Vivint Solar Reviews: What Are People Saying?
Interested in purchasing solar through Vivint but not sure if they are getting good reviews?
It's our job to research the major players in the solar industry to save you some of the hours of legwork involved in researching and purchasing your new system. We will take a look at Vivint solar reviews from a variety of sources below, highlight the compliments and complaints, analyze the review trends, and see how they stack up against similar companies in their niche. Numbers are current as of the writing of this post.
#1 Overview of Vivint solar reviews
Let's start by looking at Vivint's overall customer scores from several sources.
Consumer Affairs: 3.8 out of 5 (266 ratings)
Vivint reviews from Consumer Affairs are solidly in the "Above Average" range. With a hefty number of ratings, it looks like you are more likely to find a pleasurable experience with Vivint than a bad one. Looking at the individual rating breakdown, we can see how the 3.8 average came about and discover that, in actuality it might be a little misleading. Take a look below.
- 1 Star: 29% of reviews
- 2 Stars: 9% of reviews
- 3 Stars: 3% of reviews
- 4 Stars: 4% of reviews
- 5 Stars: 29% of reviews
We can see that, although the overall rating points indicate an above average experience, the exact same number of reviews had a 5-star rating as the 1-stars. There really aren't a lot of people stuck in the middle over at Consumer Affairs - it's either love them or hate them!
Best Company: 6.6 out of 10 (476 ratings)
Somewhat similar to Consumer Affairs, at Best Company you'll find a "Slightly Above Average" overall rating for their Vivint reviews . The site has a strict moderation policy that regularly scans for fake reviews and removes them from the scoring. They never take payments in exchange for top spots!
This overall rating isn't very encouraging, so let's take a look at the breakdown to see where everyone cast their vote on the Vivint experience.
- 0 Stars: 19%
- 1-3 Stars: 13%
- 4-6 Stars: 3%
- 7-9 Stars: 15%
- 10 Stars: 48%
Wow. This distribution paints a much better picture of Vivint! Nearly half of all respondents said that they were 100% satisfied with their experience and only 19% had a horrible experience.
Solar Reviews: 3.13 out of 5 (340 reviews)
Solar Reviews is a site focused solely on reviews of contractors and service companies in the solar industry. As such, they break down their reviews a little further to provide some more detailed information for prospective buyers. Based on the 3.13 rating, Vivint isn't winning any medals with the customers here. Let's see the individual scores:
- 1 Star: 40%
- 2 Stars: 5%
- 3 Stars: 0%
- 4 Stars: 5%
- 5 Stars: 47%
Similar to Consumer Affairs, it looks like Vivint customers are either insanely happy with their service or driven insane by it. There isn't much left in the middle for lukewarm responses.
According to their detailed ratings, after sales support has the worst quality rating while the sales process itself has the highest. It seems strange that these two areas would conflict in such a way if their sales process was so good.
Yelp Reviews: Varied by Location
So far we've seen a bit of variation from site to site regarding review ratings, and we don't have the clearest picture of what to expect from Vivint Solar.
If you've ever been to a fast food chain with lots of locations, you've probably realized that just because the sign on the building is the same everywhere doesn't mean that you can expect to get the same level of service and quality there. In this way, it might be useful to take a look at some of the 20 states that Vivint services to see if the local offices differ concerning quality.
- New Mexico: 1 Star
- New Jersey: 2 Stars
- Salt Lake City: 2.5 Stars
- California: 1.5 Stars
Wow. Some of these ratings are pretty brutal. In California, literally nobody gave them a 5-star review. In fact, nearly all of the respondents gave Vivint Solar a 1-star rating.
#2 What are these Vivint solar reviews telling us?
Reviews by actual customers are fantastic tools for someone researching a new solar investment because they can provide a candid look at exactly how a company is doing business. In the case of Vivint Solar reviews, it looks like sometimes these customers are blown away by their service and at other times they are incredibly unhappy. So, how are we supposed to interpret these results if they seem to be conflicting?
It's important to remember that Vivint is a publicly-traded company that covers almost half of the United States. With such a large coverage area, it is highly unlikely that everyone writing these reviews used the same sales rep, talked to the same customer service rep, and dealt with the same installers.
It's obvious that this company can and does great work in some cases, while dropping the ball in others. The only way to get more concrete information about what to expect with your own installation is by finding someone local that has dealt with the company and can speak about individuals that they did business with personally.
People are far from perfect, and unfortunately, there are a lot of folks out there that simply don't care about doing a good job, will lie to you just to make a sale, and generally be uncommunicative. Not everyone operates that way, but enough do to give a big company like Vivint a bad reputation.
Let's take a look at some of the specific complaints and compliments that reviewers volunteered about Vivint.
#3 Typical complaints about Vivint
Complaints about Vivint run the gamut, but most of them revolve around poor workmanship that caused leaks, unresponsive customer service, and dishonest information.
Here's one review from Best Company about poor customer service:
Vivint does not live up to it’s [sic] “customer service is in our dna” for existing customers. They focus on Sales and New installs. Once you have your panels installed, it takes weeks / months to get problems resolved. In the seven months since my system was activated, we have experienced two inverter problems. Both times took > month to resolve; during which time my panels produced no energy. However, Vivint continued to bill me. This summer my electric bill is double the cost it was when I used only National Grid. This company does not care about existing customers.
Consumer Affairs shows us a review about leaks caused by Vivint's solar panel installation:
My roof has been leaking caused by their solar panels. I contacted them about it. They send an inspector. He came to conclusion that half of my house is leaking caused by their panels. They sent out an estimator for a roofing company to do the estimate for them. One week after the guy did the estimate for them, James called me saying they will only pay $500.00 for the damages they caused to my roof. Half of the house is leaking. From the kitchen to our bathroom and my bedroom. I don’t think that the amount of damage they caused only cost $500.
Another irate customer rants about their dishonest salesman on Solar Reviews:
Our sales person … told us it would cost $499 to have the panels removed if the buyers didn’t want the contract transferred. Not true! It’s going to cost us approximately $20,000 to cancel the contract now that we’re selling our house and the new buyers do not want the solar panels. Check out #12 Assignment and Transfer in the contract which is the section that Vivint will refer you to while apologizing for the “misunderstanding”. If we had a full roof of panels installed rather than a half, the cost to us to cancel the contract would’ve been about $40,0000 [sic]!!!
#4 Typical compliments about Vivint
Of course, it's not all bad new with Vivint. Although people had good things to say about a range of things, most of the compliments about Vivint mentioned the smooth process, friendly sales representatives, and bill savings.
One review from Consumer Affairs highlights the easy process and immediate savings:
Mike, an agent of Vivint Solar came through our door and enrolling with them was easy. We’ve gotten one bill and we have been saving money thus far and that’s what it’s all about. My experience with Vivint has been excellent and I’m very satisfied with my decision to go solar.
On Solar Reviews, a recent customer had great things to say about her bill savings:
I’ve been with Vivint Solar for almost a year and I’ve saved almost 40% from the previous year’s electric bills. The system looks great on my roof, and the installation went smoothly. They were done in one day. It did take about 2 months to turn on the system after install, but that was the typical time frame in my area. Looking forward to another summer full of sun!
Another customer had a positive experience with their sales rep on Best Company:
Great experience. Kellyanne was an absolute pleasure to deal with and very knowledge [sic]. Look forward to seeing if solar is right for me.
#5 How Vivint reviews compare to other similar installers
Like we discussed before, each company is only as good as the individuals that they have working for them. No matter the solar company, a shoddy installation team and a dishonest salesperson can ruin a customer's experience no matter how well-intentioned their company is. Case in point, let's take a look at two reviews for one of Vivint's competitors, Sunnova:
Here's one from Solar Reviews about leaks in the roof:
Sunnova has been a horrible company to work with. My panels were installed about two years ago. When I noticed a leak in December 2016, I called them to set up the repair. In my area, they contract with Vision (now ION) Solar. It is April 21, 2017 and the repairs are still not done. In fact, Ion Solar has caused more damage to my roof than was previously there. I also have had drywall damage in my living room since December that they haven’t even started working on. I have called Sunnova over 20 times to get this addressed. They say they are going to call back, but they never do.
Just like Vivint though, other customers have great experiences with Sunniva. Here's another review from Best Company about saving money with them:
Sunnova checked out all my bills for 12 months with the electric company and got the right estimate for me, gave me the best price and got my bills reduced by more than half. I would strongly recommend this company and have to all who ask about solar. So far 7 of my friends and neighbors have had solar installed by this company and are all quite happy.
Either one of these reviews could easily be for Vivint based on the ones that we looked at earlier. And this is fairly across the board for all big solar installers. You will find some people praising something like saving money while others are angry because they are being charged more! Vivint (and Sunniva) are not alone in their polarized reviews!
#6 Should you do business with Vivint?
After reading through all of these reviews and seeing how regular folks just like you and I can have such different experiences with Vivint, it might be hard to find the confidence needed to take the plunge with this company.
In reality, reviews like this are just one piece of the puzzle. It is more important that you take the time to do a little bit of "boots on the ground" research on the installers that are available in your area. If you live near a bigger city, it's likely that you'll have more than one company to choose from in your search.
Take your time and ask all the questions you can before committing to anything. Pay particular attention to the contracted rates, production guarantees, and anything that says that prices will change over time. It might even be a good idea to let your attorney scan over the contract to ensure that there aren't any complicated loopholes that could leave you holding the bag in the case of an incident.
Don't be afraid to ask neighbors with solar what their experience has been like and what company they used. Even ask them the names of the salesperson, installation crew, and customer service reps they spoke to during their process. Anything you can do to get more information about what to expect, the better!