Recommended uPVC Window Company in Gloucestershire?

Can anyone recommend a good reliable local double-glazing company in Gloucestershire?
We've had a few reps from "reputable" national companies (Everest, Safestyle, Zenith Staybrite) around for quotes, and it's getting rather tedious sitting through their 3-hour sales sessions with talk of massive discounts, dialing the manager for even more discount, pressure to sign on the night, finance deals, etc. etc. when all we want is a straight quote. It would be good to compare these people with a local firm.
By the way, all the national reps warned us NOT to use small local companies as they claimed the quality of the windows would be inferior, they'd probably use cheap recycled PVC, there would be more chance of dodgy cowboy installations, the company could disappear overnight leaving any guarantees worthless, etc. Anyone care to comment?
Thanks
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Mr Scummy wrote:

Don't ever use one of the nationals - scum of the earth.
We've used two different small local firms in Devon, and both have been a pleasure to deal with. Great product, service, and about 1/3 - 1/4 the cost of the nationals.
Find a nice, small, friendly local company. Pop in, say hello, have a chat.
Recycled PVC isn't used in frames, and don't worry about warranties - they are all equally worthless.
--
Grunff

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Mr Scummy wrote:

They don't want you to use small local firms because they want your money, everything else they say is utter bollocks. Take a butchers through your thompson local or yellow pages, find a small or medium sized advertisement for someone who is fensa certified and give them a call, their overheads are lower and their standards are the same or higher than any of the national companies, failing that, have a look in your local newspaper, you'll save money too, provided you use a firm who has a landline telephone and trading address
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Phil L wrote:

Thanks for the comments so far. I just discovered FENSA has a website that lists all their registered companies, so I'll look for some local firms there. I'll also ask around for recommendations (although our next door neighbour had all their windows replaced by a national firm - and is delighted with them! Oh well).
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Don't forget some people who have just paid well over the odds for something will swear blind its the best thing ever. Its human nature.
Steve
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On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 18:27:54 +0100, Mr Scummy wrote:

May also be worth doing a google for fensa in this group (I think). FENSA is more about making sure the right glass, unit gap etc to comply with Building Regs than quality of workmanship.

The windows we got from Anglia were fine but the agro associated with sales, installation and afterwards most certianly was not.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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wrote:

Virtually all DG Companies are FENSA registered otherwise you will need to have the local Building Inspectors involved, not necessarily a bad thing but an additional complication.
Forget FENSA registration as a Quality Assurance scheme, it is in fact a Government scam. Despite what FENSA may claim they do not qualify DG window fitters for competency, FENSA is only 'interested' if that is the right word in ensuring the windows supplied meet Building Regs.
My advice, ask around locally to find who others have used and if they are satisfied. Under no circumstances, as others have advised, go near the 'Nationals', they will grossly over charge you for absolutely no advantage in quality of their product which may very well be identical in all respects to that being supplied by you local DG Installer.
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On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 16:01:38 +0100, Mr Scummy wrote:

Of course they would they want you money! Anything goes as far as the national companies sales tactics are concerned. You have experienced the high pressure techniques, apparently huge discounts, must contact my manager, only if you sign tonight, scare stories about small companies etc...
I've had DG installed by a national, Anglian, biggest bunch of cowboys out there IMHO. Appaulling quality of installation. I was so annoyed I detailed every fault for each window, most had a half a dozen or more problems from minor things like missing fixing screw cover caps or displaced seals to complete lack of any sealant around the frame.
The fitters (subcontractors not employees of Anglian) left broken glass, bits of frame, empty sealant tubes and other rubbish all over the garden. They didn't even have their own vacume cleaner for the inside. Bugger all availabilty of compenstation, bunch of flowers for the Mrs sort of stuff. Anglian operate a sort of franschise basis, head office don't want to know about consumer problems and refer you back to the local branch.
I've also had DG installed by a medium sized local company (Window World, Carlisle). A dream by comparision, all mess cleared up, good fitting, friendly and communicative staff installers. Willing to do do things in our prefered order and reaching agreement on how best to solve problems (the reveals had suffered badly from damp and needed extensive replastering etc).
Bottom line. Find a local company, Window World (or a sister company from the "World Group") actually make the windows themselves rather than just being a supplier/fitter. If you can get independant recomendations all the better but if a small company has been trading for >10 years they must be doing something right, small time cowboys don't stay in business long, word gets around. Window World avoid any pressure selling, almost too much, you need to ask the questions but if you don't know the questions to ask...
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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What would you have expected them to say?
--
Skipweasel
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Guy King wrote:

Indeed - and that's the problem, trying to judge what bits of these reps' presentations are true/credible and what bits are total BS.
For example, one rep claimed to have a degree in chemistry while discussing why the PVC in their window frames was superior to others. It seemed unlikely, but perhaps selling double glazing pays better than chemistry and he did sound very authoritative and convincing.
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Dad had one knock as his door and open with the idea that all Dad's windows were obsolete and should be replaced. Dad asked him to put this in writing, claiming he had to discuss it with the family, then showed it to the firm that had installed the windows less than five years before - who were the same firm the salesman was from.
Much fun ensued.
--
Skipweasel
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On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 20:50:26 +0100, Mr Scummy wrote:

Perhaps he made the move for greater job satisfaction.
--
Mike W


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Christ. Is there something about the double glazing industry that brings out the worst in people?
Following my earlier posting, I filled in a brochure request form at an allegedly reputable independent website (www.windowstoday.co.uk) in the hope they might provide pointers to some good local firms. I gave my name, postal address and e-mail address, but left out my phone number since I'm only after brochures (it was a brochure request form, after all) and didn't want to risk any salesmen calling. They e-mailed back with "WROUNG PHONE NUMBER" (sic). I responded politely, explaining that I was only seeking information and wished to withhold my number for the moment (although I would probably have given it if they'd asked nicely). Their full response:
"we have no interest whatsoever in dealing with people like you".
Nice - even the salesmen from the nationals are more polite than this!
Oh well, back to the Yellow Pages...
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Reciprocated, I imagine!
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Skipweasel
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Guy King wrote:

Indeed. It was quite bizarre. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing they've missed out on a pretty big order.
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Actually, it looks like they realised quite quickly that you were gullable enough to buy from them, so they didn't stand any chance of getting an order anyway.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

WEREN'T gullible enough, I assume you mean. :)
I guess they really, really want to get hold of phone numbers (even though the form states "Please send me a brochure/information pack..." - not sure why a phone is essential for this!). Idiots. I hope anyone else considering using the windowstoday website doesn't encounter this sort of rudeness.
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Oops, yes, sorry ;-)
--
Andrew Gabriel

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from snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) contains these words:

ITYM "weren't".
--
Skipweasel
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On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 22:16:41 +0100, Mr Scummy wrote:

Or at least the chance to quote for the order. Write to the MD telling him/her this...
--
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