HOUSTON – When you pay money for a product and sign a contract, you expect to get what you paid for, especially if it’s thousands of dollars. A popular window company is accused of taking customers’ money and ghosting them for months, some for more than a year. Windows can be a great upgrade but for some, it’s turning into an expensive and risky investment.
“I think we probably could save money in the long run if we just get double pane windows, you know,” said Letty Hermann.
Gary and Letty Hermann needed new windows for their Montgomery County home. A sales rep from America’s Choice Windows visited.
“They offered what I felt was a fair price. So and the salesman did seem knowledgeable,” said Gary Hermann.
They paid $3,600 in May 2022 for half of the order and they were warned upfront about a wait.
“She said, ‘You’re not going to hear for a while.’ So, but we waited two or three months,” said Letty. “We started making a few phone calls and they would say, ‘We’ll call you when we know something.’ Now it was September. They should have been installing them.”
“Every time we call, we were promised they would look into it and get right back to us. We have never had one, not one, return call, never,” said Gary Hermann.
Now, almost a full year since that first payment - nothing. And they are still out all of that money.
“Every dollar counts for us just like any other family,” said Gary.
The Hermanns are not alone.
“A pattern of complaints just like this the same type of situation,” said Dan Parsons, President of the Better Business Bureau.
Common customer complaints to the BBB include poor communication, installation delays, damage to homes or windows, and customers paying money and not receiving updates.
“It’s the supply chain. It’s boats waiting from China to deliver it. It’s labor. It’s all this,” said Parsons. “But you missed one element. It’s talking to your customer who’s paid five, six, four, five big figures to tell them what’s going on.”
The complaints are so bad, the Better Business Bureau revoked the company’s accreditation. They have an “F” rating and just one out of four stars.
“When you’re not responsive, you make money. That’s starting to cross into the criminal side into the intent side. So I think people need to get with our file. We they need to file with the district attorney’s office,” said Parsons.
“At this point, I’m very uncomfortable with even proceeding. But what do we do?” said Gary.
We stopped by America’s Choice Windows to get answers
When no one from America’s Choice Windows returned our calls or emails, we dropped by their League City office. Owner Tra Martin says Hermann’s windows are specialty custom windows and they’re still being made in Ohio. We asked for a timeline.
“I would give it to them if I could but if manufacturing doesn’t give me an ETA, which is our biggest hurdle since COVID,” said Martin.
Martin called a representative of the manufacturer to back up his story. Delays on special orders since COVID are unprecedented and real. But when we asked when anyone at America’s Choice had last spoken with the Hermann about their windows, he said it was November. Martin decided to refund the couple’s money and cut a check for the $3,600.
“It didn’t take the course we wanted to, but things happen, and we want to make it right,” he said.
SEE MORE: Watch Amy’s full interview with Martin in the player above.
We should mention Martin thinks the BBB only gave him an “F” because he refused to renew his membership as an accredited business. The BBB maintains it wouldn’t accept the money and instead revoked the company’s license for failing to respond to customer complaints.