Some months back we decided we needed to have a glazier:
- Replace our front door and the window above it
- Replace the two faulty double glazing units in our back bedroom
After obtaining several quotes we settled on BJH Windows and Conservatories of Farlington. Not only did we choose them because they were by far the cheapest, but also because they had fitted a new back door for us a couple of years ago and had done a superb job.
This is a decision I now regret.
Before I tell the tale, I should say this: individually, the problems I experienced with BJH were relatively minor, and the end result really isn’t bad – not great, but reasonably adequate given the price. I realise that we all have bad days, we all make mistakes etc. but when the problems accumulate like this, you can’t help feeling somewhat let down.
So here’s my story, as best I recall:
At first, things went well. Appointments for both the quote and measure up were kept, and were handled professionally. We were promised that once we had paid a deposit and sent off the deposit insurance paperwork then work would start as soon as possible. So I did my bit, and then waited.
Eventually I called BJH and asked for a fitting date. At the time, nothing was available, so I called again some days later and was finally given a date when work would commence.
I had to call them
I was to expect someone on Wednesday June 10th. I arranged for my wife to be at home that day, and waited in whilst she took my son to school. Having no idea what time they were likely to come, I called BJH at around 9:30 AM. I was told that one of the fitters was off sick, so they couldn’t come that afternoon as planned.
I had to call them.
Later that day, we arranged for the fitter to come between 8:30 and 9:00 on the morning of Thursday 18th June.
At 9:00 on 18th I called to check that the fitter was still coming. They assured me he was, and indeed he arrived a few minutes later.
The fitter was late.
Unfortunately, neither my wife nor I were able to remain at home, so I left the fitter to it and went to work.
When I arrived home, I was very disappointed to find that there were numerous faults with the work that had been done:
- My doorbell was missing.
- Down the left hand side of the front door, on the inside, there was a great big gap in the trim.
- The door wouldn’t open properly because it fouled on a (tatty looking) piece of trim.
- The spy-hole in the front door had not been tightened up, so it rotated when the cover was opened.
- The panel that formed the inside of the font door was not straight in the frame.
- The trim above the door was not cut around the coving very neatly.
- The new window above the front door was dirty.
- The back bedroom window handles were loose.
- There was a mess on the floor under the window in the back bedroom.
- The new back bedroom windows were not clean.
- The fitter had left one of his tools behind on a shelf in the back bedroom.
This is quite a catalog of errors.
Naturally, I called BJH first thing the following morning (19th) to complain. The receptionist claimed that it was the first time in 12 years that she had had a complaint about a job like this. She explained that no manager was available, but that someone would call me back.
By 12:00 mid day I had heard nothing. I called and was put through to a manager immediately.
Couldn’t the manager have phoned me?
I explained about the poor job, and agreed that the manager would come to examine the work. “I can only apologise”, he said. As mid-day Friday was too late to sort anything out before the weekend, he agreed to come at 9:00 on Tuesday 23rd.
The manager arrived on the 23rd at 9:15, and apologised for being late, blaming the traffic for his being delayed.
Could he have left earlier, knowing traffic is heavy in the morning?
The manager agreed that the fitter had made mistakes. He agreed that they would be put right. An appointment was made to do remedial work first thing the following Friday, 23rd June.
At 9:15 on the 23rd, I phoned r find out if the remedial work was going to be done. I explained that I couldn’t wait in as I had to go to work. The receptionist told be that she would get back to me immediately.
At 9:30 I called again.
So much for immediately.
This time I spoke to the manager I had dealt with before. He explained that the there had been a mix-up, and that the fitter did not realise he needed to come to me first thing – he was planning to come later in the day. He had called the fitter and he had downed tools on his other job and was on his way. I replied that I was already late for work, was leaving immediately and that nobody would be in to let him in.
Later in the day, I called again.
Me doing the chasing. Again.
The same manager said he “can only apologise”, and agree that the remedial work would be carried out first thing the following Monday, 29th June at 9:00 AM. Thankfully, I still hadn’t paid for the work at this point (only the deposit). I stated that unless someone came on Monday then I would get another company in to rectify the problems and deduct the cost of doing so from the bill.
It shouldn’t have to make threats.
The Remedial Work
On the Monday, the fitter and his mate arrived at 9:00 as promised. I left them to carry out the remedial work.
When I arrived home in the evening, most of the work had been done. However, despite the manager’s promises:
- The new windows were still not clean.
- The trim above the door had not been re-cut around the ceiling mouldings.
I can live with these minor irritations. I shouldn’t have to, but I will.
I shouldn’t have to live with broken promises.
In addition to this, however, a large bottle of solvent had been left in the front room with the lid off. Apart from the fumes (my wife said that the house reeked when she got in), an open bottle of solvent is hardly the best thing to leave lying around in a house occupied by an inquisitive 4-year-old. Quite why the fitters were in the front room in the first place remains a mystery.
An open bottle of solvent, in reach of a small child…!
Given the problems I experienced, it would have been courteous if someone from BJH had called me to ask if I was happy with the work. Needless to say, I have not heard from BJH since this date.
I’m not inclined to do any more chasing.
Finally, I decided to just pay the bill and get BJH out of my hair. I found the invoice somewhat confusing. The amounts were correct, but they listed the replacement door as a back door rather than a front door. Unfortunately, this just confirmed my general impression of the company.
They couldn’t even get the bill right.
BJH: Failing the Test, Time After Time
In conclusion, I’ll say this: these are my experiences (as best I remember), and may not be representative of BJH’s work in general. They have done some excellent work for me in the past. On this occasion, however, I feel let down. I will think twice before asking BJH to do any work for me in the future.