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The scoop on 'Silicon Solar Inc.'

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  Company Profile  
Silicon Solar Inc.

Mailing Address:
2917 HW 7
Bainbridge, New York 13733 (United States)

Phone: 1-800-653-8540
Fax: (866) 746-5508

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 1 3 3
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 2 7 8
This company specializes in:Other helpful information:

  Company Comment, posted on January 14, 2009:  
I want to personally apologize and assure that we have identified and have been working to address past and current issues regarding customer service with our company.

Silicon Solar Inc started by designing and manufacturing solar energy products in an industry that was growing at an exponential rate. During these times we experienced several growing pains like many companies who are small and starting out. As a result of these growing pains, our customers service was below both my own and the company’s expectations. Over the years we have worked to improve our customer service and ensure that our customers are receiving the most value in both their product and the service they receive, yet there is still room for improvement. Our company was founded as a product based company and as a goal and mission for 2009, we are shifting our focus toward a value added company that is determined to offer additional values to our customers through service.

We accept that there have been issues in the past and are working honorably to ensure that all of our customers (current and past) are serviced and provided with answers to some of their unanswered questions or service requests.
A successful business learns from its mistakes and being able to accept their mistakes and prevent them from happening again. There are no excuses for lack in customer service and this is why in 2009 it is our mission to ensure that we provide our customers with the highest level of service.

I want to let our customers and readers know that we are here to help and ensure that every one of our customers is taken care of. If anyone has questions regarding Silicon Solar or any outstanding issues with an order or services not rendered, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-786-0329 or email support “at” siliconsolar.com.


Sincerely,

The Silicon Solar Support Team

  Feedback History and Summary  
10 positives
1 neutral
36 negatives

Comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive homesolar2
Summit, NJ
(1 review)
September 9, 2014
Purchased a solar water fountain from this company (had good reviews about the actual product). Delivery took longer than expected, however I am happy with the purchase. Product works great; If you need a product immediately, just call their office to confirm eta on item. ~Thanks
Negative hoosierquilt
Vista, CA
(5 reviews)
August 28, 2014
Pretty much the same exact experience as everyone else: Ordered a solar fountain pump on 6/14/14. Waited 3 weeks for delivery. No pump. Called and emailed Silicon Solar. Took several attempts, and finally received a response back telling me the pump was back ordered, and not expected in until 9/17/14. Requested a refund on 7/2/14. Have sent many emails, made many calls. All the same excuse, about taking "7 to 10 days, have to work through our gateway company to get a refund either credited back to your card, or mailed to you." No refund to date. Now, not returning my calls or emails. Fortunately for me, I used my debit card, and my bank has issued me a refund and are investigating the purchase and the company. I have also reported them to the New York BBB and will also file a complaint with the state's attorney general office. http://www.ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Compl... . They need to be put out of business, based on all their complaints all over the Internet.
Negative obrienlg
Philadelphia, PA
(1 review)
August 22, 2014
I purchased a solar pump for a garden fountain on May 21, 2014. After almost 2 months of non-delivery, I cancelled the order on July 15 and was promised a prompt refund. It is now Aug. 22, and after two emails promising prompt action in July, I still have no refund. They are no longer answering emails. My first mistake - paying with PayPal. PayPal has no responsibility beyond 45 days from the date of order, regardless of when it was delivered. So my only recourse is the company. I will also be filing a complaint with the NY State Attorney General Bureau of Frauds and Consumer Protection (http://www.ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Compl...). Based on these reviews, it would appear that they have a pattern of failing to fulfill orders.
Positive JamesRS
Oakland, MD
(1 review)
August 14, 2014
August 14, 2014, Maryland: After reading some of the reviews, we were cautious purchasing from Silicon Solar, but ordered a solar fountain (6-9v) with battery back up. We are completely satisfied! Some notes: 1. The packaging was perfect and well done; 2. All contents were there, and every component is of excellent quality; The battery back-up is excellent construction and works perfectly; the pump does exactly what was expected, but others should be aware that this system is for a relatively small water feature (ours is approx. 25 gallons); 3. The wires in the battery box are "right-sized" for the 6-9v); 4. The instructions are clear and accurate, but one must read them!; 5. The timing system works fine; 5. The shipping took a little longer than we expected (it's not Amazon, after all); 6. The solar panel is well constructed and quality. Conclusion: the 6-9v fountain pump with battery backup is an excellent choice and we are more than satisfied! Jim S.
Negative citainc
Ames, IA
(1 review)
July 13, 2014
Ordered a small solar water pump for a small fountain on April 27. Today is July 13. Still waiting. Keep getting emails about delays. Was under the impression they were a manufacturing facility but am now suspecting pump is made in China and they are waiting for it to get made? I don't know except after 3 months still no pump that was supposed to be here before mother's day to complete the present for my wife. In any case, I will be cancelling the order and probably fighting like hell for a hundred dollar refund. Oy vey. Move on when it comes to this company.
Negative lonfu
Kingman, AZ
(1 review)
July 2, 2014
ordered a solar water heater in june 2013, paid for it. When I called and emailed again in june 2014 said they would refund after one year of emails and excuses. today july 2 2014, no solar water heater, no money! Good website, no action.
Negative rippedoffbysmax
Sanbornton, NH
(1 review)
June 24, 2014
Sunmaxx doing business as Silicon Solar are thieves!!!! I have a complaint filed with the NY Attorney General's office of Consumer Affairs and Fraud. They claim an A+ BBB rating but the BBB has an alert posting on Sunmaxx as they are not rated and have MANY complaints against them. They took $4,500 from me for 3 solar arrays sent me some boxes that only contained legs for the arrays and told me that they were in the process of moving their office, so there would be delays in filling my order. I spoke to another person in the company and she indicated that my order was being drop shipped from a supplier of theirs. They lie to your face and don't respond to phone calls or emails. I'm taking them to court.
Negative rdean5552
Omaha, NE
(1 review)
June 24, 2014
Well my experience is not a good one. Basically, I should have known better. Always check site reviews before purchasing so you don't get disappointed. I ordered a bunch of stuff from their site several solar cells and some other stuff so I could start a project of building a solar panel. Me and my friends were excited when I told them about it. I ordered it on 3/13/14. It's now 6/24/14 and I've yet to see a package arrive or a shipping order received. I don't expect to see it anytime soon maybe never. If it's never I guess we can call them a bunch of thieves. I kept trying to email them and each time your solar cells are in production we are expecting them to be completed at random date, fill in the blank, here __/__/__. They just keep pushing back further and further I guess that's what they're good at. All in all I'm down 150$. I'm going to look for a different site to buy solar cells maybe ask some local people in my friend group see if anyone else knows of a good site. Maybe I'll receive the package from them sometime next century.
Positive thesaddlergroup
Draper, UT
(1 review)
June 6, 2014
My experience with Silicon Solar started shaky but it seems as they're making huge strides! Customer service and communication increased greatly and the product that they provided was high quality and very satisfactory! We're happy to continue business with this company. Sometimes you have to support businesses through their growing pains. Glad we did!
Negative TyroGardner
Bethesda, MD
(1 review)
May 5, 2014
Posted on April 28, 2014, updated May 5, 2014
All the reviews were 2008-2009. Supposedly, the recent college grad who had started this company had realized they had a problem and had reorganized the company and sorted things out. Apparently not. Here we are in 2014. We ordered a solar pump for our new ecosystem pond & stream. Husband spent much time with them to figure out best size. What they sent - and swore would work - barely pumped the water a couple of feet. Took a week of calls to get return authorization. Only one woman could authorize and she was out. Now we've been waiting for new pump for over two weeks. Got a box on Friday. Nothing in it but the solar panel. They swear they sent the whole system and "it must have been stolen out of the box." Sure. And then this weekend I read a virtually identical story on RipOff report: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Silicon-Solar/Bainbridge-New-Y...

Now I doubt we'll ever get this pump. This guy has no business running a company. He should hire a grown-up to handle the business side of things.
On May 5th, 2014, TyroGardner added the following:

Received the pump, battery and related gear on Friday. Everything was in package except a small piece of plastic that covers the contacts on the back of the solar panel. We called them. They sent it today.

Meanwhile, set the system up with the panel in full sun and it barely pumped a small stream of water. We moved the hose to 1/2 down the stream (so all above would be dry stream) and it was only slightly better. The battery would not charge even when the panel was in full sun all day.

Giving up and buying regular pump. This is very disappointing.
Negative windsor224
Haycock,Bucks County, PA (Zone 6b)
(2 reviews)
December 17, 2013
Do NOT buy anything from Silicon Solar. I purchased $200 worth of solar lights and fountains. All is JUNK. The lights all are connected with very fine little wires that are all broken by the time you receive them. One fountain had a panel/pump combo that would not fit through the fountain opening so I had to hang it over the side out of the basin. It looks terrible. I spent months trying to get the company customer support to send me the correct items and all I got was a runaround. I finally, after 4 months emailed for the last time telling them that I was now very frustrated and asked if I was ever going to get what they promised. It has been another month and now they have completely stopped communicating. I wish I had come here first to read these reviews. So, DON'T get sucked in by their low prices for outdoor items. They have TERRIBLE customer service staff and the stuff is crap.
Negative exp898
Melbourne
Australia
(1 review)
September 3, 2013
I bought a cascading fountain from this company online, 2 and half weeks ago and still have not received the item nor any info regarding my order status.

What i have got so far is the order number and even that i have to email them to get it. Their website that says you can track order is faulty as well.
The sales rep advised that he will will get back to me with a tracking number which he didn't. Subsequently, i send another follow up email couple of days later to follow up and was told that he is unsure and will check and nothing has come back since.

I have also send several emails to their customer support but with no reply whatsoever.Tried calling one day and told to leave a voicemail.

This is by far my worst online shopping experience. I can only hope that the item will arrive at my door step one day. God knows when?!

Just thought my experience would be beneficial to those looking at buying from Silicon Solar. The website seems to suggest they have good products with reasonable pricing but to say that their customer service is appaling is an understatement.

Positive Solarfarm
Sidney, NY
(1 review)
April 6, 2013
Bought a solar oxygenator from Silicon Solar this fall. At first glance I thought that it wouldn't make it through the winter. Left it out all winter. Was surprised to see it working under the ice. Amazing output and going strong this spring. The only weakness they was for the tubing attached to the pump. Had to glue a few pieces. They assured me they are working on that for future production. Excited to see and will like to purchase more in the future.
Positive JoelU
Costa Mesa, CA
(1 review)
April 5, 2013
My name is Joel. I am part of the property management at D.D. Dunlap Companies. After our anchor tenant at the Huntington Harbor Mall (Trader Joe's) had a major underground electrical disruption in the wiring connecting there pylon sign to the power source, we began accepting bids to repair the damaged wires. With bids consistently coming in at the $13,000-14,000 range, we decided on a more cost effective solution and went with SiliconSolar’s Envirolight 2X medium billboard lighting kit and internally illuminated our sign with the GenX-12V-LED strips instead of using the external flood lights. The whole project cost was ($2,800). We thought it was too good to be true at that price, so we just went for it. The Installation was very easy, I was walked through the installation step by step over the phone while at the sign myself. We are very happy with the sign. Trader Joe’s already has a very good reputation of “being green” so they are very pleased with the alternative solution as well.
Positive gardensunman
Beverly Hills, CA
(1 review)
April 4, 2013
I ordered a solar fountain pump system and I was worried because of the negative reviews on solar fountain pumps. I spoke with a representative (Matt) and he went over all the changes they've improved on the design because of all the flaws in designs over the years. So I bought it and I must say I was very impressed.

Good service with experienced staff and the product came the same week I ordered it and I live in the opposite coast!

Thanks Silicon Solar, keep up the great work with great new products. Loving it and will be expecting more!
Negative mhiker83
Sonoma, CA
(2 reviews)
July 29, 2012
I decided to give Silicon Solar a try, despite the many negative reviews on this site and others, but because of the letter from the company I decided to give them a chance. Big mistake!!!

The best way to describe my purchase experience with Silicon Solar is by the email I received from them yesterday with the subject of "Feedback on Your Recent Order." The email was blank, no content, nothing. Silicon Solar is so far from having their stuff together that I have no idea why they are taking orders. The incompetence of Silicon Solar is beyond description and I cannot urge readers of this review enough to not waste their time with this company. I might recommend Silicon Solar to my enemies, but they would be the only ones and I would only do it so that they could experience the frustration that I did. Do not purchase anything from Silicon Solar!
Negative BillyRappold
Diamondhead, MS
(1 review)
March 27, 2012
The LATEST AND L.A.S.T. "EXPERIENCE" with Silicon Solar is I ordered a SPECIFIC pump for a Solar powered fountain that I bought from them they sent me the wrong pump packaged in a TORN IN HALF LEGAL ENVELOPE, charged me $12 for shipping on a $14 pump and when I DEMANDED a refund, they, refunded only the cost of the pump. I am out the outrageously high cost of $12, plus another $6 that it cost me to ship it back to them.
This is NOT the first time I have had BAD dealings with these ROOKIES. I should have learned from my FIRST MISTAKE--MADE back in 2003/2004 that I had forgotten about--when I HAD TO GET MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY INVOLVED TO GET MY MONEY BACK.
Positive HVACDINO
Cleveland, OH
(1 review)
February 20, 2011
I think that anybody that has had a negative experience with this company in the past, should give them a second chance.I made a purchase from them over 3, almost 4 years ago (july2007).The project was at my vacation home.I could only work on my project 4 weeks per year at a time.I just now (feb 2011) got around to checking the equipment I had purchased 3 years earlier.I didn't have/wasn't sent, all of the parts!! I called the company and explained my situation and why I had not called YEARS earlier..Without any drama or fanfare ,they quickly shipped, AT NO COST TO ME, my parts !!! They are a family owned company and I think sometimes , its hard to work with/for family, which could have been the reason for all the negative comments.But I truly believe that this company is heading in the right direction.I will continue to do business with them.
Negative gjban
Hanson, MA
(1 review)
January 17, 2011
Posted on October 18, 2010, updated January 17, 2011
I bought my roof hot water solar system about one year ago. It cost about $3k and almost $1k in parts for me to install it myself. The first thing I did was install the interior portion with the tanks and piping to a new stainless steel electric hot water heater (the almost $1k does not include this heater). I had to wait until next year when they put on the new roof to attach the collector over it.

The directions for putting this unit together are very minimal. Without experience I would not recommend it. I have had plumbing electrical, electronic and mechanical experience. Once I attached the controller to the roof unit it would not work. It turns out that it needs a 10k ohm thermistor that fits into a 3/16 diameter tube in the unit on the roof and in the tank. They sent me a 1k ohm unit that did not match the controller. After about 7 weeks they sent me two $3 thermistors that went with the controller. There was no way they would fit. They were the bolt on lug type. So, in the original shipment they sent me the wrong controller and sensors. They were mismatched by the company and would not work. I called them (many times) and their final answer was that I had exceeded the 30 day warranty. Can you imagine that?!? I am literally and figuratively left out in the cold. There is no way that anyone could assemble this unit in 30 days and wait for a new roof to be put on. They shipped my the wrong controllers that I paid for and want me to suck it up.

I picture Silicon Solar as a room of cubicals with salesman putting together units from suppliers and never knowing what they had for materials to sell. I never spoke to anyone that had first hand experience/knowledge with the unit. One comment was that the technology is changing rapidly. This made me think that what would happen if you needed a replacement part???

I read their comments at the beginning of this thread and nothing has changed as of 10/18/2010. The unit works good manually and i like the heat pipe design. It is not a solid panel and lets the wind through so that a gust will not take it away off the roof; but otherwise make up your own mind. If you buy one put it together quickly,very quickly!
On January 17th, 2011, gjban added the following:

I am adding this comment on 1/17/2011

We have had much snow lately and these tubular heat pipes (like fluorescent light bulbs) are under vacuum and do not get warm when the sun hits them, so in a snowy climate the snow piles up and greatly reduces the efficiency. If you live in a snowy area do not use these type of solar panels unless you can clean them off easily after a snow storm.
Negative brian_n
Athol, MA
(1 review)
April 14, 2009
They charged my card $96.24 last Oct and have sent NOTHING.

On June 12 2008, I ordered a DIY20W kit to make a small solar module. Since it was out of stock, I graciously waited some months and gave it no more thought since my card had not been then charged.
When my credit card was later charged on Oct 27 the item was still on back order, I stupidly remained patient for several months accepting their excuses.
After about 5 intervening email exchanges at least 5 phone calls every few weeks, they told me the vendor no longer makes them. Rather than wait forever for a substitute vendor to make them, I asked for my money back in early March. They of course promised the billing dept would refund in 3 weeks (end of Mar) but had to deal with some computer problems.

I'm still waiting for my money back and biting my tongue to keep civil.
This is my worst ever online order experience.

Brian N
Company representative comment on August 31, 2009:
On Aug 31, 2009 6:18 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Brian, I would like to sincerely apologize for your experience. What happened with the vendor was a matter of unfortunate timing, and then it seems that someone mistakenly charged this order to your credit card, which has since been corrected. Since then, we have mailed out a refund check to credit you the full amount. Again, I apologize and thank you for your patience in this matter.

Negative somethingsolar
Jacksonville, FL
(1 review)
April 14, 2009
How do I explain how bad my experience was? I'll start from the beginning. Well, I saw several bad reviews on siliconsolar before I made my purchase, but their price was just too good. I broke what I needed into two orders, one real small to test them, and then if they proved "safe" I was going to place the second and larger order.

Needless to say, it has taken 7 months, countless phone calls and emails to get my money back. They kept saying they would fix the order, but they didn't. They then said they would give me a refund, but they didn't. Finally the fraud department at my bank refunded me my $332.88. So I paid interest on $332.88 for 7 months, because they sent a partial order that I couldn't use, and never finished anything they started.

In order to give you an idea of how much crap I had to go through, I'm attaching one of the email chains that went between me and the company. If you notice, at one point I even cc'ed every email address I could find for every employee at the company just trying to get somebody to respond.

I did remove my name from the emails, that’s the only thing I changed. When you look at the dates, I want you to realize that my bank refunded me yesterday, 4-13-2009, for this purchase. After the last email from them, they were several phone calls, including one from my bank's fraud department, which at that point I was guaranteed a refund within 7 days. I see how much their guarantee was worth...


-----Original Message-----
From: Silicon Solar Inc Customer Service [mailto:cs1@siliconsolar.com]
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 17:16
To: Me, Me E
Subject: RE: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

Dear Me Me,

We did receive your Rma and your refund will be issued shortly. You can contact Corey at 800-786-0329 ext 242 or by email corey.b@siliconsolar.com to get updated information about the status of your refund. If there is anything else I can help you with please feel free to contact me.
Thanks

Holly
Customer service
800-786-0329 x 208
Cs1@siliconsolar.com





-----Original Message-----
From: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
[mailto:Me.e.Me@navy.mil]
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 4:53 PM
To: Silicon Solar Inc Customer Service
Subject: RE: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

According to the tracking information below, the package was received by
your company 10 days ago. I wrote the RMA number in bold letters on 5
different sides of the box. I also included in the box a copy of the email
in order to help ensure that the correct account was credited.
Also attached to this email is a letter with the order summary.

About how much longer should this take until I can finally get a refund?

Tracking Number: 1Z V28 52R 03 3445 550 9
Type: Package
Status: Delivered
Delivered On: 02/13/2009
1:11 P.M.
Delivered To: BAINBRIDGE, NY, US
Signed By: SMITH
Service: GROUND

VR

Me Me

-----Original Message-----
From: Silicon Solar Inc Customer Service [mailto:cs1@siliconsolar.com]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 15:47
To: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
Subject: RE: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

Dear Me Me,

I apologize for the delay of the flanges and for any inconvenience that this
has caused for you. I have reopened your Rma and you may Return the Pump
back to us. Once its received back you will receive a refund .

Again I would like to apologize for the trouble. If you have any further
questions or concerns I will be glad to assist you.

Thanks
Holly
Customer Service
Cs1@siliconsolar.com
800-786-0329 ext 208
Direct line: 607-216-9416
Fax: 607-604-4324


-----Original Message-----
From: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
[mailto:Me.e.Me@navy.mil]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 1:35 PM
To: shipping@siliconsolar.com; cs1@siliconsolar.com;
adam04@siliconsolar.com; corey.b@siliconsolar.com
Subject: FW: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

Can I get a response from anyone at this company?

-----Original Message-----
From: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 13:28
To: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6; 'Darla Van Ostrand'
Subject: RE: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

I have been more than patient at this point. I still have yet to receive the
flanges, or an RMA # to return this purchase. If I can't get a response, I'm
contacting the BBB, and I'll leave a review on every website I can find as
to my experience with this company. How much longer?

Me Me

-----Original Message-----
From: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 13:06
To: 'Darla Van Ostrand'
Subject: RE: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

I still haven't received any communication from your company. What RMA
number am I supposed to use to ship this item back?

-----Original Message-----
From: Darla Van Ostrand [mailto:darla.v@siliconsolar.com]
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 12:10
To: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
Subject: Re: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)

Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6 wrote:
> Darla
>
> I think I've been more than patient, it will have been almost a month
> since I placed the order. I placed the order that far in advance in
> order to do the install myself on the one free weekend that myself and

> my help had available.
>
> Now, I'm stuck with half of what I need, the other half on backorder.
> And half of the half that I have, will not work for my needs. After
> careful review, the pump that was sent has a one way valve, that was
> not advertised on your site, and will not work for my project.
>
> Can I use the existing RMA number to return what parts I have received

> so that I may get a refund?
>
> VR
>
> Me Me
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Darla Van Ostrand [mailto:darla.v@siliconsolar.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 11:23
> To: Me, Me E CTR NE Florida, N6
> Subject: RMA 5619 shipping date for missing items (inv.52663)
>
> Dear Mr. Me,
> I spoke with a representative in our Returns/Exchanges department and
> she said the solar hot water equipment will be received by us
> (currently on backorder) and once we receive them we can ship out to
> you the missing equipment. We should be shipping these out tomorrow or
Friday.
>
> I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you and realize you
> had scheduled to complete this project this weekend.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> --
> Darla Van Ostrand
> Customer Service
> 15 Catherwood Rd.
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> 1-888-solar11 (765-2711) x237
> darla.v@siliconsolar.com
>
> This e-mail is confidential and is intended solely for the use of the
> recipient (the part to whom it is addressed). This message may contain

> material protected by the attorney-client privilege. If you are not
> the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this e-mail
> in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or
> copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited.
>
>
Dear Mr. Me,
I apologize for all the inconvenience and frustration you are experiencing.

I have turned this order and your request over to our Solar Hot Water
Customer Sales Dept.
Hana is the representative you should contact in the future regarding your
order.
Her direct extension is: 256

She may not be available until next week as she is currently working in the
warehouse working to get all the SHW orders and partial orders out.


--
Sincerely,

Darla Van Ostrand
Customer Service
15 Catherwood Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
1-888-solar11 (765-2711) x237
darla.v@siliconsolar.com

This e-mail is confidential and is intended solely for the use of the
recipient (the part to whom it is addressed). This message may contain
material protected by the attorney-client privilege. If you are not the
intended recipient, be advised that you have received this e-mail in error
and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this
e-mail is strictly prohibited.


Negative babindy
San Mateo, CA
(1 review)
March 18, 2009
Note: This is AFTER the Jan 2009 comment about improved customer service.

Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice... And I must be an idiot.

I'm not sure if they just don't care about the smaller orders or if their entire system is filled with incompetence. I ordered from them a few years ago and had problems then. (order lost, found, lost again, shipped, item didn't work, got it to work, stopped working after a month, gave up). I decided that it had been awhile and they were still in business, so hopefully things had improved. So I attempted (being the operative word) to place another order this week.

It turned out to be an adventure in futility. The online system refused to take a credit card. I tried multiple times and multiple cards. Still refused. I called customer service and was told that they knew there was a problem and they could do the order manually. About 30minutes later and repeated attempts they thought they had the order completed and would 'watch it'. Today I received an email noting the order was not completed. I called the phone# noted and spoke, again, to customer service. After many more attempts (and about 30 more minutes) the result is still no order. It appears they don't need my business after all.

I will say that the people on the phone are nice, just that they can't seem to get anything completed. They don't offer any problem escalation or even any compensation for all of the time and effort required (discount, priority shipping, whatever). This seems to be either very poor customer service, poor training, incompetence or all of the above.

I realize that the green industry is getting a lot of attention now and they probably have a lot of other customers. But I have to believe that the individual can make a difference. I feel it my duty to warn as many as possible to avoid this site if they want to avoid a lot of time and frustration. Buyer beware indeed.


Company representative comment on March 26, 2009:
On Mar 26, 2009 12:56 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We explained we were having problems with our online payment processing. Then sent an email explaining & that we apologize for the inconvenience and offered a discount toward next purchase.

Negative LLnMD
Huntingtown, MD
(1 review)
March 3, 2009
I ordered solar lights (christmas lights) for Outdoors in November. They told me they would not be able to fulfill the order, which was fine, so I asked for a refund. I had to call about the refund about 6 weeks later because I had not received it. It's March and I'm still waiting for my refund. I'm filing complaints, I was ripped off. Save your money..find a reputable business!
Company representative comment on March 3, 2009:
On Mar 3, 2009 8:29 AM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We do apologize for the delay on your refund. We are reorganizing our customer service. A request has been done to our billing dept to refund asap.

Negative worldvoyager
Georgetown, ME
(1 review)
February 28, 2009
I am writing this in response to the message from “I”, “The Silicon Solar Support Team” posted January 14th 2009.
This company’s customer support policy has NOT improved!
I ordered a HP-300FX High Output Solar Pump Kit with the "Night and Day Power Pack". The unit would only function directly connected to the solar panel, not with the "Power Pack". After checking the wiring in the "Power Pack" I discovered there was a diode (one way gate for electric current) that was not installed correctly. I called Silicon Solar and explained the problem. They didn't believe me. I emailed diagrams along with photographs showing a voltmeter attached to the unit and that it could not possibly function properly in its present configuration. They still didn't believe me. I rewired the diode correctly and it has been working ever since.
But the story does not end there. I should have learned something from my previous experience:-( Doh.
I ordered a SunMaxx 20 hot water solar array from Silicon Solar. It arrived with no obvious damage. I finished installing the unit the middle of February 2009 and noticed a slight white discoloration at the bottom of one of the tubes.
Now for the real story:
I called customer support and was put on hold for 15 minutes, after which time I was given the option of leaving a voice message. WHAT? I did not leave a message. I continued trying to reach a real person over the next several days.
I finally reached a real person.
Here is the transcript:
ME: I’m calling about a defective evacuated tube.
CS: Please describe the damage.
ME: I noticed a slight white discoloration at the bottom of one of the tubes when I removed it from the box it was shipped in. We had an ice storm shortly after finishing the installation. The following day was sunny and the discolored tube was the only one the ice had melted off of. I measured the exterior temperature with a hand held infrared meter and discovered the discolored tube was 20 degrees warmer than the adjacent tubes.
CS: The evacuated tube is defective. I see by your invoice that you ordered this a while ago. You have to report damage within 24hrs of the shipment arriving.
ME: What? You did not supply any information on how to evaluate the condition of the tubes on arrival. There was no obvious damage. How was I supposed to know that a slight discoloration was a fatal defect?
CS: We have since changed our policy to include information on what to look for upon arrival of the shipment.
ME: So will you replace the tube?
CS: Please email me a picture. If we approve the replacement, we cannot ship a single tube. We only ship four tubes at a time. We may give you a credit for one tube. Then you would then have to order four tubes, get credit for one and pay for the other three, plus shipping.
ME: What? You can’t send a single tube?
CS: I see that you are not far from our factory. Perhaps one of our drivers could drop one tube off if you are approved for a replacement. We will get back to you in a few days.
End of transcript.
I did not damage this tube.
This is not what you would expect from a company that has a ”mission to ensure that we provide our customers with the highest level of service.”
I have been running service companies for over 30 years. I wouldn’t dream of treating a customer this way. If I did, I would have been out of business in short order.
The SunMaxx 20 cost me $750. There are 20 tubes, a manifold and aluminum framework. I would guess that the tubes are worth $30 each. That leaves $150 for the manifold and frame. And that’s at retail rates. You would think that for $30, they would see the value in customer satisfaction.
I will be posting more about this on YouTube and this forum when I know more.


Company representative comment on March 2, 2009:
On Mar 2, 2009 12:00 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We do apologize for the communication between you and our customer service. We are glad you were able to repair your pump yourself. As far as the tube is concerned, we show we refunded the $30.00. We are in process of reorganizing our customer service. If there is anything we can do for you please call 1-800-786-0329.

Negative fairyhouse
Exeter, RI
(1 review)
December 26, 2008
I am a hot water solar installer. I recently got to view Silicon Solar 's domestic hot water system. It is not well made and looks like it will last 1-2 years before breaking down and causing a lot of frustration to a home owner who paid about $8,000 in installation. If youu're going to invest in hot water solar (which you should weather you approach it from an environmental or economic stance) be sure you're talking to an experienced installer. Not someone who signed up with Silicon solar as a get rich quick solution.

Company representative comment on February 24, 2009:
On Feb 24, 2009 1:46 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We go through a though an extensive training & if installers have questions they can contact us.

Negative larry007
Syosset, NY
(1 review)
August 25, 2008
I purchased via the web a Solar Hidden Rock Pump on August 11, 2008. The thing never worked out of the box, even after going to their "FAQ" trouble shooting section of their web site for this product. I called "customer service" and spoke with a supervisor who basically told me that I had to ship this piece of junk (which cost over $65.00) back to them at my expense and they would quote, unquote "test it" to see if it was defective... So, I guess they think I'm either a dope or a liar...I asked for my money back and they of course refused...They offered store credit (like I'd ever buy something there again!). I am writing to Andrew Cuomo, NYS attorney general and also to the NYSE consumer affairs commissioner about this outfit. With so many honorable ecommerce sites out there, this place should be shut down because of their business practices and approach to not standing behind their merchandise.
Company representative comment on February 24, 2009:
On Feb 24, 2009 2:19 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Yes, we would have advised to send product back to us with a return authorization code. With the receipt of the shipping back to us. We have found in many instances that the product is fine. That the customer(s) did not understand how to install. And after we receive product back, we would inspect it. If after inspections we find there is a defective product and it is within the warranty period we would reimburse customer for shipping.

Negative blufour
Cantril, IA
(5 reviews)
August 22, 2008
I should have known better than to order from Silicon Solar. I did so because I was so sure this was the same company from whom I ordered a smaller solar panel and pump a couple of years ago. It was NOT. I ordered a 37" solar panel and pump with battery backup. I guess might be better off than some of you because I only received the battery back which is $45 and if I can get the rest of the charge off of my Credit Card I'll consider it a lesson learned. You are all so right, this is indeed the WORST company to deal with on any level. First off, I called them to let them know I hadn't received all of it. But I waited a couple of days to be sure it wasn't in a seperate box. By then it was Saturday and when I called them the automated system put me in a "loop" that never put me through to anyone although it said it was transferring my call. I waited and waited but there was nothing. I got through to someone Monday or Tuesday. Was told it would be sent out and should get it by Aug 13 or 14. Called again and was told it had not gone out. By now aren't we seeing a trend here? I hadn't received anything this week, the 18th, 19th, 20th... called the 21st and the gal said she would tell shipping to get it out today. I thought about this afterward and decided (after reading these reviews) that, hey, I'm not going to get this stuff and, if I do I'm not going to be happy with the quality and then I'll have the hassle of trying to return it and probably being stuck with it. I emailed to cancel since I couldn't get through to talk to someone. I've called and called and sometimes I get disconnected before anyone gets around to answering. Sometimes someone begins to say something and then I'm either disconnected or put on a silent hold. Well, to make this long story shorter, today I called again, trying several times and finally put my phone on speaker and just let it play music for 12 minutes and I actually got someone, Christy. I told her about getting only a battery backup and not the rest. I said I wanted to cancel the remainder. She said it hadn't shipped. Well, duh, that's why I want to cancel it. I asked for an RMA # and she said to use the one I was given. HUH?? I said I didn't have one. She said I was emailed one on the 13th. No, I says, I never received an email and I've checked my email consistantly because I was told before that they would email me when it was sent. Now she says she's sending another and it should arrive within 24 to 48 hours. I don't expect that will happen EVER.. I think I'm stuck with a battery or, if I return it, I'm still stuck with the cost of it. $45 for this piece of plastic with some wires and styrofoam peanuts floating around in it is a travesty, a piece of junk as everyone here has stated. If I do get this returned and I do get some credit back on it I will be out the "restocking fee" of 25%. When Christy told me about the restocking fee she was a bit beligerent in her attitude as if I wasn't aware of this fee and should just keep it rather than hassle. No, AT THE TIME I ordered this stuff I was not aware of all their RULES. After getting all the runaround I went to their website and read the terms and conditions and yes, they do have a restocking fee and no, they do not take returns that have been USED. How on earth will anyone know whether something works if they haven't used it??? I haven't USED this battery backup since I don't have any of the stuff that it "backs up". It would be swell if I could make it work somehow with the other pump I have from Simply Fountains. Now, that's been a wonderful pump. 2 years now and it works great and I don't even have to clean it all the time like some I've had. We've decided to go electric and forget the big solar panel. Now I just have the hassle of trying to get this $270.06 charge off my card. That's another point...they charged my card ON THE DAY I ORDERED this stinking stuff!!! IF THERE WERE A LAWSUIT AGAINST THIS COMPANY I WOULD LOVE TO BE INCLUDED!!!!
On August 22nd, 2008, blufour added the following:

I just realized there was another customer of Silicon Solar who didn't get their battery backup included. This is funny - maybe they got my panel and I got their battery backup... maybe I should give you my batter backup, useless as it is to me!! Just a lighter note to this sad story!
On February 26th, 2009, blufour added the following:

I see that the Silicon Solar added a comment to my statements: they did refund me. AFTER I spend much time working it out through my great credit card company. By contesting the charge I got it immediately credited by the credit card company but Silicon Solar did not respond until the deadline and then turned around and charged me another amount on my credit card which I then had to contest. After all the time that has gone by I guess I can consider the matter closed but I read the "apology" at the top of the list where they say they have had growing pains, etc and seek to improve customer service. But I see by the negative reports that they still do the same shady practices.
Company representative comment on January 28, 2009:
On Jan 28, 2009 5:23 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Our records show that you were refund on 9/23/08.

Negative 2maxima
Valrico, FL
(1 review)
August 5, 2008
They never issued me a credit on an item I returned which caused me to pay full price. Their customer service is the absolutely worse I have ever seen of any company in my life ans I've been around for some time. They lie, hang up on you, won't return a phone call and are very rude. Must be a new york thing. Their return policy is only 60 days, got that, 60 days. They have raped me for the last time. When I called for an RA number, I was told they would send it via e-mail. Never got it and when I called back, there was no record of my call in their computer system. Imagine that. Then on 5 Aug 08 a jerk told me to replace the lens cover, put silicone on the underside of the lens and replace it. I said what about all the rust. She was silent. When I asked her if other consumers had voiced similar problems she said yes and I asked whether all were told to fix the problem themselves, she said it varies. THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE WORSE COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH. IF YOU IN THE MARKET FOR A SOLAR PRODUCT, DO NOT, REPEAT DO NOT, BUY FROM THE RAPISTS. I am in the process of filing a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau in Bainbridge, NY. In the future, I'll spend my money below the "Mason Dixon" line.
Company representative comment on February 24, 2009:
On Feb 24, 2009 2:33 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

I want to personally apologize and assure that we have identified and have been working to address past and current issues regarding customer service with our company.
Silicon Solar Inc started by designing and manufacturing solar energy products in an industry that was growing at an exponential rate. During these times we experienced several growing pains like many companies who are small and starting out. As a result of these growing pains, our customers service was below both my own and the company’s expectations. Over the years we have worked to improve our customer service and ensure that our customers are receiving the most value in both their product and the service they receive, yet there is still room for improvement. Our company was founded as a product based company and as a goal and mission for 2009, we are shifting our focus toward a value added company that is determined to offer additional values to our customers through service.
We accept that there have been issues in the past and are working honorably to ensure that all of our customers (current and past) are serviced and provided with answers to some of their unanswered questions or service requests.
A successful business learns from its mistakes and being able to accept their mistakes and prevent them from happening again. There are no excuses for lack in customer service and this is why in 2009 it is our mission to ensure that we provide our customers with the highest level of service.
I want to let our customers and readers know that we are here to help and ensure that every one of our customers is taken care of. If anyone has questions regarding Silicon Solar or any outstanding issues with an order or services not rendered, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-786-0329 or email support “at” siliconsolar.com.
Sincerely,

Negative foldedstar
Seattle, WA
(1 review)
July 16, 2008
I purchased a solar powered fountain and nite-pack battery (additional cost of $45) in May 2008. The battery has never held a charge. The fountain quits in minutes after removing the panel from direct sunlight altho vendor says that charge should last 4-5 hours. After two weeks of attempting to resolve this problem by email, I called their "Customer Service" line and spoke to "Christi" who said that she was the supervisor and that no one higher up in the company would take my call. She said that the batteries have no warranty and that I would need to buy a new one if I still wanted to have battery power. Now that I have been thoroughly ripped off, I sure wish that I had looked for and read reviews on this company at this site and others. DO NOT do business with these guys. I can't believe that they will continue to stay in business.
Company representative comment on February 24, 2009:
On Feb 24, 2009 2:47 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We at Silicon Solar apologize for the frustration you have experienced in the past. We are reorganizing our customer service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at support @siliconsolar.com or 1-800-786-0329

Negative lucalue
Hillsborough, NC
(1 review)
July 3, 2008
I can't believe I ran across this site. I wish it had existed before I purchased my solar fountain and nite pack. I can't express the anger and frustration I felt when dealing with this company. The customer service was non-existent. I paid through Pay Pal (they took the money immediately), and waited anxiously for my product to arrive. When it didn't, I went on Silcon Solar's website and looked at the delivery info and saw that they had shipped it, then that is was in route, and then that they had delivered it. None of this was true, however. I called the shipping company and they said there was no record of my shipment on their books. Even the shipping number was made up. I then proceeded to try to contact the company and never, never, never got a person either through email or phone. I disputed the charge through Paypal and waited for Silicon's reponse and it wasn't until the deadline that they returned their response, denying all of it. I proceeded to try to contact them again through calls and email, and never got anyone. Not even an answer machine. Then one day (weeks later) a box shows up on my door step. It contained my order. I opened it, put it together and realized it was a piece of junk. All of the crimping on the wires had pulled free. Once I put it back together, I got it in the water, I turned it on and saw a trikle of water coming out of the fountain. It was suppose to blow 12" high. I was looking at an inch, maybe. I was flabergasted. I called the company and actually got someone who told me that because I had used it, I couldn't return it. Now, a year later, I have a product that doesn't work at all. The battery died. The pump died. I spent so much money on this thing and all I can do with it is throw it in the trash. I swore I would never use this company again. I don't think I have ever felt so betrayed and ignored by a company than I have by this one. Don't be fooled into thinking that any of the positive posts are real. They're not. This company is bad news.
Company representative comment on February 24, 2009:
On Feb 24, 2009 2:56 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We do apologize for your frustration we have caused you. We are reorganizing our customer service. We have a new phone system now and works much better. We agree that our past phone issues were terrible. Customers getting dropped, not being able to get through by phone etc. If there is anything we can do to rectify this issue, please call us and supply your invoice number.
Support@siliconsolar.com or 1-800-786-0329

Negative CaliforniaDude
Palo Alto, CA
(1 review)
June 27, 2008
I bought one of their fountain solar systems (AP-P010) in Octorber 2007, spending $343. Only 7 months later, the battery stopped working. I contacted them and they said that there is no warranty on the battery whatsoever. What a rip-off! They want to charge me $45 for a new battery.
Company representative comment on February 24, 2009:
On Feb 24, 2009 3:45 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Silicon Solar wants to apologize for the frustration you have had with us. But unfortunately we do not have any warranty on batteries because we do not manufacture these. Most all batteries are available at any electronic supply store as long as you have the used battery. We are reorganizing our customer service. If there is anything we can do for you please contact us support@siliconsolar.com or 1-800-786-0329

Negative TONY0729
Howard Beach, NY
(1 review)
June 27, 2008
I placed an order for the day/night solar pump, the order went thru with confirmation via paypal and the site. Then i received an email from silicon solar stating that the order was incomplete and needed to be completed. After following the links provided and ending up at a dead ends. I had to call their customer service, i would have rather delt with an outsourced third world country than these morons.

Pretty much i was told my order was flagged due to an ip issue, im a N.Y based ip and they said my i.p was showing up as kansas.

Even tho my money was taken out of my account, and was a confirmed transaction thru paypal. So at this point i felt unsafe dealing with this company and found this site. So i continued to call their customer service,public affairs, billing, so called coorporate office. Which all seem to be in a room with 3 cubicles with Moe, Larry, and Curly running the show.

None of the persons i spoke with were knowledgeable about the products ,the company, the billing. Who the CEO was and would not give there names.

After lies and promises of the charges being reversed the same day, or the next business day, then 5 to 7 days, no return calls from supv' or managers. 2 weeks later, pretty much after as they say using foul language and getting rowdy, and letting them know that this would be reported.

One person was able to help me. She promised to call me back at the end of the business day and the money would be refunded. Less than an hour after getting off the phone with her , i received an email, money was refunded thru paypay. So kudos to Kristi whoever you are. You should be given a medal, and you do not deserve to work in a place like that.

Get out!!! your surrounded by morons!! ;)

I wouldn't accept any product from this company if they paid me to accept it.




Company representative comment on March 2, 2009:
On Mar 2, 2009 12:03 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We do apologize for the customer service issues you had with our company. We are reorganizing our customer service. If we can do anything in the future for you please call 1-80-786-0329

Negative solargardener
Holland, OH
(1 review)
June 19, 2008
I wish I had seen this site before I ordered my night & day solar pump. I paid for expedited shipping from this schlock outfit.

The kit came without the night pack (power storage unit) in the shipment. I contacted the company and was told that my complaint would go into a queue for approval. I stated I paid for expedited shipping and therefore I should have my night pack sent immediately by expedited shipping. I was told that is too bad their system does not work that way. The computer takes 48 hours to approve (yes, the computer approves the claim?) and if it was approved then they would ship it.

Do not do business with this company they have zero interest in their customers, they deserve to go belly up. In addition, they have created automatons in their customer service center who create further dissatisfaction by being parrots repeating the same things over and over.

On July 24th, 2008, solargardener added the following:

July 24th, the saga continues. Two months after having bought this product I still do not have my night pack. I filed a complaint with the BBB and received a ridiculous response that a shipping label had been printed! Also the respondent (who did not provide a direct number or 1st name) said they refunded my expedited shipping fee, they did not.

I responded with the facts to the BBB and mysteriously I received a notice that the unit had shipped, and wait it was sent two day shipping. They didn't understand that after jerking me around for two months they should have sent it overnight.

I may report them to the NY Attorney General's office, they deserve it. You all should too.
Company representative comment on March 2, 2009:
On Mar 2, 2009 3:45 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We do apologize for the customer service you were given. We are reorganizing our customer service and are trying hard to make sure things like this do not happen.

Negative dajazzy
San Marcos, CA
(1 review)
January 9, 2008
I bought the Night & Day Solar Fountain Pump Kit for &79.95 and it only lasted for 3 months before it started malfunctioning. My experience with one of the customer servicer reps. was also a let down.
Company representative comment on March 2, 2009:
On Mar 2, 2009 3:50 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

When it comes to solar pumps, the only item that is under warranty is the panel. When it comes to the pump we can not warranty these because of Hazmat reasons (they are used in water). You don't actually mention what the problem was with your pump.

Positive sonofsun
Saline, MI
(1 review)
January 9, 2008
I ordered two 5w solar panels in December. I was quickly advised that they were out of stock. Then I got an email that said the panels would be in by mid-January. The email gave me the option of cancelling the order or waiting. I waited, and today I received the two panels, which work fine. So I'm happy.
Company representative comment on March 2, 2009:
On Mar 2, 2009 4:00 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Thank you for supplying a positive review regarding Silicon Solar Inc.

Negative tmaier
Concord, CA
(1 review)
September 14, 2007
I ordered a solar fountain pump, it worked two weeks and then quit. I sent it back at my expense. I was told it would be tested and I would be notified of the results. I never received any communication. A few weeks late a new pump showed up, but no solar panel? So I called and asked where the panel was. Another week or so later the panel showed up, and another pump! What I had received was not my original equipment, but new stuff. My best guess was that the unit had been defective. I set up the new unit and for a few weeks it worked fine. But then it quit again!

I called again and was told to use the same RMA as the first return. I again returned the product as my own expense and enclosed a letter that since this was the second defective unit I had received I did not want to receive a third, but to please credit my credit card in full.

Today I received an email telling me I had a gift certificate issued for this company? When I called to find out what it was, it was in relation to my return, and it was only for 85% of the value of the product. I did not want a gift certificate, I wanted my refund.

The company refused. They told me to read their terms and conditions. Their terms and conditions do not address new product that is defective, so I do not understand why I should be charged a 'repair fee', or a 'restocking fee' for the return, It's not like I changed my mind and just didn't want or need it anymore. If the pump had worked as advertised, I never would have had to return it in the first place. And I would be happy.

So now I am out about $125, no pump, and a company whose products are poor and not supported, so why even considering using the credit. I will be contacting to dispute the charges to my credit card, and filing warnings on every website I can find so no one else has to suffer what I have.

It is companies like this who scare consumers away from shopping on the internet, and who give solar technology a bad name.

I have solar lights and a fountain pump from other companies, and they have been working flawlessly for over a year.

Please, do not do business with Silicon Solar!

Company representative comment on March 9, 2009:
On Mar 9, 2009 1:10 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Greetings,
I want to personally apologize and assure you that the point has been made on our past problems with our customer service and product quality issues.
When we started Silicon Solar and started designing and manufacturing products for several different product lines with uses in solar energy, we grew at an exponential rate. At this time period, our business was a garage business running through the limited growing constraints during our school and college career. In 2007, finally, we were free and available to change our focus from a product manufacturing business to a customer service base industry. Now with both myself and Adam having focus directly with customer service, we have changed our infrastructure night and day with customer service staff, support systems, and better product information. Now I know that this does not cover for the lack of communication with our high demand for our solar innovative energy products and our product defects in the past but I can assure you that we have eliminated a few major contingencies with our past related problems.
1. Phone System: We have had every problem in the book with our phone systems, until December 20th 2009 where we dropped a very high cost phone system and backed into a more simplistic version with Linksys that has eliminated our communications issue.
2. Solar pump systems: We had a high rate of return on pump systems, after a thorough product test we have upgraded our pump system and have a less than 2% return rate on manufactured defects.
We understand that this letter will have little effect for those use to skeptical criticism, but for any of you reading, please don't hesitate to contact me directly with any constructive feedback on product and services from our company so we may better show that we have put these issues in the past and have move forward to a better customer service and product quality company. You may reach me anytime at 607-339-9348 or email me to share your constructive thoughts and suggestions at"matt08"@siliconsolar.com or call me at 607.339.9348.
Sincerely,
Matt Farrell
Co-Founder
COO

Negative beachmama
Seaside, OR
(1 review)
September 7, 2007
A year ago I ordered a pump kit and received 2 12v pumps because the first one sent to didn't come with a nightpack as ordered. That pump kit did not give enough lift so this year I ordered a new pump kit for $100 more. I received the same 12v pump, the same nightpack packed in an enclosure stuffed with packing peanuts, and a larger, 17v solor panel. No instructions. This same 12v pump is advertised on their website as having a pump output of 80-95GPH with maximum lift of 1-2' with one pump kit and pump output of 150GPH and 2-4' max lift with another. It is the exact same pump. Jessica in customer service told me I should be able to tell that from the picture on the website. My husband did not feel comfortable running 12v pump attached to the 17v solar panel because he thought the motor would burn up. We both talked to customer service about the misleading information on the website and the concerns about the motor. Their only suggestion was to order a larger pump kit. I was issued an RMA, returned the pump in the original packaging promptly, and was charged a 15% restocking fee because the shipping carton had been opened. The refund was issued after I phoned them and emailed them. Today, Lisa told me that the only way you could get a 100% refund (less shipping costs) is if the package was refused on delivery. She read the return policy 3 times to me. Prevously, I was told by Jessica that I would get a full refund plus $5 because of the misleading website. I was told the website is not up to date because it is done in Australia. Lisa said today that she is only doing what she has been trained to do.
Company representative comment on March 3, 2009:
On Mar 3, 2009 8:39 AM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We apologize for the confusion you have experienced with Silicon Solar Inc. We are reorganizing our customer service. After review of your account we notice you did receive a refund of $208.16.

Negative DukeGirl2000
Alexandria, VA
(1 review)
August 7, 2007
I ordered a solar birdbath fountain on May 13, 2007. The fountain arrived promptly, looked great and worked well…for about six days. I contacted Silicon Solar and sent the top part of the fountain back for repair. On July 3, I received an email indicating that the part was out of stock and would be available in three weeks. It is now August 7 and I still have not received the replacment part.

This morning I placed a call to customer service and was greeted by impatient, rude and condescending customer service representatives. Lisa, in particular, practically yelled at me - despite my calm demeanor and perfectly rational inquiry regarding when my fountain (paid in full in May) would be functional. My frustrations and should be recognized by the company as such. Moreover, I am truly disappointed and furious with the customer “service” I received when inquired about the status of the replacement part.

I am a paying customer of Silicon Solar and do not deserve to be spoken to in the tones used by Jessica, and particularly Lisa, this morning. The responsibility for delivering functional goods rests with the company, not with the customer, and your customer service department should recognize and respect that. Never in my life have I been treated so rudely and I do not appreciate the tone, condescending nature and harsh words that were spoken, and practically yelled at me, by Lisa and Jessica. I recognize that customer service is a difficult job, and I feel that I was acting rationally and proposed several options to enable me to have a functional water feature in my garden. I did nothing to prompt the severe tone, and hope that Silicon Solar finds a more customer-friendly manner of conducting business.

While I commend the Farrell brothers on an innovative and exciting business, I hope they will work with their customer service department so as not to alienate and offend their customers. There are many opportunities a business has to redeem itself in the eyes of disappointed customers – I Silicon Solar chooses to employ one of them.

Company representative comment on March 3, 2009:
On Mar 3, 2009 9:03 AM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We want to very much apologize for the way you were treated by our past customer service. We are reorganizing our customer service and hope you come back as a valued customer.

Negative RLLane
Mammoth Lakes, CA
(1 review)
June 20, 2007
I bought a solar hot water system from Silicon Solar. I mailed in a check for payment. A month later I am told that they "never received it" even though I double checked the address. I sent in a second check and they promptly returned it to me with no reason given. I called their NY office and was put on hold for a long time. I was told "accounting" would get back to me. After several days, they haven't. Now there phone lines are out. What a mess.
Company representative comment on March 3, 2009:
On Mar 3, 2009 10:05 AM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

We are glad this was finally figured out & that you did receive your product. We also noticed you have placed another order with us, we are glad you are happy with our product.

Positive iwoelfle
East Peoria, IL
(1 review)
May 15, 2007
If I had read comments before ordering I probably would never have ordered from them. But since I hadn't...
I ordered a solar pump which according to DHL was to arrive on the 11th. It did not. Talked to sales today (15th) & after a long wait was told it was backordered, but it should ship today. Called back & talked to customer service & was told it will ship in 48 hours. I was told that they print shipping labels (& notify the shipper) & then the info is given to the shipping floor to have the item built. I strongly suggested that they may want to relook at how they are doing this.
I hope that I can give a positive follow up, but after reading all the negative ones, I am a little skeptical.
On May 23rd, 2007, iwoelfle changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

After I made that initial comment, I went back to their web site to check on my order. I found that the person I talked to had made a comment that it would be shipped in 48 hours. I watched and it was shipped in about 30 hours. When the solar pump arrived it exceeded the description. The specs said it would pump water 48 inches and at about 4:30 pm in central Illinois it pumped the water over 52 inches. In addition to disagreeing with showing it shipped, I also disagree with DHL showing that it would arrive on the 11th. Their web site still showed that it would arrive on the 11th when they delivered it on the 18th.
Company representative comment on March 9, 2009:
On Mar 9, 2009 1:14 PM, Silicon Solar Inc. responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to let us know you were taken care of. If we can do anything to help you, please let us know. 1-800-786-0329

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