Which? exposes “National” double glazing companies

Which? LogoIn 2010 Which? posed as a potential double glazed windows and doors customer, and asked Anglian, Everest, Safestyle, and Weatherseal/Zenith Staybrite to visit at least four addresses each across Britain, and give them a quote for double glazing. The Which? “probe finds false claims from big firms’ reps.”

According to the report on their findings on the Which? website, their undercover investigation found that “some salespeople in the £1.2bn-a-year industry were making dodgy claims – such as saying they were part of a government scrappage system that doesn’t exist – and pressurising people with discounts into signing up.”

Sadly for the double glazing industry the “Which? experts were astounded by the tactics used”, which included:
a) six out of 18 salespeople made misleading claims, such as ‘We’ve been tested by the government and were chosen for its scrappage scheme’ by an Anglian salesperson
b) seven out of the 18 salespeople offered a discount if the undercover researcher signed up immediately
fifteen out of 18 offered significant savings, often half the ‘original’ price — the biggest drop was £16,926 from an Everest salesperson
c) many of the salespeople offered a lower price with a ‘credit deal’

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, says: ‘As a homeowner, replacing your windows is one of the most expensive jobs you’re likely to face, which is why we’re so disappointed to discover salespeople from the biggest names in the double glazing business making outlandish claims and using hard sell tactics.’

I deplore all hard sell tactics, which continue to give the double glazing industry a bad name and unfairly tar many reputable local independent double glazing manufacturers and installers with the same brush, even though many have a genuine “no pressure promise” like Hazlemere Window Company in High Wycombe, Bucks. I find that the unprofessional behaviour (as exposed in the Which? probe) of some individual sales persons representing the “Nationals” actually is counter productive, driving customers away, as it is my experience that no customer wants any form of pressure applied to them when facing such an important investment decision – I certainly don’t!

Consequently, I am proud to work for a family run firm that does not tolerate any hard sell tactics, plus prides itself on being more than happy to leave a detailed written quotation with a customer for them to consider in their own time, and in their own space. Plus customers can browse unpestered seven days a week through our home improvement showroom on Cressex Business Park, seeing what they are going to get in relaxed environment before having to make any form of commitment.

This rather damming report on the national double glazing companies carried out by Which? serves as a reminder that there is sadly far too many selfish, pushy and uncaring people still working for the big boys. What I don’t understand is why don’t the National double glazing companies exposed by Which? clean up their representative’s acts? Surely they must see the damage it is doing to their brands and the entire industry? Maybe they don’t care about the industry or their repuation? Well boys and girls, as William Shakespeare wrote “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Hamlet Act 1 Scene 4) and needs sorting – fast!

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