If you’re new to my page, I build robots that talk to telemarketers. They can turn the unpleasant experience of telemarketer calls into an entertaining experience. And wow, this one is entertaining and gets a little strange at eight minutes or so. It is very empowering to hear your telemarketer go around and around with a bot for eleven minutes.
In this latest call, you’ll hear a typical “home improvement” telemarketer try to pitch home improvements. These guys will help you get a construction loan backed by the government for “energy efficient upgrades” like windows, solar, siding, etc. The scary part is they’ll help you get the loan paid through your property taxes for terms between 5 and 20 years. Imagine getting some solar panels using a 20-year loan! How likely are those panels, electrical systems, contractor, or manufacturer to be around in 19 years? Can you imagine trying to sell a house with such a loan? Would you buy a house with a loan on it like that?
You have probably received calls like this. I’m sorry to say they’ll never stop. This guy called my mobile looking for “Brandon”, who had my number 16 years ago. SIXTEEN YEARS of getting these calls! I gave up yelling at them. That’s why I built this bot.
I feel so bad for the elderly or young homeowners who fall prey to these predators. And this agent has no clue that he’s causing such damage to people’s lives. He might be a nice guy but I don’t care. This bot, named Whitey Whitebeard, was able to waste his time so hopefully he couldn’t call you or your parents. So if you get calls like this, don’t hang up! It’s your duty to waste their time. But your time is MUCH more valuable than theirs, so let’s use some automation! Sign up for the Jolly Roger Telephone Service (only $6/year!) and conference in my bots. You’ll get an email of the recording when the call is over. And if the call was illegal (most are), I provide a convenient way to report it in case we ever involve the authorities.
Anyway, please enjoy this call and let me know what you think! I’m just a humble telephone guy at your service. Telephone work is pretty thankless so I thrive on your feedback.
Thanks for listening!
Just as a point of reference, the warranties offered by these solar salesmen are not themselves scams (although the rest of their offering might well be). A 25 year performance guarantee is standard in the industry, and that’s backed by the manufacturer rather than the contractor. The manufacturers are big names – Kyocera, Sharp, etc – which are not going to be going out of business any time soon. The panels themselves will typically produce power for 30-50 years, albeit with an ongoing (but small) decline in productivity. The inverters are usually good for 10-20 years, so you’ll be replacing that part at least once, but it’s about 10% of your system cost.
Keep up the good work, but don’t disparage solar PV. Those projected system lifetimes are in fact realistic.
Thanks Brent. All good points. I was speaking with a class-action attorney yesterday who said a lot of these solar companies are starting to merge and consolidate due to stressed finances. Are the warranties direct with the manufacturer? I should be more open and accepting of the solar industry, but it just seems like such an opportunity to scam that the reputable companies are almost invisible.