Written on: 25/06/2010 by B Lewis (1 review written)
I was interested in an instore promotion for DG (double glazing)windows. UP to £250 "cashback" on replacement DG. Doing a bit of quick mental arithmatic, I reckoned that this would make replacement windows affordable for my house. They we'nt a top priority but since we moved in nov 2008 we had noticed that we were getting draughts from the existing windows which must mean we were losing heat as well.
I worked out that on average the 7 windows we needed replacing would be £500 a piece. Given that we could get back 250 on each as an average I calculated that the cost would be around £1750 (500x7=3500-250x7=1750).
An appointment was arranged there and then (Bank holiday monday!). Salesman was late but to give them their due, the office called to explain this - fair enough.
As our requirements were relatively simple, no hard sell was required. The salesman was OK, not brilliant but not too pushy. As it was all down to affordability I wanted to get down to price. After measuring up and discussing a couple of option like whether we wanted one or two opening windows etc he asked me to write down what I thought it would come to and not show him until he had worked out the cost. We then swapped papers. As I already stated I thought it woulod be around 1750, his quote was for 3600!. He asked how I came up with that figure. He explained that the £250 was a MAXIMUN payment on things like doors, french doors etc, the really big stuff. Our windows would worth around £100 each apart from the smaller ones - £50.
Sooooo, thanks very much and bye! Then the haggling began. Dear reader make sure you do this WHOEVER you choose to use. The wife got the price down to £3000. I said that I wanted to get another quote to which he replied that they had a slot booked for a large order in 2 weeks time that the company had been "stalled" on. I.E the developer was behind schedule and they had all these fitters standing by that they would have to pay anyway blah, blah, blah, blah. AND if we were happy to sign up now and have them fitted in 2 weeks(bearing in mind that he had told us 10 minutes earlier that it takes at least 3 weeks to cut the frames etc) he could do the order for £2700. That's a saving of £950!!!Some 20ish%. No hard sale - eh? Making sure that there was a cooling off period I signed up.
I did get get another quote from an independant builder who was highly recommended by my next door neighbour and the price (using the same type windows and glass) was only £200 cheaper, however the independant said that he would take 2 to 2.5 days to complete compared tp Crystals 1 day. An important factor as this would mean time off work.
As promised, the surveyor came 2 days later and said that the fitting would take 1 and a half days. Whan asked why the difference, he saidd that the salesman was wrong.
As an aside whilst the salesman was here I went on line and checked the reviews for Crystal, which on the whole were not favourable. However, it takes a lot more effort to recommend that it does to complain, a point that most people overlook and there was 1 favourable review, hence the reason I decided to take a chance. (I also promised to write a review and as I'm a man of my word . . .)
The day before fitting was due, I had heard nothing from Crystal as far as time of arrival so I contacted their office. Good point, freephone number not 0845. They said that this was not their practise as they notify time at point of sale, yeah, like I can remember that. Anyway I was told between 08.30-09.30 depending on traffic as the "fitting team" was coming from Romford where they are based. ( I live in Borehamwood herts) I got up early, just as well 'cos at 07.45 there was a Crystal van in my drive!!! To give him his due, he hadn't rung the bell and was quietly unloading. I went out to say hello and guess what? the "fitting team" was 1 man! I questioned him about this, and he said that some teams were 3 people, some 4 some 2 and obviously some 1. I asked him how long he thought the job would take and wouldn't it be quicker if there were more of them? he said about a day and a half and that the work sheet said 2 days. I found this the most disappointing part of the whole process as I had emphasised that I had wanted the work done in a day but clearly my wishes wern't important!
The fitter, Jason was pleasnt enough, got on, took virtually no breaks and finished on the first day about 15.00. Bearing in mind the physical nature of the work, not bad. Having discussed the fact that I had to go to work the next day, he said he'd be finished by 11.00 (which indeed he was).
He cleared up quite well after each day, leaving the first days' debris to take away the following day.
Overall, I'm pleased with the finished result. Small problem where the plaster came away with the old frames and the making good is not of a brilliant standard (I left with the finishing off and painting) but I think this would have been the case with any other company. The price and qality of the windows I think is excellent and therefore I feel I can recommend Crystal windows to others.
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