Thursday, August 16, 2012

New windows... not from Home Energy Masters

Its hard to see, but that's the tape
SCB put up to keep our windows in
place better...
If you haven't heard, California is currently experiencing a heat wave of epic proportions and South County Boy and I have been soooo good about not turning on the little wall unit in our home because of the increase in energy rates and because we have horrible windows that I think we deserve a standing ovation.

It's been absolutely horrible. I'm tempted to stay at work and work out just to stay in the AC building...

Which leads us to the same issue I think about every Summer and fall.

I want new sliding glass doors.

The ones we have now are the original windows that came with the property and the builders were so cheap and "speedy" that every window installed in the entire complex was put in backwards. Yup, Backwards.The door that should be inside is on the outside and the outside door on the inside.What's worst then that is that last fall when the "Santa Ana Winds" came blowing on through, we realized just how bad our slider doors were when they literally lifted out of the frames with the wind, and then kept crashing back into the track with each and every major gust...

Since the window panes don't fit in the frames, there's actually a gap that SCB has taped up and crammed a chop stick or two in to try and ward off unwanted visitors and to keep the windows from falling out. Since its been hot out, the idea of watching what little happy AC our wall unit can produce go straight out the gap in the window makes me cry and has made me so stubborn that we haven't turned it on once this year.

I've always known the windows needed to be replaced eventually, but it seems like more and more of a priority with every hot day we have and every day we get closer to October and the horrible winds... But before I figure out how much we need for the job, I knew I needed to get a few estimates to see how large an undertaking this was going to be.

My friends dad is a contractor, and when we offered the job to him he told me my place was too small to give me a good deal and that I would be better off going to home depot instead...

My neighbor did his windows from Home Depot and told me not to go there... and after their guys measured my kitchen wrong and did the plans up wrong and forgot necessary items in the order (thank goodness my friend Ralph --who put in my kitchen-- is a genius and fixed it for me), I have to say I agree with them. Home Depot is great for parts and stuff if you "do it yourself" and not pay for their contractors to install.

But I wanted an in-home estimate done because I needed a licensed contractor to do the job according the my HOA association. I filled out an online search through MyPoints and I was contacted by Home Energy Masters so many times that I finally made an appointment for them to come out to my home and take a look and give me a free estimate since they were so eager and had a good rating with the BBB.

I scheduled them for 2:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon and the company called to confirm the appointment not just once, but twice on Monday.

By 2:45pm the representative failed to show up.

I called their number and after a brief hold, the woman who scheduled my appointment came on the line and said she was going to try and contact the guy in the field to see what the problem was and if he somehow got lost. I waited 45 minutes before she called me to say that he got caught up at another quote and wouldn't be at my place until 4:00pm... (We're talking an hour and a half late...) But since I had already freed my evening up, I agreed.

At 4:10pm the rep still hadn't arrived from Home Energy Masters and I instead got a call from the "guy out in the field" and he apologized and said he just wasn't going to be able to make it to my home today, despite my appointment and their confirmations, and my flexibility...

Since i'm reasonable and they mentioned offering me a discount for their mistake should I decided to order with them, I rescheduled for the next day at 3:00pm. The field sales guy assured me that they would be there and that He had his entire day free and clear and thanked me for allowing them another opportunity to bid on my project.

And he didn't show up again!

At 3:15pm the next day I had to call the offices to yet again inquire about where my rep was... and after another 40 minutes I got a call from a different sales/field man explaining to me how he wasn't aware of what happened yesterday, but that he was assigned to come out to my home today and that at Noon he had sent a message to his boss on his cell explaining how he wouldn't make my appointment because he had someone ordering... and that his boss failed to follow through with that message and contact me. He tossed the other guy under the bus and said that he was going to be fired because this wasn't the first time he had failed to make an appointment on time... etc etc. He even offered to send me a screen shot of his phone to show me he had notified them he wouldn't make it.

After politely listening I told him flat out but nicely that I didn't care what the reason was for his absence and who's direct fault it was that no one was at my home and no one had contacted me. I told him it didn't matter because this was not the first time their company had done this to me and their behavior was creating a very disturbing pattern.

I tried to be as nice as possible as I explained that normally when a business makes a mistake and a potential customer is willing to reschedule, that, that company should be proactive and not reactive to the situation. They should have contacted me at 3pm to see that you had arrived, not the other way around. Their lack of concern for me as a potential client screams volumes about the character of their company.

But again, I'm reasonable so I told him if he or another sales rep from his company could be at my home and gone by 6:45pm, that i would at least look over the information when I compared my other estimates... I also told him that should Home Energy Masters not be able to make it out today, that they should not contact me at all for further business because someone who can't value my time does not deserve my business nor my money in this economy.

He thanked me and told me he would call me one way or the other if he would be able to make it while he finished up his order.

He called at 6:35pm to tell me he wasn't showing up...

Which by that time I already knew... While he was apologizing, he told me that it was their policy to over book schedules and that he was sorry I got the short end of the stick because they don't expect people to purchase on the spot, etc, ect...

I told him that I don't believe that's how customers should be treated and that if their company contacted me again for services that i would file a complaint with the BBB for harassing me since they made so many phone calls trying to get these very appointments that they failed to keep.

Lesson for today:
If this is how a company treats me before I pay them, imagine what they are going to do after you give them money...

I hung up the phone with him and I called my friend Ralph and asked for a referral for one of his friends who can install windows and Ralph will be coming by personally to take a look and give me an idea.


  1. You just need to go to the yellow pages and contact your local glass company. They do windows, shower doors, etc.. That's what we did and we had no problems whatsoever. Guy came, measures, gave quote, we signed the deal. They came the next day and installed.

    When you deal with a big, national company, you get crappy service. Local guys are always better.

  2. We bought Milgard (a local company for us)windows at Home Depot and then my husband installed them. It wasn't particularly difficult and it saved us tons of $$$. I guess that's a no go with the HOA though.