CONSUMER: Streetwise to the rescue as cracks show in new glazing from Everest

Steve Jones at his home in Silchester Road, Baffins, Portsmouth    Picture: Habibur Rahman
Steve Jones at his home in Silchester Road, Baffins, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman
Jacqui Edward and Suzette Gough at last year's Christmas Sessions beer festival Picture: Habibur Rahman

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An angry Baffins couple thought that they’d made the right choice when they paid Everest almost £13,000 to give their home a complete door and window makeover.

But seven months down the line Steve and Emma Jones asked for help to fight their corner when their complaints about installation delays, sub-standard workmanship, and unresolved manufacturing defects were routinely ignored.

One of the cracks in Steve Jones' windows

One of the cracks in Steve Jones' windows

The couple signed up with Everest last February, shortly after they moved into their 60s townhouse home and decided it needed a bit of a facelift to bring it up to scratch.

Steve explained they decided their first priority was to get the windows and doors replaced.

They chose Everest because the product came with a lifetime high-quality guarantee and they thought they would be getting the best.

But things started to go pear-shaped from the start when they were told around six weeks after placing their order the installation was scheduled for mid-June.

In the meantime they needed to book an Everest surveyor to come round and complete an initial property survey.

Steve, a 32-year-old marine charity worker, said: ‘My wife dutifully booked a day off work to stay home but late in the day before he was due to arrive it was cancelled.

‘It was rebooked for the following week and my wife took another day off work but this time he didn’t show up at all which was very frustrating.’

But muddle was about to turn into complete confusion as the installation arrangements turned into an exasperating shambles.

Steve added: ‘Everything went quiet and we didn’t hear anything at all until out of the blue we got a call from the scaffolding company. They came by appointment to put the scaffolding up.

‘They finished the front but didn’t turn up as promised to complete the back.

‘We were left chasing Everest trying to find out what was happening just the weekend before the installation was due and after my wife had booked the week off.’

The following Monday Steve hit the panic button. He could hardly contain his fury at having to repeatedly duck out of his open-plan office to phone Everest after Emma rang to confirm the installation team hadn’t turned up as scheduled.

She’d been left kicking her heels at home waiting for them to arrive. When she phoned Everest to ask where they were she was told the team would be arriving in approximately 45 minutes.

An hour later when they still didn’t show she rang again only to be told the install had been cancelled because the windows hadn’t been delivered.

The following week the installation team finally turned up but only managed to add to their woes.

The front door was minus its knocker and wouldn’t shut properly, poorly-fitted window boards stood out like a sore thumb, sections of sealant were left unfinished and a bifold door was missing and couldn’t be installed.

Steve’s patience finally snapped when within two weeks the glass in some of the windows began to crack in what appeared to be a series of stress fractures.

Sparks flew when an incandescent Steve rattled off a number of emails to the firm’s top management about the state of the windows and repeatedly being let down. He demanded compensation.

But to his astonishment almost a month later no-one at Everest appeared to be taking the chaotic situation seriously.

Even when he took to Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to embarrass the firm into action the silence was deafening.

He felt as if he was banging his head against a brick wall.

In a last desperate throw of the dice Steve rang the paper to ask if Streetwise could help him get things moving.

We were more than satisfied that he was right to complain about Everest’s staggering incompetence. He’d been a victim of a seriously raw deal.

To their credit when we got in touch the firm immediately held their corporate hands up and offered the couple a full apology for the way they’d been treated.

A company spokesperson said: ‘We take complaints very seriously as customer satisfaction is extremely important to Everest and an area where we normally perform well, with many of our customers saying they would be happy to recommend us to friends and family. We are deeply sorry that Mr Jones’s installation has gone wrong.

‘We accept that this customer’s experience has not been to the very high standard Everest expects and for this we unreservedly apologise.

‘We have agreed a full plan with Mr Jones to put things right, some works have already been undertaken and we are aiming to have all outstanding matters resolved by tomorrow (August 4).

‘We will, of course, consider any expenses incurred by Mr Jones once all works are completed. Our primary focus now is to finish his installation to the highest standards.’

Steve was blown away by the speed of Everest’s reaction once Streetwise intervened.

He said: ‘It was a real nightmare from start to finish. We’d spent hours and hours on the phone and email conversations just to try to get what we paid for.

‘We were very pleased to see progress when you got involved. We honestly can’t see how without your help we would have moved anything further forward.

‘We really appreciate all you did for us and can’t believe how quickly you got things done.’