Window Replacement Becomes Real Pain
Posted September 23, 2003 3:02 a.m. EDT
KNIGHTDALE, N.C. — Houses are full of projects. It seems as soon as one is paid for, another project is waiting. Dianne Farmer wanted new windows, but all she got was a big pain.
Last March, Farmer paid Classic Designs of Raleigh to replace her old, wooden windows with vinyl panes. She paid $2,400 -- 60 percent of the total cost -- up front.
Farmer felt good about the company because her sister recommended it.
"What better reference do you need than that?" she said.
The installation was supposed to happen within five weeks. When it did not, Farmer started calling owner Mark Shibles, who blamed the delays on rainy weather, which, at first, seemed reasonable.
"After about two months, my husband said, 'I don't think we're getting these windows.' I was still having faith. I'm like,'No, they're going to come through,'" she said.
Weeks passed and Farmer kept calling. When she still did not have new windows in July, she told Shibles she wanted a refund.
"When he told us he was going to give the money back, it was always 'It's in the mail. It's in the mail.' It was always in the mail,'" she said.
The check never made it to Farmer's mail box. She complained to the North Carolina attorney general and Shibles did not respond. Then she called Five On Your Side.
Shibles first told WRAL the check went out "today." He blamed the installation delay on the "weather" and on "problems with installers" and admitted to "dragging his feet" a little.
When the check did not arrive in a few days, Five On Your Side called Shibles again.
The next day, Farmer found the hand-delivered check for $2,394 in her mailbox.
"A check! We got a check! I said,'Is it real?' That was my excitement for the day," Farmer said. Farmer immediately cashed the check.
Classic Design of Raleigh has an unsatisfactory record with the
Better Business Bureau