Local vs National Chains: Who Does It Better?

Purchasing new doors can be a hit-or-miss affair.

You may have an idea of what you want, but how well will that style fit your home? Do you have someone to install it professionally? Any maintenance thrown in? These and more are questions people ask regarding the installation of new doors. We collated two of the most common scenarios in this article and we give our responses.

Decide for yourself, local vs national chains: who does it better?

Have a look through them, you just may have been in a similar situation.

SCENARIO 1.

Customer: I sent an email to 10 local companies and none of them got back to me. They must not need the business.

Our Response: This is a fairly common complaint. Note that while you may have initiated contact by sending an email, consider that it may have gotten sent straight to their spam folder. You may have also sent an email that was so generic, that it got ignored.

Our Tips: When you are cold-emailing, try to personalize each inquiry email, do it doesn’t get deleted immediately. Look for the name of the owner/manager and address the email to them. Also use a descriptive subject line.

When describing the job, ensure you include specific details like:

  • The size of the door.
  • The material of the door (Wood, PVC).
  • Any locks to be replaced.
  • What kind of glass is on it.
  • What is the condition of the surrounding brickwork.
  • Do you want the door supplied AND fitted or simply fitted.
  • You should send pictures of the door.

This level of specificity shows the company you are not a time-waster. Even with this much detail, you can’t get an exact quote. As they haven’t actually seen the property and done the exact measuring, they simply cant be 100% precise about the project. The best you can get is a ball park figure, use that in your budget calculation.

SCENARIO 2.

Customer: I chose to go with a national chain over three independent local companies., because they charged me less and promised to deliver within one day. Now, they have gone over the schedule and the quality of the job is really shoddy.

Our response: Most local companies take pride in being local therefore are more accessible. Many national chains are simply franchises where people who run them don’t have in-depth technical knowledge. A popular chain runs ‘quick courses’ for their new installers. How do you expect someone who has had little training to be able to correctly asses the level of work needed to convert your old PVC patio door to a triple glazed Smart-Glass entrance?

Larger businesses are able to quote lower prices because of their business model. They keep a pool of sub-contractors on file to assign jobs to. This is done on a lowest-price basis, so you may think you are paying for the company to come and do your job, but you are actually getting the lowest quality of work done. They also try to save on manpower by assigning one crew to more than one job in a day. This almost always results in a rushed job, dissatisfied customers and going over schedule.

More horror stories include customers who:

  • Get sucked into a seemingly great payment plan and end up having to pay even if the job wasn’t done satisfactorily.
  • Have their property exposed and vulnerable, because jobs that were booked for one day stretched into four days.
  • Had to deal with pushy, uninvited salesmen with ‘deals of the year’ offers. Remember, if it seems to good to be true, it is.

Let’s face it, local companies grow primarily on word of mouth recommendations. They usually don’t have big budgets to splash on TV ads. Hence they can’t afford to be sloppy with their work.

A survey by Which? found that most respondents prefer using local independents than any of the big four glazing companies.

Don’t be suckered by flashy ads or catchy jingles; do your due diligence and ask as many questions as you need to make an informed decision.

At SRL Limited, we are always up to help our customers. Contact us with your questions and let’s help you make the right decision for your home.