Consumers often associate longer warranties with better quality products, but they can’t always be taken at face value. Recently, some solar companies lower on the reputation totem pole have taken to increasing their Product Warranties from 12 to 25 years to make their product offerings seem more appealing.
But how can a company possibly double their warranties overnight? Did they shift to a better quality Bill of Materials? Did they incorporate ground-breaking new technology? Did they improve their quality control at least? What suddenly changed to give them this total confidence in their products.
The truth is nothing’s changed, other than a bump in price. Most of these solar companies are offering exactly the same panel that had a 12-year warranty, but now with the extended warranty cost built-in.
At first, theoretically, that might not seem that bad. After all, extended warranty might provide peace of mind to the user, if nothing else, they know the company will be there to assist them for decades to come. Right?
Or will they? The reality is, warranties become worthless if the retailer and/or manufacturer go bust. 25-years is a long time, so it’s certainly possible that this could happen. In fact, over 800 solar companies have already gone out of business*
The solar industry can be a minefield, with companies going bust all the time, and taking out all their customers with them. That’s why it’s worth checking to see how long a company has been in business, which can be a good indicator of if they will remain in business throughout your warrantable period.
Also, consumers are often unaware that most solar panel warranties don’t include removal or reinstallation costs. Sometimes not even transportation costs. Always take the time to read the fine print on any warranty document before you agree to it.
A longer warranty doesn’t necessarily mean better quality. But it can do. We are very careful when selecting which panels we will stock, and only select those we are willing to put our absolute faith in for the sake of our customers. An example of such a product and warranty would be SunPower panels.
Covering panel removal, new installation and shipping for the entire duration of the warranty, SunPower panels are a great example of what one should look for in a warranty. When selecting products for your solar installation, it’s well worth checking to see if those supposedly full 25-year product warranties include similar features.
If you would like to discuss the warranties of any of the products we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team on 1300 73 93 55.
* listed on the ASIC website since 2011 as being closed, in liquidation, administrators appointed or proposed de-registration. Please note company situations can change without notice. This list is not seen as complete and correct in all aspects as ASIC registration details could have been changed. Therefore please make your own enquiries regarding specific companies and do not rely on this list alone.