When it comes to buying double glazing, it is often the sales representative rather than the customer who is in control of the ordering process.
There are many reasons for this, not least that the topic of double glazing is a rather esoteric one, and people often do not know which questions to ask when looking into the many different options that are available. The companies, both local and national, know this for well, and often deliberately mislead people into making the most expensive purchase possible.
Here are some questions that you can ask of the double glazing company which you are looking into, or of the salesman who is offering you the quote.
How much is the deposit?
Often, double glazing sales people try and get as large a deposit as possible upfront. This can leave you exposed if when the work is completed, you feel that the contract has not been fulfilled to your expectations. For this reason, look to pay no more than 25% of the total cost of the window fitting as a deposit, and be extremely wary of any incentive which works on you paying more – for example ‘special rates’ if you pay a very high deposit.
How will you pay the deposit?
In the UK, any purchase made with a credit card protects you against a breach of contract, as it is the credit card company who become jointly liable with the firm who have done the work.
For this reason, it is advisable to pay your deposit on credit card, as this will offer you a level of protection should the work not be carried out as agreed.
In addition, there are numerous cases where salespeople have taken deposits for businesses that are about to go bankrupt, or which go bankrupt prior to the contract being fulfilled. By paying on credit card you offer yourself a level of protection, as claiming money from a liquidator can often be a difficult process.
Is the company FENSA registered?
There are over 9000 FENSA registered companies in the UK, and it is advised to go with a company who do use the FENESTRATION - SELF ASSESSMENT as a mean of measuring their work against UK building regulations.
FENSA are currently on a drive to convey to homeowners the benefits of using a registered installer, and whilst opting for a company which is registered does not guarantee a hassle free installation, it does indicate a level of achievement on behalf of the company. Considering the costs involved in installing new windows, this should give you, the customer, some piece of mind in knowing that you are about to use a trustworthy firm.
Can you see examples of the company’s work?
Most, if not all, companies will be happy to show some of their work if you ask them to. But be aware, they are unlikely to take you around a project which has not gone smoothly. For this reason, you could ask your friends and family for their experiences, or check online to see feedback on the firm. When using the internet to check up on a company, keep in mind that people are more likely to report negative experiences than positive ones – a sad fact of life – and, especially in the case of UK wide companies – this can generate an appearance of incompetence where really the overall picture is actually of decent work.
In addition, as with everything on the internet nowadays, companies will use forums to both mislead potential consumers in regard to their successes, and also try to discredit the work of their competitors.
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