Only 7% of Which? members trust double glazing companies. Not that surprising when they’re renowned for dubious selling techniques, and steep price drops are a familiar part of the sales patter.
But building regulations mean we don’t really have a choice but to install double glazing when windows need replacing.
So when you’re shopping for new windows, should you trust the big names like Anglian and Everest, or should you go for a smaller, less well-known local firm?
Independent double glazers do better
Our latest satisfaction survey of double glazing companies found that that independent traders perform better and might even be cheaper.
The four big national companies (Anglian, Everest, Safestyle and Zenith Staybrite) are apparently leaving customers less satisfied than those who went with an independent double glazing company. As one Which? member said:
‘Local firms rely on word of mouth for their reputation and in a small town they cannot afford to let this slip.’
Local firms could be cheaper too
And, while you might assume you could get a better deal using a large firm, that’s not necessarily the case.
We sent a price questionnaire to Which? Local recommended double glazing traders to get the average prices you should expect to pay for different double glazing jobs.
We also sent the same questionnaire to Anglian, Everest, Safestyle and Zenith Staybrite. Both Everest and Safestyle declined to share their prices, with Everest telling us, ‘It’s no secret that we charge a premium price for our products’.
Anglian and Zenith both provided their prices, but we found that these were typically higher than those quoted by the independent traders who responded.
Problems getting double glazing
What’s more, those using local independents are also less likely to experience problems. Of those members who used local firms, around two thirds didn’t have a problem. But this figure fell to just over half for those who went with one of the big four companies.
The most common problems were: delivering the wrong parts, scratched glass, windows not fitting properly, installation taking longer than planned and installers causing damage to a property’s interior. Each of these problems were nearly always more common with the big four.
So, if you’re planning to get new double glazing, will our research influence whether you go for an independent or a big name? And if you’ve recently had windows fitted, who did you go with and how did they do?