Replacement Windows

Replacement Windows Scams

This was about 6 years ago and my wife and I were living in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.  We needed replacement windows for our 1913 farmhouse-style house.  We didn't just need three or four; we needed 25 replacement windows.  A big investment.

Calling a Replacement Window Company from the Yellow Pages

So we jabbed our finger in the Yellow Pages for the biggest ad, one of those companies that does replacement windows, fences, siding, and everything under the sun.  We called and set up an appointment.  I will not mention the name, but if you live in the DC Metro area, you know who I'm talking about.

Salesman shows up at 10:00am.  He's got:  a protege who he's training; a big suitcase containing a sample window; multiple other cases with more surprises, and other stuff.  He gives us the hard-sell.  He whips out his sample window.  He puts a light bulb on one side of the glass and a heat-meter on the other side:

"See, that proves that this window will save you a bundle in energy costs," he says,  "In fact, enough to pay for the cost of the windows."

An hour passes.  Still no quote.  Why, he tells us about low-E technology and window film and wood versus vinyl versus fiberglass.

Two hours later, lunchtime passes.  Our stomachs growl.  He's still strong at it.  Finally he gives us a quote.  Whoa, it's insanely high and we say so.

So-Called "Help" from the "Sales Manager"

"Wait, wait," he says, taking his cell phone off his belt.  "I need to call my sales manager.  I need to get his approval for lower this price."  After some haggling with the sales manager, the manager graciously agrees to lower the price another ten percent--just for us.

Another hour.  It's 1:00pm.  A window salesman from another company shows up right at his scheduled time.  I had no idea I'd still be with the first guy at 1:00pm!  I field the second guy while my poor wife gets stuck with the first guy.

When I'm done with my replacement window salesman, I go in to help out my wife.  It's going on 2:00pm.

I say, "Okay, thanks for coming by, but we need to get back to our work."  We had a drum floor sander sitting in the dining room, clocking up hourly charges from the rental yard.  The guy doesn't take the hint.

He keeps "lowering" the quote.  By now, he has "lowered it" three times, each time making some kind of big drama out of it.  If it's not the call to the "sales manager," it's some kind of dumb form he fills out to "certify" that this offer will expire at midnight tonight.

We've Had Enough

Four hours and thirty minutes later, finally our politeness breaks.

"All right," I say, "you need to go."

"Listen," he says, "if you want to do this with vinyl siding as a package deal, I can take your windows quote down another five percent."

"You don't understand," I say.  "Leave.  Now.  Vamoose.  Adios.  Go!"

You Don't Need that Kind of Aggravation

Replacement windows are not rocket science.  Replacement windows are not a complex humanitarian mission to Sudan.  Replacement windows do not rate high on your list of life priorities.

People do not make life lists that say, "#112 - Visit Taj Mahal. #113 - Fly a hot air balloon.  #114 - Buy replacement windows."

You just want new windows that look nice and that don't let the cold or heat in.  And you want to get through this unscathed.

As you probably know, with any high-ticket remodeling project, you want to get 3 estimates.  One way to make the process easier is to set up one of those quote appointments on-line.  When you fill out this on-line form for a free quote on replacement windows, it takes about 60 seconds (probably less) and links you up with a good, reputable local replacement window company that respects you.

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