AG: Vivint Solar engaged in unfair business practices
March 08, 2018 06:54 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has filed a lawsuit against a solar company that has serviced thousands of customers in New Mexico.
Balderas says Vivint Solar, Inc. was engaging in unfair and unconscionable business practices including clouding titles to consumers’ homes, fraud and racketeering.
“I will fight to protect the rights of all New Mexico consumers and hold giant, out-of-state corporations accountable who abuse, mislead and employ dishonest practices to defraud our hard-working families,” he said. “Every New Mexican deserves access to clean, affordable energy, and the development and expansion of rooftop solar should be encouraged by businesses that use the industry’s best practices to help consumers become more energy independent.”
The complaint states that Vivint goes to great lengths in advertising that it will design, install and maintain a Solar System for a customer for “free,” when in fact Vivint has “skillfully crafted, baited and set a 'free' trap."
The suit alleges that Vivint binds its customers into 20-year contracts. Customers were then required to purchase the electricity generated through their solar system at rates that increase by more than 72 percent over the 20-year time span.
According to the lawsuit, Vivint door-to-door salespeople get consumers to sign the 20-year contract called a “Residential Solar Power Purchase Agreement,” through “misleading and fraudulent statements,” leading them to believe they will save money over time.
The Attorney Generals Office says Vivint also filed improper notices in consumer real estate records that operate cloud titles. Clouded titles can make it difficult for New Mexico consumers to sell their homes because there is not a clear chain of title.
Balderas says he is committed to expanding the access to clean and affordable solar energy across New Mexico and will not tolerate those who “prey on the good intentions of New Mexico families and small businesses.”
Updated: March 08, 2018 06:54 PM
Created: March 08, 2018 11:21 AM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved