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Coldseal give staff the COLD shoulder!!
In this review a shall be covering my experience of working with Coldseal windows limited, I shall be covering my downs... and err, my downs as there aren't many ups to chose from with working for one of the worst companies in the UK. I shall also be covering some helpful advice on how to avoid being hassled by cold callers! I shall be uncovering some of the shocking things I herd of or personally witnessed during the 6 weeks that I could stand working there. I worked there during February and March at the Cheylesmore Branch in Coventry.
I had spent a few months looking for a job after I lost my previous job due to a undiagnosed digestive illness. I found this job at my local jobcentre the same place where I found the job for my other review about Morrisons, I'll tell you once and I'll maybe tell you twice, be extra vigilant when choosing jobs from the jobcentre as a lot of them are misleading. Firstly I would like to say to anybody who has been victimised by shoddy workmanship and customer service that I feel so sorry for you because the standards in all areas are absolutely appalling! I can't believe how some of the customers have been treated, especially those who still have windows, doors and conservatories with Coldseal. You see Coldseal has now gone into liquidation and anybody who needs to contact them I.E. a customer who has problems and is still under warranty can't get anywhere because everything has gone, none of the telephone numbers work anymore and there's no way of writing a letter because you can guarantee that that place is no longer a Coldseal building. Anyway most of that happened after I left, and that wasn't my area that I worked in. This is what happened when I worked for Coldseal.
I applied for this job through the jobcentre as my friend worked here too. I was quite surprised to get a phone call from my friend telling me that I had the job, no interview no checks, all they had was my C.V. So I took with me my national insurance details and other bits and bobs. I couldn't take my current P45 because the jobcentre still had it, so I gave them my old P45 which they should have been able to get the info they needed from that. The job that I applied for was for a warehouse operative, but the job that I got was a Call centre operative. Because I had been out of work for so long I didn't question it as all I wanted to do was get back into work and I couldn't be done with anymore stress of having to look for another job. Firstly they took some details of my address, emergency contact and my Phone Number, they scanned my national insurance card and P45, and also my passport. All of which I thought was usual.
So there I was on my first day feeling a bit out of place, as you do. I was just glad that my friend worked there too. She helped me a lot and taught me the ropes. I asked her what I should do, and she said that I should write a script for my telesales. I asked her "Isn't someone supposed to come over and give me induction training or something?" She said "No they expect me to show you the ropes because I'm your mate. You're lucky; I didn't get any training and had to figure it out for myself." I should have twigged then and gave it up straight away, but me being as immature as I was then and being out of work for so long made me think that I could do this. So with my friends help I wrote up my own script, I took my time as I'm really nervous when it comes to talking to strangers on a phone. I eventually finished my script and then I sat in the room where the cold calling came from, at the time I didn't think that this was a cold calling company but I was soon to find out the truth. The people in the room had photocopies of pages from the local phone directory (which I later found out that it was illegal for businesses to use) sat in front of the workers with a list of customers that had been crossed out because they had already been called. Nobody in that room had a call centre microphone and earpiece connected to the phones, so they had to awkwardly balance a pen in one hand, paperwork in the other hand whilst arching their neck that badly that it's a surprise they didn't get whiplash! lol. They said their piece that fast that the customer couldn't get a word in edgeways, and when the customer did get a chance to say "No thanks", they would fire back a load of comebacks so that the customer was inadvertently talked into having a set of windows that they didn't want! Not all of the workers worked this way though, everyone did it differently. I eventually did my first phone call and it didn't go too well, the customer basically told me to f**k off and stop hassling her. The second call wasn't as bad as the first, it was just a simple "No thanks". So when me and my friend were walking to the bus stop after our shift I asked her how the pay worked and you'd guessed it, it was commission based. I didn't worry too much at the time about the pay as I'd been quite successful in commission based work before. And besides I was on a training allowance of £70 per week for the first 4 weeks, or so I thought.
It wasn't until a few days later that I really started to notice that something had gone terribly wrong. For some strange reason I managed to keep this job on for a total of 6 weeks. I don't know if it was because I thought that no other employer would take me on with my past history of bad time-keeping and illness, or if it was because I was constantly being made to think that the money would come. Everyone who worked there had their reasons for being there, they all had problems getting good jobs so they had to settle for the most dead end jobs that even the worst scum in the world would steer clear of. But all of us had our weaknesses, I was gullible and immature, others had learning disabilities and couldn't understand, some had bad past work history, and one or two had drug and alcohol problems. The others that were wise enough began to leave, but I couldn't leave or else it would look even worse on my CV if I hadn't even managed to keep the job.
Soon after I started, the jobcentre sent me my updated P45, so I'd been trying to see the manager to get it sorted. The manager had recently started mysteriously dissappearing, probably because of all the angry customers and staff waiting to bite his head off. So when he did turn up he pulled us all into his office and explained that the terms and conditions of contract were to change, instead of having 4 weeks training allowance, we now only got 2 weeks allowance, and if we didn't get any leads (when a customer is interested in buying a door, window or conservatory) we wouldn't get any pay. I was on my second week by then and I hadn't got any leads that week so I didn't get any pay. I asked the manager what I should do with my P45, and he said that I was liable for my tax and insurance even though they had taken copies of them. Then I asked how the pay structure worked and this is how it worked out: If I got a Dem (where the customer is booked up for measurements) I would get £6 for each Dem and then I would get 10% commission on all work that was completed, and I wouldn't get the commission until the work had been completed. Later on the amount of commission went down to just 2%, along with a whole host of other changes. By now I was beginning to wish that I'd never taken up the job in the first place, but I was trapped by money that was owed to me that they kept promising me was being dealt with, apparently.
By this point my friend was also thinking about leaving too, until the manager offered her somewhere to live because her parents had kicked her out due to lack of rent being paid. Luckily for me I had my parents and partner to help me out financially, so I wasn't too worried as I thought the money would come as I had been paid from them in the past. Some of the other people that still worked there were not so lucky, one person had a child to look after and no other employer would offer her the hours she wanted, another was suffering from an alcohol related illness, same as another was suffering from drug abuse. And the rest of the workers couldn't get jobs elsewhere because of bad job history, didn't stop us trying though. No employer wanted to know, I don't know if it was something to do with the terrible company that we were currently working for or our past history.
Some of the things that were said to customers or done to customers was unbelievable, even if it wasn't said on the phone another customer would overhear it being shouted across the workplace, some comments are so bad that I wouldn't be allowed to repeat them on here. This happened mainly because our team leader was too busy to help all of us at the same time, don't get me wrong he did try, but because of his drinking problem he was unable to perform his job efficiently. So most of us made up the rules as we went along, and we only got corrected if we were caught saying something wrong and it took him that long to notice that the damage to customers had already been done. Some of the other members of staff were so persistent that the person on the other side of the line would say yes just to shut them up, but that made the problem worse, because then they would be booked in to visit you at your house "to give you more pep talks" as they called it and to measure up. The person that used to visit those customers was always off his head on whatever drugs he could get his hands on, it's a good job that someone respectable looking used to go with him. Oh and then there was the smoking, I know I was a smoker too but the smoke clouds were terrible. Because we only got a break if we worked over 4 hours, we were allowed to smoke whilst making phone calls! Because we were allowed to do something that we shouldn't have, we did it all the more. It's just a good job that the non smokers had a separate room next door so that they wasn't choked by the fumes as well. There was no uniform whatsoever, so you could never tell who worked there and who didn't, someone could literally walk in off the street and nobody would have noticed!
The constant swearing and bad mouthing customers was getting too much for me to take, I just couldn't do it because I'm too honest and I care about other peoples feelings. If the person on the other line said that they wasn't interested, I would leave them alone. I didn't see the point in talking someone into buying something that they didn't want. So I just ended up phoning a hell of a lot of customers until I got one that was interested. By now I'd been working there for almost six weeks and I hadn't been paid for over a month, you see they had been telling me that I was getting paid at the end of the month, when the first and only wages I got was only a week after I had started there.
Enough was enough and I had to leave, I could dispute the pay problem after I'd left. They still owe me to date £22, not to mention the other 9 leads that other members of staff stole off me that I couldn't prove was mine, I'm glad that I didn't try too hard to get the money back because it would have been more trouble than it was worth. I think the only positive thing that I can say about Coldseal is that it did teach me how to deal with irate and difficult customers which I did carry on into some of my other more recent jobs.
How to avoid becoming a victim of Cold Calling:
Here are some helpful tips to help you out of those sticky situations when cold callers stalk people:
* Always ask who's calling. You are well within your rights to ask as by law they cannot conceal their company name.
* Don't just hang up as they'll probably call you again and pester you even more.
* If your not intending to buy any house improvements, just say that you rent your house and your not willing to take up your right to buy. You see companies cannot offer you home improvements if you are not responsible for the buying decisions made in the household.
* Never say ring back later because you can guarantee that if they're desperate they will definitely ring you back and you will never hear the end of it.
* If you are still getting problems, get in touch with your local telephone provider and ask about the T.P.S (Telephone Preference Service) which should block most unwanted calls.
* If all else fails you can register as ex-directory for a premium payment, you won't even be listed in the public directory though, that can be good and bad. For instance I was once looking for a number for my friend and couldn't find it as she was ex-directory, I still haven't been able to contact her, on the good side you get to avoid prank phone calls which can so annoying.
I hope this review has given an insight into what it's like to work for the worst company in the U.K, I just hope that cold calling on customers, by phone, or by door to door, stops...Forever. Never ever buy anything from Coldseal because their products are of extremely poor quality. If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them. Thank you for all my rates and comments.
Fazel x : )
Sorry to hear all the bad reviews about this ill-fated company.Hopefully any work is insurance backed If anyone is struggling to get a repair done in the Northwest of England please contact us on 01942 737381.We are a small conservatory repair company based in Wigan.
Coldseal windows.If you have had these fitted please check your guarantee as they may have been insurance backed. If they are contact the insurance company who will find a tradesman to carry out the repairs. If not contact us Welsh Window Systems we cover all of the Vale of Glamorgan and have just started to cover West and Mid Wales.Contact Cavan 01446-749821 07050-228267www.welshwindows.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
We thought long and hard about whether to have double glazing or not, once we decided we would, we went to a 'reputable' company.
The salesman came and gave his demonstration(about 2hrs) then we decided to have the whole house done 5 windows and 2 doors. He gave us a figure of £8000(approx). We said "no" and he came back with £7500 again we refused and this went on until he came down to £3200 and said there was no way he could go any lower! We kept saying "no" but he wouldnt budge therefore we decided to go ahead! He also gave us the Coldseal guarantee along with a guarantee we paid extra for incase anything happened to their company.(alarm bells should have rang then).
They arranged a fitting date and I must admit the fitters, sorry cowboys did turn up on time. Although in an unmarked vehicle and no uniform. They began work and it was like watching children at school. The eldest man had to constantly stand over the younger lads shoulder telling him what to do.
2 days later the work was finished, I was asked to inspect the work and as previous people have said, did this in the dark. Although I did notice their was no safety catch on my sons bedroom window which I had specifically ordered. I was told they did not do these, so why was I charged for and promised one by the salesman.
In the light of day the true colours of coldseal revealed themselves. The mess was unbelievable, chunks of plaster from my walls were missing, carpet had been cut out and bare concrete showing. I was not pleased. I rang coldseal and lost my temper to be told "I will get the manager o call you back, hes currently in a meeting". More like hes feeding another victim a load of rubbish. I finally recieved a phone call from the 'manager' saying he was sending out an engineer to repair any faults.
He came 2 days later only to inform me there was nothing wrong and left. Totally bewildered I contacted the 'manager' again to be told there was othing else they could do.
A week or so later I found puddles by the back door, I called them back. Out came an engineer only to find there are no drainage holes in the bottom of the door therefore it was all coming inside rather than draining off. He checked the front door for me and you guessed, the same there too.
Recently I have had a further problem, my front door has dropped so it has to be lifted to close it and blimey are they heavy. I called Coldseal to find they are no longer trading. I didnt panic as I had the extra insurance. Surprise, surprise its not worth the paper its written on.
I am now left with a doorthat I have to lift to shut whilst carrying my 13 month old son in and out. As you are probably aware hey are now in liquidation. Please learn from my mistakes and give them a wide berth.
Coldseal have gone into liquidation. Please look at the following address to find out more. www.blagger.com/scripts/db4.php?company_id=1602&companyname=Coldseal%20Group
I was called by a lady today saying that even though they went bust on 14/10/04 she was seen by a coldseal rep on the 18/10/04, signed up and gave him a deposit. She has since found out they are no longer trading and has no way of getting her deposit back. She had also accepted a finance deal from them and could now be black-listed due to this.
This is the second time this year the have gone into liquidation, the first being in febuary this year. If they should start up again i very strongly advise people to stay well clear, you are much better off going to a smaller local or regional company. The golden rules of this industry are that you get what you pay for and that if you buy cheap, you'll buy twice!!!
I can verify that what I am about to say is true and have proof of it. I have countless documents, pictures and video footage of work done by Coldseal. I am happy to make these available to anyone who would like to see them. When choosing our Windows and Conservatory we were very careful. We spent a great deal of time and obtained a number of quotes. We did not take the cheapest price and thought that by choosing a large company to fit our windows and conservatory we would be 'safe'. Apparently not. · Most of the windows had to be refitted due to poor fitting. · The conservatory started to sink after just 18 months due to having inadequate foundations. · As far as Coldseal were concerned it was the builders fault not theirs. They did everything they could to get out putting it right. At one point they tried to convince me that a miracle was occurring and the Conservatory was rising back up out of the ground!! · It took a professional survey and a threat of court, to convince them that ?bunging a bit of concrete underneath? would not solve the problem. It took over a year to finally get them to come out and fix the conservatory. The work was completed in December 2003, 1 year and 4 months (and a whole lot of arguments, tears and stress) after our initial complaint. Before re-building the conservatory, Richard Morby, Coldseals 'Litigation Manager' (07974 362025) agreed to redecorate and put the garden right. Of course it did not happen ? nor did he respond to our e-mails or telephone calls. So, we took Coldseal to small claims court and were awarded £1080. Isn?t that fantastic? Well, it would have been if I had got my paws on it! All I received was a letter telling me that Coldseal had gone into liquidation and that I would not receive any money. They are now Coldseal Group ? still the same name (give or take a group), still the same fitters, still the same pho
ne numbers, web site and customer services etc, etc. To add insult to injury the Conservatory Window-sills have blown and there is nothing I can do - my glossy 10-year guarantee is not worth the paper it is printed on.
The windows seem fine. They are fitted nicely - where we have them !! They took the old window out at 10 am yesterday. The new window was too big. They didn't have a replacement. We have now been 36 hours without a window and a piece of plyboard in it's not nice. It's cold. It's wet. It's blatantly insecure - and their marketing bumpf says that they will alwys leave it secure if they can't finish in a day. DON'T BELIEVE THEM !!! Their customer support is appalling. I just keep getting through to the same chap who doesn't help. He just says he can only do his best. That does not help my bedroom with it's new carpet getting damper by the day :o( They are frustrating the hell out of me. You can only complain in writing but the fax numbers they give just ring out. They won't let you complain on the phone. Very unhappy
On the 5th of November I received a visit from a Coldseal salesman and after a two hour presentation of the Coldseal product I decided to order a front door and window. We paid a deposit and were assured that the door and window would be fitted before Xmas 2003 as promised in the advertising document I received (a copy of which is enclosed). The total price was £1108.00, so we qualified for the autumn sale offer. The survey was carried out a week later on the 12th of November, the details of the installation were explained to me and being a mechanical engineer I was conversant and happy with the installation programme. But then on 17th of Nov we were told that the installation date was to be the 20th of Jan 2004, obviously breaking the 1st promise of the Autumn Sale advertising, I contacted Coldseal and was told that due to a heavy demand and workload that this was the only date available and there was no negotiation on this point. I reluctantly accepted this and waited for the installation date to arrive. On the installation date the fitters were supposed to leave the local service centre between 8.00am and 9.00am, I received a phone call to tell me the fitters would be held up due to traffic, the service centre is only 15 mins away from my home. The fitters eventually arrived at 10.30am, I had been promised that the fitters would be Coldseal engineers in a Coldseal vehicle, the two fitters that arrived were obviously sub contractors, neither of the fitters wore Coldseal uniforms, the lead fitter needed to talk the other fitter through every operation that he had asked him to carry out. It was clear that the 2nd fitter was not used to this kind of work and not trained to the standard assured in the initial presentation. The fitter asked me to inspect the installation at around 4.00pm, in the dark; he showed me the operation of the door. I was asked to sign the completion form and pay the balance of the transaction, this I did b
ut I was not sure the installation was 100%satisfactory but I was assured several times that it was and if I had any problems I could phone Coldseal and they would send out a service engineer to check the installation. When I was eventually able to examine the door in decent light I found many faults, I filled out a customer service form and added a letter of complaint outlining the problems I felt needed attention. I was contacted a few days later by a Coldseal engineer who agreed to examine the door, after he had viewed the door he agreed with me that the door had not been fitted to the standards I should expect and that he would arrange the fitters to return and finish the installation competently. The fitters were organised to return on Monday 2nd Feb but failed to turn up, the next date was Sat 7th Feb, again they failed to turn up, the fitting team have told the engineer that they visited and no one was at home, this was not true, I was at home with my wife and son and both front doors were left open as had been requested for the first visit, plus I had been told that it was not necessary for any one to be at home as long as the installation door was open and a power source was made available. I am now waiting for another appointment to be arranged for the work to be completed satisfactorily; this is after I initially agreed to sign for the door installation on the proviso it would definitely fitted before Xmas. If I had wanted a cheap installation I know enough people to have been able to arrange a door fitting for around £500.00 but with no guarantee, but instead I thought I was doing the right thing going to a ?reputable? firm but obviously at the present time I have yet to be proved right. Dear Mr Davis I can confirm that Coldseal group are registered for insolvency and are no longer registered with FENSA. Kind regards FENSA Enquiries U
pdate on 19th Feb :- a cold seal fitter in a cold seal van and uniform called today and completed the work necessary for me to report the work 90 % satisfactory. If anyone does use Coldseal they must ensure that the fitters that are sent to do the work are employed by Coldseal and not sub contractors as I had the misfortune of being supplied with.
Should be Coldsteal! They charmed their way in to the house, tricked in to signing survey Saying, "no obligation as extension had not being finished?, then demanded 400 quid Cancellation fee (25%)despite not doing anything other than harassing and bullying. Endless phone calls very tricky wording to get you where they want you, cant warn you enough not to sign anything and the law should be altered to protect people from disreputable pushy companies that exploit peoples lack of knowledge of loopholes in the law.
Against all my better judgement I actually decided to by double glazing from a national company. The sales man that came round from ColdSeal turned up in a battered Mini Metro and struggled to operate his calculator. Never the less he was a nice enough guy who didn't put much pressure on us (The Zenith / Bowater sales man we had was very, very pushy but seeing as we didn't get our windows from them I can't comment on the product). After we showed him how to work out the percentage discount he was supposedly giving us we signed on the line. I must say that the speed in which they contacted us back and got our windows and door installed was very good and the job (so far) I am happy with, but that?s where it stops. I have spent the last 2 months trying to contact there customer service department. Now because the salesman that came round was from Bryco (they have been bought out by ColdSeal) I apparently can not speak to the customer service number printed on top of the contract I signed with ColdSeal but have to speak to another customer support (probably Brycos old one although both numbers are offer the "Welcome to the ColdSeal / Bryco Group" message). When I ring this number and navigate the automated response, it might be picked up after 10-15 mins (no joke) but is put straight back down again. All I want is to ask what has happened to my warranty / guarantee pack that was promised to me after installation. I know it only been 3 months but if you don't chase it will be forgotten or changed or discontinued etc. There inability to service this simple request has left me wishing I hadn't dealt with them at all. As another reviewer mentioned they are quick enough when they haven't been paid but after that you?re on your own. I realise that compared to the problems other people are having with ColdSeal, mine seems very small potatoes but judging by the problems I will quite likely need the
guarantee (if its worth anything at all). If you are looking for double glazing and you only take one thing away from your search checking up on double glazing companies it should be this. Do not under any circumstances deal with a national company (especially ColdSeal). A local company has its local reputation to consider and therefore less likely to mess you around in mine and others opinion. With any luck I will eventually get what was promised and will update accordingly. Rob S
I was very nervous about having new windows installed after all that you hear about some of the companies. But I decided to go with Coldseal Windows. I found that the work they carried out was excellent. The windows look as if they are moulded into the house and look very nice. The quality is excellent and I would highly recommend them to anyone. The fitters were very friendly and carried out there work as professionals. They did a clean and tidy job...Thanks Coldseal!
After being stopped by a coldseal guy while out shopping in the pouring rain i decided to take pitty on him and agree to a salesman coming out to our home.In my defence it was raining and i was up until i had dealings with coldseal a soft touch. They sent the man out for a 2 hour appointment that ended up being 5 hours showing the wonderful windows out of pure exhaustion we signed he didnt leave until 11:30pm. On looking at the finance package we had signed up to we soon realised we would be paying double the inital quoat we had been told if we payed cash the price would be £9200 but if we had there finance at 29% apr then the windows would be £5500. After cancelling the contract with the finance company a week later we had a phone call from coldseal asking why we had cancelled and told them that we didnt like the finance package.We where then offered the windows for the finance price of £5500 so we agreed. The same salesman was sent out and after another 1 hour and 30 mins we had a new contact. He then returned two days later telling us we had to pay him £100 for the survey and he had forgotten to tell us. When we signed the finance agreement the survey was booked at 11pm that night, I asked the guy to arrange the survey and he said that they would contact us because he doesnt do that because we arent paying by finance. When we signed the finance contract we where colseals new bestfriends they couldnt do enough for us unfortunatly when we decided to pay cash they werent interesed.Obviously the apr on the loan made them serious money. The team of men (2) arrived to fit the windows.When they put the first window in i had asked for georgian bar on the glass only to be told if the surveyor hadnt put it down so it was plain glass for us. The windows where put in in late November so it was cold and dark the workmen got faster and faster putting the windows in and made more and more mess. The carpet in the conservatory was ruined there are dirty mar
ks on all the walls they left glass on the lawn brick rubble under all the windows cracks around the sofits they havent sealed in the windows properly. When they finished on the last day it was late,dark and cold unfortunatly all wasnt revealed until the next day. I rang coldseal and i rang them and in the end i got the impression they had caller display because when i withheld my phone number they answered. I was told the guys would be out that nite. Great i thought because they had only finished the nite before. They didnt turn up until a we ek later.By this time the door knocker had been used once and it had fallen off. They came they bodged and they left again it was dark and i couldnt see what they had done.The next morning i got up and the piece of plastic they had stuck over the hole in ths sofit was on the floor. I have rung and rung coldseal with no response or reply. We still have gaps in windows cracks in walls rubble and glass waiting for them to pick up. And they didnt even clean the windows!!!
We had a window fitted. Only trouble was, it was cracked. A new one would be fitted the following day promised the fitter. A week on and we're still waiting. No courtesy calls to say when this will happen of course. Try ringing their so called customer care line,you've guessed it, kept waiting on the line for over an hour each time and then cut off because as the message says all the operators are busy. Busy taking prozac after all the complaints, I should imagine. My advice: Keep well clear of this bunch of bandits and find a more reputable company.