Disabled Madisonville veteran out of $30k for solar panels never delivered

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:36 PM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Texas (KBTX) -A disabled veteran from Madison County is warning others after he feels he was possibly scammed out of over $30,000 by a solar company.

Alex Szuch, a disabled Navy veteran with five tours in Vietnam, says he paid Bright Solar in Fort Worth to install solar panels for his home. However, he claims the panels were never delivered, and Szuch’s attempts to contact the company were unanswered until Thursday.

Szuch shared his story in the hopes of helping others avoid falling victim to similar scams. “Bright Solar was one company I was checking out, and they had two offices, one in Dallas and one in Fort Worth, and I ended up calling the wrong one,” he said.

The two locations, however, are actually different companies Bright Solar is located in Fort Worth, while Bright Solar Energy is located in Dallas.

Szuch made an appointment with the Fort Worth company, which he believes ended up being a costly mistake.

In December, Szuch wrote Bright Solar-Fort Worth two checks totaling $34,200.

Szuch appears to not be alone in confusing the two companies.

Bright Solar Energy, with a strong Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, has reported receiving 35-40 calls about missed appointments and delays.

Despite multiple attempts to reach Bright Solar in Fort Worth via phone and email for comment, all that was received was a recorded message. However, after tracking down one of the companies managing partners on Facebook, we finally received a response.

In the message, they confirmed that the company is in the process of obtaining permits from Madison County. However, our inquiry with the county Thursday revealed that no permits had been requested for Szuch’s address nor from Bright Solar. Despite denying our interview request, Bright Solar claimed to be resolving the issue.

They also admitted that their agent failed to follow up with Szuch’s project and assured us that they plan to install the panels before April 14th.

Consumers are advised to do their research before paying for any services or products, especially from unfamiliar companies. The BBB and other consumer advocacy organizations can provide valuable information about a company’s reputation and track record.

The BBB offers these tips when making any purchase of this nature.

  • Make sure you receive the entire scope of the job in writing: length of project, payment breakdown and schedule, warranty information
  • Verify the physical address and telephone number listed
  • Make sure there is a person on the other end of the line, not just an automated message
  • Google the business name, with the word “scam” next to it
  • Never pay more than 50% upfront
  • Always check BBB.org