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Volume 24 Issue 3
COMPLIMENTARY

Aug 2023 | Business | 0 comments

Attorney General Mayes sues residential solar installation company and telemarketer over unsubstantiated savings claims and illegal phone calls

Business | 0 comments

August 2023

PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, sued Vision Solar LLC and one of its lead generators, Solar Xchange LLC, and its owner Mark Getts, for violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Federal Telephone Solicitation Rule, the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, and the Arizona Telephone Solicitations Act in connection with unlawful telemarketing sales calls and misrepresentations relating to the sale and installation of residential solar panels in Arizona and beyond.
“Arizona’s sunny climate has made residential solar a fast-growing industry in our state,” said Attorney General Mayes, a long-time proponent of solar energy. “However, solar is a major investment that should be considered by consumers without being subject to unfair pressure tactics. I will not tolerate dishonest sales practices or harassment through unwanted calls that pressure consumers into unfavorable contracts.”
Vision Solar is a residential solar installation company that sells solar panels and installation services directly to consumers, mostly through in-person sales presentations at consumers’ homes. According to the complaint, Vision Solar violated state and federal law by making false, misleading, or unsubstantiated statements about, among other things, energy savings consumers could realize, available tax rebates and incentives, that the monthly payment for solar panels would replace consumers’ current electric bill, and that consumers would begin to realize savings immediately. In reality, the complaint alleges, many Vision Solar consumers waited months to get their solar panels installed and operational, while they had to make monthly payments for both the finance charge for the non-operational solar panels and their existing utility bill for electricity.
In addition, the complaint alleges that Vision Solar’s telemarketers at times falsely claimed to be affiliated with a utility company or government agency. According to the complaint, Vision Solar’s telemarketers, including Solar Xchange, also called consumers who are on the Do Not Call Registry.
“Although I have a long-standing track record of supporting the solar industry, any company engaging in unfair or deceptive sales practices gives a bad name to legitimate companies in a given industry,” added Attorney General Mayes. “I will not allow bad actors to scam unsuspecting consumers or harm the reputations of companies operating ethically and legally.”
Solar Xchange and Getts have agreed to settle the claims against them. Pursuant to a settlement agreement resolving the allegations against them, Solar Xchange and Getts will be prohibited from: misrepresenting that they are affiliated with any utility or government agency; making unsubstantiated claims regarding the cost of installing solar panels; and engaging in abusive telemarketing practices. The order also imposes a partially suspended civil penalty of $13.8 million.
The attorneys handling this matter for Arizona are Senior Litigation Counsel Laura Dilweg, and Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hubble.
If you believe you have been the victim of or experienced consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.

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