Following our article last year about companies closing down and resurfacing immediately again appearing to be the same company, although not, following recent events in the blinds and shutters industry we thought we would re-highlight the situation and provide practical advice on how to avoid shading cowboys.
One good way to judge a company is by the length of time that company has been established, as this typically shows staying power and a good business model. However, when a new limited company is formed, claiming to have been established much longer – ie. taking into account the length of time their failed previous companies were in business, this is not misleading but purely dishonest and deceitful and we know of several companies in the industry who are doing just this.
Fortunately for consumers, all limited companies are listed on the companies house website, where you can carry out a FREE company check, using their WebCheck service, which will tell you, along with the companies registered office address, when they were incorporated, or whether they are indeed in administration, in liquidation, in a voluntary arrangement or dissolved.
ALWAYS CHECK WHAT COMPANIES ARE CLAIMING AND GET THEM TO PUT IT IN WRITING – if they won’t, then clearly they are telling you what they want you to hear to get the order, rather than the truth. Additionally if you are deceived and the company was irresponsible enough to put their claims in writing, you have the proof needed to take appropriate action.
Caribbean Blinds (UK) Ltd was proudly established on 12th November 1987 and we remain the only company in the UK dedicated purely to the field of exterior solar shading, with genuine experts who love what they do and provide honest advice on the best solution for your specific application and requirements, with installations carried out by our own fully employed personnel who also manufacture our products with loving care in our own UK production facilities, so know the systems inside out.
Other things to check are:
- What quality & safety standards do the products on offer meet? (all external blinds must be certified to European Standard EN13561)
- What level of guarantee is provided? And does it cover parts & labour or parts only (this is often the reason for difference in prices)
- Are installers employed directly by the company or sub contract? (sub contract installers work for a fee per installation rather than on a salary basis meaning the more they install the more they earn and this will usually jeopardise on quality of fit)
- Is the company committed purely to the specific field (external blinds) or do they have many strings to their bows? ie interior blinds, garage doors and other home improvement product lines (working in a specific field shows focus and expertise)