I picked this up from the blog Tory Aardvark. Apparently, the renewable industry has decided to quit pretending they aren’t scam artists and simply display themselves for what they are. They are targeting the unsuspecting elderly to sign up for their scam and bilk them of the precious few resources they have in their twilight years. Things have gotten so bad that the Green Wise Business blog saw it necessary to call some of them out. How bad is that when a lunatic Green blog has to call people out for immoral behavior? That would be like Peter Gleick lecturing people on ethical behavior……… wait… uhmm, never mind about that.
At any rate, from the Green Wise….
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recently reported that it has had a record 35,000 complaints to its helpline on doorstep selling. This is likely to be the tip of the iceberg as many of the victims of this sales technique are elderly, have savings, may live alone and, most pertinently, don’t know their rights, so aren’t complaining.
This is certainly the demographic that the cowboy element of the solar industry is targeting, and there have been some horror stories. Just this month I’ve heard of someone who locked herself in her bathroom while she phoned a neighbour to ask if they could come over and help her get the sales man out of the house. Another salesman broke all the rules in the book offering discounts for signing up on the day. The final discounted price was still significantly higher than the going rate in the market.
I found it striking that the next section of their piece actually had to take the time to explain why these practices matter. There is a glaring omission in the section about why this shouldn’t be done.
Why does it matter?
It is beyond doubt that this minority of companies who do not stick to the strict guidelines laid down in the REAL consumer code are in danger of giving the renewable energy business a bad name. This matters. And I would argue that it matters for this exciting new sector more than it matters for most. There is also a danger that it will get worse when the Renewable Heat Incentive starts next year, and the companies add heat pumps and other products to their portfolio.
We have to shift to a low carbon economy over the next 20 years – not just because of the commitments to meet EU carbon reduction targets, but because prices for fossil fuels are going through the roof and it makes good sense. But to achieve a successful shift the renewable energy industry not only needs to sell product, it also needs to win hearts, minds and public trust. Mis-selling and pressure selling are not the way to do that. They are however, a good way to kill an promising industry.
You guys and gals read anything in there about “right or wrong”? Predatory behavior? Much less respect for the elderly? Any of that anywhere? Nope. Green Wise wants them to stop because it might hurt sales down the line. I’m not sure how things are going in the UK, but when referencing heat for the home, the price of Nat Gas is pretty low these days. Even imported, I guarantee nat. gas would be a cheaper, more efficient source of fuel than any whirly-gig, pinwheel, or sun catcher those moral challenged miscreants could offer.
Don’t stop it because it’s an immoral practice. Don’t stop it because it could be your grandmother some scumbag targets, stop it because people might become aware of the immorality of the entire industry.