Report: #1014057

Complaint Review: Hunter Douglas - Pearl River New York

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: mk — Naperville Illinois United States of America
  • Hunter Douglas
    1 Blue Hill Plaza
    Pearl River, New York
    United States of America

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Approximately 10 years ago we purchased $10,000.00 worth of Hunter Douglas blinds for a home with multiple tall windows.  We chose Hunter Douglas specifically because of their reputation and lifetime warranty.  What a huge mistake!!! Within the last few years they have started to break, oftentimes crashing to the ground with great force which is a real problem because of the height of them.  Eventually, someone is going to be hurt and that will be another problem.  When looking at the blind, it isn't difficult to see what is causing the problem - CHEAP PLASTIC PARTS in the headrail that snap off.  

We contacted Hunter Douglas about the problem, and they initially provided parts so we could repair the blinds ourselves.  After multiple problems, at one point they agreed to have the blind shipped to their headquarters so that they could inspect it.  We were told to write a description of the problem and that they would respond.  The blind was returned, repaired, but with no comment on the continuing problem.  It wasn't long before the problem happened again.  This time we shipped the blind in and they shipped it back, still broken, saying that they discontinued it, along with all of the parts to fix it. We spoke with Monica in their Colorado office, and she said she was very sorry but they discontinued the blind so there was nothing further they could do. When she was asked about the lifetime warranty, she said that if they discontinue the blind, the warranty is discontinued as well.  Of course they discontinued them, they were defective and they knew it!  I asked her what we should do with $10,000.00 worth of defective blinds to which of course she really didn't have an answer, only that they didn't have to warranty them anymore because they discontinued them.  

So we spent $10,000.00 and had not even 10 years worth of use out of them - more than $1,000.00 per year of use and now we are left with nothing usable.  And the worst part is, Hunter Douglas could easily remedy the problem. Instead of discontinuing the blinds and stiffing the customer, they could simply replace the headrails without having to replace the whole blind.  They choose not to - discontinuing them and the warranty was far more profitable to them than taking care of their customers and living up to their word. 

So BUYER BEWARE!!! Consider the fact that your lifetime warranty could be voided the minute you walk out of the store with your new blinds if unbeknownst to you they choose to discontinue them - and they will if they discover their design was faulty.  They are using cheap plastic parts, and this is more likely to happen than not.  Choose someone else to do business with if you don't want to end up in the same situation.   

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/14/2013 06:35 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Next time read everything before you post!

AUTHOR: mk - ()

If you feel inclined to comment on something on a forum such as this please try and read everything before you comment. Hunter Douglas replaced every one of my 10 year old blinds. Thats all documented if you had read further.  I'm glad I'm not doing business with your gallery with your attitude as it is. Not everyone can afford $10,000 every 10 years. There was a lifetime warranty on our blinds and Hunter Douglas replaced them. End of story.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

10 Years Old!

AUTHOR: Retailer - ()

Sorry, but you don't have a leg to stand on.  Any cutting edge company will constantly improve and enhance their product lines.  Hunter Douglas is no different.  Of course they have modified and improved their product offerings.  Do you think that they should sell approximately 10 year old technologies?  If so, for how long?

It would be a logistical nightmare and unfesable for any company to maintain an inventory of discontinued products/parts.

I am a Gallery Dealer and Hunter Douglas does repair discontinued shades until their parts inventory is exhausted.  At which point, your shades become non-repairable and the warranty ends.  Sometimes, they may replace the defective shades with new ones, but it all depends on the circumstances.

Also, your shades are 10 years old!  Isn't it time to refresh your window coverings? The average life cycle of traditional draperies or sheers is about 7 years and there is a 90 day to one year warranty, at best.  Be glad you enjoyed approximately 10 years with HD shades.  That is a testament to their quality.


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#3 Consumer Comment

Hunter Douglas Luminettes, almost the exact same story but not the same outcome

AUTHOR: ahall - ()

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.

- I too was given "free" parts (worm gear) so I could have the tilt gear replaced and solve the closing probelm. After paying ANOTHER repair person to come to my home, it was discovered that these were indeed not the correct part.

- 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.


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.


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#4 Author of original report

Hunter Douglas Stands Behind Their Product

AUTHOR: mk - (USA)

I originally reported that the Hunter Douglas Warranty on their blinds is a scam.  Today I am posting this update to set the record straight regarding this.  Hunter Douglas is a reputable company who definitely stands behind their product.  Though initially there appeared to be some misunderstanding at the local level regarding the status of our warranty, after speaking with Scott Swift, Vice President of Customer Information at Hunter Douglas, he assured us that a "warranty is a warranty," and Hunter Douglas stands behind their product.  In this regard, at great expense to Hunter Douglas, they are replacing all of our blinds with brand new ones that are of a higher quality than the ones we initially bought.  We couldn't be more pleased with Hunter Douglas, and know that we made the right decision in purchasing these blinds.  Their reputation and obvious commitment to doing the right thing, even at great expense to themselves, will keep us Hunter Douglas customers for life.  If you are considering purchasing Hunter Douglas blinds for your home, I would highly recommend them, and you can rest assured that they will stand behind their product should you ever encounter any difficulty.

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#5 UPDATE Employee

Hunter Douglas response

AUTHOR: Hunter Douglas Consumer Affairs - (United States of America)

Thanks for the post, I would like to talk personally with you to better understand the issue and what options are available.

Please call at your convenience.

Scott Swift Vice President Customer Information Hunter Douglas Inc. 800.438.3883
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