Knowing how to deal with double glazing salesmen can save you thousands!
Here is my story on how to get the best deal for double glazing.
We needed 11 new windows replacing a few years ago and called in a company for a quotation. He duly arrived at 2pm on the following Saturday with obigitary clipboard and tape measure. You should expect to be talked at for about 2 hours! I don't think it matters what you actually need it will take this time to go through his pitch and measure up. Make him sit on a dining room chair ( preferably made of solid oak). Do not allow him to sit on your sofa. This will prolong the process. In the beginning he will be all smiles and ask about how long you lived in the house, what kind of car you drive etc. He is really fishing to find out how much you earn and how much he can get away with. Don't give any indication that you can afford anything- so don't mention exotic holidays- just say something like "Butlins was great this year!"
After this initial banter he will show you some samples explaining what Pilkington K triple glazing glass is and go through the list of satisfied customers from his photo album. After about an hour and several cups of tea, he will measure up.
The sales part
So after measuring up he will bash his calculator several times and then make up a figure which he thought of whilst admiring your Porsche in the drive. The figure we got was £21,000 which was for 11 windows including a bay window. The normal response would be. "I only want to buy some windows not the whole company!" Instead we just laughed and said we would have to reconsider the whole idea. 10% of the cost of my house was a bit too much. Before we could draw breath he added that the price was before any discounts.
The calculator was bashed again. You could hear the keys being pressed next door such was his enthusiasm for making amends!
The next figure was £11,000. A £10,000 saving in a little under 2 minutes. To the uninitiated this seems like a fantastic deal and I am sure this is what they rely on. To be honest I would have been more impressed if the price dropped by 10%. It was at this point we realised that this was going to be a long day! You will probably go through this a couple more times at which point he will say " What price are you looking for?". We actually know from a relative that a resonable price of windows is on average about £400 each averaged over the big and little windows in a house. So we plumped for £4200
This will probably bring on the followng actions
intakes of breath, mutterings of "you're wasting my time etc, He may have to call his "boss" or he is probably just listening to his voicemails. This may go on for a few minutes before offering a one off special deal which can only be obtained if you sign up there and then. It will probably be about £1000 higher than your figure. What ever happens do not sign up even if the price sounds good. Just politely say -"OK if that is your best deal we will consider it over the next few days."
That offer will still be on the table despite what he may say.
The last thing he will do before trying to unwedge his foot from below your door is offer you something closer to your figure providing you take their finance package. Payments over18 months will get to your figure. This is good news if he offers this. He wants to sell the finance as he gets £100 for setting it up. Ask to read the small print of the finance agreement for early repayment charges. Ours had a 2% early payment penalty. so for example if your total price is 5000 the lump sum & interest paid over 18 months must be equal to this. If you then repay early i.e in one payment you will pay a penalty on the lump sum which is much less than 18 months interest.
The finance is normally arranged through another company such as GE Capital so you deal directly with them if you want to repay in full and take the penalty. You won't get the double glazing company blocking it.
Whatever you do never ever sign on the day. Any offer he makes should be valid for at least 1 week.If he tells you otherwise then question it. Afterall if you rang up in 2 days time saying you would like to place an order he won't turn you down!
Get at least 3 quotes- we went for 2 national companies and 1 local company ( who by the way were the most professional)
Change your phone number as soon as you have had the work done as you can be sure that 3 months later they will ring you to get a conservatory or a front door. That is the worst part. We must have taken 10 calls over the following 6 months.