The Principles represent the minimum standards of practice consumers should expect from an off-grid solar company:
The company shares clear and sufficient information on the product, service, payment plan and personal data privacy practices to enable consumers to make informed decisions.
The company shares relevant and timely information before, during and after sales.
The company communicates in a language and manner consumers can understand.
Responsible sales and pricing
The company takes adequate care to ensure consumers can afford to pay for the product and / or service without becoming overburdened.
The company ensures consumers' characteristics are taken into account in the price, payment structure and fees of the product and / or service.
Good consumer service
The company ensures availability of technical and after-sales service support, including warranty and post-warranty service for a reasonable period of time.
An accessible, effective and timely mechanism for complaints and problem resolution is in place.
The company instructs consumers on proper use and care, and any health and safety risks, related to the product usage or disposal.
The company considers measures to enable continued operability of the product in the event of the failure of the company.
Good product quality
The company ensures the product / system is appropriate, good quality, safe and performs as advertised.
The company ensures the user interface / payment platform is appropriate for consumers.
The company takes reasonable measures to ensure product longevity (including ease of operation and maintenance, repairability and durability).
The company applies good practices and comply with relevant laws and regulations governing consumer data privacy.
The company only collects, use, retain and share personal information that is necessary for the stated consumer service and legitimate interests of the business.
The company ensures consumer data is kept secure and confidential.
Fair and respectful treatment
The company ensures fair and respectful treatment of current and prospective consumers, with adequate safeguards in place against corruption and abusive treatment.
The company promotes inclusive practices and do not discriminate, for example, by gender, religion or ethnicity.
The company seeks consumers’ views and feedback on the design and delivery of the product, service and payment plan.
Consumer Protection Indicators for Companies
To enable in-depth and systematic assessment of companies’ performance against the Consumer Protection Principles, a set of indicators has been developed for each principle plus an overarching field on Governance and Management.
The indicators, alongside the Self-Assessment Tool, allow companies to measure their performance in Consumer Protection, identify strengths and weaknesses, and monitor their progress against their internal baseline over time. The results can also facilitate a dialogue between companies and investors by providing quantitative data and evidence of performance in a standardised format.
The process to define the Indicators was led by GOGLA’s Consumer Protection Working Group and included several consultation rounds, trial self-assessments with several companies, and focus groups discussions with consumers. This group is responsible for maintaining the standards and will make periodic additions and revisions.