You might have seen adverts on Facebook or elsewhere promising you ‘help to buy windows’. Sounds good, right? Sounds like a grant of some type, possibly from the government. That’s what it’s supposed to sound like, because they’ve copied the government’s genuine ‘Help To Buy’ scheme for first time home buyers and dressed it up in similar language to draw you in.
However as usual in this industry all is not what it seems. There is no help from the government. No grants, and no funding.
The first stage is normally to ask some ‘qualifying’ questions, to check you are ‘eligible’ for the ‘help’ they are going to offer you. YOU WILL QUALIFY. That’s the whole idea.
Are your windows over five years old? 99% Yes, people don’t usually replace new windows.
Do you own your own home? Obviously yes, as tenants don’t generally buy windows.
Are you under 75? Almost certainly, because most people over 75 aren’t looking to buy windows. Are you in employment? They’re asking this to check you have the money to pay for them (because there’s no help, remember?).
The final step is usually ‘apply now’ which again suggests that like a university course or bank loan not everybody is successful because of limitations on availability, when in actual fact all you’re really ‘applying’ for is a salesman to come and give you the hard sell.
Not only are you certain to ‘qualify’, psychologically the nature of providing yes answers even to such banal questions puts you in a positive state. They’re already suggesting that you are in some way special and might get something other people won’t get. IT’S NOT TRUE.
When you speak to them they will ask if you have a partner (because they have to see both people at the same time in order to pressure you to buy). They will tell you you qualify for a discount, or money for your old windows, or some other offer. Sometimes this discount or cashback will relate to the size of your old windows. But you can’t give them the sizes over the phone. They’ll have to come out and see you. This is simply another way of getting a salesperson into your home to give you the hard sell.
Then when the salesperson does come out he’ll bombard you with a load of numbers, stats and other confusion. Eventually you’ll be made an offer including your ‘discount’ which is significantly higher than if you simply approached a fair and honest local business. They’ll try to make it more attractive with finance options which make it seem affordable but is actually more expensive again.
So that ‘help to buy’ actually boils down to the same old silly price, fake discount, manager on the phone, high pressure rubbish as usual. And the worst thing is it’s targeted at people who do need help to buy, who maybe don’t have unlimited funds, or who aren’t as aware of the tricks of the trade as others. And the result is rather than getting help and paying less, they end up pressured into paying more.
Strathclyde Windows. Exposing the secrets of the double glazing industry.