Cheaper quality panels often fail after 4 to 6 years in the Australian climate. Lately a “Tier 1” brand has seen over 200,000 panel failures in Australia after as little as 5 years, despite lengthy warranties. However some large solar companies that sell on cheap entry price systems offer such panels. One particular operator had a clause in their warranty conditions whereby the customer needed to have a $250 annual system inspection by the initial installation company to keep the warranty valid. This clause was purely in existence in order to have the product warranty being able to be avoided during future claims.
If the product is of poor quality and prone to failure the Annual Inspection will not help with that, as the issues are usually not installation related, but develop within the product.
Many customers were not aware of this clause. So when the panels and/or inverters failed after a few years, the initial installation company asked for the annual inspection log. The customer could not supply this, and the installation company then denied the warranty claim.
Verdict: The clause has been designed to disadvantage the customer
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