Solar Energy: Techfor Energy Fail to Honour Warranty

During 2011 we had a solar energy generating system installed at our house by a company called Techfor Energy Ltd who are located near Guildford. The system came with a 10 year guarantee on the system as a whole. We were quite happy with the installation which was accomplished quickly, with very little disruption and on time. We were quite happy to reccomend the company to others who showed interest.

At the beginning of January 2017 it became apparent that one of the inverters (the units that convert DC power from the solar panel to AC to feed into the electric distribution system or “grid”) had failed or become disconnected in some way. It was generating no power although the rest of the system was working well. No problem, I thought, we will call the company and they would fix the problem under warranty.

Some hopes!

After a relatively short and somewhat fraught conversation it became apparent that Techfor Energy Ltd. had no intention at all of honouring the warranty that they had provided. The excuse that they gave was that the manufacturer of the inverters, Enecsys, had gone out of business some time ago and that these unit were no longer available.

Following the telephone conversation I exchanged emails with the company over the next few days but there was no change in their position. They refused to contemplate any repair neither did they make any suggestions as to other ways of solving the problem. This despite the fact that I found a source of inverters and informed them that they were in fact available quite easily albeit from the USA. These units carried a 3 year warranty which, although not as long as the original manufacturers warranty, is reasonable given the circumstances.

Consumer Rights

After the email exchange failed to get any result, I contacted a lawyer to give an opinion on the matter. The lawyer read the warranty document and reported that he thought that we had a watertight case if we persued the warranty claim. I instructed him to write to Techfor Energy and make a claim under “The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 and in particular regulation 15” as he advised. We requested a response with 2 weeks.

After a longer than 2 week delay Techfor Energy replied stating that they needed more time to consult with their legal team and insurers. They promised a response within “5 to 10 days”. It is now some 24 days since this email, no response has been received. I have therefore decided to get quotations from other contractors for the repair and will update this post when they are received.

Fasthosts Domain Registrars – a Warning

I have an account with Fasthosts, one of the largest hosting providers in the UK, they also provide domain registration services for most of the common domain types, .com, .co.uk and the like. They used to be called UKREG and you can seeĀ  traces of this name on their web sites. I have over 80 domains on my account (including this one) and have been happy with the service that I have received for many years. Until now.

On the 29th September 2010 I received an email warning that a domain that I have on the Fasthosts account had not renewed automatically. This despite at least 3 previous automatic renewals having taken place without problems. When I went to the new, so called improved, control panel at Fasthosts I discovered that the telephone contact information had been lost somehow despite having been there for about 6 years previously.

During August, on or around the 17th as far as I can make out, Fasthosts switched over to a new shiny all singing all dancing control panel. During this change they imported their database from the “old” system to the new one. in doing so it seems they lost a large amount of information, particularly telephone numbers, company numbers and the like as well as corrupting the registrant’s name(s) in many cases.

Upon checking several other entries on the new system, I discovered that many of the entries had invalid or missing information including Company and telephone numbers being lost, registrants names being corrupted in the control panel display.

I decided to check the Nominet “Whois” service and found that many registrations were also corrupt there as well. To make matters worse, many Company registrants had been granted privacy somehow when this is strictly against Nominet’s terms.

I have raised the matter with Fasthosts support several times since. To say the least they have been unhelpful and in my opinion are just shrugging the responsibility off to the client.

I would seriously suggest that anyone who has a domain name registered through Fasthosts or any of their resellers should check the registration now, before it is too late and their domain does not renew.