- Federal Court said tactics used by Vic Solar were misleading and aggressive
- Director Sunny Srinivasan has been banned from managing corporations for at least five years
- Mr Srinivasan has been required to pay $450,000 in penalties
The Victorian State Government has reminded businesses that those misleading and applying aggressive sales tactics will face the music after a solar energy equipment supplier was fined over $3 million following a visit to the Federal Court.
Vic Solar Technologies Pty Ltd and director Sunny Srinivasan have been found in breaching the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The court found that Vic Solar had made misleading representations to consumers and failed to comply with legal protections in place for unsolicited consumer agreements along with other findings.
The court deemed the company’s entire model to be unconscionable.
Vic Solar used people employed by third parties to generate sales by door-knocking homeowners and advertising a false ‘community bulk-buy of solar PV systems. After this, they used the details of those who registered interest to engage in door-to-door sales, which breaches unsolicited consumer agreement laws.
Along with a $3 million fine, director Sunny Srinivasan has been banned from managing corporations for a minimum of five years and as sole director, he is required to pay $450,000 in penalties.
Consumer Affairs Victoria says they took the case to court to both protect consumers and as deterrence for business considering the employment of these sales tactics. Additionally, it is to protect solar retailers who are doing the right thing.
Melissa Horne, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, made it adamant the State would take action against other companies engaging in “dodgy sales practices” and they would be held accountable for their actions.
“Helping Victorians to save on energy bills by going solar is a key priority for the Government, and consumers should be able to investigate installing panels without the risk of being misled or ripped off.
“I encourage consumers to keep an eye out for aggressive sales techniques and to contact Consumer Affairs Victoria if you believe you’re being treated unfairly by a business.”
Melissa Horne, Minister for Consumer Affairs