BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A big wooden board is covering the hole where Antoinette Childs’ new window is supposed to be, on the front wall of her Buffalo home. The Dartmouth Avenue homeowner wanted to give the place a new look with a new sofa, a new bow window, and new siding.
“The siding job was actually held up because they couldn’t do the siding job until the windows were put in,” said Childs.
Childs had tried to coordinate her deliveries so her new the sofa would come first, which required the removal of two front windows to get it into her home. But now she’s left with a big hole after window supplier America’s Windows & More, of Depew, threw those plans into turmoil.
“They were going to put a five-pane bow window in the front. That is why they told me that it was okay for me to remove the two windows here, to get the furniture delivered. They would be here. But no one actually showed up.”
The bow window cost $3,000, and Childs gave America’s Windows & More a $1,500 down payment, with the balance due on delivery. When the company failed to show up at the appointed date, Childs called and got a bunch of excuses.
“They couldn’t deliver the window because it wasn’t my window. I told her I would take that window. She told me no, we can’t give you that window,” further frustrating Childs.
When she refused to take no for an answer, the store representative told her, “We just can’t give you that window – and they hung up.”
Now when Childs calls, there is no answer, and it turns out, she is not alone. The Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is issuing a consumer alert, due to a high volume of complaints.
“Work that was extremely delayed, work that was not properly completed, or unfortunately, there were some complaints that involved products that were damaged as well,” said Peggy Penders, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau, which is also giving the Depew retailer an “F” rating.
But Penders said, even when companies go out of business, such as America’s Windows, leaving consumers without the goods or services they paid for, they should be able to get some or all of their money back if they use credit cards.
Penders advises using plastic, which can give a consumer some leverage against a company that doesn’t come through with the goods, “because it does have protection involved with your purchase. Should something go wrong, you can possibly recover that money that you have spent with that particular business.”
In response to News 4’s queries about the future of America’s Windows & More’s, a caller identified only as “Dave” left a voicemail message, confirming America’s Windows & More is going out of business, but the caller said customers can get their merchandise directly from the manufacturer.
Call 4 Action complaints have been forwarded to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Consumer Frauds Bureau. Customers who believe they have been shortchanged by America’s Windows & More can file a complaint by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 853-8404.