Window manufacturer complaint process

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  #1  
Old 06-06-16, 09:57 AM
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Window manufacturer complaint process

Greetings

I am in the process of resolving problems with new windows I had installed. The manufacturer is not providing solutions (making what I consider excuses, not following up). I have written two very succinct letters and I need to proceed further. I just filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. I will not name the manufacturer. No interest in bashing responses nor will I partake. Interest is in appropriate resolution. Is there a recommended procedure?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-06-16, 10:16 AM
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I wonder if you could be any more vague. What is the problem exactly? The usual procedure when there is no response to a valid problem is to lodge a complaint with the better business bureau (BBB) and possibly your state attorney general if fraud is involved.

However it remains to be seen if there is a "valid" complaint. Some people are unrealistic in their expectations... for example, they didn't want to pay for a premium window, then complain when their bargain bottom window isn't of the same quality as the one that was 5x the price.

Is the problem related to the window itself or the installation?
 
  #3  
Old 06-06-16, 10:25 AM
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As someone familiar with WI business practices, I think you have done everything you can short of taking them to court.
 
  #4  
Old 06-08-16, 05:53 AM
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Here are the window issues:
Double hung windows have cold spots (air infiltration) at numerous locations such as where the lower sash fits in the frame. Air is traveling up the vertical frame channels and then exiting into the house at the top of the lower sash. Condensation forms at these points in the winter.

Screens fit poorly letting in fly-sized bugs.

Appears to be fingerprints on the inside side of the double glass panes.

The brand was endorsed by the installer. Installation seems to a normal process. Windows are vinyl. Probably not the highest end, but certainly not the lowest. I researched the brand the best I could and they seemed to be a typical vinyl window manufacturer. It was very difficult to make an informed decision because so much info I found was posted was from people that “they didn't want to pay for a premium window, then complain when their bargain bottom window isn't of the same quality as the one that was 5x the price.” I am not a novice when it comes to DIY and home improvements, so I did the best research I could.
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-16, 08:35 PM
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What you have described could be related to the window or to the install, nothing much more than unspecific venting in both posts.

As XSleeper pointed out, you are being vague and not saying much of anything specific.

What did your "succinct" letters say? And what was the window company's reply? Define "not the best"?

Without mentioning the company, and if appropriate their specific window line, it's difficult for the experts like XSleeper to make an useful reply to your comments.

Sliding windows, vertical or horizontal, tend to have the highest air infiltration rate of window designs as the nature of the beast. Some are worse than others of course and some are much better than others.

If you think that your window performance is substandard compared with what might be considered "normal" performance, then revealing the window company/line might help to elicit a reasonable response from the pros here either confirming your suspicion of substandard performance for the window you purchased or else possibly suggesting that your expectations are skewed to being overly optimistic.

I am wondering if perhaps you are withholding the name because you don't want to risk the chance of being told that you made a bad decision on your purchase, preferring instead vague confirmation that you have been wronged somehow.

Frankly, based on the feel of your two posts, and imagining much the same tone in your dealings with the manufacturer, I am leaning toward the window company at this point in your alleged dispute.
 
  #6  
Old 06-08-16, 09:07 PM
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Well, suffice to say that every window design that has a AAMA/NFRC sticker has been tested to a standard, and every window has ratings based on the air infiltration and water pressure they can withstand. Some windows are obviously better than others, and they get better ratings.

It may sound strange, but EVERY window has a "allowable" amount of air infiltration. In other words, the window you bought has been tested, and rated... and as long as it is performing within those specs, there really is not a valid complaint that can be lodged against the mfg.

I know what you are referring to with the channelling. Most often that problem is exaserbated by an installer who installed the window a little bit out of square, so the sash is not sealing as well as it should when its closed. (The homeowner not keeping them locked is another common problem.... love driving 50 miles to fix that problem in the winter.) On the other hand, even if installed perfectly, some windows will have some channelling when it's windy. I know some companies try to install foam blocks in the channels to help with that.

As far as the glass is concerned, I was told once during a window factory tour that if there is a defect in the insulating glass mfg process, it has to be visible from 10 feet away or it continues down the line. Not sure how common that is, but I see small defects like lint or impurities in between the glass more than i like. Can't say that it's right or wrong... just the way it is. Would be interesting to know the standard when it comes to that. The fingerprints also shriek low budget. A high quality window mfg would not allow that to happen in their plant to 1000's of windows.

Poor screens seem to be a good indicator of a poor window. If they can't even get the screen right, it sounds like a pretty low quality window to me. I've also seen installers who accidentally put screens on backwards and didn't know the difference. (Some can't be flipped either way).
 
  #7  
Old 06-12-16, 06:06 AM
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What is being called “vague” by some is simply me not wanting to get in to manufacturer bashing. I am looking for ideas and procedures site users have taken when they have a complaint about any product or service. I can’t be the first person to inquire about such a process.

One reason I do not post questions on such sites as this one is because users go on tangents and do not address the issue at hand.

Xsleeper, your post on 06-08-16, 09:07 PM is excellent info to know before buying windows. If there is not a “How to select a window manufacturer” or “things to look for in a new window” on this site, I suggest a non-manufacturer one is created by the experts.
 
  #8  
Old 06-12-16, 06:11 AM
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Be more specific as requested. The Mods on this site will make sure the post stay on topic. All though I agree you may not want to mention the brand, sometimes it's germane to the problem. Show us your letter and black out specific brand or names if need be.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 06-12-16 at 06:27 AM.
  #9  
Old 06-12-16, 07:27 AM
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To me the complaint process depends on what type of company installed the windows. Was the installer/vendor a local company or a national company?

My point is any complaints about installed products should be addressed to the installer.

It doesn't matter if the installer is local or national, the only reason I asked is because if the company is national, it's easier to take the issue to high levels and get it resolved.
 
  #10  
Old 01-12-17, 08:40 AM
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I am the OP. It’s been awhile since I visited this forum. Life gets in the way…

I am in the process of getting estimates to replace the windows. I’ve been told by one contractor that the argon gas has leaked out between the panes, causing the panes to bow in. He states this because there are two reflections when looking through the window. I doubted this, but it is true. When I look through the window from the outside, I can see two reflections of a tree (for example). The first is clear and sharp, and the second, fuzzy, transparent, and offset about .5” from the first reflection. I assume the reflections are caused by the two panes. They should inline, but because the panes are bowed, the reflections are offset.

I’ve heard many things since I started this project. I don’t doubt the contractor, but the preceding is new to me. I’ve research argon gas leaking from windows and it will result in bowed panes. Has anyone heard of the “reflection” test? As a warranty issue, I need to be confident before contacting the manufacturer.

The manufacturer is regional (Midwest).
 
  #11  
Old 01-12-17, 09:25 AM
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Normally the gas leaking out from between the panes results in a fogged appearance to the glass.
 
  #12  
Old 01-12-17, 09:43 AM
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Double hung windows have cold spots (air infiltration) at numerous locations such as where the lower sash fits in the frame. Air is traveling up the vertical frame channels and then exiting into the house at the top of the lower sash. Condensation forms at these points in the winter.

Screens fit poorly letting in fly-sized bugs.
None of these previously mentioned issues have anything to do with the "argon leaving the glass" but that's just another in a long list of problems. Cosmetic problem, but another knock against them. I've even heard of the glass getting so concave that it acts as a lens, focusing the sunlight onto neighboring houses... melting their vinyl siding!

In very cold weather insulated glass units will do that, especially large ones. It has to do with the air pressure inside the sealed unit. See this pdf for an explanation.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...yViXU2FpyScS4w

It is true that argon can "leak out" of a sealed unit (basically atom by atom) but the rate at which this happens is unknown and is said by some mfg's to be about 1% per year. In other words, not a lot. Unless you know for a fact that your windows have argon in the first place, that is just a theory. Its more likely to be pure bs from a guy trying to sell you new windows and is using that as ammunition. Pure bs.

Hopefully replacing your windows with better ones will solve all your issues. But even the best window when poorly installed will still result in problems and complaints.
 
  #13  
Old 01-12-17, 09:45 AM
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Yes the double rreflection is true. That is why headsup displays on cars must use a special film.
 
  #14  
Old 01-12-17, 09:53 AM
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The 2 reflections are normal and have nothing to do with the glass being bowed. If they were not bowed, you would still have 2 reflections. Take any double paned window, light a Bic lighter next to it, and you will see 2 reflections. Its because there are 2 surfaces, not one.
 
  #15  
Old 01-16-17, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for the replies. XSleeper, your link to the pdf is appreciated as the doc contained good info. I am continuing to work on the window problems.
 
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