Samil Power are not answering their phones. The solar industry believes they have closed down – but there is no information that Samil has gone into receivership or administration. So what’s going on?
While in the early days, MC Electrical installed Samil inverters as subcontractors for a sales companies, we (for good reason) have never sold a Samil inverter. We have no warranty obligations at stake. But I hate it when my industry is dragged through the dirt with companies that shirk their warranty obligations.
We often get calls from customers when they find our their solar system doesn’t work. When they try to claim their warranty, they find our the sales company they bought the solar system off has gone bust. This is when our dealings with Samil begin.
For a long time, it was fine. We’d get the odd Samil inverter warranty from an Ex BioSolar customer and we could process a warranty and replace the inverter under warranty. Samil would pay a small fee for the processing and the customer would pay a small fee for the service call. However, since January 2016, Samil stopped answering their phones and stopped answering their emails. Even Jack from Samil (my last resort) was not returning my calls to his mobile. We were not the only ones: this silence from Samil was felt Australia wide.
Enough is enough Samil
Today I was chatting with installers on a Facebook group who were once again complaining about Samil, and questioning if they had gone under. I figured it was time to make some phone calls.
- The Clean Energy Council said they had no jurisdiction over manufacturers, but when I suggested they should consider removing Samil off the CEC Approved inverter list, they took my point and told me they would look into it and get back to me. No time to wait around it was time to call the ACCC.
- The ACCC advised me that because I was not the consumer, they could not help me. They suggested I contact the QLD Civil and administrative tribunal on 1300 753228. They said that in NSW, VIC, SA and WA, businesses should contact the small business commissioner.
I posted this information online, and also text messaged it to Jack from Samil. Finally, after months of ignored calls, I got a call back from Jack.
It was a half hour conversation – we had a lot to talk about it. Jack used the excuse of being overworked: “how many emails do you get in a day” he asked. “and If the electrician installs the inverter in direct sun, and….,”
“The man doth protest too much methinks”
Samil needs to answer their phone and emails. Put a process in place where you require a photo of the installation to prove that it was not in full sun. If the warranty is legitimately void, then so be it. We need to know.
I refrained from posting Jacks mobile number to installers, but I shared the warranty claim process he suggested. We’ll both be in a conference in Melbourne this week (May 2016) and I’ll be sure to meet Jack in person. If you are in the greater Brisbane area, then contact us and we can help you with the Samil warranty process. If we have no luck, I’ll share Jack’s mobile.
Update from the 2016 Melbourne conference
Conveniently Jack missed my message while we were in Melbourne last week. I spoke with a friend who works in the tech department for True Value solar. They have about 300 outstanding Samil warranty claims, and cannot get in touch with Samil either. I also got information from friend in the know as he manages warranties for another Chinese inverter manufacturing company. Samil are pulling out of Australia.
Samil claim they are not dead. They claim they have not closed their door. They claim they are not even in hiding. Apparently they have been interviewing for a position to answer calls relating to warranties. We’re yet to see a Samil warranty claim successfully processed in 2016. If you are thinking installing a Samil inverter, don’t. If you need help with warranty, we may be able to help. Give us a call in business hours or leave a message on our contact page.
Update – Read the comments below. Samil are back from the dead and answering their phones.