I’m a little frustrated so bear with me.
Back in 2012 we had solar panels installed. Arista Power, out of Rochester NY, was the installer. Admittedly likely not who we’d have chosen had we done the picking, solely due to the fact that there are closer installers, but we were getting the panels done via a Solarize program and weren’t given a choice. Despite that fact the install was done smoothly and we were quite happy with the whole process and the installing company. Everyone was professional, great to work with, courteous of us and our dogs, and the equipment has functioned perfectly since.
I had a brief contact with Arista’s Installation Coordinator a year ago (March 2014), a check up on the system and to find out how much power it had produced.
Monday, July 20th, 2015, Monday of last week, I received a letter from NY state advising us that we were being audited for claiming the solar system on our taxes. Not a particularly huge surprise, the system had resulted in a huge refund for us that year. But frustrating since it was 3yrs after the fact. Especially since I’d swear I included all of the requested paperwork with our taxes. But I sat down and started digging through files to find stuff. Found most of it, but came up short on a couple pieces, one of which turned out to be mis-filed and I eventually found it. The other piece I needed is proof of how much we paid the installers. A phone call to the auditor’s office confirmed that an invoice from the installer showing that we paid X amount on X date would be sufficient.
In the week and a half since then I have emailed Arista, both via the individual email address I had from when the install was done, and via the “contact us” on their web page. I’ve left three voicemails, one on the voicemail of each of the two people I had contact with as part of the install and one on in the general mailbox. I tracked down the names of their executive team and sent emails to what should be their email address (one of which bounced, but the others appear to have gone through no problem).
I have received zero response.
This morning I filled out the “I want a quote” form, we’ll see if that nets me anything.
I realize this is their busy season, but in this day and age email and voicemail can be checked from any location (and I know from chatting with both the sales guy and the install guy that they DO check them from anywhere). Even if they don’t have a secretary to man the front desk and handle basics in the office, and I can’t imagine they don’t have someone in the office to handle that sort of stuff.
My next step is to send a signature required return receipt letter to them, to see what that nets me. And I’m seriously considering driving out there.
In the mean time we’re making progress on tracking down proof of payment ourselves. Turns out part of the problem is that we had a different bank account then, which has since been closed. I think we can track down the info ourselves just fine.
But this whole process is not giving me warm fuzzies about what’ll happen if we ever need repair work done. Or if we have to replace the roof/shingles on the house for that matter, which will happen eventually, we’d need the installer to come out and remove the panels, and then put them back on after the roof is done. And though I’m sure that any decent solar installer could manage the process I’d certainly prefer to have the original folks handling it.