Zenith Windows: The Hard Sell

I am writing this to let people know what it's like to be given the hard sell by a uPVC installer. One afternoon I was asked by a badged young man whether I'd like a quotation for replacing the tired-looking fascia boards on our house. The boards certainly need some attention (the paint is flaking for one thing), and the quote would be good for two years, so I accepted the offer.

The next day a nice Algerian man called Mo came around to size up the work and put a quote in. He was very pleasant and described the fascia technology in some depth. He showed me a plastic insert, that Zenith has patented, which runs along the top of the fasica and prevents roof felt wear at the bottom of the felt. He warned me of the dangers of simply overcladding the existing wooden boards with plastic, and explained how the installers would check the felt condition up to three tiles back. They would also replace the soffits, as ours appear to be asbestos-based despite the house being only 18 years old or so. The uPVC used would be 'virgin' plastic, so Zenith guarantees against discoloration or fading for the life of the installation.

All good so far. They seem to offer a decent maintenance-free product and would make sure that felt damage would be prevented in the future.

Then came the quote. Mo's first number, the one good for two years, was £7600 for around 26m of fascia/soffit/gutter replacement. We both agreed (me and Mo) that this was too expensive, but fear not: if we allowed a sign to be put up outside for a number of weeks, we could get a discount. A few hundred pounds discount, I thought, but no! It would bring the price down to £5200, just as long as I signed up right away. I could have just the front done straight away, roughly half the work. I said that I wouldn't sign up on the spot, and Mo then asked how much I might pay for just the front. I said, given the high quality of work that was on offer, no more than £1800. A couple of calls to Mo's boss later, and Mo gave me a figure of £1760, and £4200 for the whole lot. Bargain! But I still said that I wouldn't sign up right away. Mo said that he couldn't hold the offer as the discount was coming from a first-come-first-served basis from a marketing pot of money.

So I either accept the ludicrously good offer straight away (a 55% saving over the quote good for two years) or don't get the offer again. Naturally I don't pay this sort of money without getting other quotes, and the chances are that £4200 is still way over-priced for the work involved. I hadn't had time to get other quotes before Zenith gave me their offer.

If you think you might be persuaded to sign up to something like this on the spot, and pressured to not bother getting other quotes, then do not even accept the offer of a salesman visit in the first place.


by Tony Gadsdon on 24 August 2013
Thanks for the advice. I have a Zenith man coming on Monday so I will be ready.

Thank you

by Barry Saunders on 21 November 2008
I suffered this last Friday when I was quoted for new garage doors. I asked the salesman to leave as I was not going to make my desision today.He carried on making phone calls as I was stood by the open front door waiting for him to leave.Is this still legal? I remember Kirby many years ago, I did not think this sort of sales still took place.
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