• Report: #308946

Complaint Review: Home Windpower/ Hank Zevallos

  • Submitted: Thu, February 14, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, February 19, 2008

  • Reported By:Acton California
Home Windpower/ Hank Zevallos
25491 Paramount Dr. Tehachapi, California U.S.A.

Home Windpower/ Hank Zevallos Alternative Energy Scammer works with Bergey Windpower Company to take your money away Tehachapi California

*General Comment: Hank Zevallos was terminally ill at this time

*Author of original report: Mike Bergey of Bergey Wind Power and Hank Zevallos of Home Windpower......Let's see if we can explain this one more time.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Bergey Windpower Responds

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Update-Feb.14, 2008

We received a partial refund from Hank Zevallos after weeks of unanswered phone calls, letters, and emails to both him and Bergey Windpower. Our contract, written and verbal, states that all money would be refunded in the event that the permits and energy credits were not secured. Another lie! Hank decided to keep a portion of our money as a "nominal fee" for services he didn't render. It's unfortunate that we have to take him to small claims court to recoup these funds, which will now include our finance charges for the 3 months he had our money and did nothing, plus court fees.

We contacted Mike Bergey from Bergey Windpower and he seemed to feel that a partial refund was sufficient. He was very unconcerned that his dealer had not returned all our money as promised. Obviously his loyalty lies with the dealer and not the customer. This should make you leary of the integrity of their product. Unfortunately not only did he lose our future business, but anyone in our area, especially our immediate neighbors will be notified of their attitude. Mr. Bergey made it sound like the amount still owed us was insignificant and we should be happy we got most of it back. What gives him the right to determine what amount is insignificant to us? If it is so insignificant why not offer to give it back to us himself. We wouldn't have accepted it because he doesn't owe it to us, but he could have offered. He said he was sure there were expenses involved that Hank needed to recoup??? What expenses? He didn't even show us any documentation of what he did. Why, because he didn't do anything. We did everything. We gave him the list of parcels adjoining our property for the permit letter. We took the digital pictures of the site. We gave him the info for the Topo map. We took the GPS reading of the site. He didn't even file the California Energy Commission Tax Credit!! He did nothing but hold our money for over 3 months and then refuse to return it, while we paid interest on it through our home equity line of credit. I guess that is a good way to make a living. Take an order for something, do nothing, then when the people get wise, hold some of their money back and call it a "Nominal fee". Plus he got to keep the money in a bank for 3 months and possibly getting interest on it or using it for something else. Why else would the check bounce? And Bergey agrees with this?

It also concerns us that Mr. Bergey held a check from Hank Zevallos when it bounced due to insufficient funds, yet ordered the anchors for the tower and had them shipped to us. He then billed us for the shipping, both ways. Maybe he should take the time to read the contracts that his dealers sign with their customers which state, "Purchase subject to permit and CEC rebate being secured". He obviously jumped the gun and started ordering things without knowledge that the permits and rebate had not been secured...and all this on an insufficient funds check from Hank. How money hungry are these people?

This would be a good investigative report for 20/20.
Alternative Energy Con Game-Watch your money blow away!

Acton, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/14/2008 03:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Home-Windpower-Hank-Zevallos/Tehachapi-California-93561/Home-Windpower-Hank-Zevallos-Alternative-Energy-Scammer-works-with-Bergey-Windpower-Compa-308946. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Hank Zevallos was terminally ill at this time

AUTHOR: Deedleedee - ()

Hi, I have no connection with this case at all but I happen to know of Hank Zevallos through a mutual friend. I never met him but I'm a musician so I had some interest in his story as he had a small but significant role in the areas and music journalism and promotion in the US.

I thought it might help to explain that, around the time of these events, Hank was suffering from a malignant brain tumour.

I'm not sure at exactly what date he started to experience definite symptoms, but I've just checked some old emails and online conversations and I can confirm that as of June 2009 Hank had already had surgery for the tumour and was gravely ill. He hadn't ever recovered full consciousness after the surgery and remained in a coma for the rest of his life.

He died on 5th March 2011. You can read a brief obituary here:


As far as I am aware he had always been deeply committed to wind energy and was a serious and conscientious person when it came to his business. But my guess is that he was already suffering the gradually escalating  ill-effects of his brain cancer in 2008 or even earlier. I know it's too late for this to help anyone in a material way, but I hope it may offer some explanation and allow some closure.
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#2 Author of original report

Mike Bergey of Bergey Wind Power and Hank Zevallos of Home Windpower......Let's see if we can explain this one more time.

AUTHOR: Acton - (U.S.A.)

We have come to the conclusion that we may have been too harsh with Mr. Bergey in our report of the situation. Since it is true that he is not the one who sold us the wind turbine; we had to rely on his independent dealer of his product. This dealer represents Bergeys reputation and reliability. Mr. Bergey needs to understand that if he has a dealer out there that is shady or unreliable it reflects upon his good name of 30+ years.

When we called Mr. Bergey we were only trying to make him aware of the fact that there was a situation going on that had the potential of making his company look bad. It is really sad that he interpreted our concern not only for ourselves but for him as BS. To his credit, if not for his involvement, we probably wouldnt have even received the partial refund we did from Hank Zevallos. But what Mr. Bergey doesnt understand is that we have asked Hank repeatedly for an accounting of what he did during the 3 months he had our money, and he refuses to answer. Just how does he justify keeping almost $700 of our money for something he didnt do? (We know that seems like a small amount to keep, considering the overall amount we gave him, but it is the principal of the thing. It isnt even the money that is eating us anymore, but the fact that you have turned this around on us. Hank wont even tell us why he kept it. And if he does that to 10 people that is $7000. That is a pretty good salary for 3 months of doing nothing. ) We paid interest on that money thru our home equity line of credit, only to get nothing but a big headache. Is that fair? He falsely used another persons contractors license, telling us that it was his. He lied about being bonded and insured. Is that fair? In California that is illegal. If he or someone on his crew were to get hurt, we could lose our house.

Please reread our report and you will see a basic preponderance of evidence to support our claim.

1. We did all the work. i.e. Took the photos, GPS readings, gave a list of parcels to be contacted, etc.
2. Hank didnt file the necessary forms with the California Energy Commission-Per their office nothing was ever filed
3. Hank sent Mr. Bergey a bad check
4. Hank called Nellie at Bergey Windpower and told her it is imperative that they return his bad check before he could refund our money: Trying to cover his back so we would have no proof against him. We have no reason to doubt Nellie or feel that she would need to lie about it to us. She was very compassionate.
5. On Jan. 29th, Hank promised Mr. Bergey that he would call us the next day and we would have all of our money by the end of the week. Not only did Hank not call but he waited another 10 days to send a partial refund.
6. Hank continually ignored our phone calls and letters asking to resolve this matter.
7. Hank still refuses to answer why he kept money without giving us an accounting for it. Receipts, a log of his work or phone calls on the project etc., anything. Something! A nominal fee does not explain his expenses. Why? Because there were none. And as Mr. Bergey says, if it sometimes takes 6-12 months to get the permits, why did Hank do nothing for 3 months before we canceled our contract with him? At that rate it would have taken more like 15 months. Just to get the permits!!

We just need to thank God that we found out about all the deceit and lies so early on. It could have cost us so much more.

Mr. Bergey says he will let Hank answer for himself. At this time we are not holding our breath. We dont think he has the cojones to answer by mail, by phone, or by rebuttal to this report! Why should he, hes got our money. For now. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me. We need to let our neighbors and friends know what we have been through to try to save them the same headaches.

Even if Hank brings Bergey one wind turbine sale a year it must be worth stepping all over the little guy, the customer, the disgruntled neighbor. You see Mr.Bergey, our neighbors showed us your rebuttal to their report and it didnt change their feelings about us, or you. If you are a chess player, the next move is yours.

We really arent the bad guys. We used to tell our children when they were young, "If you hang out with your friends and they get into trouble, you will be guilty by association. Be careful when you choose your friends."
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Bergey Windpower Responds

AUTHOR: Mike Bergey - (U.S.A.)

My name is Mike Bergey and I am president of Bergey Windpower Co. ( www.bergey.com ). We are a 30 year old company and we are the nation's leading supplier of small wind turbines for homes. We have installations in all 50 States and over 100 countries. We have ~ 300 dealers in the U.S. To my knowledge this is the fist time someone has accused us of being a ripoff. In fact, what we hear all the time is that we have the best reputation in the industry.

I have had exactly three telephone conversations with Mr. Tucker, all within the last week. I believe it was Monday, Feb. 11th, that Mr. Tucker called to complain that he had not gotten the refund from our dealer, Home Windpower, that he was entitled to. His premise was that our dealer had disappeared, his $15,000 deposit had been stolen and he wanted me to know what kind of business practices one of our dealers was engaged in. Though some of the things he said made my "BS detector" go off, that is a significant amount of money and a serious charge so I took him seriously. I offered to contact the dealer to try to resolve the problem. I immediately called the dealer but was only able to leave a message. The dealer, Hank Zevallos, called back a few hours later, explaining that he had been out of town and out of touch for a few days, but would call Mr. Tucker that day and get him his refund. Mr. Zevallos mentioned that he had incurred some expenses on the Tucker project. I called Mr. Tucker back to relate that information. That was all on Feb. 11th.

My third conversation with Mr. Tucker was on Thursday, Feb. 14th, when he called to say that he had only gotten a partial refund, was going to have to sue Home Windpower, and needed certain documentation from me "to avoid having to issue subpoenas". I asked how much he had received and was told all but ~ $700. When I said that that didn't seem unreasonable to me Mr. Tucker abruptly ended the call.

I am sorry that Mr. Tucker is upset, but I don't see the basis for the defaming of me or our company. Our dealers are independent contractors and Mr. Tuckers' contract was with Home Windpower. We haven't seen Mr. Tucker's contract. Mr. Tucker has not paid us any money, nor do we have any of his money through our dealer. Our dealer asked us to ship tower anchor rods and we shipped them. Mr. Tucker cancelled his order while the anchors were in shipment. When notified, we stopped the shipment and had the anchors returned to us. We have charged the dealer, not Mr. Tucker, the ~ $90 in shipping charges incurred. There were no "restocking" or overhead fees charged.

I have talked with Mr. Zavellos today about this matter and the postings. I will let him respond on the issues that he has first-hand knowledge of. I will only say that his explanation to me as to why Mr. Tucker was not due a complete refund sounded reasonable to me. One important external factor is the great difficulty and great expense involved in obtained small wind turbine zoning approvals and permits in Los Angeles County. These permits are taking 6-12 months and we had another dealer who's customer permit in Los Angeles Co. took 43 months. These permits can cost over $7,000 and the amount of work required from the dealers is mind-boggling.

Mike Bergey
Bergey Windpower Co.
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