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msbriggs 09-28-2010 08:28 AM

Any restitution for VERY late windows?
I posted this on another forum, but didn't get much feedback, so want to post it here to see if I can get some more input.

I'm building a fully-insulated sunroom on our house, doing as much of the work myself as I can. I decided to go with some very expensive Inline triple pane windows to make a nice tight envelope, since this will be a 4-season sunroom. I ordered the windows at the beginning of June, with an expected 6 week delivery time. That worked out great for me, since I work at a university, and it is much easier for me to take time off during the summer before the fall semester starts back up. I had a contractor do the structural work (framing the walls, building and finishing the roof), and it timed out perfectly based on the expected window delivery time so that had they shown up when expected (late July), I would have been able to put those in, then do the siding, electrical, insulation, drywall, flooring, etc over the summer.

The problem is, as I kept calling the window company during July to try to get a delivery date, they never got back to me (the company is a local distributor/installer/retailer, New England Window Systems). A week after I expected the windows to be delivered, I finally found out from them that the company that actually makes the windows hadn't even started. Apparently one of the windows in the order included a type of glass that they couldn't get, so the order needed to be changed - BUT NOBODY BOTHERED TO TELL ME (for 7 weeks!). So, after spending another week trying to find out what my other choices were, and finally getting an answer, we agreed on another type of glass for that one window (one of eight), and they started the order again. Of course, by this point, they had already had my 50% deposit for several weeks.

They claimed they would try to expedite the order because of the screw-up, so each week I called trying to find out what the deal was on the windows, and each week I was given an answer along the lines of "they're in a production meeting right now, I'll call you back tomorrow when I find something out". But I would never get a call, so would just call again the next week. Repeat over and over.

Now, at week 15 (9 weeks after the windows were supposed to be delivered), the windows have been made and shipped - but only shipped to the same state as I'm in - with no plan yet on how to actually get the windows to me.

In addition to the frustration, here is the real problem - because of the extreme delay, I am not going to be able to do most of the work on the rest of the sunroom myself. The fall semester has started up, so it is much more difficult for me to take time off due to my teaching responsibilities. Without windows, siding can't go up, nor insulation, nor drywall, etc.. SO, I'm going to have to hire contractors to do that work, which is going to cost me probably around $2-3,000 more than if the windows had been on time.

For contractors, I assume a lengthy delay on windows like this would be even more of a hassle, since you would have an upset client to deal with. I talked with two contractors I know about this, and both said that they would be expecting a significant discount on the windows at this point. I have told the company that their delays are going to cost me a couple thousand dollars, and have asked for a discount - but have not gotten any response yet.

So, I wanted to check with other people to see if (a) this kind of delay is reasonable, and (b) if you would expect (and get) a discount if windows were delays this much. The big problem with a delay on windows is that it holds up the rest of the project, so I haven't been able to do a large chunk of the work I was planning on doing myself (I did at least get to do the electrical myself, which saved some money, but have been sitting idle for weeks waiting for these windows).

Thanks for any feedback.


DangerMouse 09-28-2010 08:43 AM

Hi Mike. It sure sounds like you're getting the runaround.
(Please don't swear here, it's a family forum)
If it were me, I'd have canceled the order long ago.
They certainly should give you a major discount.


Scuba_Dave 09-28-2010 08:50 AM

For my projects I usually have the windows 1st, then I start framing
I would have cancelled the order when they told me they had not started to make them @ the 7 week mark

Should you normally expect a discount....I'd think so
But based on their performance so far they obviously do not care about your business
So I would not really expect much based on that

msbriggs 09-28-2010 01:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys.

DangerMouse 09-28-2010 01:58 PM

NP, it's why they pay us the big bucks....


Ron6519 09-28-2010 01:59 PM

It doesn't seem like they really care for your business, so I wouldn't expect a discount.
You might have legal recourse, but how much time / money are you going to spend on these people?
Ask for a monetery consideration for the delay, all they can say is,"no".

msbriggs 09-28-2010 02:06 PM


Originally Posted by Ron6519 (Post 508415)
It doesn't seem like they really care for your business, so I wouldn't expect a discount.

Yeah, unfortunately that has been my impression. They don't seem to care about my business, so I doubt they care at all about whether I am a "happy customer". It just amazes me though that a company with this little concern over customer satisfaction can actually still be in business. Especially with the internet providing potential customers with a quick and easy way to search for reviews or comments on companies they might consider doing business with (something I always do before making any significant purchase. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any useful feedback before making this purchase, and I got burned).


You might have legal recourse, but how much time / money are you going to spend on these people?
Ask for a monetery consideration for the delay, all they can say is,"no".

What have I done 09-28-2010 05:31 PM

Since (the company is a local distributor/installer/retailer, New England Window Systems), WHY not hit them up to install the windows. Might be able to get a good deal to keep everyone happy. Im sure they already have installers on the payroll so to put your windows in should nto be much out of pocket for them? Just a thought

Gary in WA 09-28-2010 05:59 PM

Not to rehash......... I wouldn't trust them to install, or their subs. What is in your contract for late delivery? Welcome to the GC world!


frenchelectrican 09-28-2010 09:09 PM

Normally I am Electrician by trade and I have dealt with few super delay orders and I do not know why your window company keep stonewalling on you that was really poor bussiness pratice to do that and if they tell ya the X amount of weeks and if pass to that X date give them a buzz and if not done tell them just cancel the order many time it will get their attetion with it.

Did you have something in writing from that company ?? if so that can be a bargain leverage for you to deal with them but if they keep stonewalling you tell them that you will not pay and have the order withdrawen { Cancel } and write up a short note why and many time the CEO or higher person in charge get this message maybe they will work out something.

The last time I have order a electrical equiment which it was a specal order it was pretty delayed and I was not too happy with it and I did talk to the CEO of that company and they finally bend backward and got it for me in couple days.

In last recourse you can check with BBB { Better Bussiness Breau } (SP) and see how they rate and what the common complait is.

For legal recourse it will vares at each states but I don't know if you want to talk to legal dept for this situation but kinda long shot due the time window is running out unless you have paperwork to prove it.


msbriggs 09-29-2010 07:58 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've thought about the possibility of asking them to install the windows - but my feelings are basically what GBR said - they have shown so little interest in customer satisfaction to this point, that I have NO reason at all to trust them to do a decent job of installing the windows. So, I'd rather do that myself (and that will be relatively quick in comparison to all the other jobs that have been delayed - drywalling/mudding, siding, etc.).

I told them two weeks ago in an email that if they couldn't get the windows here soon (I'll have to see exactly what I said, I think I may have said by the end of September) that I'll just cancel the order. But, they of course just ignored that. The windows have now at least been made and shipped - but now they are saying they're having trouble finding someone to deliver them to me (they were shipped with another order, that was delivered about 50 miles away from me). I *SHOULD* have cancelled the order back in week 7 when they told me that it had not been started because I needed to change one of the types of glass. Unfortunately, I believed them when they said they would "put a rush on it".

eastside 09-29-2010 08:17 AM

Just a couple thoughts. Are the windows paid for yet? If not you still have some leverage.

I think I would notify the attorney generals office and mention that you are going to do so to the company. If you paid by credit card, you might be able to hold back payment through your cc company.

Be specific in what you expect them to do, they are not going to offer anything (why should they?). Try to estimate what the window may cost them to build. Ie, if the order was for $10k, their cost might be 6500, you might use the difference and ask for that amount for a discount. They might sell you the windows at cost but not a loss.

Good luck.

msbriggs 09-29-2010 08:36 AM

So far I have paid a 50% deposit, so I may have some leverage.

I sent the owner of the company an email yesterday (since he's hard to reach by phone), letting him know how extremely unhappy I am, and asking him what he can do to "make it right" since their screwup is going to cost me thousands of dollars in unexpected labor charges (in addition to the frustration of waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the windows, while continually being ignored). If I don't get a reasonable response (hell, ANY response) from him by this afternoon, I'll let him know that I will be filing a complain with the BBB.

I don't expect them to take a big loss on the windows - but I don't see why they should possibly make a profit from such poor customer service. They (New England Window SYstems) are ultimately a middle-man in this transaction - their sole job was to convey my order to the window manufacturer (Inline), and make sure that my order was made properly, and delivered on time. They failed abysmally at that - so I can't see how they possibly deserve to profit from such a complete lack of service.


Good luck.

DangerMouse 09-29-2010 09:34 AM

This is a very important thread to all of us. Please keep us posted as to your results, OK?
We always love a happy ending here. We all hope your problem gets resolved as well. Po)


msbriggs 09-29-2010 12:21 PM

DM, I'll definitely update this thread based on how it turns out. Both to let you all know how this story ends, and also in case anyone is considering working with these two companies (NEWS and Inline), so this will provide some first-hand information on their customer service - and how they handle things when a purchase doesn't go as planned.

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