/ Home & Energy

Don’t fall for double glazing sales tricks

Man fitting windows

Making massive discounts may be the oldest sales trick in the book – but it’s a tactic that’s still working for the double glazing industry. Is a straightforward quote really too much to ask for?

Given the choice, would you buy a bottle of wine for £4.99, or one that was marked as ‘reduced from £12.99 to £4.99 for today only’? The answer’s obvious to you and me, which is why salesmen use this sneaky tactic to push their products, whether it’s wine or new windows.

Given the double glazing industry’s bad reputation, we wanted to see what really happens when a salesperson visits your home. So we invited 18 reps from the biggest companies to call on our undercover researchers, and recorded their sales patter. We found that 15 of the 18 quoted a high initial price only to cut it dramatically – in many cases, by half. This would clearly leave you with the impression that you’d bagged a bargain.

But have you really bagged a bargain?

Everest offered huge discounts in four out of five of its visits to our undercover researchers – if they signed up on the spot. The biggest ‘saving’ was nearly £17,000. In one of the visits from Anglian, the salesman quoted a high initial price and then admitted, ‘Obviously, you don’t pay this…’ This conversation left us wondering whether anyone pays the first quoted price at all.

The effect of these smoke and mirrors is to leave customers bewildered about what a reasonable price is. And that’s before you take into account dodgy claims about ‘government scrappage scheme’ discounts, for schemes which don’t exist.

Both Anglian and Everest bandied around government funding for discounts, but there isn’t any. So listen out for these claims as they’re a giveaway that your rep isn’t telling the truth.

How to stay savvy

The tactics used by these big firms are the oldest tricks in the book. To stay savvy, go with a firm that’s been recommended by someone you trust, and get three quotes to compare. We recently heard from a customer who’d got the big companies in to quote for his double glazing job – they knocked thousands off their initial prices. But their final quotes were still far more than he ended up paying to a small company that was recommended to him.

We’re pleased to see that a new Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme has been set up; it’s undoubtedly needed. Still, none of the big players have joined, so it’s a bit of a damp squib. Clearly, there needs to be more accountability for these dodgy sales tactics, so we’ve sent our findings to trading standards officers and asked them to investigate these firms.

Hopefully this will force these companies to understand that we’re not haggling over a bargain buy at the local market. Double glazing is a major investment, and they need to take it seriously.


Safwglaze uk have just caused utter devastation to my property. 7 out of 8 windows need to be replaced. I have left bad reviews and contacted managers , who have laughed. What else can i do?

Hi Linda, can you provide some more details about what Safeglaze have done and I can see what advice would help you best.

If you want to contact us privately, please email conversation.comments@which.co.uk and I’ll pick it up 🙂

Hi looking for advice. Safeglaze uk recently fitted / butchered new windows. Three windows utter write off with chips, 2 slanting, blood on them. All eight windows damaged. They want to replace them. I dont want them in my property again. Two seperate fitting teams: all windows damaged. Advice please?

Baljit Kaur says:
17 April 2018

Ordered a door on the 14/3/18 that was supposed to fitted on the 9/14/18 (monday) but a couple of days before, the fitter calls saying he hasn’t received the door so might not be able to fit it for the date but will call us and let us know, he didnt call so we had to chase it up ourselves. Called the Safe Glaze head office who said the door is still going to be fitted on the Monday, at this point I thought it’s best to check with the fitter too just to make sure and when I called he said that they still do not have the door but said it should be coming in on Tuesday and will let me know. Later that day some surveyors for safe glaze came to check the door and we had to advise them it had not been fitted, the lack of communication between the fitter and company is quite bad as these surveyors had a wasted journey. Tuesday came and no call so I called the fitter again as needed to know if they were coming on wednesday so we could arrange for someone to be at home. There was no response for a while then finally got through and was told the delivery wasn’t there yet so they would let me know later. No call back later so I had to chase it up again and by 5.45 was advised that the door will now be fitted the next day on the wednesday. Wednesday came and the people that fitted the door seemed ok but when they were done and we were checking it we found that they had not put the numbers on the door that we had ordered and the lock was also not the one we had ordered. The door fitter then looked at the paperwork and said “oh yeah you had ordered the different lock.” He then called the office who said the earliest they can come out for the lock and numbers was Tuesday 17th April. At this point we had lost all trust in the company and were contemplating not giving the door fitter the full remaining balance as the door was not complete but he assured us (whilst he was on the phone to the office) that the numbers and lock will definitely be fitted on Tuesday 17th so we gave the full remaining money to the door fitting people. Tuesday came and no one had turned up so we called the fitter to chase it up and was told that it hadnt been booked till the week after. We were livid at constantly being messed around. The fitter said all he can do is come out on Saturday, my brother then had a go at him and told him its not good enough and he moved it forward to Thursday. So let’s see if they turn up.  Considering the door cost £1350 the process and customer service has been awful. Was considering getting the windows done too but will not be using these guys ever again. PLEASE AVOID!

I have just paid thousands for many various glass windows, doors and bifolds etc. However, I’ve held back £1,500 until the job is finished…. and it isn’t yet. One fanlight is broken and the company in question has been out to fix it 5 times, and failed every time. They’ve also managed to measure the aperture wrong 5 times.
Currently I have a broken pane and they are asking for the balance. Do I have a legal leg to stand on if I just tell them not to bother and I’ll do the job myself! My girlfriend doesn’t want them in the house anymore because of their incompetence. They’re becoming rude and agitated. They say they can fix it next week but after 5 attempts, should I trust them? What are my options?

I’d get a quote from another glazier to supply and fix the pane then tell your main supplier that you will withhold that amount. Whether you can claim any compensation – lost work time for example – well, you could try.
Consequential loss
If a customer suffers personally because of a problem with an item, they may be able to claim damages (money to make up for it). This is called consequential loss. One example would be if a customer had to pay out more money (perhaps to hire another item) because of a faulty item that you sold them.
A more serious example would be if they suffered injury or damage because of a faulty item.
A customer who claimed damages for consequential loss would be expected to have tried to resolve the issue with the retailer first.
Claims for consequential loss do not normally cover distress, inconvenience or disappointment.

Hi Warren, really sorry to hear you’ve been having these issues. It can be very stressful when things don’t go to plan, especially when it’s an issue in your home. We’ve got a guide on how to complain about a builder. This should be able to offer you some relevant advice: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-complain-if-youre-unhappy-with-building-work

unfortunatly we agreed to have door and side panel fitted by safe glaze uk paid the hundred pound deposit and was given a date for fitting 9th july then someone phoned on the 6th to say it would now be done on the 10th ok so i clleared the porch and waited in for them no show no phone call nothing so i phoned them to ask what was going on said they phone back ..they didnt so i phoned the mobile of the salesman he gave me no of manchester office and spoke to paul who at first apologized promised to phone me back when he found out anything..nothing…phoned him next day to ask he hung up ! and no i didnt shout or anything just said hi its me again do you know whats going on ? so phoned the salesman again he did phone back and said problem with glass coming from ireland and someone would phone and let us know …no one has ! lost confidence in this company they are rude i am now of a mind to lose my 100 deposit and just ignore them any advise please

@gmartin, George – Which? said in the introduction:
We’re pleased to see that a new Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme has been set up; it’s undoubtedly needed. Still, none of the big players have joined, so it’s a bit of a damp squib. Clearly, there needs to be more accountability for these dodgy sales tactics, so we’ve sent our findings to trading standards officers and asked them to investigate these firms.”

Can Which? tell us what resulted from sending your findings to trading standards?

The double glazing window scammers are phoning flats at Good Shepherd Close BS7 8NF. This block of flats is owned and operated by a charity and we tenants have no say in major work done on the property.
Cold calling for commercial purposes should be an offence if it is not already such.

J greenhalgh says:
11 August 2018

Arrived at my father’s home this morning he’s 89. Found this company’s salesman there trying to sell him doors and windows for a porch modification he does not need. The salesman attitude is all very friendly trying to win my father’s confidence in him. I listened to what he had to say and asked him to put his quotes in writing as my farther will not be signing any document’s for work he does not need.
Then I mentioned my brother in law has his own building company, supprise supprise the cost of the work dropped as he spoke to his manager who said they had special offer on.
That old chestnut again. Strangely enough when I laughed at the salesmans tactics he could not get out of the house fast enough.


I am still waiting for Safeglaze to replace the windows they butchered at my home. I too have had little contact from them. Its most upsetting to feel duped and conned. All I have requested is a fair job for a fair price. I have followed through with their complaints procedure but I have not had an acknowledgement to this. I am still waiting for a satisfactory response.

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This comment was removed at the request of the user

Fitzroy says:
29 September 2018

Do the Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme, or any other Ombudsman really work? My experience has shown me that they don’t. They always seem to stick up/support the company that one complaint about. I believe the reason for this is because they don’t want to pay out any compensation to the victims/complainants.

Fitzroy says:
29 September 2018

I want to have my windows and doors replaced and brick up half the living room large window, but I don’t know which double glazing company I can trust that will give me an honest/true quote with good workmanship. Two reps visited to quote and both criticized each other, saying; they are the best with better windows/doors, and workmanship, etc, etc. I ended up not choosing any of them. I read reviews on Trustpilot and other sites – some are good, bad, and very bad; therefore, I’m unable to choose a company.

One company called me and offered a scrappage scheme… I listened, but in the end, I thought it was a con, so I said goodbye!

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Fitzroy, I would avoid any of the national companies and find your local double glazing companies. Visit people who have used them and see the quality of their work and service. Which? Trusted Traders should be a help. I would find a builder to brick up your window; needs to be done well otherwise it could look terrible. The inside will, presumably, need plastering; blending this properly will need some skill, or the whole wall may be best done.

There is no scrappage scheme; just a way of justifying a discount on an inflated price.

Hi Fitzroy , may i ask what area you are . I run my own home improvement company and am part of which?trusted traders and if you are not in my area i may be able to supply names of companies who can offer what you are looking for

Hi Fitzroy, you can find Which? Trusted Traders near you using our search tool here: https://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/

Safeglaze don’t manufacture their own windows and doors. They purchase them from a company in Northern Ireland. The company’s name is Camden (https://camdengroup.co.uk/) Camden are the cheapest suppliers of windows and doors in the UK and extrude their own window and door profile from reconstituted or recycled plastic. This means that the windows and doors Safeglaze install are made form old windows and doors that have been removed from previous customer’s houses when they have had new windows and doors installed. Any claims Safeglaze make about their windows and doors being manufactured from virgin plastic are not true. I know from personal experience with Camden that the windows are not of the best quality and there are inconsistencies with the way they are manufactured. The profile from which the windows are made is called Inliten. So you have two companies that have set up to trade with each other, one with a poor product, the other one who are involved in direct sales techniques accompanied by poor customer service and below quality installation methods, incorporating a poor quality product supplied by Camden. Camden offer a 15 years guarantee with their products, but I can only see disaster ahead with these two companies combining and would be surprised if the relationship lasts more than two years. Once the relationship between these two companies goes sour it will be the customer who will suffer as their 15 year guarantee will not be worth the paper it is written on.

I have had a quote for a door. I told the man who came round I wasn’t going to leave a deposit as i had just had my boiler done and had no spare cash. I am having second thought’s about Safeglaze and I am not sure if I need the door ( I have a porch and this is the inside door ). It has the best locking system with 15 years guarantee, but the outside door is fine. Because I didn’t leave a deposit, I was wondering if I can get out of the order without paying anything.

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On the 16th October I singed a contract with SafeGlaze UK for two windows and a door for my porch, and I paid £150 deposit with my credit card, the survey date was set for the 25th Oct. On the 22nd I received a phone call informing me that Safeglaze had gone out of business and that they (Future Renovations UK) were taking over the contracts still outstanding. I tried to contact Safeglaze but the phone lines have been cut off, I attempted by e mail but with no success. I looked up Companies house for NIAMAC of which SafeglazeUKis a trading style of NIAMAC and shows that NIAMAC is still trading. Is there anyone who could throw some light on what is happening here?

You are not alone George.

As you paid by credit card, you should be able to get your deposit back from your credit card company.

If you look up the address for Future Renovations UK, it is a virtual office:
152-160 city road london ec1v 2nx

Paul James says:
30 October 2018

I have placed an order for new windows and porch with safeglaze
They took my deposit of £150 On October 5th
Rang them today because I had no date for installation
No answer on all of their numbers
Can anybody throw any light on what might be happening with this company

Monica says:
1 November 2018

I am yet another victim of SafeGlazeUK.
Ordered a new porch from a salesman who sounded so convincing, (he left me with a shiny folder full of details and a flyer depicting Pam St Clements assuring customers of amazing service) and gave him a £300 deposit (£150 for Surveyor’s fee plus £150 deposit). Surveyor’s date set but the night before had a phone call to postpone for week as the Surveyor had rung in sick. Alarm bells rang so looked them up on Google and found many adverse reports of their work and/or non-attendance. Panicked in case they could use debit card details to take out more money, so Bank cancelled debit card, and then tried to ring them to cancel the contract but all numbers were unresponsive. The second Surveyor’s date came and went with no attendance or explanation. I have emailed them to cancel within the the 14 day cooling off period and the email has not ‘bounced’ but have had no reply.
I have accepted that my £300 is lost as it was no one’s fault but mine, but I want to warn others not to use this unprincipled load of con-artists and have reported them to the Trading Standards Office. The salesman sat in my living room and was given cups of tea and use of loo. How can a person earn a living doing that to people who give them their trust and money? It makes me physically sick to think of it, and I hope that such despicable lowlife get their comeuppance as soon as possible!

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As I’ve just reported it I imagine it’ll be gone, shortly. Of course, it is a Saturday.

has anyone dealt with energy glazing solutions ltd

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Have you looked up the Which? Trusted Traders? It’s a good place to start with trader research. https://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/

I signed a contract with WindowHub and paid the first instalment of £4,000 in October 2017. They promised to start the work in 6 – 8 weeks. A month later the company asked for the second instalment of £3,000 because the materials cost more than the first instalment I had already paid. I had paid £7,000 and the company had done nothing. In February 2018, WindowHub said they had a demand from HMRC VAT department for an amount in excess of £25,000 as a deposit to allow them to continue trading.

In mid-2018, WindowHub said they had financial difficulty and suggested I pay the manufacturer £1,500 directly. By this time, I was very unhappy – I felt even with all the money paid, the company had done nothing. Lots of excuses and empty promises.

Finally, in December 2018 we went to a factory (which does not belong to WindowHub) to see my windows. But until the windows are fitted, it is difficult to be sure if those windows we saw are actually for my house.

Early in January 2019, WindowHub insisted on coming to see us to discuss the details of fitting. But when here, he did not discuss details of fitting but asked for an additional £2165 (exc VAT) on top of the originally agreed amount in order to proceed. He explained that we can pay the manufacturer. He claimed that I rejected their proposed fitting date in December 2018 and the cost of labour and materials has now increased, hence the extra cost.

Enough is enough. This contract has wasted so much of my time from October 2017, led to so many arguments, time and time again raised our hopes and dashed it, so many promises but never fulfilled. I paid £8,500 to listen to WindowHub’s excuses. One and a half year, STILL NO WINDOWS, I GET NOTHING IN RETURN, and all I got are multiple excuses for delays and broken promises.

We have asked for the refund and WindowHub said we will get nothing back and they claimed that WindowHub is undergoing CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) but has not provided any details. I have asked for details of their IP (Insolvency Practitioner) but no details have been provided. I have never seen a business behave like this in my life.

Also, credit card company won’t refund the £1500 I have paid the sub manufacture that is Dimple Glazing because it is third and Credit company don’t cover. What should I do?