are not immune to this type of bad business practice. So if you’ve been burned, here are some of our tips for getting some justice, moving on, and getting your solar project successfully completed.
1. Look for a New Contractor
Although it’s frustrating to begin the prospecting process all over again, sometimes, it’s better to cut your loss of time quickly and move on to another company for your solar power installation. This is an easy step to take if you have not paid for services yet or put any money into the purchase of solar arrays. Moving on can be your best bet in this scenario and you can walk away grateful that you didn’t lose any money in the bad experience.
2. Seek Damages in Small Claims Court
If you already paid either in full or with a deposit and have not received the completed project as promised, you would probably really like your money back. According to Nolo.com Colorado residents can seek up to $7,500 in small claims court. With small claims courts, there are fewer procedural complexities and cases are expedited, which means plaintiffs do not have to hire a lawyer to represent them. The legal website recommends compiling evidence, such as signed contracts, the scope of work papers, canceled checks, and photographs that show the current status of the worksite in question.
3. Report to Review Agencies
Although it doesn’t help get your solar project completed, writing reviews and reporting a company that ghosted you can help save other homeowners potential headaches and warn them about a company that abandoned your job. First, start with the Better Business Bureau followed by Angie’s List and Google reviews. You can also contact your state contractor licensing board online and fill out a complaint on the state’s website.
Of course, there’s a string of other review options such as Facebook and Yelp, just make sure you stay focused on moving on with getting your project completed, so this unreliable company doesn’t eat up more of your valuable time.
4. Make Sure to Intensely Screen Your Contractor
Once you’re ready to move on to getting your solar panel system in place (or any other project your contractor dropped the ball on for that matter!) take some time to investigate the reputation of your new prospects. Ask if they have any former customers you can talk to. Look at their website and social media accounts. Have they been around for over a year at least? Do they show off completed jobs? What is their Better Business Bureau rating?
These are good questions, to begin with. Also, see how long it takes them to follow-up when you call. Do they respond quickly and do they follow-up in a reasonable amount of time? Also, look into their terms to make sure they have a realistic payment structure you’re satisfied with.
5. Look at Transformation Success Stories
Now, if you want to skip the stress and strain of dealing with a bad contractor, one of the best ways to avoid getting burned is to read reviews from actual customers so you can learn about the company’s reputation and work practices.
Here at Steel City Solar, we’re pretty proud to have so many happy customers leaving positive reviews and detailing their satisfaction with working with us. It makes us especially happy knowing that our approach is working for local residents. Like Pat Johnson for instance.
She wrote recently: “We’re very satisfied with our Steel City Solar system and the service. The system went in quickly and efficiently. The cooperation between Steel City Solar and San Isabel Electric made this an excellent choice. This is a way to install solar with zero upfront cost.”
Another satisfied customer, Scott Epstein says he typically doesn’t review anything, but his experience with Steel City Solar required him to share a story. “Earlier in 2020, we got serious about solar for our University Park home. We wanted panels that were made in the USA and we wanted to stay as local as possible.” Scott was particularly impressed with the transparency of the sales team, our honesty, and the rapid install. “These folks under-promise and overproduce. Installation was flawless.”
He goes on to report their home’s inspection and metering happened within days of the install. Their first bill, covering the hottest month of the year, July, saw them within a dollar of even, even while running AC a lot! Scott expects to be banking energy every year. “We are totally impressed with this local company,” adds Scott. “They function at all levels as a well-oiled machine, are very friendly, and have been fully responsive. Great to have a local company, with one point of contact, that can be trusted to do as or better than they say. Go solar, go local!” We couldn’t agree more with Scott!
If you’re ready for a better solar install experience, reach out to our team here at Steel City Solar. We’re committed to being a reliable, trusted part of the community and look forward to servicing your needs.