PHOENIX -- Eleanor Crisan says she has a high-tech, solar water heater because she wanted to do her part in going green.
"We're all supposed to be going green and try to help out,” Crisan explained, “So I thought I was doing a good thing."
Crisan says she bought the solar water heater when a salesman from Going Green Solar told her it would cost her next to nothing.
"He's telling me I can have a solar water heater and I don't have to pay anything for it because of reimbursements from the various companies," Crisan told 3 On Your Side.
Crisan says with all the tax breaks and government rebates the salesman told her about, she was persuaded into thinking the solar water heater and other energy saving things was a great idea and signed a contract. However, when Crisan's daughter, Jan, was told the entire project was worth nearly $14,000, she was stunned.
“It started out to be more than she makes in a year. She doesn't even make $14,280 in a year,” Jan said.
Going Green Solar wound up reducing the cost to around $10,000. However, even after the reduction, Crisan discovered she wouldn't qualify for the government rebates after all, leaving her on the hook for all that money.
“I feel they took advantage of an 80-year-old woman because she was gullible and believing what they had to say to her,” Jan said, “She thought she was going to get something for free, basically.”
3 On Your Side contacted Going Green Solar. They claim they recently found out that Crisan didn't qualify for any tax credits and went ahead and gave her the water heater for what they paid for it and didn't charge her for other energy-saving work they performed. Their cost, coupled with a rebate from her utility company, brought the cost down to $2,500. Crisan says the price is much more manageable.
“It's going to take a long time to pay it at $80 a month, as long as I live,” Crisan said.
Thanks to Going Green Solar for making things right. In the meantime, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about companies soliciting you to go green.