4 weeks on from the install i am yet to turn my panels on. The cheap prices cover incredibly poor after sales service. I have rung half a dozen times and received just as many differing updates - each contradicting the last. I have been sent to my retailer and distributor on multiple occasions - neither of which have received any info from TVS. RIght now ive got a $4000 system sitting on the roof doing nothing else than weighing the house down ever so slightly. Unless you want a similar experience i would AVOID.....
Approximate cost: $4000
Well when we finally got the call to book in our installation, it was done within a day. The installers have done a good job so far, putting up 20 panels, no mess no fuss, now its just a wait for the inspector before it is up and running. (The install was delayed for a few weeks but this was probably because of Christmas Holidays where things slowed down) Otherwise they offered a competitive price, good service and good value. Would recommend them. And have friends that are now using them too.
I can only speak highly of this company. I had a 1.5k system installed by TVS several years ago, back in the days when this was still relatively new for home owners. All seemed good at the time, but I soon realized that the initial install was done by cowboys!. Inverter not weatherproof, but installed on outside wall. It died first heavy rain we had. However, TVS had tech out to replace it within days of my phone call. A couple of years later the replacement inverter lost it's display. It still worked ok though. TVS had a contractor out within a few weeks to check it out. Seems like the whole system was not installed to regulations. The contractor re-wired and re-mounted the panels, installing isolation switches, new inverter. All costs met by TVS. So probably 5 years after install, they sorted everything out, never questioned me or tried to get out of obligations. This to me is a testoment of good customer service! I have now chosen to get my systen upgraded, adding another 3k to my existing 1.5k. TVS again have got my job. Will see how it goes. I have nominated my preferred installer, which they have agreed to.
Sought out True Value Solar as a recommended company to have a 5kw Solar Polar System installed and didn't receive any return call to organise an inquiry; quote; installation. Went with another great competitor who did a great job.
Approximate cost: $7000.00
DO NOT under any circumstances expect that your warranty will be worth anything or expect that this company will rectify a problem. It has taken 3 weeks for this company NOT to call me. They advise they will call you within 3 weeks .....just to arrange a date some time in the future for a technician to attend to the problem. "Australia's leading and most respected solar provider".......my arse!
Approximate cost: $8300
True Value Solar review: http://truevaluesolarreview.com/
Signed up in late August. Contractors installed solar system on Wednesday 27th November.
Panels were not one of two brands the sales person stated in an email would be used, (ranked 112th compared to a ranking of 3rd in a German study) but that is the least of my concerns.
What started as an exciting project for me has quickly turned into a nightmare. I wish I had never considered going with True Value solar.
Roof truss or rafter?
I went into the roof space on the 3rd December to have a look at the workmanship and noticed one of the fastening bolts/screws had caused a split along almost the entire rafter/truss length. Cause: no pre-drilling* before driving in fasteners with a "rattler" power tool
On the same truss/rafter, it appears the installer realised the damage caused as that particular truss/rafter is the only one where a fastener wasn't screwed in further along the length, probably knew doing so would cause the entire rafter/truss to collapse.
* Quick research revealed that hardwood is supposed to be predrilled and 5cm, not 8cm bolts used as a precaution against cracking.
True Value use their own (non SunLock) tile bracket system, however procedure to fix to rafters would be the same across tile bracket manufacturers to protect from hardwood damage.
From the SunLock manual:
To prevent splitting the timber, pre-drill the screw holes at an inward facing angle.
This is especially important for hardwood rafters.
Tile brackets are supplied as standard with 90 mm timber roofing screws, which supply the required 80 mm embedment in softwood rafters.
For hardwood rafters, the embedment can be reduced to 40 mm (i.e. use at least a 50 mm screw, or longer if you have any packers between the tile bracket and the rafter).
Good article from the the National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited in the UK on fixing solar panels to timber rafters:
As the trusses/rafters were not predrilled and used the same length fasteners, it's conceivable that more trusses/rafters will crack, ie - if they have been weakened by the fasteners.
I sent True Value Solar photos and an email on the 3rd December to their firstname.lastname@example.org email address and no response from them so far.
However, the contractor didn't turn up or contact me on the 4th December to connect into the mains switchboard as arranged last week.
In addition -
Panels not in alignment:
Tile brackets not straight:
A true sign of a company is how they deal with issues they have caused. As of the time of submitting this review, True Value themselves have not acknowledged the email I sent, nor started to fix the issues.
On Friday 6th December the original installer Tony arrived unannounced wishing to commission the system. I attempted to have a discussion about the rafter however Tony was unable to be calm and he stormed off stating he was not going to commission the system. All I want and am entitled to is my roof to be in the same condition it was prior to True Value Solar doing their install.
7th December 2013. Had a different installer and the original offsider (Angus) turn up at 5PM unannounced who wanted to commission the system and fix the rafter with the use of 'no more nails'. Week-end not being convenient, I asked them to come back during the week. Agreed on Monday morning, however after looking at the technical data sheet for no more nails, it states:
Not suitable as a structural laminating adhesive or where structural loads are concentrated."
Given TVS contracted installers are apparently electricians, I refer back to my original email to them:
"I would like this rafter replaced at your cost by a qualified builder of your choice to at least the same undamaged condition it was prior to the install, prior to final payment on the install being made."
8th December 2013. Had a look at other rafters and found fastners coming out the side, splitting wood. Found three damaged tiles.
I'm extremely disappointed that a project that at the outset was exciting has turned into a nightmare, due to incompetence, then a denial of responsibility by Tony the first installer and finally by no response at all or acceptance of responsibility from True Value Solar management, with whom I signed the contract.
9th December 2103. Dear "Business Owner" I have sent numerous emails to your email@example.com system as requested when I phoned. Not one of those emails has even been acknowledged. Your standard "fluffy" response on womo does nothing to get the issues fixed. T118171
Monday morning is now over. No sign of TVS and no call from them.
Turned up at 15:45 with the aim of 'fixing' the truss/rafter however I explained to them that that was not going to occur until I get a response from True Value Solar to my emails.
Approximate cost: $3566
My system was installed about 3 years ago and all was good. Now that it's time to service the panels, they cannot seem to get their act together. They cancelled the first appointment and promised me a gift voucher for the inconvenience, and the service was rebooked. I called on the day of the new appointment and was told the appointment wasn't booked properly so no-one was coming. Had to have everything refunded, never received the gift voucher, and now need to go elsewhere for a service.
Approximate cost: $300
We had a solar system installed by this company in june 2013, and decided to upgrade to a larger system. Our system had been generating enough to cover our electricity bill, but with the upgrade, the electricity company will be paying us. CSA
We got quotes from several different companies and none could match the price that True value could, even referred a friend and they got even a slightly better price. The install was well done and we are very pleased
Had solar power installed at my home and have managed to make a few savings on the power bills. Initially the service and followup was very good, helpful and informative and the installation went without a hitch. Last month True Value offered me a special deal to add more solar panels to my roof but insisted on a contract over the phone. Have asked them four times now for an itemised quote and have received two different quotes for the same product but the actual price is more than $1000 more than it originally cost me to install twice as many panels. My last two enquiries have not been answered. Pretty disappointed with this poor customer service and will now do without the extra panels.
Approximate cost: $2500
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