There are thousands of renovation and window replacement companies in Canada today fighting for your business. So why is the replacement industry at large treated with so much mistrust? What should you look out for when picking an Edmonton window company?
There actually are a number of companies in the city that capitalize on customer’s total lack of knowledge to make money. Another reason is that in an attempt to make themselves look good, project consultants often try to paint their competition in a bad light, pointing out what other companies don’t have.
But how do you separate fact from fiction and make sure that you sign with a company that won’t head for the hills with your money?
At a very basic level each window company should have these things:
1. Bonded and insured
Bonded companies are protected against theft, fraud, but more importantly for home renovation industry employee incompetence. If a Edmonton window company is bonded it is in their best interest to complete the work as specified in the contract. If the agreement is not met and the client is paid the bond to hire someone else, the insurance company can pursue the business to recover the reimbursement. That’s why a presence of a bond and/or insurance is often a sign that the company takes their work seriously.
2. Cancellation Policy
It’s true that the whole point of running a business is to make a profit. But some companies push it so far, they completely forget they are dealing with real people with real needs. That’s why as a customer you shouldn’t be afraid to ask to cancel a contract and get your down payment. In fact, this is a law in many provinces. In Alberta, for example, the law stipulates you have ten days from the day of signing to cancel your contract and get a refund. If you changed your mind a couple days after signing and the company is refusing to reimburse you, they probably aren’t that concerned when it comes to client satisfaction.
3. Post-Installation Inspection
This is a big one. Pretty much all companies today offer a post-installation inspection, but how it’s done can vary greatly from business to business. Are the installers responsible for the inspection or does the company send a designated supervisor? Is the supervisor there to be critical and scrutinizing of the window installation or are they there to back installer opinions in an argument? Depending on how a company answers these questions the final result and satisfaction with your installation can be very different. Although the supervisor works for the company you hired their level of satisfaction with the job should ideally align with the customer.
4. A Service Department
The quickest and surest way to lose your money and any trust in a renovation company is to go with one that doesn’t have its own designated service department. In fact, if you start researching online reviews for local window suppliers you will see that most dissatisfied customers aren’t upset about the quality of the product or the installation, but rather the fact that they can’t get the company to come out and perform warranty service. Many companies still leave the scheduling of measurements and installation to their installers. This is a major red flag. That generally means an installer will get back to you to fix something once all their ongoing jobs are done, which could be once. Having a designated representative not only means your service concerns are addressed and noted, it also generally implies a more prompt response and action from the company.
Realistically, this list could be expanded to include a lot more. Every company should have a BBB (Better Business Bureau) listing for example. That allows you to see what complaints have been filed against them and how the business responded to customer demands for resolution. Even when they have a BBB complaint filed against them, a lot of companies still refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing or shortcoming.
In the end, it is all about doing as much research as you can about a potential window company. There isn’t a company that doesn’t have poor or negative reviews, just like there isn’t one that doesn’t have great reviews. But a customer’s subjective experience aside, there are things that every company must have in place not only to be desirable but to also make sure they are treating their customers with care and fairness.
Learn everything you need to know about getting a window replacement:
Find out how much a new window project should cost
See our full line of vinyl replacement windows
Follow the replacement process in our visual INFOGRAPHIC