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Double Glazing Guarantees, are they worth the paper they are written on?

Know Your Rights

Double Glazing Guarantees, are they worth the paper they are written on? Some firms offer what appear to be fantastic guarantees on their work. While they may offer useful extra cover, do not choose a company just because of its guarantee.

Most companies now offer an Insurance Backed Guarantee. It is important to check out what is actually covered. Is the whole project including the installation works covered? Are the frames and the glass covered for different time periods? In the case of conservatories, will the guarantee also cover the base and groundwork's?

There are a number of organisations around which "sell" insurance backed guarantees to double glazing companies. One such organisation is IPWFI Ltd - but there are many others. Another interesting site is that of the The Consumer Protection Association. They offer both Deposit Indemnity and an Insurance Backed Guarantees. They state that deposits paid to licenced companies for installations can be covered by the Consumerguard Insurance Scheme provided the sum paid does not exceed £2500 or 25% of the net contract price, which ever is the lessor (subject to conditions).

You may also find that it is more difficult to claim under a guarantee that you thought. Always read the guarantee carefully, and remember that whatever the terms on offer your rights under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 will still apply.

You should note that the insurance part of the guarantee only "kicks in" if the installing company goes out of business through Bankruptcy or Liquidation. In some instances it also covers retirement. Please note, the insurance company will not be able to assist you if you are unlucky and have a company who will not honour its obligations but still continues to be in business. In those cases your only alternative may be to report the company to trading standards or take legal action.

So do not assume that because a company offers an Insurance Backed Guarantee - that all will be OK. You still need to check the company out, speak to existing customers, view installations and perhaps above all - do not be guided by price alone.

One Final Note - Make sure you receive a copy of the Insurance Backed Guarantee / Deposit Indemnity paperwork. We have heard of many instances of this important paperwork not being handed over.

Image Credits: Nuglas, Dial a Conservatory

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