Double glazing adverts in the UK.
I feel the need to be careful on this page and not to be too specific, just in case I rattle someone's cage and find myself under threat of litigation, and for the same reason I should make it clear that the following includes hearsay and purely personal opinions:
The success or otherwise of an advert, and it's message, can be measured simply by how many 'leads' (enquires) the advertiser gets from it and, as far as 'direct sell' operations are concerned, how many 'bums on seats' (salesmen in homes) are achieved. The more leads pulled in, and the more bums on seats, the more sales made, simple!
There seems to be a particular trend in our industry at the moment for many advertisers to feel the need to shout ever increasingly louder and louder than their competitors in their quest for a larger share of the market and to satisfy their hunger for increased sales. This silly downward spiral has resulted in little more than a rash of big, brash, and often downright ridiculous (and often barely legal) variations on the theme " we are the cheapest - so cheap in fact we are virtually giving it away, but only this week, offer ends… ".
This sort of advertising message is designed to appeal to human greed, and in reality these advertisers often don't necessarily offer the best or even one of the best deals around, but it does it's job if it pulls in the leads… puts bums on seats...you're getting the picture! As long as the text in the advert is legal, it doesn’t matter to them what is claimed in the advert, as long as get the volumes of leads, and they have enough highly trained salesmen to persuade you to sign up.
As an example of one of those adverts, here is a scam that a customer of mine told me was tried on her after she replied to an advert for 'Seven windows, with as many openers as you like, fully fitted, for only £XXX':
The salesman arrived at the front door and my customer said to her something like "before you come in, what is the catch, because if there is a catch I am not interested", to which the salesman replied " there is absolutely no catch whatsoever madam", and he was shown in. The salesman proceeded to explain how they beat competitors prices: the windows on this offer were made from recycled plastic, and they will discolour and start to go yellow in 4-5 years, and the locks fitted are very basic and not at all secure, the double glazing air gap was the narrowest etc. etc. etc.
The salesman ran down everything about the windows to such an extent that my customer told me she was horrified, and would not have the windows in her house if she had won them, and was being given them free! When she told the salesperson much the same thing his reply went something like " ah, if you are really looking for quality you will want our 'premier' range of windows, I will quote you for those, and they will be a lot more expensive of course, with all of their superior features, blah, blah, blah".
So watch out for these sorts of scams, because sometimes it can be in how the advert is phrased and also in what is not said.
Same goes for being stopped in the street by a canvasser, or as you leave a D.I.Y. store:
Recently as I was leaving a D.I.Y. store and about to pass one such obstacle the lady in front of me glanced a flicker of interest at the canvasser and her little display. The canvasser pounced (very nicely) and the lady asked if the company would just do one window at a time, as that's what they wanted, just one window for now to start with. I dragged my feet and listened in: an emphatic YES, no problem, was given by the canvasser, and after the lady's name and address and details had been obtained the canvasser added "Oh I forgot, I think our minimum is two windows, and we have a special offer on at the moment where you buy two and get another two more free, but our Rep. will explain all that".
And pigs might fly! The Canvasser will get his/her "tenner" or so for getting that 'lead', and it will be another salespersons bum on another punters seat.
So, just how do you choose who you have round to give you a quote?
Well, be realistic, and don't expect 'something for nothing' because it's almost a certainty that you won't get it! Top of my list would actually be a business of local repute, and preferably one personally recommended to me by someone I know and whose judgment I trust, and who vouches for having had genuine quality of product and service, and overall real value for money. It is so easy to be taken for a ride and remember, your cash was easier to spend than it was to save!
Further reading about buying double glazing: