The dodgy door knockers are back and wow, have we been busy getting unsuspecting clients out of some terrible deals. We have been averaging 3 calls per day but we have had up to 6 on one particular day with people who have gone through the process and have signed up, paid a deposit but they have the nagging feeling they have been done over so they have been calling us for advice. Or people have been calling up about their mum or their dad having been coerced into signing up to something they don’t really understand.
Firstly, we have to say it’s not your fault; you are in no way to blame. These mainland guys run a very slick operation. They know all the right buttons to press and all the right lies to tell.
Today I’m just going to run you through the process so the people out there know how to recognise how they are being gamed. This is a lot like a vaccination which gives our immune systems antibodies the ability to recognise viruses and the ability to neutralise them before they do us irreparable harm.
For starters we have to recognise their target market which is elderly people and people from lower socioeconomic demographics.
Hold onto your hats as this is how it works.
They have people roaming the neighbourhood but it’s always during the day as they want to target people who are home during the day which will be predominantly retired people or people who for whatever reason are not presently engaged in the workforce. Let’s call this person the “procurer”. The procurer knocks on the door and if someone answers they ask ‘do you want to not have a power bill’? Or ‘have you thought about solar’? Or ‘would you like no power bill and you don’t have to pay a cent’? Generally the question is framed so that answer will always be in the affirmative. Or they encourage the homeowner to ask them questions as the human mind is wired to accept the answer as being true, it’s just a psychological sales trick engaged by shysters.
Most people are going to be intrigued or on the hook. They organise a second person to come around a few days later and let’s call this guy the “Closer”
He might make some false representations on how they are affiliated with Aurora or 1st Energy. This is to give them credibility but rest assured they are not. They will talk about how big or local they are (of which they are not), how your solar system will pay for itself in 3 years (which it won’t) or how the panels they sell are made in Germany (of which they are not, they are made in China) or how they offer the best after sales service in the country (which they don’t as they already have been prosecuted by the CEC for not honouring warranties).
So we have got past that bit, but how do they get you to sign up and ignore all the common sense rules our parents drum into us growing up to get multiple quotes and shop local?
This is where they injecting a false call to action into the sales process. They might say the rebates are ending, or sign up today to beat the rush. But this is the most common one. Pick a random date in the future like the 28th of March and they will say I only have this one date free to install your system otherwise you might have to wait another couple of months but I will need you to sign up today and pay a deposit. This triggers the fear part of our brain, the fear of missing out. It’s a huge motivator for us to forget common sense and commit to something blindly.
You have to remember this is all cleverly planned. This is all cunningly orchestrated to separate unsuspecting trusting people out of their money and boy are the good at that.
We have seen a price of $13,500 for a 19 panel system which we could supply the exact same components fully installed for $6,800 which means their price is the best part of 100% over the market value.
If anyone cold calls you and you accept an offer you have a 10 day cooling off period. But these guys make it hard to do that as they break ACCC rules by not leaving a clear contact number and process to get out of the contract and have their money returned. The clients we have helped we have had to Google their website to find a contact number and get them out of the trap.
So let’s recap.
They love ripping off our Nana’s.
They falsely represent their products country of origin.
They use high pressure psychological sales tactics to make you sign on the day.
They make it hard to extricate yourself from the deal once the rush of blood to the head has passed and you realise you have been stooged.
How to avoid being a victim.
Don’t let them into your home.
If you do, never ever sign anything on the day. You now know the game they are playing so you should be immune to the pressure they will exert. But these guys can be very aggressive.
Get multiple quotes from local providers. It doesn’t have to be DMS Energy as there is some excellent well priced solar providers in everyone’s area.
If you do sign up quickly get another quote to evaluate the one you signed up to and then if you’re not happy paying 100% over the market price cancel the order by phone and this is the important bit by email as well and make sure you tick the delivery receipt and read receipt box as these guys will use every trick in the box to ignore you till that 10 day period has run out. They haven’t put through their well oiled machine to just give you your money back when you ask for it.
If you find yourself coerced and have misgivings DMS Energy are here to help. We can get you out of these predicaments and no need to feel embarrassed or anything as it’s not your fault. You have just been caught up in a high pressure sales process that is designed to bypass your common sense defences.
Just so you know we have reported these guys to both the Clean Energy Council and the ACCC for deceptive sales tactics and so far we have extricated a lot of people from being ripped off.
Forewarned is forearmed and let’s look after our elderly and our the rest of community by talking about this subject and ways we can protect ourselves and each other.
If you have had a predatory solar sales experience we would love to hear about is and feel free to contact us via phone or Facebook as we are still building our evidence file to see these guys prosecuted to the full extent of the law.