So, you think you got a great bid - good hardware, great price, no bells or whistles. Or so you think. Did you check online reviews of the company or did you say to yourself “I’d be an idiot not to sign right now!”
Before you sign a Solar Agreement, you should always do your own due diligence and make sure it’s not two guys with a sign slapped on their van that reads “Solar Dudes”. But which online review site should you trust?
Solar Installer Review Websites
Across the internet there are many websites that offer solar installer comparisons and then leave you to connect the dots on your own. At Pick my Solar we do the heavy lifting for you and vet the installers ourselves.
Before I hop into reviewing the available websites online that offer reviews, I want to go over a few reasons why, by nature, solely trusting a community based review board is not always the best avenue to pursue. Let’s look at Nextdoor.com. It’s great to hear that your neighbor liked the installer they went with, but:
- Does this tell you how many solar installations they’ve completed?
- Does it tell you if they are certified with the state licensing board?
- Does it tell you if they are a profitable company?
These reviews will likely be limited in scope and just offer tangential things about the installer.
Another reason why review boards are limited in their scope, is that the number one negative review often hurled at installers is that their sales team was unprofessional or ‘pushy’ with their sales tactics. While this is something to consider, it doesn’t tell the entire story and qualifications of an installer. If they happened to hire an overzealous college grad who just wants to put as much solar on as many rooftops as possible, can you blame them for trying to overcome objections?
I am by no means an apologist for pushy solar salespeople. In fact, I wish I could speak to them all and tell them to tone it down some, because they’re hurting the solar industry by sowing seeds of mistrust. This is one area where Pick My Solar’s true value shines. We are acting on behalf of our vetted network of installers, and removing the pushy salesperson who is motivated by commission.
Now that I’ve gone over some reasons why a two-sentence review is likely not a good indicator of the quality of the installer, let’s review some of these companies. Yelp is likely the go-to for many people looking to review an installer. However, there are a couple reasons why theirs isn’t the most accurate:
- First, they don’t require any burden of proof. Anyone could get on and write a fake review because they do not verify the nature of the complaint.
- Second, when a comment is clearly fake or unreasonable, they often require payment from the installer to take it down.
Yelp is a good starting point, but their reviews are best left for restaurants.
One online solar review company with the homerun name, solarreviews.com, sounds legitimate, right? Take a deeper look at the way the website is structured, and it works on a similar ‘pay-to-play’ model as Yelp. These websites take payment for posting positive reviews, or take payment to take down a bad review.
Therefore, you wouldn’t get an honest answer from these websites. Just whoever paid to have the best review. Is it really the best solar installer, or just the one that paid solarreviews.com the most?
The Pick My Solar Approach
With all of this said, wouldn’t you want a review to be more holistic? Our Partnership Development team thoroughly vets installers before allowing them on our platform to bid on your solar project. They look at a few key factors that easily indicate that the installer is trustworthy and legitimate. Such factors include:
- Age of the company,
- Size of their install crew,
- Number of installed projects,
- Number of complaints filed with the state,
- And a review of their finances.
If these check out, our team then asks for ten customers to interview blindly to ask about their experience. We double check to make sure it’s not the owner’s cousin, to ensure nepotism doesn’t affect the solar industry. When it’s finally time for you to review your bids, our Solar Experts offer an unbiased, vendor-neutral consultation for each of the installers and their respective bids. We also send you wine when your system installs. So far, we haven’t received any complaints. Thanks for reading!
I will happily discuss any installer you are thinking about using to install your solar panels. Please call (888) 454-9979 – my personal extension is 105. Want more information on solar?
Click below to download our incredibly helpful Solar Starter Guide!
Banner image provided by Cronkite News