Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Is Pella in Financial Straits?

Here's why I ask:

A dozen or so years ago, we replaced most of the windows in our home with Pella units, and we've been happy with them. Recently, we finally got around to replacing the last two sets, and again, pretty happy (once we got past the sticker shock. Probably shouldn't have waited so long).

Anyway, the way the process worked is that we went to the local showroom with our rough measurements, picked out the design and color we wanted, and got a preliminary estimate. A few days later, the Pella rep came out to our home to do a more thorough, official measurement, gave us a quote, and took a deposit for about half.

The rest would be due when the windows arrived and were installed a few weeks later.

Installation day came, and the two gentleman who did the actual work could not have been more professional: they removed the old windows and carted away the trash, and when they began to install the new ones asked me about how we would prefer the new trim to look.

When they were done, they handed me a form to sign that the work was complete, took my credit card info for the balance due, and off they went.

A few days later, I was effusive in my praise when we were called to see if we were satisfied with the job.

Nice, good feelings, lots of goodwill.

Which was then squandered last week when a Mr Charles Robinson called from Pella, claiming that we'd underpaid by $40. When I pointed out that I'd had nothing to do with any of the calculations and had merely signed the forms, he demanded that I provide him with a copy of the initial quote and other paperwork.

That's not how this works.

It seems to me that the only time a company would be willing to blow through all that goodwill for $40 (out of a job that included a comma), particularly when they did all the calculations is if that company is itself facing severe financial problems. Perhaps there's another explanation, but I've reached out to corporate - twice - offering them the opportunity to weigh in, and they've yet to respond.

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