Solar panel Miss-sell

I had an installer supply solar + battery last year. The installer quoted for the complete system and the relevant paperwork from the regulatory bodies.  Turns out that the paperwork is not valid as he wasn't actually accredited, only his electrician held the accreditation. I would have needed a direct contract with the electrician for the paperwork to be correct.  

I was thinking of a section 75 claim, as i paid the £500 deposit by credit card. However it transpires there are a few of us in a similar situation. An expert witness in this field has started assisting us, and has mentioned whether a no win no fee solicitor might be contacted to pursue the Section 75's on our behalf, with him adding his weight to the claims. He has dealt with many in his past as an expert in this field. 

This is just food for thought at the moment - but i'd be interested in what other views you all might have?

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  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,932
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    I can see the merit of a solicitor and expert witness assisting with a claim against the installer, but s75 claims would inevitably be more fragmented, as they'd need to be pursued individually with each of the creditors concerned.

    If the expert and solicitor are unable to get the installer to stump up (and they may choose to fold, taking the relevant assets with them), presumably you could just reuse the lines of argument they'd constructed in order to pursue a s75 claim against your card provider?
  • ComicGeek
    ComicGeek Posts: 1,539
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    Coppice10 said:
    I had an installer supply solar + battery last year. The installer quoted for the complete system and the relevant paperwork from the regulatory bodies.  Turns out that the paperwork is not valid as he wasn't actually accredited, only his electrician held the accreditation. I would have needed a direct contract with the electrician for the paperwork to be correct.  

    I was thinking of a section 75 claim, as i paid the £500 deposit by credit card. However it transpires there are a few of us in a similar situation. An expert witness in this field has started assisting us, and has mentioned whether a no win no fee solicitor might be contacted to pursue the Section 75's on our behalf, with him adding his weight to the claims. He has dealt with many in his past as an expert in this field. 

    This is just food for thought at the moment - but i'd be interested in what other views you all might have?

    What 'relevant' paperwork? Are you talking about a MCS certificate for the system? Are you saying that the installer can't provide you with a MCS certificate, after having included that within their original quote?
  • Coppice10
    Coppice10 Posts: 33
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    edited 6 February at 5:05PM
    @comicgeek - exactly that - the MCS certificate and the insurance backed guarantee are both not worth the paper they were written on. You have to be the contract holder in order to issue them and the front man held the contract - not the approved electrician. So despite being issued, they have been issued incorrectly and cant be relied upon.  Subsequent information which has come to light leads me to think the front man knew this but is actually a shady character and was cutting corners.    Leaving customers high and dry...hence the question about what approach to take re the solicitors/expert witness.  Thank you

  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,363
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    What is it you're claiming for?
  • Coppice10
    Coppice10 Posts: 33
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    user1977 said:
    What is it you're claiming for?
    Im not 100% sure what the remit of the claim might be at this point. It could be as extreme as removing the system and starting again from scratch. Seems crazy but how do i now trust anything the installer did? Or it might be a % of the costs back as i didnt get what i paid for
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,363
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    edited 7 February at 7:59AM
    Coppice10 said:
    user1977 said:
    What is it you're claiming for?
    Seems crazy 
    Yes, of course that would be crazy. Surely it just needs someone qualified to inspect it and sign it off? At this stage, what's your actual loss? Seems unlikely that the qualification of the certifier is going to be of any practical relevance.
  • Coppice10
    Coppice10 Posts: 33
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    edited 7 February at 9:19AM
    user1977 said:
    Coppice10 said:
    user1977 said:
    What is it you're claiming for?
    Seems crazy 
    Yes, of course that would be crazy. Surely it just needs someone qualified to inspect it and sign it off? At this stage, what's your actual loss? Seems unlikely that the qualification of the certifier is going to be of any practical relevance.
    Unfortunately that cant happen. The regulations state you cant have another person inspect & sign off as they are verifying someone else's work. My loss is no certificate which is needed when selling the house and needed to claim export, and no insurance backed guarantee if the panels blew off the roof or burnt down the house. So likely no house insurance cover for such events either. Ad no £1000 cashback from Barclays for doing the work which was an incentive. How you quantify all of that is difficult i agree.
    Having the right paperwork in place is actually crucial for a solar panel & house battery installation - its of massive relevance. 

    But the original question is around the logic of using an expert witness and a solicitor to do the section 75 or doing it diy....
  • ComicGeek
    ComicGeek Posts: 1,539
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    Coppice10 said:
    @comicgeek - exactly that - the MCS certificate and the insurance backed guarantee are both not worth the paper they were written on. You have to be the contract holder in order to issue them and the front man held the contract - not the approved electrician. So despite being issued, they have been issued incorrectly and cant be relied upon.  Subsequent information which has come to light leads me to think the front man knew this but is actually a shady character and was cutting corners.    Leaving customers high and dry...hence the question about what approach to take re the solicitors/expert witness.  Thank you

    I don't believe that's correct, plenty of installers use third party installers - the MCS requirements are that the products used are certified, and that the system has been commissioned by a MCS certified installation company. That happens on most/all new builds where there are multiple subcontractors employed.

    If you have the MCS certificate in hand then you can register the export side with electricity companies, so there's no proven loss there. You can check the legitimacy of the certificate with MCS directly.

    If you are concerned about the quality of the installation, are there particular issues that you are concerned with? You could always raise concerns directly with MCS.

    Without any specific concerns I don't see either the Section 75 or court getting you any where. 
  • Coppice10
    Coppice10 Posts: 33
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    ComicGeek said:
    Coppice10 said:
    @comicgeek - exactly that - the MCS certificate and the insurance backed guarantee are both not worth the paper they were written on. You have to be the contract holder in order to issue them and the front man held the contract - not the approved electrician. So despite being issued, they have been issued incorrectly and cant be relied upon.  Subsequent information which has come to light leads me to think the front man knew this but is actually a shady character and was cutting corners.    Leaving customers high and dry...hence the question about what approach to take re the solicitors/expert witness.  Thank you

    I don't believe that's correct, plenty of installers use third party installers - the MCS requirements are that the products used are certified, and that the system has been commissioned by a MCS certified installation company. That happens on most/all new builds where there are multiple subcontractors employed.

    If you have the MCS certificate in hand then you can register the export side with electricity companies, so there's no proven loss there. You can check the legitimacy of the certificate with MCS directly.

    If you are concerned about the quality of the installation, are there particular issues that you are concerned with? You could always raise concerns directly with MCS.

    Without any specific concerns I don't see either the Section 75 or court getting you any where. 
    Not quite true. The MCS certificate  must be issued by the MCS accredited person AND BE THE CONTRACT HOLDER. Same with the Insurance backed guarantee.    This is not how mine is structured.  I was sold a set-up with this paperwork in place, and they are not valid - i have spoken to MCS and confirmed it.  The rules on how to flowdown and subcontract work were not followed.
  • ComicGeek
    ComicGeek Posts: 1,539
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    Coppice10 said:
    ComicGeek said:
    Coppice10 said:
    @comicgeek - exactly that - the MCS certificate and the insurance backed guarantee are both not worth the paper they were written on. You have to be the contract holder in order to issue them and the front man held the contract - not the approved electrician. So despite being issued, they have been issued incorrectly and cant be relied upon.  Subsequent information which has come to light leads me to think the front man knew this but is actually a shady character and was cutting corners.    Leaving customers high and dry...hence the question about what approach to take re the solicitors/expert witness.  Thank you

    I don't believe that's correct, plenty of installers use third party installers - the MCS requirements are that the products used are certified, and that the system has been commissioned by a MCS certified installation company. That happens on most/all new builds where there are multiple subcontractors employed.

    If you have the MCS certificate in hand then you can register the export side with electricity companies, so there's no proven loss there. You can check the legitimacy of the certificate with MCS directly.

    If you are concerned about the quality of the installation, are there particular issues that you are concerned with? You could always raise concerns directly with MCS.

    Without any specific concerns I don't see either the Section 75 or court getting you any where. 
    Not quite true. The MCS certificate  must be issued by the MCS accredited person AND BE THE CONTRACT HOLDER. Same with the Insurance backed guarantee.    This is not how mine is structured.  I was sold a set-up with this paperwork in place, and they are not valid - i have spoken to MCS and confirmed it.  The rules on how to flowdown and subcontract work were not followed.
    Unless the contract holder is also a MCS accredited company, and employs another MCS accredited company to undertake the installation and provide the certificate. It doesn't have to be the same entity who is both MCS accredited and the contract holder, but the people involved all have to be accredited and clear instructions/scope of works agreed.

    So I assume your contract holder is not MCS accredited then? Whose name is on the insurance backed guarantee? If it's the accredited electrician then you would claim against them anyway - insurance backed guarantee are still provided on some non MCS accredited schemes, so might not be invalid.

    There's no legal requirement for MCS certification, and you do actually have a MCS certificate in place so would be silly to get that cancelled without an agreed route forward. The insurance is normally only for 2 years, and only to be used if the original installer is no longer trading, which you haven't specifically mentioned - if you're not making an insurance claim within the 2 year period then you technically haven't got a proven loss.   

    Without any specific concerns about the original installation (or regrets about potentially paying too much) you might be possibly making too much of this. Yes, you might feel upset with the 'front man' but you could waste a lot of time and money getting nowhere with this.
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