CB Sustainable Home and Construction Review of clear choice/windows
clear choice/windows

clear choice/windows review: bad service!! will not do contracted work 10

Author of the review
10:57 am EDT
Featured review
This review was chosen algorithmically as the most valued customer feedback.

After waiting 18 months, missing many days from work, and dealing with the Corporate office, Clear Choice (Chris Prince) has failed to finish it's work and, they will not honot their warranty.

Joella Smith
Tucson, US
Feb 22, 2011 3:17 pm EST

I spent $6, 600 on windows and a new sliding glass dorr from Clear Choice. The licensee was Don Lerew Construction in Tucson, Az. This was in March of 2008. Now the caulking is cracking and water is leaking in around my windows. I got no satisfaction for the company that installed them, as they are no longer an agent for Clear Choice. They are installing bathrooms. I was told upon installation, that I sholud not attempt to mess with the caulking as I would nullify my "lifetime warranty". I'm at my wits end, trying to get something done here before the monsoons hit this summer. I have a manufactured home and I can't have that water running down in my walls. My next step in the BBB. J0Smith

Winston Salem, US
Feb 22, 2010 3:39 pm EST

I have gone thru a nightmare with the Winston Salem, NC division of Clear Choice which was a company store that they have apparently now closed leaving us stranded for service. My nightmare started with missed appointments and ended up with all the glass doors that were installed being damaged with scratches or fogged glass.
The nightmare continued with arguments over getting these doors replaced and then again missed appointments till they were replaced. The day of what I thought was the end of this, one door panel delivered was wrong, they did not deliver my screen for the patio door and the first time I unlocked one of the doors the lock broke. Now no one from the corporate headquarters in Georgia is answering my phone calls or emails and I have filed complaints with the BBB. I cannot tell you how many times I have emailed or called them at this point with no response and personally I will not use them or recommend them to anyone.

New Window Lovin' Owner
Carmel, US
Feb 11, 2010 8:36 am EST

I had Clear Choice Indianapolis install their $185 + $99 upgrade for the low-e argon gas fill and I absolutely love the windows (January, 2010). I had 10 windows installed. Not only do they look great and the install was done correctly the 1st time, my 41 year old house retains the heat much longer, therefore, the furnace does not kick-on as much. Outside sounds have been minimized as well. I read most of the reviews before I decided to go with Clear Choice and found out that they were selling their name (which basically anyone could buy) and people were having issues with the windows, install, poor customer service, etc... That was because of the people who bought their name and more than likely had no clue of how to install or service afterwards. This is what gave Clear Choice a bad name. Since then, present time now, I can say for at least the Indianapolis area, Clear Choice has been under new management and no longer sells their name to the Joe Schom's out there. I would recommend for them for all aspects. If you do decide on windows through them or anyone for that matter before the end of 2010, you can get the 30% tax credit as long as the windows meet the energy criteria. Thanks Clear Choice for the great deal...

, US
Oct 17, 2009 11:49 am EDT

This helps us in our window decision. Researching the other window names we are looking at, we found zero or one complaint. Researching Window World, we find that our concern about them sub-contracting their installs is a VERY valid concern. We will choose between the two companies that have been in business for 15+ years, use windows from companies who have been in business even longer and actually refer business to each other when appropriate. Thanks for the postings, they help.

Joe Snuffy
Albuquerque, US
Oct 08, 2009 1:13 pm EDT

This message board is proof of the old addage "a satisfied customer may tell 1 - 5 others, bu a dissatisfied customer tells the whole world." You rarely will see positive comments on the internet, why, you ask? Because good service is expected and when it's recieved, no further action is required.
The bottom line with windows is the quality of the install. Window world has terrible installs in my market, but I hear they aren't bad in others. From what I've seen of clear choice throughout the 'net, the installers are proficient and well qualified. It's not an art, as I, a dIYer, I installed several windows in 1 afternoon and upon inspection from a qualified installer, I did a damn good job. As far as window quality, a double paned, low e with a 30shgc and 30ufactor with or without argon will suffice. Make sure there are additives in the vinyl such as zinc oxide to protect from the sun. Also check for a constant force balance for the lifter on hung style windows. Triple pane is a waste of money. And NEVER buy aluminum! It is the best conductor of heat transfer of all window materials.
For the install, be present and watch. No matter who the contractor, they all will cut corners if necessary. Make sure that after putting the window in, they shim it out to level it. Then use a foam insulator all the way around the window inside and out to fill in the gap. Without this foam, the most efficient window becomes an open hole in the wall. From what I've read on the 'net, window world and some local yokels are the worst offenders of omitting the foam from the install.
Clear Choice sells and intalls a great product with a glass pack manufactured by the same company who makes glass for some of the most expensive companies out there. There are only a few glass manufacturers out there: PPG and Cardinal. Big companies like Champion, Andersen, And Pella have the same glass, but put their own name on it to make it seem unique.
By the way, most of the forementioned companies use a franchise company model as well. They all have lifetime warranties, but like any company, they wont make it easy for warranty work if it's gonna be costly or if they are busy with new installs.
The advantage with Clear Choice is that the lead time for getting the finnished product is 3-5 weeks versus 6-8 weeks for the other folks.
The bottom line: they all make a great window, some just have a more expensive business model and hand that cost down to you, the consumer.
Hope this helps!

Bellbrook, US
Jul 25, 2009 3:14 pm EDT

The Clear Choice usa business model is a sham. Out of over 130 locations, only a handful are what you may say are successful. The only people making any money are the folks at their coparate office in Atlanta. Corparate makes a 25%GP on the product for pushing orders to the window companies making the windows, and the licensees are luckly to make 15% to 20%GP on a sale. They will suck every last dollar out of you, then when you can't make it any more, they will come into town and set up a company own location and ride off the dollars you spent in the market to build the name up and put you out of business. Then you are standing there with tens of thousands of dollars in debit and they will act like they don't even know you.

DON"T GET SUCKED INTO THIS DEAL. Start your own business, they will leave you high and dry, you are better off on your own.


Rick Ohio
Delaware, US
Apr 24, 2009 11:08 am EDT

Well said Paul. The complaints on these companies are abundant, the BBB should step in and require the companies to provide proof of all advertising claims.

paul rado
Roanoke, US
Mar 17, 2009 3:10 pm EDT

People who use companies like Clear Choice, Window World and Window Depot USA are buying into the American pipedream. You really believe that some how all the rebutable and quality companies that have been in existance for years selling a quality product that is well installed for 600.00 or more are just making too much money. You want to believe it so bad that anyone and everyone that tried to prevent these mistakes from happening were turned away.
Understand that it just can't happen. All the companies above are mirror images of one another selling territory licensing agreements to local contactors who want a larger peice of the window pie. They are not franchises they are licensees and that in itself tells you enough. You actually buy into the fact that these guys are able to deliver the same window for 400.00 less if not more than competitors and you find validation in the fact that they use the buying power to do it. Doesn't happen. The business model saves you the money by saving themselves money in some key areas, #1 they pay far below average install per window to their installers and they are all paid peice work, hourly just doesn't work out, this is not a myth but a bona fide fact who do you think would come to install a window in your home for 2/3rds less, the best or not so much the worst #2 the pay the in home reps the least commissions of any company, maybe not important to you but it truly is as this is where it starts, the better someone is at what they do the more they demand in the market they are in and if you can only hire those who can live on a 1099 income of less than 40k you are not going to get knowledgable, honest, hardworking professionals you will get the cream of the crap. #3 They use a decent but not high quality window and gimmick up the marketing to make customers believe that it is everything a high quality window is yadda yadda. All you have to do is read the actual manufacturers warranty, it is truly the road map to product failure.
You bought into the dream "simply the best for less" and it was a lost investment.
Want to do it right stay away from licensees, the large companies they represent do not have any liability to you, choose quality companies ranked in the qualified remodeler and look for the largest in your area, to make it into the top 20 in the home improvement industry is a true testiment to the companies who have done this. Remember only 1 in 200 companies will be in business in home improvement for 15 years or more, there are over 500, 000 home improvement companies and to become a company who is ranked and ranked for several years is clear evidence to how well these companies operate. Stay away from the american pipe dream of paying a little and getting alot.

Lori M. Woodrum
York, US
Feb 14, 2009 9:04 pm EST

My husband and I had the same problems with Chris Prince and his company. We tried EVERYTHING possible to work with him on correcting the installation issues. He ignored our phone calls. An independent contractor came and performed a window by window appraisal of the work and was horrified by what he found. He stated that there was issues with EVERY window and that it was very obvious that the installers did NOT know what they were doing. If the windows were not fixed and installed properly, we would eventually have damage to the interior of our walls from water seeping through their "wonderful" (sarcastic tone here) caulking job. We are now in the process of having a VERY reputable and tremendously reliable company installing other windows and the difference is like night and day! I want so badly for Chris Prince to come and take a look at what CORRECT window installation looks like! He has no right to be in business because he does not want to provide quality service and workmanship. I tried the best I could to get the Better Business Bureau and the main Clear Choice company to listen to me. I even sent pictures and a chronological history of what took place, but it was useless with them. I guess with the BBB, as long as the company pays their dues, then the company is "doing everything possible to please the client." Yeah, right. Hopefully, others will not allow this guy to rip them off. Good luck to all those who have had to deal with Mr. Prince! It's a real trip! - Lori W. York, PA

Nov 06, 2008 2:45 pm EST

worst company I have EVER dealt with