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 Post subject: Vinylmax - anyone have experience or opinions?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 11
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This is my first post so please forgive any breech of etiquette.

We have received a few quotes from people selling Gorell, Simonton, and Vinylmax windows. We are really interested in the Vinylmax (Easton 100 series) not only for the quality and price, but also because of this National Energy Rebate Fund. I mean, have you heard of this thing?

I searched the forum for Vinylmax as well as this rebate fund and I did not find much info. That is why I am posting.

Vinylmax claims their windows are top notch and will put them up against anyone. Unfortunately, though, I have not been able to find many reviews. They have a lifetime, NON-limited warranty that covers labor, parts, and even accidental glass breakage (i.e. baseball through the window). We got a quote for 16 triple-pane Krypton-filled double-hung windows for about $12,000. However, if we are able to cash in on this refund in 47 months, we will get almost $9000 at that time, making the cost of these windows about $3,000. It seems almost too good to be true, but the refund seems to check out from what I have read. It doesn't appear to be a scam, but one does have to pay attention to the details to claim it.

Basically, I am curious if anyone has experience with Vinylmax windows, or if you have any knowledge of this rebate fund.

Here are the respective websites.

http://www.vinylmax.com/

http://www.nationalenergyrebatefund.com/

this is the installation company, which claims the average age of their installers is over 40 (I think).
http://www.nwfamn.com/

thanks for entertaining the question of this newbie.

Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:56 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:25 am
Posts: 155
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In my opinion, don't enter into a window contract expecting to get all or most of the money back later, and don't deal with a company offering these rebates. These rebates are all almost certainly scams and their whole goal is to make it very hard for your to get your money back. Ask for the exact legal agreement for the rebate and read every word closely. It will contain difficult or impossible clauses such as requiring registered mail to be sent in a 5-day window, requiring multiple contacts from you, voiding the rebate if anyone helps you obtain it, not providing a working phone number, requiring that you have not moved, etc.

For an example of how these companies work, see here:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... 9692/print

I'm not saying nobody gets their rebates back, but most people do not - even those that try. One window company here was offering such rebates and had to close shop and restart under a new name, because of the large number of marks the BBB had against them for offering rebates through a similar shady company.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:09 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 11
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Infosponge, thanks for your reply.

We have been advised that we DO need to pay attention to the details. I appreciate the advice about not entering into the contract depending on getting the rebate back. We hope to, but even if we do not, the price for the triple pane Krypton windows is the same as the Gorell ones, so we are paying a decent price for a very good window.

There is a phone number for this rebate place, and like you said, we have been made aware of sending the documents registered mail, etc. My wife and are sticklers for the details so we are really going to try to get it. Also, we've been advised that even if the installation or the window company go belly up (which doesn't seem likely in the next 4 years) the rebate is independently managed so it will still be available. If we don't get it, we will at least have gotten a fair deal on the windows. If we do get it, we will have gotten an outstanding deal.

Still, we will consider your thoughts. I read your linked article and I see the danger with something like this. If we go through with this company we will do all we can to qualify for our rebate.

Has anyone got this particular rebate back?

Has anyone used or even heard anything about Vinylmax windows?

thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1327
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Well, I guess everyone comes out ahead in this transaction.
The window company sells you their middle grade window (not their Hyde Park window) for $750 a window! ...and they make a ton of money,
The rebate fund company gets their share and they make a lot of money.
And you are convinced you will get most of your money back.....(unless they disqualify you for some reason you haven't anticipated.)
Man, I'll bet you'll be steaming mad if that happens and you realize you are the only one that didn't benefit from you being overcharged! But, I'm sure that won't happen because I am sure you are much smarter than everyone else that thinks they are savvy enough to get their money back.

Hey, here is an exciting email I got from Nigeria. It may also interest you. All you have to do is.........

From: sunny james
Subject: IS GOOD TO WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT
Reply-To:

I have a new email address!
You can now email me at: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
I am Mr. Sunny James, the legal adviser to late Mr. Henry & Doris
Williams, a God fearing and dedicated Christian here in Nigeria
They were very wealthy but had no child. This couple lost their live on 24TH APRIL,2005: during the AUTO CRASH.
As their legal adviser, before their death, the husband Mr. Henry Williams
instructed me to write his WILL, because they had no child, he
dedicated their wealth to God. They had a lot of landed properties ,houses,
Stocks/bonds, etc. According to their instruction ,I have sold all these
properties and realize $25,000,000.00 USD(Twenty five million US
Dollars).These properties was bought by a good Christian , who pleaded that I should not disclose his identity. He paid cash, the cash was packaged
sealed in a trunk box and deposited as Gold bars for security reasons
the trunk box is presently deposited with a security company within Europe which will be disclosed to you as we
proceed.
According to the WILL, their assets should be given out to a ministry
for the work of God. As their legal adviser, all the documents for the
fund that are deposited with the security company are in my care. As a
born again Christian , I have been reading my bible and I have to do
what is lawful and right in the sight of God by giving out the fund to the
chosen ministry for the purpose of God's work as instructed by the
owners before there death. After my fasting and prayers
Today, I asked God to make his choice and direct me to an honest Christian or the chosen
ministry that deserves this fund by his Grace. I then came across your
address on the Internet as I was browsing I appeal to you to use the
fund wisely for things that will glorify the name of God. I have just
notified the Security Company where they deposited the consignments that
contained the fund, that I am moving the consignment abroad, and the
security company is awaiting my instruction to move the consignment out
of Unit?ed Kingdom. Dear in Christ, if you know that you will use this fund
honestly and wisely for things that will glorify God's name, please pray over it and respond immediately.
To proceed with the work of God and have the trunk box moved to your
destination, I will need your full names and address. Your telephone and
fax numbers will be highly appreciated for good communication.
May God bless you as you make up your mind to work for God.
Thanks.
Mr. Sunny James.


I really don't mean to be so smart alecky about this, but I am concerned for you. It's only meant with good intentions.


Last edited by Window4U (IL) on Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:14 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:32 am
Posts: 35
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Taking a quick look at the rebate details I would say you have a slim to zero chance of seeing any money. You can't file for the rebate till AFTER 4 years of purchasing the product (and before 4 years and one month pass)?

Yes, don't make any remote decision based on this offer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:25 am
Posts: 155
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donosborn, don't assume that the rebate company will exist when your 4 years are up. That is another way they can get you, by just declaring bankruptcy. See the link I posted above - the little money that was not spent on vacations and cars for the scam artists was frozen and most people never got their checks. I'll also hazard a guess that window companies willing to deal with these shady rebate companies and are often the same ones perfectly willing to overcharge you (evidence suggests that here), give you the hard sell, claim their windows are the best on the planet, were used on the space shuttle (!), and are also perfectly happy to do a mediocre job installing them. Ask them for a reference of a real customer who has gotten their rebate or even a reference of a customer who has had their pending rebate voucher for at least 3.75 years. I doubt they can provide one, because these rebate companies magically go out of business either at about 3.5 years or as the first lawsuit is filed at about 4.5 years. Alternatively, find even one friend or relative anywhere in the country who has actually received a similar rebate on their remodel, pool, ATV, etc.

I can assure that the rebate company is only there to make money off of you and find a way to deny your claim. We are trying to keep you from falling off a cliff clutching to mid-grade windows sold at a high price with false hope. If you have any doubts, please scan in or type in the complete legal conditions of the actual voucher for us to read (don't believe the non-binding summary on their web site).

Remember also that your window company is paying the rebate company to offer you this "service". The people paying them the money to give to the scam artists are customers like you.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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NERF- National Energy Rebate Fund... has an influential "Government" type sound and appearance, and they even mention 'gov' bonds in their stagegy.

This "so-called company" is not affiliated with federal or state organizations and it is my opinion that any claims that have been paid are simply part of their promotion efforts. It's yet another BOGUS effort to capitalize on the increasing pressures of energy costs and waste.

RUN from the offer, and contact your Attorney General's Office.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 11
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You have raised some good questions about this rebate. I had never heard of such a thing and it did sound almost too good to be true.

Someone requested the details and I have scanned in the sample copy of the details we have been provided.

donosborn.com/rebate_details.jpg

I see a couple problems already. The main one is we were told we'd get a rebate of around $8,000, but it looks like the max you can get is $7,000. Also, if it is a "shortfall" month, we either will not get the full payment, or we can attempt to defer it to a later month when we might get the full payment.

-- I am still curious if anyone has opinions on Vinylmax windows themselves. I have not found a ton of info or reviews out there.

thanks
don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:41 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:54 pm
Posts: 7
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I live in Central Ohio and recently had a quote from a contractor offering Vinylmax Easton windows (cincy). I received 2 quotes from him for 16 double-hung and 4 picture windows. The first quote was for $7800 (dropped the price $700.00 to $7800a week later) for all 20 windows with double pane. The second quote was for triple-pane at $10,800........for 4 more windows, at $1200 less than your quote. I couldn,t justify paying over 3K more for triple pane w/krypton. The double pane window will be fine in Central, Ohio. I would be concerned this contractor is over pricing his windows to push the rebate............sounds sleazy to me. I'd be more concerned on finding someone who has good references, especially on the installation.

Although, Vinylmax windows were my lowest quote, I went with a Vista windows (Warren , Ohio) for $200 more (8k). Side by side, I felt the Vista window was built better.....seemed more solid. I also like how Vista manufacturers their windows, they seem to use a streamline assembly of their windows, where as alot of manufacturers use a batch assemby, sending their windows to different areas of their plant waiting for the next process to be completed. I also had super-spacers offered in my Vista quote.....Vinylmax were intercept.

Vista, Vinylmax, and Simonton 5500 were very similar in construction and quality....good mid-range windows. I felt more comfortable with the Vista product and mostly the contractor and installers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:54 pm
Posts: 7
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You have to decide what is important in your window purchase decision.
I don't consider myself an expert, just a consumer that has done some research and tried to make the best decision.

IMO, installation is the key to everything.....lousy install......equal lousy windows.

You can research windows to death, the quality of the window is only as good as the parts and manufacturing process( fusion welded vs Mech) of the supplier...and there are hundreds of suppliers. Most use Veka vinyl, PPG glass etc. But, it's up to the installation crew to install your quality windows properly.

It's sounds like triplepane windows is what you are leaning toward, and I don't blame you living in Minn. In Ohio, I'm south of the " lake effect" and doublepane are fine for our climate, most replacement windows are doublepane in our part of Ohio. You realize with triplepane windows you reduce some of the light transmisson into your home. Minny's climate is harsh and triple maybe be the preferred window choice. I went with doublepane w/super spacers. I also went with half screens, due light reduction with full screens.

I wouldn't be as concerned with the R values of triplepane windows from certain suppliers and their slight differences...........INSTALLATION IS # UNO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 11
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Pjd58 wrote:
I wouldn't be as concerned with the R values of triplepane windows from certain suppliers and their slight differences...........INSTALLATION IS # UNO.


With their super high rating from many consumers in the Metro area on Angie's List, I have to think that they know what they are doing. Also, the avereage age of their installers is over 40, I believe I heard. Is that a good thing? :) Seems like it would be. I trust that the installation will be done properly.

Yeah, it gets pretty brutal in the winter here, espeially with a 1936 house. We have done what we can with getting more insulation blown into the walls, and a new furnace. Now we're looking at windows to complete the package.

thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:32 am
Posts: 35
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donosborn wrote:
Also, the avereage age of their installers is over 40, I believe I heard. Is that a good thing? :)


They could be hiring kids just out of high school and people that just retired looking for extra income. So you get an average age of 40 something with no experience. Years of expereince might tell you a little more, but someone can have 15 years experience and not do the best job.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1327
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Sounds like you have a talented salesman. He's got you singin' their tune pretty good.

This is the page you should have posted. http://www.nwfamn.com/specials.asp I think it speaks volumes in more ways than one. (Note the incorrect Federal Tax Credit amount too)
You homeowners out there keep complaining that all you want is a no-nonsense salesman who gives you his lowest price first ...and then many of you go goo-goo over slick sales presentations....some of you are beyond hope.
"Gee whiz, I'll take the $870 a window price, because my greed has gotten the better of me and I'll get my windows almost free". All wonder these type things exist.....they work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 11
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Window4U (IL) wrote:
some of you are beyond hope.


Is that me? I am utterly hopeless, adrift in the void of the universe? Dammit. I hate when that happens.

That page you linked is pretty misleading. I don't like the way they present the prices like that.

Even if the rebate does not work at all, the quality of windows we are getting is very high. The specs look good when compared to other top windows (like Simonton Prism Platinum), and the installation company extends the manufacturer's warranty to be not just one year of labor, but lifetime labor. They cover materials and labor for a lifetime, plus accidental glass breakage. It is transferrable to the next owner of the house.

Those things along with the high Angie's List ratings, I don't see why one needs to be skeptical.

But then again, I am out here drifting in the beautiful blackness! 8)

Seriously though, most of you have (obviously) way more experience with all of this than I do and I appreciate your thoughts and comments.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1327
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Good luck to you. I truely hope it all works out great for you.


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