The Arizona Attorney General’s office obtained a Consent Judgment against a fraudulent solar installation company who preyed on Arizona consumers. The settlement requires Phoenix-based Epcon Solar, LLC to pay $40,000 in restitution to customers who filed a valid consumer complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
“Solar is a great alternative energy and there are many reputable companies to choose from but consumers need to watch out for scammers too,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Be aware of high-pressure sales tactics, long delays in installation, and most importantly do your research before hiring a contractor.”
On September 9, 2015, the Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Phoenix-based P.I.C. Construction, Inc., Epcon Solar, LLC, and President Pablo Curiel (collectively “Epcon” or “Epcon Solar”). The lawsuit alleges Epcon Solar failed to register with the Arizona Secretary of State as a telephone solicitor, made telephone calls to consumers on the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry (“DNC Registry”) and violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act (“ACFA”) in the marketing, sale, and installation of solar products.
Under the Consent Judgment entered on September 15, 2015, Epcon Solar admitted to violating the Arizona Telephone Solicitation Statute, failing to register with the DNC registry, calling consumers on the DNC registry, and misrepresenting themselves as the Arizona Institute of Energy. Epcon Solar also made various other misrepresentations to customers such as expected benefits and energy cost savings through Epcon Solar’s program, failing to adequately explain lease contracts, refusing to cancel contracts within the statutory period for cancellation, and failing to timely remit refund and customer incentive checks.
The Consent Judgment prohibits Epcon Solar from engaging in the conduct that gave rise to the lawsuit and any other conduct that may violate the ACFA. Epcon Solar must adhere to strict telemarketing call requirements and provide the Attorney General’s Office with a quarterly report listing all telephone numbers from which it initiates telemarketing calls.
Epcon Solar must also pay an additional $5,000 in consumer restitution for every eligible consumer complaint filed against Epcon Solar with the Attorney General Office’s before March 1, 2016. Epcon Solar is also required to pay a $100,000 civil penalty and $18,000 for the State’s attorneys’ fees and investigative costs. $70,000 of the civil penalty is suspended as long as Epcon Solar fully complies with the settlement.
If you believe you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602-542-5763, in Tucson at 520-628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1-800-352-8431. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s Web site at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer