I decided to replace our windows with impact windows and while shopping for companies to do the work, I saw Window World of West Palm Beachs TV commercials. They feature what appears to be the owner and his family promising a job that would be simply the best for less so I made an appointment for an estimate.
The salesman, John, came to our house on March 3 2015. He was pleasant and seemed very knowledgeable. John promised that he would personally oversee everything from permitting, to the installation and final inspection. John promised that the workers would cover our carpet and furniture, leaving the house as clean as it was when they started.
He said it would take 4 to 6 weeks to manufacturer the windows and it would take 2 days to install them. That schedule allowed us to have the windows installed well before I left town for the summer and the start of hurricane season. He left us a proposal to look over and compare against the others we had gotten. Window World was not the least expensive but I liked the idea of a locally run, family company and Johns personal supervision so we decided to spend the extra money and hire them.
On March 8 2015, we paid the 50% deposit and waited to hear that the windows were ready. 4 weeks after placing the deposit, I called to speak with John and see how things were going. I was told that John was unavailable and he wouldnt know anything until they got a notice of shipping from the factory. I asked if she would have John check on the status and was told the only information they get from the factory is the date when the windows ship.
I asked Abby to have John call me back. Later that week I still had not heard from John, so I called again. This time Abby told me John, was no longer with the company but the manager, Mark would follow up with me. I asked to speak to Mark right then but was told he was unavailable so I asked for him to return my call.
Several more days went by with no response so I called again. I was told Mark was not available again but he would check on the order and get back to me. Once again, my call was not returned, so I called again. I still did not get to speak to Mark but Abby told me that the windows were not even ordered yet.
Her excuse was that the permit had not been issued and they don't order the windows until they have the permit in hand. The fact is that the permit application was still sitting on Johns desk where he put it before he left. Due to the total lack of organization on Window Worlds part, they hadnt even ordered the windows, 6 weeks after we signed the contract and paid the deposit. I had no idea at the time that Window World of Palm Beach was only a satellite office of a franchise based 160 miles and 3 hours away from us in Lakeland FL.
Over the next several months I would learn that the only thing Window World had in West Palm Beach was an office with John, an assistant Abby and a phone that rang through the main office in Lakeland. Eventually I would find out that, although I was lead to believe differently, Window World does not make their windows or employ their own installers. The windows come from a supplier and the installers are subcontractors. Had I known that to start with, I would never have hired Window World.
They have no direct control over manufacturing or installation and no way to back up the promises that they make. It turns out that they didnt even have any installers in West Palm Beach, so the installers would be coming from Lakeland160 miles away. They were also going to schedule my installation around several others to combine them into one trip I made numerous calls over the next few weeks and still could not talk to Mark or anybody other than the office assistant. She insisted Mark was working on the order and would let me know when the windows arrived.
I learned that when you call the West Palm Beach number, it is routed through the Lakeland office 160 miles away. If Abby was in the local office they would transfer me, if not they took a message. It appears that Mark is the owner and he is based in Lakeland not West Palm Beach The windows finally arrived and installation was set for May 26, one week before I was scheduled to leave. We certainly did not want to start this project at that point but we had no choice.
Johns originally promise that the carpets would be covered, the furniture protected and everything cleaned up as they went was meaningless. Instead it turned into the biggest mess I have ever endured. We had removed all window coverings and moved the furniture away from the windows so that they had full access. They didn't even put down a drop cloth before they started ripping out the old windows.
There was dust everywhere and on everything. The 2 day installation started on Tuesday and ran into the following Tuesday. At one point on Friday they realized the patio doors were too big because John measured wrong. They assured me they would make them fit and said they would cut the concrete frame of the house on Monday and it wouldn't be a problem.
I asked the installers why they couldnt work on Saturday since we were so far behind schedule but they said they were going home for the weekend In the middle of the afternoon Friday, the foreman was talking to the office and found out they were supposed to have arranged an in progress inspection with the building inspector and had not done it. They made a panic call to the building department and luckily the inspector was willing to come right over since we live 3 blocks from the office. When the inspector arrived she found that several of the windows were finished. They were completely trimmed out and sealed meaning she could not see the installation.
We now faced having to remove all the trim from the finished windows so that the installation could be inspected however, the inspector accepted removing random pieces rather than all of them. Several windows did not pass and they had to add additional framing. I wish that I had made them open the rest of the windows back up for inspection, since there is no way to tell if they were done correctly or not. On Monday morning they put up some plastic around the patio door frame and taped it to the walls, floor and ceiling.
They started cutting the concrete so I went into my office and closed the door. About 10 minutes later, the security alarm went off!!! The plastic had fallen down but they didnt care and kept cutting anyway. They filled the house with so much dust that it set off the fire alarm.
The fire department arrived and although they were not happy, they felt bad for us when they saw the mess. All of this was because Window World had to modify my home to accept the doors that they measured incorrectly. After all that, the screen door did not slide properly and still does not, plus they never installed the catch to hold the screen door closed. They completed the job on Tuesday and insisted on being paid.
I told them I wanted the balance adjusted due to the delays and the mess we were going to have to clean up. The installers said I had to talk to Mark who, no surprise, was not available right then. The installers told me there was a contractors lien on the house and I had to pay the balance and discuss it with Mark later. I never did hear from Mark but thought that at least the Window World disaster was over.
I was wrong! In August while refinancing our home we found out that the contractors lien and the permit were still open since Window World never completed the final inspection and paperwork. Again we went through the process of trying to get in contact with the office and after shuffling through their files, they found our paperwork which had not been completed. They set up the final inspection but did not send anyone to attend.
I had to meet with the inspector alone and the windows failed. It seems that the model number listed on the permit was not the model number that was installed. Now after 3 months, not only did the job not pass inspection, we didnt even know if the windows that were installed, were the ones we paid for. Fortunately, the window manufacturer was very helpful.
They were able to determine that although the model number was different, the windows we got were the same quality as the ones we chose. Since these windows were on the approved list, we were able to update the permit with the actual numbers that were installed and schedule another inspection. This time, no thanks to Window World, the inspector signed off on the permit. It took several more calls to Window World but they finally submitted the paperwork to clear the contractors lien and end the project from ***.
If you are satisfied with a company that will promise you anything to get the job, do sloppy work, leave your house filthy, screw up the paperwork, ignore your phone calls, and turn a 2 day job into a 3 month fiasco, call Window World. If you are looking for a company that will actually give you simply the best for less, look elsewhere. You can clearly see why I would never recommend Window World of anywhere. Bill Hipple North Palm Beach, FL Nothing was covered, they walked on the new carpet in their dirty boots and laid their tools directly on the carpet.
They were several hours into the job when I saw this and had to put down my own covers. (see pictures) Dirt sticks to the caulking they used and although you can paint the brick, you cant paint the vinyl frames. I have never seen such a sloppy job. (see pictures) On the interior, you cant paint the vinyl frame or the floor tile.
Is this really the best? (see pictures) Within a year, the caulking is showing the poor installation and needs to be redone since water is getting under the frames (see pictures)
Review about: Window World Window Installation.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.