Solar Power

Solar Panel Supplier Zero Home Bills Scammed me out of £640

I fell for an online scam from a fake online store for solar panels and lost a lot of money

I don’t normally do blog posts like this but I wanted to warn others about this scam and hopefully stop more people losing money.

Our plan to upgrade our solar PV system has been delayed after the order I placed with OBills (Zero Home Bills) appears to have been a scam and we are not likely to receive the solar panels we ordered.

At the start of March 2022, I placed an order for JA Solar JAM60S10-340-MR 340W Solar Panels from a company called OBills hosted on www.zerohomebills.com, the order total was £640.

The only way to pay for the order was by bank transfer and I sent the payment to the account on the order confirmation page. Other suppliers we use have payment by bank transfer, so it didn’t initially raise any red flags of a possible scam.

After 5 days I still had not received any order confirmation or delivery date and so I sent a message to the company via their email enquiry form but didn’t have any reply. The following day I called their United Kingdom telephone number, and the call was answered by a recorded message. I left a message asking them to contact me, but 20 days later still not had any replies or calls.

Finding the negative reviews

I then started to do further research about the company and found pages of complaints on review websites about other people being scammed out of thousands of pounds and people reporting them to the police or taking legal action to try to get their money back or having bad experiences with items ordered before 2021. You can read some of the reviews on trustpilot.com.

The Google business listing also has a lot of negative reviews written in the past few months.

The businesses Facebook page has several pages of negative reviews with people losing thousands of pounds as well.

The addresses which dont seem to exist

The company lists several addresses for the UK, Europe and the USA.

Looking at Google Maps for all the addresses listed on the company’s website show empty warehouses or shared office units with no signs or logos for no signs related to Solaranna or OBills.

The United Kingdom Customer Care addresses is listed as: Solaranna Ltd. 5 Kew Road, Richmond, London, TW9 2PR.

On Google maps this appears to be a small shared serviced office which is also listed on flexioffices.co.uk as office space to rent.

The UK “warehouse” is listed as: 325-327 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF11 8TS.

Google Maps shows this as a self storage unit and no signs or logos related to Solaranna or OBills

Companies House information

The business accounts for Solaranna LTD show that there have been at least two requests for a “First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off”. The submitted accounts also show only one employee at the business who must be very busy as they claim to have nine office and warehouse locations around the world.

As it appears extremely unlikely that I am going to receive the solar panels or get the £640 payment back, I recommend that anyone else shopping for solar panels or inverters avoid Solaranna or OBills and thoroughly research who they are ordering from before parting with any money. You should also use a credit card as this gives more protection than other payment methods.

A search on Companies House find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk is a good place to start to check any UK registered businesses to see if they are genuine or not or have other issues.

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7 comments

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jake
06 August 2022 at 1:11 pm
thanks, I very nearly placed an order with this company. prices were "too good to be true" so I did some research and found your blog post. cheers.
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Chas
15 August 2022 at 11:25 am
Thanks very much for posting this Brian; like others I'd seen their website and came quite close to placing an order with them, thanks to you (and the comments on their Facebook page) fortunately I didn't !
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Ricardo Meechan
23 August 2022 at 7:20 pm
wow! I had an invertor in my basket (as they show it in stock unlike other shops) and was planning to purchase in a few days once payday arrived. so glad I seen this now!
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Bernardo
24 August 2022 at 6:54 pm
Same happend to me, Shop look ok, i saw no need to take a deeper look in Google and lost 300€.
Is very frustrated to give such people money.
Dont buy there.
I read the negative post to late.
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MD
29 August 2022 at 11:56 am
Thank you so much for posting this information Brian. I ran a google search as a precaution before ordering which directed me here, we were ready to place an order of well over £3,000 with said company, it is scandalous to see that they are still active and operating. I am sorry to read you were scammed and very grateful you posted this information, I hope you were able to get some sort of recompense via you bank. Take care.
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Brian
29 August 2022 at 12:21 pm
MD, thank you for your comment, my bank were not able to recover the money from the scammers.
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MI
01 September 2022 at 10:25 am
Thanks for setting this up Brian, I sent them money too and never received anything. I have done some research and found a few things online. This is a link to the owners LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/dlfkr - ZEROhomebills.com is listed under his current experience and for Solarana. This website shares some more info about the company and a new address not listed on their website - https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/09224696-solaranna-ltd. Plus this page which at the bottom shows all public legal filings for the company, including what seems to be repeated late filings of accounts and nearly getting struck off Companies House and dissolved, the most recent notice was give on 30/08/22.

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