Protect Yourself From Window Scams

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated October 21, 2021
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Trying to spice up your home style by getting window replacements? Before jumping right in, it’s important to get to know your classic window scams and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim. Although in an ideal world, contractors would always be transparent, this isn’t the case. 

Unfortunately, there are plenty of companies and contractors whose intentions are not in your best interest. Luckily, we’ve listed some common window scams below and how to avoid them.

Common Window Scams

With all the information and options available, choosing replacement windows can be overwhelming. Scamming contractors can make this project all the more difficult.

Buy X, Get X Free

Contractors will often present you with a “buy x, get x free” deal, which may seem like you’ll be getting the best deal. Sometimes, window companies offer valid sales, but other times, you’ll end up paying more than you anticipated because the contractors cover up costs.

Suspiciously Low Prices

Do the rates look too good to be true? Unfortunately, they may very well be. Window replacement companies frequently present homeowners with incredibly low prices, but in reality, they hide costs, meaning you shell out more money later on. Often, companies will offer a price that actually only represents sizes that don’t fit most frames, so you’ll actually end up paying more later.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon for window companies to advertise windows at a specific price but not reveal their lacking features. Sometimes companies will also neglect extra charges for things such as sealing the windows or other installation steps.

Often, a contractor who’s trying to scam you will try to cover up any lacking features. Always read the fine print, especially if a deal seems suspiciously good. This way, you’ll avoid missing any information about the windows and what they offer.

Both Partners Must Be Present

Husband and wife looking out window
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This is a common tactic window companies employ to talk you into buying their windows on the spot. The company understands that you may want to talk things over with your partner later with this strategy.

“You Must Buy Now”

Suppose the window contractor or company is pressuring you to make a purchase immediately. In that case, you should be cautious—this usually means that they are trying to prevent you from thinking about your potential purchase. Often, window contractors will say a specific price is only available for a limited time, which is usually not true.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed

By being a knowledgeable and skeptical customer, you can learn how to make smarter decisions when buying windows and, in turn, avoid getting scammed.

Ask Lots of Questions

One of the best things to do to avoid being scammed is to ask as many questions as possible; more information makes you better equipped to make a confident decision. Critical questions might include whether there are hidden fees, the specific window functions, materials, and installation costs. If you notice that your contractor is trying to trivialize your questions, this is probably an indication that they are trying to manipulate you.

Ask for References

A good contractor or window company will be happy to provide references that include past clients. If they refuse to do this or make excuses, there is usually a reason to catch this red flag and start searching for a new contractor.

Check the Overall Prices

Don’t just believe what you hear—with every bid, you should look carefully at the overall prices to make sure you don’t fall for a scam and that you know upfront what you’re paying and what you’re getting.

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