Consumer watchdog, Consumer and Business Services, has taken action against a local solar company in order to protect South Australian consumers from false claims.
Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Paul White, today undertook compliance action against Homeworks Co. Pty Ltd trading as Cool or Cosy and the company’s sole director, Glenn Patrick Morelli.
“Cool or Cosy is currently licensed to supply and install solar systems in South Australia,” the Commissioner said.
“However, CBS identified that the company had published the Government of South Australia and the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) logos on its’ promotional advertisements and website without authorisation.
“In doing so, the company was making a false and misleading representation that it had sponsorship, affiliation and approval with these two bodies, thereby creating a false impression for potential customers.
“This conduct is a direct violation of Australian Consumer Law and CBS takes attempts to mislead consumers very seriously.
“This week CBS has obtained a court enforceable undertaking from the company and Mr Morelli, imposing specific obligations which they must fulfil or face prosecution.
“At this point Homeworks and Mr Morelli are cooperating and have signed the undertaking, which states they will not use the Government of South Australia and ESCOSA logos in any advertisement or promotion in connection with the company’s supply of solar systems.
“Consumers who submitted their information to the website must also be contacted and informed that the website had no such connection with the two bodies and that these logos were used without permission.
“As part of the undertaking consumers are permitted to withdraw interest without penalty and any deposit will subsequently be refunded.
“CBS will continue to work with the company and Mr Morelli until I am assured all current and future customers are free from detriment.
“This should serve as a warning that CBS are playing close attention to solar companies.
A fortnight ago, CBS took action against another solar company Great Solar Solutions Pty Ltd over concerns about its ability to fulfil contracts.
“Consumers have the right to make accurately informed decisions when purchasing solar systems and the law requires traders to be up-front and honest.
“There are a range of enforcement mechanisms available under the Fair Trading Act and Australian Consumer Law and CBS will not hesitate to use them against traders who do wrong by their consumers.
If consumers have complaints about a solar provider they should contact CBS on 13 1882 for assistance and advice.
Further advice about solar panel systems is available on the Solar Systems fact sheet: http://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/assets/files/solar.pdf