Tens of victims ‘conned’ by apparent solar ‘scam’

Pauline Thomlinson, 64, of Dunscroft, is the second Doncaster Free Press reader to have reported that she was conned by Yorkshire Solar Panels.  Picture: Liz Mockler D2078LM
Pauline Thomlinson, 64, of Dunscroft, is the second Doncaster Free Press reader to have reported that she was conned by Yorkshire Solar Panels. Picture: Liz Mockler D2078LM

A PROBE has been launched into a solar panel company operating in Doncaster after dozens of victims apparently lost thousands of pounds.

The Free Press revealed last week how pensioners Patricia and Dennis Jennings paid £1,500 to Yorkshire Solar Panels Ltd after sales reps called at their Balby home.

But the deal left the couple, of Goldsmith Road, furious after they did not hear from the company for four months despite repeated calls and letters.

Trading Standards has begun an investigation into the firm after more Doncaster residents came forward and claimed they had shelled out money to Yorkshire Solar Panels for work that had not been carried out.

Trading standards has received 40 complaints from people across Yorkshire about the business.

Grandmother-to-be Pauline Thomlinson, of Lloyds Crescent, Dunscroft, said she wrote the firm a cheque for £1,000 after she was told she was entitled to a disability discount because she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis.

“These people just don’t care about those they leave behind. I really don’t know how they sleep at night,” she said.

The 64-year-old had taken a cheque to the company’s Doncaster office in Silver Street on February 10 after reps had called at her home the day before.

She said that the office looked “thrown together” but it had a convincing “buzz” with about six people working there.

Mrs Thomlinson has called in lawyers in an effort to claw back the money which she says she could have spent on a sunshine holiday, which would have done wonders for her health.

Another victim of the ‘scam’ was Susan Kennedy, 58, of Stainforth, who is also in poor health with limited mobility.

She shelled out £1,500 in early December to a company calling themselves TGE Solar Panels, which trading standards believe is the same firm operating under a different name.

She said: “It’s such a lot of money. It took me months to come to the decision to spend the money in the first place.

“Another reputable company has since told us that installing panels would have been inefficient as our property is facing the wrong way.”

She also visited its head office in Bradford but the office was shut up - with a ‘to let’ sign in the window.

The Free Press made repeated efforts to contact Yorkshire Solar Panels Ltd but no-one was available. Our reporters also called at YSPL’s Silver Street office but there was no answer.