KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Another family is having problems with their solar power system installed by a Knoxville company. The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning on Solar Titan USA because it has a pattern of customer service issues and other complaints.
WATE’s Don Dare contacted the company after visiting the couple when their solar battery failed to charge. Despite repeated attempts by Penny and Fred Augustine to reach Solar Titan USA, no one from the company responded. After contacting Dare, a technician was dispatched and the issues rectified. Now they are crossing their fingers in the hope that the solar battery will continue to charge.
There are 16 solar panels on the roof of Penny and Fred Augustine’s house. They were installed 18 months ago, but the pair say the productivity of converting sunlight into electrical energy is sporadic.
“We’ve got nothing now. We’ve got nothing,” Penny said.
“This is the Generac app. It checks our system and tells us what we have. So when you pick up the battery, it reads zero,” said Fred.
Outside their home, the hardware was installed by Solar Titan USA, an inverter system and solar batteries used to store excess solar energy.
‘We called Generac. They walked us through all the troubleshooting. The result was, it’s not Generac, it’s Solar Titan the way things are installed,” Penny said.
The Augustinians signed an agreement with Solar Titan in June 2021, paying $42,500. Today the system is rewarded.
Last month during the Christmas period it froze hard and no solar power was generated in the following weeks. So the couple asked for help.
“We have been calling since that day. I even emailed them again last week. The voicemail says to leave a message or send an email to our customer service address,” said Penny.
“Every time we try to call them, they have their system set up with a loop. It says ‘leave a message, you are waiting for a beep’ but there is no beep. It goes right back to ‘leave us a message’ or ’email us,'” Fred said.
On Solar Titan’s website, there is a tab to contact the company and a help desk if you have any problems. But apparently it’s offline, so WATE emailed the company directly. Within 24 hours, a technician came to the couple’s house and fixed the problem. Penny said she had been given an explanation as to why the battery failed.
“The device won’t work if it’s less than 40 degrees outside,” she said. “It doesn’t work below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a problem.”
Nevertheless, a document from battery manufacturer Generac states that the maximum outside temperature is good at 14 to 122 degrees. The pair said there were problems before December’s big freeze, and Solar Titan’s technical report shows the location of their equipment is outside next to their kitchen window.
“It was never said that the system had to go inside. It was fine with Solar Titan that they put it outside,” Penny said.
The Augustinians aren’t the only ones who had problems with Solar Titan. WATE reported last week that Solar Titan’s Linda Yokley’s $91,000 system was down. WATE called the company and a technician solved the problem.
“The boys were supposed to be here on December 29. Again, no show, no call,” Yokley of Greene County said.
In December, Pat and Cheryl Ireland told WATE a similar story. No one answered their calls. After WATE contacted Solar Titan, a technician got their system up and running.
Back at Augustine’s house, the system finally charges.
“It went from a 29 percent charge last night to a 45.2 percent charge today. Better, but it should be 100 percent,” said Fred.
In response to WATE, Solar Titan said it is doing its best to answer customer questions and resolve any issues.
BBB data shows that customer complaints against Solar Titan come not only from Tennessee, but also from Georgia and Kentucky. The Tennessee Attorney General’s office, as well as AG offices in Kentucky and Georgia, are investigating complaints against the company.
Solartitan told WATE, if you have a problem with a unit they have installed, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the fastest response.
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