• Report: #1081777

Complaint Review: Hunter Douglas, Pearl River, NY

  • Submitted: Wed, September 04, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, September 04, 2013

  • Reported By: ahall — Chicago Illinois
Hunter Douglas, Pearl River, NY
1 Blue Hill Plz Ste 1569 Pearl River, New York USA

Hunter Douglas, Pearl River, NY Hunter Douglas, Double Standard (same problem as MK, different outcome) Pearl River New York

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Meh

*Author of original report: Dear Hunter Douglas Schill

*Consumer Suggestion: Reply

*Author of original report: Buyer Beware, aka Hunter Douglas Personnel

*Consumer Suggestion: Buyer Beware

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I was in the process of looking up the CEO and senior management at Hunter Douglas in Pearl River, New York and I came across this web site. I fully intend to send a copy of this complaint and all my documentation (the information on the original installer and copies of all the checks paid to repair companies to rectify the many issues with these blinds) to the CEO of Hunter Douglas but felt that this is a legitimate forum to post a legitimate complaint for the benefit of other consumers.

Much like MK, who happens to be my suburban neighbor, roughly 10 years ago, my husband and I purchased $10,000 worth of motorized Luminettes for our high-rise condo in Licoln Park, Chicago. The coverage needed was for floor to ceiling windows on 3 walls of our 3,000 sq. foot condo (east, west, and south - the sunniest 3 of 4 directions).

A neighbor recommended a friend of a friend who was an authorized Hunter Douglas dealer. We shopped around a bit and ended up hiring her since she priced the shades about $1,000 less than other companies. I believe the initial problems began here. The woman's name was Annette. I'd have to go to my storage locker to find out her exact name and company (which I am willing to do at this point). She came and measured for the shades. Many, many repair companies later have informed me that she did not measure correctly which I have been told has resulted in one of the many issues I'm facing. When it came time to install the shades, Annette brought her "fiancee" to do the work. I questioned her about whether he was experienced in doing this since his full time job was working for a bank or something. She assured me he knew what he was doing. The hanging was completed in the evening so I wasn't able to really assess the work in sunny conditions. Bonus - they threw the packaging in our garbage room without asking. I was fined $200 by our building for the removal of boxes that were not broken down.

The next morning, the sun came blasting through the two inch gap on the floor and through what were billed to me as "black out" shades. Also, there were what appeared to be blotches in the vanes of just the master bedroom shades (I'm guessing that's where my $1,000 savings came from).When I called Annette, she told me,"Sorry. They are actually, "room darkening". She also gave me the name or repair shop to lower the shades. I told her I thought she should come and make the adjustments. She told me her fiancee was too busy with his full time job to come back. I also told her about the fine for the garbage. She told me box removal was not part of the "install". When I called Hunter Douglas for the first time to report this, they told me I would have to take it up with the installer. I pointed out to Hunter Douglas that as a consumer I rely on them to accredit anyone Hunter Douglas authorizes to represent them. They approved this woman to sell and install their product, yet, they refused to get involved.

OVer a barrell. I paid for another company to come out and correct the length problem. Without going through the year by year issues, I will list the many, many problems these shades have caused us. The money we have spent repairing these blinds has come close to the price of full replacement.

- just like mk, the cheap plastic brackets that holds the headrails continued to break, dropping the headrail and the blinds. I paid for numerous replacements to this faulty part. The repair person I had a year ago admitted to me that these were replaced by Hunter Douglas with better material but I would have to pay to for the labor to have them each replaced. Needless to say, many are still the cheap plastic brackets - I have no idea which are and which aren't - which previous repair people simply added numerous brackets all alog the track in hopes of strengthening the support. 

- failure to fully close/popping problem. Every single one of my 10 sets of floor to ceiling windows will not fully close in one of the tilt directions. And as time goes on, the opening of the failure to close in one direction becomes larger. A number of repair peoplpe have told me this is because the original installer did not measure properly. Again, a call to Hunter Douglas yielded no results. The answer was to send the blinds back for a headrail replacement often at my cost. No NEW MEAUREMENTS WERE EVER TAKEN TO ENSURE THE PROBLEM DID NOT PERSIST. Even after I made that point to Hunter Douglas.

- the problem became SO bad in the two northeast rooms, east bedroom and office, I finally just gave up and switched those to manual shades, even though I paid for the much higher ticket motorized shade. AND STILL there continues to be a problem with the full closing in one tilt direction. The manual shade in the master bedroom's manaul tilt closer was put in backwards so I have to remember to turn the wand in the opposite direction of the other manual shades - another annoyance.

- the added bonus of sending the shades back means we are wiith out any window covering for 10 weeks! I first resorted to the paper blackout shades (sadly, Redi Shades, keep out more light than the Luminettes). We ultimately paid to have back out fabric shades made (suprise, not cheap) to cover the barely "room darkening" Luminettes in the bedrooms and also for the many times the shades had to be removed to go back to Hunter Douglas.

- the head rail in one of the guest bedrooms became so broken that we had to replace the entire headrail and SURPRISE a new motor because Hunter Douglas discontinued the motor we presently have in the other motorized shades. So much for the lifetime warranty. Also the rf signal is erratic at best and there is no rhyme or reason why the shades open/tilt.

- last year our building ordere a complete window system replacements. All the window treatments had to be removed. I took the opportunity to have the shades cleaned, inspected, repaired and reinstalled. What came back was additional problems.

a) the manual shade in the office no longer tilted and then failed to open at all

b) the large motorized Luminette covering our west window would tilt but would no longer open. It has not been open in almost a year. 

We have paid for repair visit after repair visit. The last repair company has excellent installer/repair people. The owner does not seem to fully grasp the volume of probelms here and therefore cannot be relied upon to relaty the issues to Hunter Douglas. I personally called Hunter Douglas and spoke to Liz Perez, Consumer Affairs. She said all the right things and I really, really believed we were finally on the right track to get this rectified.

She promised to get back to me after reviewing theissues and speaking to installers (as I requested). When I didn't hear from her in two weeks, I sent her an e-mail asking what the status/resolution of my issues were to be. She told me she was still working on it. I found out she only spoke to the owner of the company that did the repair and not the repair/installers who were on sight and fully grasped the many, many problems with these shades. 

I also asked/begged Liz to have the Hunter Douglas rep come to my home and inspect the Luminettes and discuss these repeat, frustrating, costly problems. This was not addressed. I understand the last representative unfortunately died. I assume there is no new rep. I'm not sure why.

After no further communication from Liz, a letter arrived in overnight mail from none other than Scott Swift, Vice President, Customer Information. I was not made aware that Liz was hanging off my case to Mr. Swift. Mr. Swift's letter reads as follows:

Ms. xxx,

Hunter Douglas would like to formally apologize for the operational concerns regarding your Hunter Douglas Luminette shading. As per our records, your shadings were replaced as a customer accommodation in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

Given the dates and age of your shading, the motorization components are no longer covered under the Lifetime Limited Warranty (enclosed) and are not subject to warranty replacement.

As a continued accommodation, Hunter Douglas will offer a 35% discount towards the purchase of any replacement shading deemed necessary by your current shadings inability to be repaired.

Sincerely,

Scott Swift 

I have rarely felt the kind of violation from any person or company that I feel about Hunter Douglas. I have to assume Mr. Swift has not been fully apprised of the complexity of my particular situation. Even so, Hunter Douglas keeps better record than the Germans and I believe he easily could have educated himself on the myriad of issues that have plagued us since the days the Luminettes were installed.

First of all, I don't have "operational concerns". We have had complete and total failure of most/all of the shades purchased from and installed by a Hunter Douglas authorized dealer. Mr. Swift appears to have records of Hunter Douglas fulfilling the terms of a Lifetime Warranty, referring to that as a "customer accommodation" but makes no mention of the cost associated with the labor charge to take the shades down, buy more paper Redi Shades, and the labor charge to put them back up, OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.

I am even more confused by the moving target/definition of Lifetime Warranty. I did not choose to have Hunter Douglas discontinue the style motor I was sold. The whole idea of a Lifetime Warranty is to ensure the product is covered for the life of it's use.

"As a continued accommodation"... he cannot be serious. I have never felt accommodated. I have only felt ignored, abused, and left completely to my own devices and expense to have these faulty shades continually patched up.

While I was happy for MK, that the same Mr. Swift told her a "warranty is a warranty" and Hunter Douglas stands behind their product, AND is replacing ALL of her blinds with brand new, higher quality blinds, I AM EVEN MORE ABSOLUTELY dumbfounded at the response I received.

I can't believe Hunter Douglas has put me through this hell for the past 10 years and the best they can offer is a 35% discount on my further investment in their product!? The inconsistency and mistreatment is incomprehensible.

Save yourself some misery and DO NOT buy this product. My odyssey of repair company after repair company and the exhorbitant cost not to mention the labyrinth that is the customer service arm of Hunter Douglas should be enough to dissuade anyone from buying anything from Hunter Douglas.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/04/2013 09:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Hunter-Douglas-Pearl-River-NY/Pearl-River-New-York-10965/Hunter-Douglas-Pearl-River-NY-Hunter-Douglas-Double-Standard-same-problem-as-MK-diff-1081777. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 2Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Meh

AUTHOR: Retailer - ()

The Ripoff Report is a public forum.  Don't participate in open forums if you cannot handle a rebuttal.

Your complaint is full of contradictions.  The intial problems, as you stated, began with Annette and all subsequent problematic handling of your order/installation was ultimately because Annette would not make things right.  You hired the deadbeat. Get over it.

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#2 Author of original report

Dear Hunter Douglas Schill

AUTHOR: ahall - ()

What are you doing inserting yourself in this. You are a windbag absent the facts - you don't anything about my situation, the dealer, the installer, or my warranty contract with Hunter Douglas. It is irresponsible of you to make judgements as an "alleged" observer.

Not only that, the disparity in HD customer service is ALL over this RIP OFF forum. Use your eyes and brains and READ!

If you are a Hunter Douglas employee and represent Hunter Douglas, crawl out from under your rock and say who you are so I can include this with my legal complaint.

If you are such a reputable dealer, state your name and your business' name or continue to hide in the shadows of cowardice. (I am not holding my breath.)

Otherwise, get out of this.

Again, thanks for reigniting this flame. I am sure Hunter Douglas will greatly appreciate this too.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Reply

AUTHOR: Retailer - ()

There are different levels of HD Dealers.  The top tier are their Gallery Dealers.  Anyone can become an "authorized dealer", but you can be guaranteed that not everyone will provide the same level of customer service or knowledge.  That's pretty clear from what I've read about Annette. Whether you choose to believe me or not, it is the consumer's responsibility to check all dealer references and chose the best dealer suitable for their needs.  Did Annette have a showroom or was she a small dealer who had an HD account and a few design books?  Did you pay her in full before carefully inspecting the job?

You don't want to understand that HD does not take responsibility for installation errors.  Read your warranty from HD. Review your warranty from Annette.

Annette sub contracted the installation.  If the installers are certified as a basic or master installer, by HD, then Annette has additional consumer guarantees, if there was an installation error.

HD is a woldwide leader in window fashions and continuously makes product improvements. Their competiion can't keep up. If the shade failed due to a defective part, you had options.  Your option was to pay for the labor to repair/replace the part.  As per your warranty, parts are covered...labor is not.  Clear?

Perhaps you don't realize that HD does not franchise.  All dealers are independantly owned and operated, like myself.  I handle very large volume sales and also manage claims routinely.  I am no schill.  Had you visited a reputable Dealer, like myself, I would have worked very hard for you to ensure your complete satisfaction...within reason, of course!  If I make a mistake, I take full responsibility.  The other day, I replaced a $2400.00 shade at my expense because it was the right thing to do...I mismeasured.  My customers are my lifeline and they are all very precious.  I have sold many competitors products and have chosen HD exclusively because of their excellent consumer support.

As I mentioned, you don't seem to have all your facts correct, so you ought to exercise caution when applying blame, with a broad brush, in a public forum.  Such careless complaints negatively affect businesses who operate daily in a professional and courteous way.  That's not reasonable, nor fair and diminishes the value of your public complaint.  

You were lured by Annette who abandoned you.  How is that anyones elses fault?

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#4 Author of original report

Buyer Beware, aka Hunter Douglas Personnel

AUTHOR: ahall - ()

Wow, a new low even for Hunter Douglas. Having schills post responses.

I went with Annette because she was an "authorized Hunter Douglas dealer" AND INSTALLER which means sanctioned by Hunter Douglas. Which means she is Hunter Douglas' agent. She was in fact not the cheapest as you wrongly presumed. She had good references so who knows why she sucked at my house.

Had five bids, chose the second most expensive. And again, AUTHORIZED by Hunter Douglas, their legal agent.

WHAT are you talking about concerning the warranty. You are exactly wrong. IT IS A LIFETIME warranty that  comes with the product and covers ANY mechanical failure of the product. I didn't pay for a warranty on top of the $10,000 I paid for the shade. The lifetime warranty has been honored for other customers and one in fact just like mine. Talk about due diligence? How about remedial reading of the facts. Read MK's post which triggered my post. You are uninformed. Or maybe HD modified their terrible products' warranty becauase of it's reliable failure rate.

The plastic parts FAILED. Not upgraded. Any car company that knows they've installed a faulty part, sends a recall letter. A reputable car company that is. Any reputable company that is.

Right. Hunter Douglas' agent did not measure properly. Why would I know anything about dominant sides or Luminette measuring protocol. And yes, their agent said black out. And yes, HD's fault for making her an authorized dealer and installer without proper training, due diligence and follow up with customers to assess her.

LIFETIME WARRANTY. Are you in possession of all of your faculties?

Libelous claims? Facts are not libelous.

But thanks for putting this back on the front burner for me. I have been dealing with a terminally ill parent this past year and now that I'm not, after reading your post, I have engaged an attorney to address this with Hunter Douglas or as she suggested after reading their product literature and these letters, solicit a class action.

THANK YOU!!

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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Buyer Beware

AUTHOR: Retailer - ()

After reading your complaint, I can't help but notice that you hired a friend of a friend and went with her because she was $1000.00 less.  Was it worth it?? That kind of savings and subsequent problems suggests that Annette, not Hunter Douglas, was inexperienced and is at fault.  Everything you described is related to poor measuring, poor installation and service.  The fact that your vendor abandoned you is proof of her inexperience...she ran away. You also must assume fault for not performing due diligence whenever contracting with a new company/person. Hunter Douglas does offer an accredited installation services for it's dealers, in certain areas.  It does not sound like Annette had any accreditations at all.  Is that HD's fault?  

Next time, get three bids.  Select the middle bid and make sure you work with an authorized Gallery dealer, who has references.  You should not blame Hunter Douglas for these mentioned problems because you are responsible for whomever you decide to contract with.

Also, know your warranty...it's part of your purchase.  You should not complain about a warranty that you seemed more than willing to buy.  Your warranty covers parts and the labor to fix the part.  It does not cover take down, re-installing, shipping or packaging.  

The plastic parts have been upgraded.  Most reputeable companies continually make improvements, just like Hunter Douglas.  Would you not expect the same improvements with car companies, etc?

The fabric vanes have a dominant open side, either left or right, as specified during the order process.  It sounds like Annette does not know this, like yourself.

Lumintetts provide "room darkening".  They are not full black-out systems like you get in some hotels.  Annette sold you Luminttes and had no clue what she was selling, just as much as you had no clue what you were purchasing.  HD's fault?

The so-called "complete and total failure" occurred outside of your warranty, which is 5 years on motorized products.  HD offerred you a 35% discount to repair or replace your old shades or motors.  Can you name any other company that would offer such a deal?  Again, you are squawking about a warranty that has expired, which you should have known about!

You should be careful about libelous claims when, in fact, you are resonsible for much of the mess by hiring a cheap, inexperienced vendor, who abandoned you.  

 

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