Question about safestyle windows - sexism?

(39 Posts)
LeavesOffTheCactus Thu 14-Oct-21 10:36:27

Hi all.

I had safestyle out today to quote me for windows. I have spoken to them on the phone about 3 times over the last week and each time they’ve said “we’ll see you and your partner on Thursday” and each time I’ve said that it will just be me as my partner is working. I even spoke to someone from head office this morning and repeated this to them.

When the guy turned up he asked where my “husband” is (I’m not married but that’s by the by). I explained that he’s working and that I keep telling them that he won’t be coming. The guy said ooooh I’ll have to call head office and check. He does so and they say no - he can’t quote me without my husband’s authorisation. His explanation was “because we have our own factory and make our own windows”. I don’t get it. We had another company out just before safestyle and there was no issue. They also make their own windows.

I could have gone and got my partner as he works from home but by this time I’m just annoyed that they ignored me all the times I warned them on the phone that it’s just me and I’m also suspicious about how they would have responded if it was just my “husband” and not me.

So my question is this: has anyone had safestyle out for a quote to just their male partner? And did they insist on speaking to the second partner to seek authorisation? Or did they just get on with it?

I might be paranoid but I really want to know…

Thanks for reading

OP’s posts: |
FawnFrenchieMum Thu 14-Oct-21 10:38:32

I don't get this (feel like I have read this somewhere else today as well, facebook maybe).

Do single woman not have windows in their homes?

RedCarsGoFaster Thu 14-Oct-21 10:39:42

I've always heard this with this company. It's why I've never used them.

Very normal for them apparently, seems to be a national policy.

RedCarsGoFaster Thu 14-Oct-21 10:40:46

On their website:

Who needs to be present for the quote appointment?
We do request that all decision makers are present for the appointment as we believe this allows us to provide the most efficient service. We find that as replacement windows and doors are not frequent purchases, people appreciate being given information about the industry, its regulations, and how it could affect their choices as well as it allowing them to make an informed decision.

Whether that wins us your business or not we feel it our duty as a professional company to provide this information. In addition if we visit only one party, where two individuals are involved the other may well have a number of questions that may have not been raised or answered at the initial visit. Equally there may be differing opinions on the choices available and we feel that many of our customers enjoy looking through these options and making the decision together.

Nevertheless, if you advise that only you need to be available for the appointment, the person you are speaking with will discuss this with you and make the appropriate arrangements.

www.safestyle-windows.co.uk/ask-an-expert/about-safestyle/our-process-explained-quote-appointment/

Teesdale2622 Thu 14-Oct-21 10:41:32

We had the same with another window company.

bytheby Thu 14-Oct-21 10:45:17

It is also a legal issue. If substantial changes are made to a house that is owned by 2 people but only 1 wanted the change the company is open to being sued by the other. Most companies aren't cautious on this issue but I think it is reasonable if they are.

TobyHouseMan Thu 14-Oct-21 10:48:34

It's a tactic they use because once they get into the hard sell they don't want you turning around and making the excuse that 'I need to speak to my husband.'

The point here is 'hard sell' They don't want you to have an exit from 'signing now and we'll give you a 50% discount.' If you do ever find yourself in the awkward situation of being pressured to 'buy now' just look them straight in the face and say 'There is NOTHING you can do that will make me buy these Windows now.' Keep repeating this until they get the message.

Don't use a company that uses this tactic - get in a local company to quote.

You can pre-arm yourself by knowing what a reasonable price is for the Windows you want. Go here and get an online quote for supply only. Then you know the kind of ballpark figure you should be expecting. And fall for the Bullsh*t that these are crap windows and their's are far superior, these are the kind of Windows 90% of people have installed and they're great.

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BrilloPaddy Thu 14-Oct-21 11:11:57

We had someone out from Safestyle and in the end, DH had to threaten to call the Police to get rid of him. The sales tactics were horrific.... he started off at £15k, then had to phone his manager repeatedly and came down to £10k. By this time he'd been there 2 hours and we'd had enough. It was honestly horrendous and I can't believe they're allowed to operate. We had to get Trading Standards involved in the end to stop the phone harrassment from them - DH's father was at the end of life in hospital and we had 7 calls on one day from them.

They also refused to quote without DH there, but thank god he was tbh.

Seeingadistance Thu 14-Oct-21 11:18:22

TobyHouseMan

It's a tactic they use because once they get into the hard sell they don't want you turning around and making the excuse that 'I need to speak to my husband.'

The point here is 'hard sell' They don't want you to have an exit from 'signing now and we'll give you a 50% discount.' If you do ever find yourself in the awkward situation of being pressured to 'buy now' just look them straight in the face and say 'There is NOTHING you can do that will make me buy these Windows now.' Keep repeating this until they get the message.

Don't use a company that uses this tactic - get in a local company to quote.

You can pre-arm yourself by knowing what a reasonable price is for the Windows you want. Go here and get an online quote for supply only. Then you know the kind of ballpark figure you should be expecting. And fall for the Bullsh*t that these are crap windows and their's are far superior, these are the kind of Windows 90% of people have installed and they're great.

Exactly this. I’ve not heard of this particular company, but there are others who do the same. They also refuse to give you a clear and unambiguous price, go through a play of giving you a special discount which you have to sign up for on the spot, and will stay in your house for about 2 hours giving you their sales pitch.

Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Go for local company, who will give you a straightforward quote, and no dodgy patter.

popgoesthewee Thu 14-Oct-21 11:20:55

As others have said it's because they want to sell to you on the spot & if both decision-makers aren't there there's less chance of them closing the deal.

drinkingwineoutofamug Thu 14-Oct-21 11:24:55

Bloody hell, had this just last week. The guy was late which was annoying in itself as I left a meet up with friends early.
After speaking to this man a couple of times he actually said it would be better coming when my husband is home anyway!
A) I don't have a husband but live with my partner.
B) I was paying using my hard saved cash.
C) my partner didn't give a damn anyway as he said it was my choice.

I'm now finding some other business. When they did call I told them why I no longer wanted business with them. Do companies use these tactics with widows, single women, divorce women?
Do single men have this issue? As in we need to speak to your wife?

Authenticcelestialmusic Thu 14-Oct-21 11:30:22

As others have said it’s so you cannot say ‘I need to check with my partner’. I had the same with with a company selling soffits and fascia, After a £20000 quote (yes really) I said we will not make a decision today. To test me he said even if they were £4000. I replied ‘yes even if they were £1000! He did the phone a manager mid appointment trick too. Really annoying!

Get a referral from a friend.

Seeingadistance Thu 14-Oct-21 11:51:42

@drinkingwineoutofamug

Yes, similar tactics with single women, in my experience. A few years ago I was in my garden when a couple of people went up my street leafleting about a window company. I said that actually, I was looking for new windows and would like a quote. They took my details, including asking who else lived in the house - my teenage son - and I was also asked about this by the office when they phoned to make the appointment, and by the salesman when he came along. I was already a bit suspicious, so when salesman simply looked quickly at the windows without measuring or asking any detailed questions I worked out what was going on. When he sat down in my living room and produced his sales pack, I said to him that I wasn’t interested in a sales pitch, I just wanted a price for each window. He got all offended and said that the office should have said that he’d be there for two hours! He wanted to phone his office to confirm that, and I said that I was too old for that, had sat through this type of sale once before, many years ago, and not interested in doing it again. He did go, but was huffy about it.

I find one of the joys of being a middle-aged woman is not giving a fuck about guys like him!

In the end I went with an established local company, who were very efficient in asking what I wanted, measuring up, giving me a price per window, and didn’t waste my time.

Whitefire Thu 14-Oct-21 12:33:50

Yes it is so you can't get rid of them as easily. Nothing to do with sexism, everything to do with high pressured sales.

Like others we used a local company, he came, measured and then sat in his car to work out the quote, told us exactly how much each bit would cost and left us with the quote.

I am using a larger company for some major repointing, but there was no hard sell.

LemonSwan Thu 14-Oct-21 12:39:09

If it was me I would just not accept quote of this company.

Their loss.

Hoppinggreen Thu 14-Oct-21 12:56:50

It’s not sexism, they need the decision makers there.
The staff are usually self employed and it has actually cost them money to get to the house. Plus they will be under immense pressure from their manager to close the deal on the day and to get paid ASAP.
Obviously the business set up isn’t the client’s problem and I’m not suggesting you should feel sorry for them or anything, I am just explaining the reasoning behind it.

LemonSwan Thu 14-Oct-21 13:13:20

Hoppinggreen

Most women are the decision makers. You think the men give two flying fucks about their windows or home improvements in general? Nine times out of ten no.

So it is sexist to assume the man is a decision maker.

Hoppinggreen Thu 14-Oct-21 13:30:37

Yes I know that.
They want BOTH decision makers there. They would probably be as unwilling to go to a house when the female wife/partner would be out too.
I have knowledge of this industry and similar ones and the sales people are told to make sure BOTH people are there.
I’m sure many of them are sexist but the reasons for the policy aren’t
I’m not saying I agree with it or am defending it, simply explaining.

mrwalkensir Thu 14-Oct-21 13:32:39

Find a good local firm. Much cheaper, no stress etc.

PostcodeJack Thu 14-Oct-21 13:36:43

I've (semi) recently (this year) had my windows replaced by Safestyle. The rep wasn't bothered that my OH wasn't there (although he did coincidentally finish work early and ended up joining us). I did leave the room to "discuss" things with OH but the rep knew I was the one paying so whilst trying to get OH on board wasn't that concerned with him. TBF I think the rep actively disliked me by the time he left (I do think I got a good deal)

I was actually very pleased with the service in the end. That being said my (male with a partner) neighbour was very unhappy with the rep when they quoted for him. Perhaps it was his residual dislike of me!

Reiterate previous posters that reps don't like to give people the "opt out" of saying that they need to confer with an absent partner

BlueMongoose Thu 14-Oct-21 15:34:08

We like both to be present, but if one of us wants to delegate to the other, that's our business. A contract, even a verbal one, is just as binding from one as from two people. It's ridiculous to suggest all owners need to be there- what about places owned by whole families or a list of executors through wills who live all over the country,m even abroad, etc?

Personally, I wouldn't bother with any company that didn't work on my terms. We've found local UPVC firms to be far cheaper- a fair price, no false discounting nonsense.

We had a double-glazing joint try this 'I must speak to your husband' nonsense on us decades ago, and I told them to [go and boil their heads]. I'm shocked that it's still going on, as I thought it was positively Victorian even back then.

BlueMongoose Thu 14-Oct-21 15:37:29

Seeingadistance

*@drinkingwineoutofamug*

Yes, similar tactics with single women, in my experience. A few years ago I was in my garden when a couple of people went up my street leafleting about a window company. I said that actually, I was looking for new windows and would like a quote. They took my details, including asking who else lived in the house - my teenage son - and I was also asked about this by the office when they phoned to make the appointment, and by the salesman when he came along. I was already a bit suspicious, so when salesman simply looked quickly at the windows without measuring or asking any detailed questions I worked out what was going on. When he sat down in my living room and produced his sales pack, I said to him that I wasn’t interested in a sales pitch, I just wanted a price for each window. He got all offended and said that the office should have said that he’d be there for two hours! He wanted to phone his office to confirm that, and I said that I was too old for that, had sat through this type of sale once before, many years ago, and not interested in doing it again. He did go, but was huffy about it.

I find one of the joys of being a middle-aged woman is not giving a fuck about guys like him!

In the end I went with an established local company, who were very efficient in asking what I wanted, measuring up, giving me a price per window, and didn’t waste my time.

Two hours? I'd be charging them my hourly rate for my time if they tried that one on with me. Time and a half for overtime if it was evening too...

HouseIsOnFire Thu 14-Oct-21 16:40:16

Aha yes can confirm they do this with single women too. He wasted 2 hours (ended up threatening to phone police to get him to leave), actually called me "little lady" and refused to give me the quote because my partner wasn't there. Didn't matter how many times or ways I said I was single, lived alone and sole owner!!

I still get rung every 6 months or so, I go through it all im excruciating detail as to what happened and they still can't manage to remove me off their contact list!!

pansypotter123 Thu 14-Oct-21 16:57:39

It's patronising to say the least. I've had similar conversations re a new kitchen, garage door and extension. On more than one occasion I've been "advised" by these people that it "would be much better, love, if your husband was here." The looks on their faces when I said I'd have to go and dig up his ashes from the local cemetery were priceless..... And they didn't get the contracts. Pinched lots of their ideas though! 🤗

user1471538283 Thu 14-Oct-21 17:22:55

Oh God do not use them! They are run by subcontractors who go bust!

I used a locally recommended firm who were cheaper and delivered and fitted exactly what I wanted.

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