I don't normally do blog posts like this, but I wanted to warn others about this scam and hopefully stop more people from 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 have not had any replies or calls.
Finding the negative reviews
I then started to do further research about the company. I 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 business's Facebook page has several pages of negative reviews, with people losing thousands of pounds as well.
The addresses which don't 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 address is listed as Solaranna Ltd., 5 Kew Road, Richmond, London, TW9 2PR.
On Google maps, this appears to be a small shared serviced office 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 worldwide.
As it appears extremely unlikely that I will 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, which gives more protection than other payment methods.
A search on Companies House find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk is an excellent place to start to check any UK-registered businesses to see if they are genuine or not or have other issues.
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.
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 !
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!
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.
don't buy there.
I read the negative post to late.
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.
MD, thank you for your comment, my bank were not able to recover the money from the scammers.
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.
Thanks for highlighting. I almost bought from Zhb but fortunately saw reviews like yours in time.