Ibraheem Ipy

Inferior Windows Doors Cowboy Workmanship Dishonest Co Director

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The Window Centre Harrow (eehg.co.uk) fitted replacement windows and doors in my property in June 2016 and using this bunch of incompetent cowboys was one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made. Having paid a considerable amount of money for what I was told were high quality windows and doors, what I actually ended up with was faulty windows, draughty doors, an appalling standard of workmanship and a company director who doesn’t know how to tell the truth. I am currently suing The Window Centre of Alexandra Avenue, Rayners Lane Harrow for a full refund and have also asked the court to consider a suitable amount of compensation for more than two years of stress and aggravation. I initially met with a friendly sales rep who didn’t hard sell but who did spend considerable time telling me that their windows and doors were superior quality and that all of their installers were highly trained, competent and that installations would be completed with precision and expertise. As I subsequently found out nothing could have been further from the truth. During the initial installation instead of removing four panes of glass carefully and in one piece they were recklessly smashed outwards so that both flower beds on either side of the porch ended up full of broken glass. Plants in both beds most of which had been there for many years were damaged and trampled on by the installers and all but one had to be dug up. Inside the house a toilet cistern was chipped, there were scratches on two chrome light switches and the frames of two paintings were damaged. One had a large chip the other was badly scratched. At the end of the job I was left to sweep up a week's worth of cigarette butts which had been discarded on my driveway and in front of my house. Due to the amount of time they spent sitting in their van smoking and the fact that one left to go on holiday half way through the job, it took five days to complete the job instead of three. Just a couple of weeks after they had left and some of the windows were already catching. After contacting The Window Centre Harrow I had a visit from their technician who made various adjustments and lubricated three or four windows. A few weeks later and more were catching. In the months that followed the technician returned regularly to try and resolve various problems that arose with both windows and doors. As well as making numerous adjustments and lubricating movable parts, three windows were removed and refitted. A groove was also filed into one of the upvc window frames and two metal plates were removed from another in a desperate attempt to try and stop both windows from catching. When I contacted The Window Centre to tell them the patio doors were not opening properly I was told it must be due to the recent spell of hot weather. One had dropped so wouldn't close and the other wouldn't open without a struggle. It had nothing to do with the weather because they had been like that for some time but I hadn’t had a chance to get in touch with them any sooner. The technician subsequently removed and refitted both doors yet a short time later more adjustments were needed because there was a draught coming through one of them. As winter closed in I noticed the kitchen door was also incredibly draughty when it was closed but not locked. It didn’t take long to establish that not only did the door not fit well into the surrounding upvc frame but when you pushed the top and bottom corners they moved outwards significantly and large gaps could be seen. During a later meeting with Mr B the company director he told me that in order for the door to be draught proof it had to be locked because only then would the compression seals be squeezed tightly enough together to prevent a draught. He told me the reason why the top and bottom corners moved outwards when the door was unlocked was because it was only being held closed by the lock in the centre. My previous door which had been in place for almost twenty years was of a similar design yet unlike this one had a lip in the frame so that when the door was closed it was held tightly shut. Ironically during the initial sales consultation I was told that the door I would be purchasing was more secure and better quality than the one I had in place at that time. Over the next few months several adjustments were made to the kitchen door but still it didn’t fit snugly into the frame hence continued to be draughty. It was removed and refitted at least three times possibly four, the second time under the supervision of Mr B the company director. They have never been able to resolve the problem of the draught and even when the door is closed with the locking mechanism activated hence the compression seals are squeezed tightly together, it’s STILL draughty! After the door was re installed for the second time the handle became very stiff and I was subsequently told during a later meeting that it was because it had not been fitted back correctly following the last adjustment. The door now has to be slammed shut in order for it to catch. Despite several adjustments to the right side patio door it’s still draughty and there is now also a significant draught coming through the left side door as well. Another issue that was raised very early on was in relation to long strips of plastic which The Window Centre Harrow refer to as “trims”. These were used to cover the damage caused to brickwork and plasterwork during the installation and are glued using a permanent adhesive to all four sides of the brand new window frame and adjacent wall. After less than six months visible cracking could be seen running vertically down the length of each trim where it was stuck to the wall. During the sales consultation I had been told that any damage to brickwork and plasterwork would be “made good” and my attention was drawn to point ten of their terms and conditions where this is confirmed in black and white. I replied my saying I really wasn’t bothered about damage to surrounding brickwork or plasterwork because I have building work starting soon after the installation and the house will then be decorated from top to bottom. Clearly their idea of “making good” was to cover the damage up with wide strips of plastic. Not only had different sized trims been used around different windows but they were excessively wide with the largest being almost four centimetres or one and a half inches. The widest trims had been used around the smaller windows whilst the slightly narrower ones were used around patio doors and larger windows. I didn’t like these ugly strips of plastic from the onset but didn’t say anything initially as having been glued to the window frames there clearly wasn’t much I could do about it. Now that they had all cracked away from the walls however, I wanted them gone. It quickly became apparent that wouldn’t be easy because the adhesive was permanent and could never be removed completely. I therefore had to reluctantly agree to a narrower more discreet strip of beading which would also cover the ugly glue marks on the window frames. When the new beading was fitted the standard of workmanship was once again terrible and because it was so much slimmer than the original trims that had been used, the damage which had been caused to brickwork and plasterwork during the installation was no longer covered. Furthermore there were now also wide uneven gaps between the beading and the wall. Having complained specifically about this issue and included it in my case against The Window Centre Harrow, Mr B company director who filed the defence on behalf of the company claims that he told me that after this beading was installed, it would need to be filled with a sealant and that can either be done either before or after the house is decorated. He went on to say that I asked that it be done afterwards. Not only is this a bare faced lie but it makes him look totally ridiculous because it should be remembered that when the original trims were fitted around the windows, the sealant was added immediately because it was a requirement in order to finish the job properly. I wasn’t asked when I would like the sealant to be added and can’t imagine any installer would ask when this should be done. Unknown to Mr B the director, during our last two meetings I had a friend present whilst we were talking whose purpose was to witness what was being said because I already suspected this matter may end up going to court. I therefore wanted someone to witness what he was saying and he has now supplied a written statement to the court to say nothing about sealant and when and if it should be applied, was ever discussed. More to the point, I believe the reason why the technician never applied sealant to fill the gaps between the new trim and the wall was because due to the gaps being so uneven, in some places they were really wide and in others less than a millimetre, it simply wasn’t practical and furthermore would have been downright ugly. Then there was the issue of the “broken corners”. During the technician’s first visit I told him the plastic corners of many of the windows were chipped. He told me they often chip because they’re only plastic. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Having raised the matter with Mr B, he told me the corners were definitely not chipped, it was the way the windows were manufactured. As well as being blatantly obvious that the corners of many of the windows are chipped especially when compared to the two which are clearly finished as they should be, the manufacturer Griffin Windows have also confirmed that they can see from photos I sent them that there are “inconsistencies” with the way the corners of the windows have been manufactured. They have even offered to replace those affected. Despite asking numerous times for Griffin Windows to clarify what is meant by “inconsistencies”, they have only said “it relates to machinery not damage”. Even after this admission by the manufacturer, Mr B still insists the corners are not chipped but are cut like that during the manufacturing process. In the expert witness report that was compiled by a surveyor who was authorized by the court and which makes up an important part of my evidence in this case, it is stated with regards to the corners that it is not clear whether they have been broken deliberately during manufacture or accidentally during handling or installation or a combination of both. Irrespective of whichever it may be, you don’t expect a quality window to have corners that have not been well finished and look like they're broken. As soon as the technician resolved one problem another occurred either with the same window or door or with another. By June 2018 almost every window in the house was making a loud scraping noise as it was opened and closed, many were catching, some were creaking and both sets of doors were still draughty. After yet another inspection by Mr B director of The Window Centre he confirmed there was a problem with the way the windows had been manufactured and said they all needed to be replaced. No offer was made to replace the doors and unbelievably, he has stated in his defence to the court that the doors are NOT draughty. His offer to replace the windows has been declined and I have asked for a full refund which is why the case is going to court. At an earlier hearing at which the defendant failed to show up, the judge presiding over this case authorised me to use a surveyor to act as an “expert witness” in order to carry out a detailed assessment on the product and quality of the installation. The survey has been completed and findings confirm that not only are both windows and doors substandard, but all have significant problems which is the reason why they either catch, scrape or both. His findings also reveal the reasons why both sets of doors are draughty and why the locking mechanism on the patio doors is making a terrible noise. This review is a slimmed down version of events but I have also written a blog which details exactly what has taken place in the two years since The Window Centre Harrow installed replacement windows and doors at my property. It can be found here: https://decentchap.blogspot.com/2018/08/replacement-windows-and-doors-review.html Although they have offered to replace the faulty windows, no offer has been made to replace the doors but they have stated they want to carry out further adjustments. In the expert witness report it states that despite numerous adjustments to both windows and doors problems have not been able to be rectified so it's advised that both be replaced. My blog includes lines of text from actual email correspondence that was exchanged between us, many photos and most importantly, the expert witness report that is being used in my case against this bunch of cheats and cowboys. Before using The Window Centre Harrow I did extensive research so that I could be certain they were a reputable company. They have many positive reviews not only against their own Google listing but also on other review websites which is the very reason why I decided to use them. If you’re considering using this company for replacement windows and doors, if nothing else please take a few moments to read the report that was compiled by the surveyor who carried out the inspection at my property. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and was authorised by the court. In closing it’s important to say that The Window Centre were always polite and answered my emails promptly, well they did initially anyway. What I have seen as this case has progressed is that they will not admit when something is wrong, they will not replace windows that are clearly faulty, the standard of workmanship carried can only be described as amateurish, careless and confirms that they have no regard for people’s property. Possibly worse than all of that put together is that the company director and man in charge of The Window Centre Harrow who I have referred to in this article as Mr B, comes across as a genuine and likeable person but he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He has blatantly lied in his defence witness statement that’s now in the hands of the court and I don’t say that lightly. I can back up everything in my claim with photographs, email correspondence and the expert witnesses report and those documents also prove conclusively that many of the statements that have been made by him in his defence document are nothing more than bare faced lies. This case is due to be heard in December 2018 and following the hearing I will update this article to reflect the outcome. Angry
View full review
  • Standard of customer service was initially v good
  • Would not use this co again if they offered to work for free
Reason of review:
Bad quality

Preferred solution: Full refund plus compensation. Currently pursuing this matter through the courts

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