Christmas is coming. I am home alone, very cold - the first Christmas since my husband died - freezing with my new Everest "the best" double glazed windows. The fire door sealed and I have had a fire! I am shaking with cold and FEAR!
Please feel free to link this from your web site and support me. Thank you!!
Everest windows ordered February, installed late April 2006 looked superb! Expensive at £2.641 but they were "the best" and would look better than aluminium frames which had condensation when it was cold but kept the heat in and the apartment cosy and warm. They needed maintenance. Other firms I was told were going out of business - even the one who had last installed my previous excellent glazing.
The summer was hot and dry. Windows remained open most of the day. Early September, my darling husband was rushed to hospital with a broken hip. I spent ten hours a day in the hospital helping to nurse before he died on 1st October. The funeral was not held until 20th October and I spent the next month getting out of the home as much as possible, away from its emptyness.
December - fierce wind and rain penetrate the glazing with vengence. The frames bend and part. This is HELL!
5th December, Peter Taylor called from Everest hoping to fix the problem. Horrified he found draughts were coming in through the beading - everywhere - including the keyhole. The unit frames bent and parted in the wind. The wind rushed through. He called out the surveyor - water was coming in. I told him I felt cold the previous night despite being fully clothed with thermal dressing gown on top. The heating going full blast could not cope and I had shivered badly.
The next afternoon the surveyor pulled some of the masking tape used in a vain attempt to keep out the cold and water. His "solution" was to dismantle the units and gunge them up. Future repair would necessite replacingthe entire section! The "solution" to the keyhold draught was to remove the lock and gunge up the hole!
I emailed this was not acceptable, the windows were not fit for their purpose. I phoned Everest to be told someone was coming out to do the work on 21st December! I again said the solution offered was far from acceptable, their windows were not fit for their purpose. They said they would get back to me Frida when they had discussed it. They never did. Just before 4.30pm I phoned to get the answermachine with a message "in case of urgent water leaks to get hold of the head office".l They said they had no one over the weekend but they would get in touch with the office on Monday. Monday arrived - no phone call. I called and told they were having an afternoon meeting with the surveyor, Mr A Vaughan, and they would phone me in the afternoon. They didn't. I phoned and spoke to the Installation Manager, Mr Bob Moody, who said the surveyor wasn't in that day. He agreed with me that the surveyor's "solution" was not acceptable and he would speak to Mr Vaughen (who originally did the order survey) the following morning and phone me. I phoned at noon to be told he was out of the office.l Later I find he had left a message on the land line despite being told to use my mobile because of dial up problems.
Everest agreed verbally the proposed repair is not acceptable - in other words the windows are not fit for their purpose. Bob Moody assured me that their windows had been tested to withstand the worst British weather. Well something must have happened with my windows because they are not withstanding anything! Little did I realise when I saw nine British Standard kite marks I would be able to fly kites indoors!
My flat overlooks the Solent and receives the full force of the wind and rain. If I had not resorted to using plastic parcel tape my home and the flats below me would have been damaged. I could have died of hypothermia for all Everest cared.
Everest advertisement and fact: so warm - so cold; secure - unsecure; draught free - blows a gale; quiet - noisy; attractive - ugly with the tape; easy to live with - bloody difficult I cant open the door and if there was a fire in the hall outside I could not escape nor can I tend to my plants or wash the balcony windows!
Oh how I tempted fate writing these words as on the 14th I had my fire!
Tuesday, 12th December, 4pm Bob phoned wanting to seal the units up which they had apparently had to do on a number of other installations. I said I wasn't happy about having to replace the whole unit if any thing went wrong but he said it would be done free under the guarantee. Bearing in mind the guarantee didn't last forever I said "What happens when the guarantee runs out?" Bob said he would give me a "lifetime" guarantee. Pressed into what a lifetime guarantee meant he asked how old I was. Sixty-three - so I get it for my life time (and I intend getting my monies worth). Bob said it would be put in writing. I asked him about the lock and he is going to have a think about this . Well Bob seems helpful - think he will get there!
The windows will be a challenge. Even with all the tape the blinds are blowing - it's quite amazing. I didn't realise just how good my old aluminium frames were!
Everest respond they are going to now replace the entire frame. The middle is going to be aluminium. The lock is going to be only on one side which is acceptable as it only leads to a third floor balcony. I consider the points and email them back it is only acceptable if it requires no maintenance, does not have condensation, is quiet, draught and waterproof. I also state that I require them to pay my heating bill.The frames tonight are swaying in and out with the wind - quite fascinating to watch. I reminds me of the potters wheel interval when TVs first were on the market!! It's not much of a recommendation for the window but it is for the plastic tape!!!
Ekkk! Spoke too soon, the water came in again. Feeling absolutely exhausted with the stress. Found and covered more gaps it is getting warmer. The window is rapidly disappearing under 2" thick plastic brown tape! My 87 year old husband used to complain of the cold sat in the chair by the window - and I blamed his blood thinners - not thinking for one moment he could have a draught by the Everest windows!! His ashes are scattered along the south touch down line at the RFU Twickenham - I've a feeling with the heat lamps on the rugby ground he is warmer than I am!
14 December - Before 8am I texted Bob to confirm I do not want anything that will rot or corrode and refer to my emails.
Get ready for bath. Smoke is billowing out of cupboard. FIRE!!!! Go turn off electrics and get shock. Dash downstairs, alert neighbour asking her to dial 999 and get out. Turn off the electrics in cupboard. Elderly neighbour not responding to doorbell. Firemen arrive - wow they should be on a calendar! Problem sorted and fit extra smoke detectors. Neighbour also gets them. Text Bob to say I had had a fire. No response. Eventually get an electrician - Lee Electrical manager kindly phones a local electrician and a very nice man from BT Electricals promptly came and sorted my electrics for me. What service and not an arm and a leg either! Fire caused by fan heater turned on to reinforce the lost central heating. Although turned off when put back in cupboard must have switched back on when moving sliding door!
Bob Moody seems to have gone to ground. No call from Everest!
15th Dec. I crack under the strain. A nurse takes up the cudgel and phones Everest - her client is being made ill by the stress and cold. Angry I fire off email to Everest, Health & Safety Executive, GGF, BSI, Trading Standards, Which, Watchdog, Max Clifford, councillors.
Result within an hour I find a message on my landline a fitter is coming Monday to "make me more comfortable!" Bob advises I cannot have uPCV as the Everest windows will not stand up to the force of the wind. Wonder why the rest of the flats have no problem with their uPVC!
16 December. More relaxed.
17 December. One of the several floor to ceiling plastic tape strips is running with condensation which just shows how badly the door is fitted! My poor heating bill!
Gone midday I have woken up from a sleep on the sofa fully dressed with thermal dressing gown on top - My feet are cold despite socks and shoes! Luckily sun is beginning to hit front of building! Am not feeling like doing anything!
Gaze at empty flower vase. Wonder why Everest haven't sent any - surely they cannot have so many customers with mega problems that they cannot afford a simple apology!
18 December. Pleasant engineer arrives at 11.30am - a morning call - well they did say he didn't like getting up in the morning. According to Bob the engineer was delayed because of road accident. Engineer decides tape is holding up the door. If he seals it I will not be able to get out in the event of a fire. Wonder if I would with all the tape! Engineer states Everest will have to completely rethink the window design. Two panels just meeting is definitely not suitable for keeping out rain. It needs to be slotted into the other panel. The panels need to be non bending too! Engineer comments on the traffic noise. Engineer does a little gunging in a place I missed with my tape, drinks his coffee and goes promising to get Bob to tell me when the new patio door will be ready - but not until after Christmas!!!! I point out that the whole thing will have to be aluminium as one cannot have two different hardnesses hitting each other - would soon wear down like two different qualities of gold! I really was expecting the door to be taken off and more fillets put in to make the door operable. God help me if I have another fire!
Sit down to write letter to Santa asking for a fur coat and a fire extinguisher!! The door remains with all the plastic tape in situ as in the picture taken beginning of December!
Open letter of 8th December from John Bridge, Everest Relations Co-ordinator acknowledging my email of 8th December with complaints. The letter posted 11th December states "our South West Business Centre is responsible for management of your order from point of survey through to aftercare service". No where in the letter is there a "Sorry"! No.1 rule when making a mess up is to say Sorry - particularly if one is supposed to be a customer relations co-ordinator! What about my gas bill? What about me freezing? What about the stress and discomfort I am suffering and will do over Christmas and into the New Year!
19 December. 3.30a.m. Cannot sleep or get warm. Feet freezing. The heating has been set to 25 degrees and cannot cope with heat loss through the Everest window. I cannot cope - I am at breaking point. I want to sleep. I want to be warm. My home in uninhabitable. My heating bill - SOS!!!!
The lovely Bob Moody, Everest's Installation Manager, arrives. The fitter has done none of the work instructed. He pushes the frame - even the one against the wall moves!! Bob hasn't anything to fix the windows. Luckily I have made arrangements with a friend to sleep around her house! The hardwood frame will not be plastic covered and requires painting every two years!! The very reason I got Everest in the first place! Bob confirms water runs in the frame and out. Surely if water goes in a frame and freezes the window will be cold. Fear I will have a condensation problem with their product!
Bob escapes on holiday. Bet he will be somewhere warmer than here!
Await the call to say when the engineer will come. Now thinking why didn't Bob contact him from here so I would know what was going on. Now brain working overtime - what if all of Everest are shutting down for Christmas! Get call to say engineer coming first thing tomorrow so I cannot have a warm night at my friend's house!!!
Not happy about Bob Moody's statement confirming his fitter's statement: "Water goes into the frame and comes out." Surely this means it is open to the wind and water can freeze in there! Check with retired Quality Inspector of double glazing. He states the frames should be completely sealed! Phone FENSA and told to Email them to seek clarification. Another fitter says holes are there to let condensation out. Surely if properly dry and sealed in the first place no condensation should happen. Beginning to think solid wood frames have more going for them!
Wonder what is happening about Christmas!!! Bob confirmed the frames had been ordered but had no date for installation.
Rapid response from FENSA:
"Unfortunately this is a question we are unable to help you with, however, as Everest are members of the Glass & Glazing Federation we have forwarded this to them and they will be able to assist you on this matter. "
Email GGF after leaving message on customer answerphone to say I had emailed them before without response and to ask them about the water running in the frame. Await response to phone call and second email!
20 December. 6.30am dash out post Grandson's card for birthday today! Desperately need food shopping. Look longingly at cafe preparing to open. Drool at thought of a full English breakfast. Haven't done any Christmas shopping. Have had to wait for telephone calls. Fed up and hungry.
Milk gone off. Label says use before 24 December! Guess I will sit here counting cars to distract myself. Hear every single one despite Everest window shut, vertical blinds and lined curtains across the window! Counldn't be louder if I was sat outside! With swaying I'm surprised patio door with windows haven't tumbled.
NOT in a good mood. NO Christmas spirit here!
9.30am no sign of Everest. Phone Peter Hunt, Bob's boss, to ask where the fitter is and ask about compensation. It's his answering machine - and he doesn't repond all day! Phone Everest to be told fitter is on his way. Call friend to come and sit. Desperate for food, leave 10.30am and miss the fitter. Fitter tells friend door not locked. It was as it was left after the first fitter opened and inspected the door. Of course not locked - not a good idea in the event of a fire. Surely, in any case, the strength of the window isnt dependant on it remaining locked! 12 noon I eat for first time that day. The gungeing has made it a bit warmer. The door is sealed with fresh tape. It is still very noisey.
No reply from GGF re my query. They have had two emails from me, one from FENSA an a phone call. Now wondering if having them is any guarantee!
21 December. Hear the traffic, foghorns - and the squawking of a passing seagull! Tape by door latch still showing signs of condensation. Tape other side clear.
Call Everest as there is condensation on downward plastic tape. Speak to John Bridges who says he will send out a fitter to fix the problem. Notice two two inch puddles rapidly spreading. No wind no rain. John Bridges says fitter coming out after 3p.m. to fix the problem. Fitter arrives says problem is condensation coming from the half inch metal strut on the door. If this is the amount of condensation from such a small strip 3/4" x 7' - I certainly do not want their complete aluminium frame thank you as much as the thought of those firemen coming to rescue me from the flood appeals. I restate that they are giving me aluminium which is what I already had and taken nearly £3000 of my money to do this. Fitter says Everest do not give money back! Be warned! Fitter says if the condensation doesn't go on my windows it will go on my furniture - for Christ sake it didn't before why should it now - unless you have Everest windows! Even my single glazed pane in the kitchen with extractor fan doesn't puddle on to the cill and that has a curved beading from the pane. If anything should puddle that should!
Receive telephone message from Peter Hunt, Everest Branch Manager, Wimbourne - "Do I want secondary glazing behind the existing uPVC windows?" Wonder if I am on Candid Camera or You Have Been Framed! No! I want a uPVC double glazed frame that you said could withstand the elements that I would not have to do maintainence on - apart from obviously wheel mechanisms. EVEREST WAKE UP - WHAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND! This is a farce! What a shambles of a company! Prepared to take them to court - I dont care if I dont get money back from them. They can have the shame - their product is not fit for the purpose - it is a complete laughing stock! The fitter today said the aluminium windows will not have condensation. Do I believe him. NO! Everest you are not dealing with an idiot - don't treat me like one! No your copy sales agreement your salesman left with me does not have your company address on it - YOUR DIRECTORS ARE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE. SEE THEM IN COURT!
The fitter who was sent out by Everest to fix the problem couldn't. "I don't DO doors!" Well that is more than apparent Everest don't DO a uPVC product so far that withstand the elements here!
Spoke to Sue Smith at Head Office to say the latest suggestion was not acceptable and to ask for the name of their solicitor.
Depart for warmer abode! Can't use their internet as it is down. Swelter there wearing only one light wool jumper!
27 December. Send email to Everest attention legal department saying if they cannot produce a uPVC patio door fit for the purpose then I want my money back and compensation within 7 days or I would instruct my solicitor to take them to court. I could have stuck some sunlight filter on my old door and been better off both financially and physically!
GO OUTSIDE AND INSPECT - FIND THE CAUSE OF EVEREST PROBLEMS - THE SEALANT IS MISSING BETWEEN THE FRAME AND WINDOW, THERE ARE HUGE GAPS IN uPVC WHICH WILL ALLOW THE WATER TO RUN IN, THERE IS RUSTING. THERE IS SO LITTLE SEALANT THE WINDOW IS LIKELY TO FALL OVER IN THE WIND. POST MORE PHOTOS ON THE BLOG!
DO THE GGF, BSI, FENSA, BBA SO CALLED QUALITY MARKS MEAN ANYTHING!!! NODDY IN TOYLAND COULD HAVE MADE A BETTER WINDOW!
27 December - Seal outside with 2" masking tape hoping it will stay in place. If it doesn't then water will get in the cavity. A brush will not keep out the Solent weather. In my opinion a fixed window should be fully sealed from the outside.
28 December. Thought I had discovered and temporarily cured the draught. WRONG! The increased warmth was due to a stratigacally placed towel which stopped the draught coming across my feet. The wind is blowing out of the top and the bottom of the frame on the inside. When I pointed this out to the last fitter he said that it was so it could run on the runners. It can only get in if there is a gap on the outside! Besides that isn't a sliding door - it is supposed to be a fixed window! Once removed the wind whistles also through the door. It is not even particularly windy today! Get out the plastic tape again! Now wondering if the ventilation strips are not isolated and this is allowing wind to enter the frame. Also wish plastic parcel tape came in white! Perhaps this could be a promotional offer by Everest - free tape!
1st January 2007 _ Happy New Year - NOT! Curtains swinging. Open and find water the length of the frame on the left hand side!
2nd January 2007 - More water! Phone Everest asking to speak to the legal department (Mr Nick Flanigan - he is not there nor is his secretary). Ask to speak to Simon Jarmon the Chief Executive Director - he's not there and I dont get the promised call back. Phone and ask for Mr Jarmon and get John Bridges. Tell him I do not want Everest aluminium windows as I have no confidence in their design which judging by my installation has major design faults and the aluminium one could be the same. I tell him I already had perfectly good aluminium double glazing before they started!!! He says he will contact the Installation Manager and phone back. Well frankly I am about to test the handle on their double glazing - stick a sheet over the balcony and saying "Hung by Everest" and jump! I have only just lost my husband and cannot take the stress. FENSA is as good as a sick headache and say they need an independant surveyor to report. It is lunacy! A month of hell!
3rd January. Email sent from Bob Moody near end of office hours asking for my mobile number. Lost count of number of times I have given them this. Open email and reply in wee hours of the next morning.
4th January. 10.30am still no call. Send email to Bob Moody advising I have just discovered a new puddle 3" x 1" in the middle of the door frame and advise production of this model is stopped until the fault is found and I await his call.
6th January. I am fuming at the moment. I have opened a letter from the Glass and Glazing Federation: "We understand that the company (Everest Ltd) does not accept that your PVCu door was not fit for purpose and their decision to replace it (with aluminium) was taken because they wanted to help you, not because they had to."
If it was fit for the purpose why replace it? I bet if all the people who have had windows out their asked for aluminium they would be turned down. Why after all the fitters do the window (1) leak badly (2) have draughts (3) noisy (4) (5) cold and (6) why did they phone and offer to put secondary glazing behind this to stop the draught and condensation . I am getting a local councillor to come and witness the phone call and he can see the state of puddling at the same time. The wind has dropped so he will not be able to feel a draught at the moment.
GGF say no request for service was made until 5th December and the windows were installed late Spring. Everest know perfectly well (1) we had a very hot and dry summer (2) my husband was in hospital from 5th September until he died on 1st October and I spent at least ten hours a day at his bedside (3) following his funeral I was not at home becuase I could not bare being here without him - beside I dont think we had rain until about then! My husband frequently complained he was cold but I put this down to his blood thinners not thinking for one moment there could possibly be a draught through the new windows!If they think I am going away they are mistaken!!!!
My local councillor came around on Sunday and witnessed the puddling. He commented that it was rain water definitely not condensation! Whilst bending down he looked at the panel and commented that the beading was bending away from the glass and if water was coming out it could be going in the same way from the outside.
8th January. Anniversary of my Father's death. Get phone call from Bob Moody urging me to have the aluminium windows as I "really need them to keep the water out". Tell Bob I felt I had been mis sold the UPVc windows and to have aluminium back again to be in the same position I was before and take nearly £3,000 of my money for this was not on as I certainly would not have paid that sort of money. It would have bought hell of a lot of maintenance! Bob fully understands the extent of the problem still here and knows I am determined to make sure Everest do right by me.
The adverse publicity Bob knows has already cost them dearly in sales. Frankly this is just giving the other double glazing salesmen a gift on a plate! Bob is going to speak to the "powers that be". I told him I couldn't understand why Everest had not just put their hands up and said it was a complete balls up, given me my money back and windows to replace the good ones I already had. He knows I am a rotweiller of an old age pensioner and not a pussy cat. I have suffered financial loss, enormous stress and the enjoyment of my home.
Now thinking about organising an Everest open day here - perhaps with banner over balcony and dummy proclaiming "Hung by Everest - Come and See !!"
Go to get more plastic tape for windows. The wind speed is only 23 mph - winds of 29 mph are forecast for later this week!!
9th December. Draught even coming through 2" plastic tape. Find new draught to me coming UNDER THE BASE FRAME AND OUT THROUGH ANOTHER PIECE STUCK ON THE BOTTOM!!! MY GUESS IS THAT THE WINDOW FRAME HAS NOT BEEN FULLY SEALED UNDER THE FRAME!!! No wonder my feet are so cold. Apply more tape and roll towels up to try and keep the warmth in.
Wicked Idea - how about a DVD "The Everest Experience" featuring one very disgruntled customer distributed to other double glazing companies - who knows one might just like to take the windows and put them on show at a home improvement exhibition and show my DVD. Finks - how about a video here complete with sound effects. The wind howling through would be quite spooky! Shall I auction my EVEREST patio door on EBAY.
10 January - Receive letter from Glass and Glazing saying Everest maintain windown was fit for purpose and they were only putting in an aluminium one to help me out. See red and phone Glass and Glazing Federation who tell me to get a survey and they were believing Everest. Got surveyor out and he found the door not sealed under the frame and couldnt see sign of felting, found holes and draughts and said door was suitable for a garden not a seafront position. Everest want to come out that day but didnt want them to clash with surveyor.
11 January - Peter Hunt area manager arrives and says Everest will not negotiate compensation until I accept the aluminium windows which are needed to keep out the rain but I dont have to keep them. He gunges everywhere except under the cill. He stops most of the draughts and feet now warm. Water still coming in and curtains moving. It is incredible. Tentative date for 17th fixed to install new window and Peter Hunt says he will confirm. Leaves me with roll of asbestos tape.
12 January depart on holiday. New patio door due 17th with Boby Moody supervising a personally hand picked team. Fingers crossed! Go to buy prayer mat! Email to confirm there is still draught and water coming in and await confirmation of installation date. Do not use asbestos tape due to not only doubts about safety of using an asbestos tape but weather is inclement. Lay down more towels.
15 Arrive back from holiday. No message had been received on mobile and checked landline no message. Towels are wet over the weekend and phone Bob to say the sooner windows are fixed the better as still getting water in. Windows are coming straight off the factory lorry on the 17th.
17 Weather terrible text Bob who phones back to confirm they are not coming. I confirm the water is still coming in. Sods law it turns nice in the afternoon! Weather forecast too bad for the 18 and 19 plus I have meeting in the morning. 22 23 appears it will be windy and cold but I already have a boiler being installed on the Monday and Tuesday which I had already had to cancel from previous week. We both considered it imprudent to have the front wide open to the elements with the back door and roof hatch also likely to be open. Dont want the roof coming off as well! We could have taken a chance on the 24th but boiler work might run over and agree best date was 25th for the window installation. Expected to hear when another fitter would come in the meantime to do more gunging.
18. Fitter arrives late afternoon but not from Everest while a neighbour is having coffee. Water is coming in flat below and damaging the ceiling. He inspects my door and comments that the door is crooked and it is an easy adjustment to straighten it and keep out the draughts. He said due to prevailing wind door should be installed other way round. He inspects the side felting which I thought had been properly gunged and there are gaps still allowing the water to penetrate. He examines the cill not only no sealant but no lead tray and window is only sitting on the concrete floor. No wonder I am cold and it is noisey. He comments there should be an overhead cill right over and down the top of the door to stop water in. He also says there must be a hole in the top of the window frame to allow a draught out the lock. There should be no holes in the top of the frame. There should be no draught excluder for a non sliding window against the wall - this should be fully sealed. He comments that above the window they could have sealed it and stopped a lot of the problems but most likely didnt do that as it would mean cutting out the door on removal. Phone Bob Moody to report the damage to flat below and water still coming in. He says he has taken all these points on board for when they install the aluminium window on 25th. Qualified HSE consultant advises me not to use the tape it is not for keeping out water but fire and I should have a mask to use it. HSE do not recommend use of this tape at all. Even says to get out the flat when they take out the asbestos from the boiler. People do cheer me up!
20/21th early hours. Send off another email to Everest stressing urgency of getting a fitter to do more sealing before the 25th.
21. Still more wet towels! But weather clears up and it becomes lovely sunny day. Wonder why weekends are dryer and just wished Everest worked of a weekend!
22. Still dry. Boiler work going well. Fitters reassure me that the asbestos tape left is for marking only - no danger - but wouldn't have kept out any wet as it hardly sticks to copper let alone a wet surface. No reply to email or the text I sent Bob Moody. Looking forward to the 25th!