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Brand new customers only?

Last week I had a visit, at my request, from a double glazing salesman. A couple of days later, I was contacted by email by Trustpilot, and asked to rate and review the experience. Not something I normally do, but on this occasion I did. I gave it two stars and added this comment:

‘I asked ******* to quote for a project in my home after a visit from *******, having been lured into considering that company by the quality of its advertising. Its salesman came along, looked at my needs, played with his computer for a while, then printed out a figure that took my breath away, not just because it was over 50% above the maximum I reckoned reasonable, after a degree of preparatory research into the unit cost of materials to DIY customers, but also because it included a purported 60% discount from a top line price that was quite laughable. Frankly, the ******* approach was an insult to my intelligence, but I kept my face straight and told the salesman I would consider his quotation and get back to him. He left as fast as he could pack up his lap-top. 

‘At that point I decided to ask ******* to call on me. They did, within 24 hours. Their salesman was constructive and efficient, and did his work without the need for bells and whistles, or computer programmes. His offer price, on a take it or leave it basis, undercut ******* by around 20%, but . . . it was still presented as a heavy discount on normal list price. 

‘As if I gave a damn. I don’t care what figure double-glazing companies pluck out of the air, nor does anyone else with a few functioning brain cells. I want honest straightforward pricing that doesn’t take me for an idiot and isn’t designed to force me into an instant decision on a significant capital project.

‘******* may well get the job, after a little of the haggling its salesman said he couldn’t do, but its approach, which is industry-wide from what I can judge from this and other experiences, doesn’t exactly inspire trust.’

Today, the company’s response appeared below my review, as follows:

‘Sorry to hear you feel this way. Every job we do is tailored to our customers, as *******’s products are bespoke. 

‘All of our windows and doors are individually made to fit perfectly, therefore, our pricing structure cannot be compared to those of 3rd parties. While ******* always try to operate a transparent and competitive pricing structure, we regularly run different incentives and discounts which are applied at the sales appointment.

‘Hope this helps clarify.

‘Thanks

‘Louie (Customer Care Dept.)’

Actually, Louie, it clarifies nothing. It’s blindingly obvious that in your sector every company’s windows and doors are (or should be) made to fit perfectly. That has nothing to do with your pricing structure, and doesn’t lead to the conclusion that your prices shouldn’t be compared with your competitors. If you’d read my review properly, you’d have understood that my dissatisfaction isn’t with your structure but with your sales practice, which is completely opaque. Contrary to your company’s belief, and that of your competitor, bullshit doesn’t baffle brains.

(As it happens, neither ******* not ******* got the job. It went to a third party, a much smaller contractor, who looked at the project, understood what I wanted, drew me an acceptable plan on the spot, went away to cost it, and called me back two days later with an acceptable quote.)

Categories: General
  1. August 14, 2015 at 11:34 am

    That’s how we picked Okehampton Glass for our windows and doors. They came, they quoted two days later, and then came and fitted 17 windows and three doors in two days. Came back a few weeks later to check up as well. All for 1/3 of the price of the majors. Keep local still works best.

  2. Fergus
    August 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Well there you go; reminds me of one of your previous blogs about some kind of energy-saving nonsense by telephone. In my opinion, if you want something doing, you look for it yourself locally and in most cases you will find a local tradesman who is good, is grateful for the work, will listen to you and supply/manufacture exactly what you want and won’t disappear leaving a bad job. Go for local and we need to do that before we get swamped by all these massive chains that don’t give an F.

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