I replaced 18 windows in the past with Canadian Choice, so they seemed like the obvious choice for my latest need to replace/update 8 windows. After getting multiple quotes from different providers, I decided on Canadian Choice because of the history. The sales guy (Jemal) came out on a weekend and I placed the order. Gave a deposit of $935. Installer came out a week later and advised my daughter that replacing the 2 “fake” attic windows might be a problem because the attic is inaccessible from the inside, and that he would call me to discuss. He never called. A few weeks passed and I heard nothing, so I reached out to Canadian Choice and spoke with a gentleman who told me the people he would get back to me ASAP. That never happened. Another week passed, and I called today and spoke with Richelle who didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t find my file. She promised to get back to me – but didn’t. Later that day, I got a call from Jemal (sales guy) who tells me they can't do the basement windows because they're “inaccessible”. Because we recently merged two houses, and the basement was jammed with stuff back when Jemal was originally here, I thought he meant that, so I advised him it had been cleared out and the windows are now fully accessible. He was confused and had to call the installer back. Shortly after, he called me back and said they can’t install the basement windows because they're "inset" from the bricks…that it’s as if my “house was built around the windows”, which of course is not possible. I don’t know of any window that isn’t inset from the bricks and my basement windows are no different from any other window on my house in how they're set in the frame. He tells me they can't do the job and will issue me a cheque for the $935 down payment that cleared weeks ago.
I ended up immediately reaching out to a friend of mine who is a contractor and he indicated something isn’t right because there’s absolutely no reason why the windows cannot be installed. I have now requested a full explanation be emailed to me ASAP because none of it makes sense
UPDATE - May 14:
I received an email from Richelle from Canadian Choice, who indicated the reason they can't install the windows is because the basement windows are inaccessible from the outside and that there's no room to cap the new window once installed. Both of these statements are false. All basement windows are fully accessible from both the outside and inside, and they can be capped. Richelle also communicated they can't replace the 2 “fake” attic windows because the attic is inaccessible from the inside. There is no access to the attic from the house - this is true - but other installers have told me this can be done without issue.
Richelle also communicated they "don't want to turn away business", which is odd since they haven’t mentioned anything about the 3 large windows on this order that make up the majority of the project cost (walk in bay window in the living room). Seems an unusual approach for a business to be all or nothing. It’s like ordering off a menu only to learn the dish isn’t available and the restaurant asking you to leave.
After some back and forth that included photos, Richelle from Canadian Choice offered to send a Senior Technician out to the house to have a second look at the basement windows, which I obliged. I assume she then saw this review because I received an email from her stating "Thank you for your review on HomeStars. I will make sure a cheque in the amount of $935.00 is in the mail today." and nothing else. I guess sharing my experience with Canadian Choice Windows here means no one is coming out to the house to give a second look.
I'm a VP in Customer Experience. I work in the business of experience design all day, every day. Take it from me - avoid this business. They are very unprofessional and have terrible customer service. I have waited weeks to be told nothing is going to happen, which has delayed a slew of other things now - and their reasoning is based in false information.
The other important facet to this is they’ve breached the contract we both entered into. The pink contract we both signed binds us into this agreement. #17 states any amendments to the contract must be agreed to by both parties in writing.
For reference, I've included a photo of what the basement windows look like.