Double glazing sales tactics exposedOur probe finds false claims from big firms' reps

23 June 2010

Man measuring stained glass window

You're entitled to have problems with double glazing put right.

Some salespeople from the biggest names in double glazing are using misleading claims and hard sell tactics to get homeowners to sign up.

Posing as a potential customer, we asked Anglian, Everest, Safestyle, and Weatherseal/Zenith Staybrite to visit at least four addresses each across Britain, and give us a quote for double glazing.

Our undercover investigation found that some salespeople in the £1.2bn-a-year industry were making dodgy claims - such as saying they were part of a government scrappage system that doesn’t exist - and pressurising people with discounts into signing up.

If you're planning to buy double glazing check out the Which? guide on how to buy double glazing, which includes advice about sales and quotes, and what to do if you have a complaint.

Double glazing sales tactics 

Which? experts were astounded by the tactics used, which included:

  • six out of 18 salespeople made misleading claims, such as ‘We’ve been tested by the government and were chosen for its scrappage scheme’ by an Anglian salesperson
  • seven out of the 18 salespeople offered a discount if the undercover researcher signed up immediately
  • fifteen out of 18 offered significant savings, often half the ‘original’ price – the biggest drop was £16,926 from an Everest salesperson
  • many of the salespeople offered a lower price with a ‘credit deal’ but working out how much you’d pay was incredibly 

If you're looking for a reliable double glazing installer, visit Which? Local. This has more than 1,000 double glaziers recommended by Which? members.

Trading standards officers

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, says: 'As a homeowner, replacing your windows is one of the most expensive jobs you’re likely to face, which is why we’re so disappointed to discover salespeople from the biggest names in the double glazing business making outlandish claims and using hard sell tactics.'

Which? will follow up the investigation by reporting the findings to trading standards officers and the Office of Fair Trading. Which? hopes the introduction of the Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme, launched in May, will help improve the industry.