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Joann Fabrics

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Jo-Ann Jo Ann Joann Fabrics Shady Policies
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MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN -- Although Joann's stores claim to have a clear, well-defined return policy which they post over the customer service stands, what they don't tell you (or advertise, for good reason) is that different items have return policies specific to themselves.

Recently, Jo Ann has also changed some of their policies.

1.) SPECIAL ORDER RETURNS: Special orders on their designer fabric samples in the home decor department ARE NOT returnable. Period. Even for FLAWS, which would be a legitimate reason to most retailers. BUY SPECIAL ORDERS AT YOUR OWN RISK. They USED to check items in one-by-one in home decorator fabrics at my local store, to check for weaving flaws, etc.--they NO longer do.

2.) CLEARANCE ITEM RETURNS: Clearance items and seasonal items are now NON-REFUNDABLE. Don't even try, because I have.

3.) "RED TAG" aka "FLATFOLD TABLE" FABRIC RETURNS: Many larger stores have a section in the back of the store with odd ball bits and ends/remnants of various types of materials, from home dec/upholstery, quilting cottons, fashion fabrics, etc-- called "RED TAG" fabrics--now, since Jo-Ann has instituted a no-return policy on ALL clearance items, these materials are also lumped in with "clearance" merchandise. RED TAG fabrics are NOT RETURNABLE anymore. They USED to be. It's not posted on the racks, and also for obvious reasons--they rope you in and then tell you, "the new policy is printed on the back of the receipt."

4.) SPECIAL ORDER POLICIES:

a. They used to allow you to put down 50% as a deposit on special order fabrics--NOT ANY MORE. You now have to pay all the balance up front, including SHIPPING--even though they are not even shipping the merchandise to your home--it arrives at the store you ordered it from on one of their TRUCKS--which, by the way, arrives on a weekly basis ANYWAY. Jo-Ann's is making YOU pick up the tab for their fuel costs!

b. If you fail to come and pick up your special order within 30 days, you essentially forfeit your order (including the amount you paid for it!)and it is placed on the rack for sale--AT FULL RETAIL PRICE. The special order form thingy HAS a chronological process of informing the sales clerks to call you and remind you at 30, 60, and finally 90 days (corresponding to the final extent of their return policy timeframe) however, I have witnessed orders going out to the floor after only 30! So, make sure your phone number is correct, and if at all possible, GIVE THEM MORE THAN ONE CONTACT NUMBER! They will NOT try to "look you up" in the phone book, etc. It's YOUR responsibility to GO IN AND CHECK, physically, with the people at the front desk and ASK them if your order has arrived yet.

c. KEEP YOUR RECEIPT! When you check out on a special order, you get BOTH a copy of the register's receipt ALONG with that big form you had to fill out at the front desk that describes what you ordered. NOT HAVING THIS WITH YOU COULD JEOPARDIZE your order! Some stores are nicer and let you come in and get your order without it, because they are supposed to have a binder with all the special orders carbon copies in it going back AT LEAST 2 years. Now, if you go to one of those "ghetto" stores with lazy, apathetic workers who will not put forth the effort to dig this binder out AND/OR tell you they don't know anything about special orders, BRING YOUR ORDER FORM AND RECEIPT!

5.) RETURNS WITHOUT A RECEIPT. Here is one that a lot of people on here just cannot seem to wrap their heads around. Jo-Ann's WILL accept returns without a receipt, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FABRICS, TRIMS, OR THINGS THAT HAVE TO BE CUT. If it's cut, and you try to return it WITHOUT a sales receipt, the nice folks at the return counter will ASSUME you are returning the item FRAUDULENTLY.

In otherwords, let's say the more shady character buys ten yards of something, and only uses five, and tries to return the rest--being that you cannot present a valid receipt for only five yards, then you'd have to go without a receipt. BINGO! They caught you. No receipt, no return. PERIOD. I did this legitimately on the full yardage on trim once, and got asked to LEAVE THE STORE. They do NOT want you there.

NOW, if you have non-cuttable items like general merchandise THAT WAS NOT ON CLEARANCE, then you CAN return it without a receipt--WITH A CATCH.

ALL items bought without a receipt (EXCEPT CUT YARDAGE ITEMS) will be charged 50% off of the CURRENT SELLLING PRICE. Why? Well, the more shady customer could have used one of those lovely coupons they make you sign up for--then you'd be getting back more than what you paid. BINGO.

Well, what if you, the honest customer says, sure, I used a coupon, but it was ONLY a 40% off coupon, or a 30% off coupon! SO WHAT, because you could be potentially trying to defraud the store, and they DO issue 50% ones. So, BECAUSE they DO issue 50% coupons and they are readily available, they keep HALF of what you originally paid EVEN IF you paid full price under the ASSUMPTION that you are attempting to DEFRAUD them. Great customer service attitude, huh? This is how one of their store managers explained it to me.

BOTTOM LINE: When the clerk asks you if you want the receipt IN the bag, SAY NO--why? Because you are MORE LIKELY TO LOSE IT if it's in the bag, rather than your wallet--therefore lowering returns for Jo-Ann's stores. That's retail chain mentality for you.

6.) GENERAL STORE POLICY: Jo-Ann's store managers train their employees to treat every customer as if he/she is a POTENTIAL THIEF. Why? Because big-box retailers lose millions of dollars of merchandise to shady customers as well as shady employees. In order to protect from this, they cover their backs to the nth degree. So should you! Playing innocent of their policies won't absolve you of them. The second you select merchandise and agree to pay for it, you are bound to that retailer's long (and often unpublished) policy handbook!


SUMMARY:

Jo-Ann's used to be a store that NEVER took ANY returns, and coupons could NOT be used on ANY special order items or specialty things. Now, at least, they DO accept returns (although Jo-Ann's is getting back to being much more selective on those.) SO--what can you do? ALWAYS ask the customer service person at the FRONT DESK (more likely to be a manager or supervisor) "WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY ON X PRODUCT?" BEFORE buying or checking out or having them cut anything. Protect yourself, and be pro-active. Don't get on these complaints boards if you failed to INFORM YOURSELF beforehand. Keep in mind, businesses are out there to MAKE MONEY--they are going to protect THEIR interests--not yours.

*The reviewer has spent several (heartachingly bad) years in the retail AND retail management fields. I have gleaned much of this info DIRECTLY from ACTUAL store policies--and am presenting it here for YOU--THE CONSUMER, because retailers DON'T want you to know this information!*

***STORES IN MICHIGAN TO AVOID IF YOU WANT DECENT CUSTOMER SERVICE--AKA "GHETTO" STORES:

--Lansing (west side near Lansing Mall)
--Waterford (near Summit Place Mall)
--Bloomfield Hills (Long Lake & Telegraph--TERRIBLE customer service, run by lazy rich people who argue every policy detail to the minutest)
--Roseville (at 13 Mile Road) Very dirty and bad service
     
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Idiotic Corporate Policies
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
COUNTRYSIDE, ILLINOIS -- I am a long time Joann's customer (15+ years) and visit their stores an average of once per week (sometimes much more). I also spend several thousand dollars per year on both fabric and craft items during my visits. I find most of the employees to be polite and helpful....I know most of them by face if not name and they, in turn, know me.

Unfortunately, they are handicapped by corporate policies that make absolutely no sense and only serve to irritate loyal customers like myself. Today is the perfect example. I visited the Countryside, IL store fully prepared to drop several hundred dollars on curtain fabric and framing.

First the framing: I had never used their framing services as I have a very good framer that I use for all my artwork but I had seen the coupons and the piece in question was an inexpensive poster so I decided to bring it to Joann's. I had a coupon for 60% off the regular price so imagine my surprise when the price I was quoted for a simple metal frame/no matt was $150! This is more than I would pay to take it to my usual CUSTOM framer never mind about the cost comparison of Joann's "regular" price. I was prepared to pay about $75 for said frame so, needless to say, chose not to leave the piece with Joann's. Based on past experience, I will probably have to pay $100 at my usual framer but I know the quality will be top notch and there won't be anything shady about the pricing structure.

Now for the fabric: I brought my daughter with me to the store today so that we could pick out fabric for bedroom curtains. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, there were almost no pre-cut samples in the plastic pouches attached to each bolt. Never the less, we went around and identified approx. 5-6 samples that looked like potential candidates. I then approached the employee behind the cutting counter and asked her if she would cut samples for us. She replied that no, she couldn't do that and I would have to bring each of the bolts up to the cutting counter. Please note that there was next to no one in the store this afternoon and nobody at the cutting counter waiting to be served. I was less than pleased but what really frosted me was her insistence that I could not have more than 3 samples (this in spite of the fact that if there had been samples precut as there should have been, I could have taken one for each bolt that we were interested in). Fine. We selected 3 bolts and brought them up for cutting which, by the way, took almost 10 minutes thanks to all the paperwork she had to fill in. When I finally got my samples, they were so tiny that they did not include all the colors in the fabric (never mind about any sense of what the pattern looked like). To her credit, she sorted through all the samples to find the "best" ones but this was little consolation when the end result was so useless!

As someone who sews full time, Joann's is not the only store I frequent. One of the other stores I like to shop at is Calico Corners. Unlike Joann's, they provide customers with an unlimited # of samples that are generous enough to actually be of some use when making a final selection. They also cut the samples in-situ with no lengthy delays while employees fill in tedious paperwork. Their prices are similar to Joann's but the service is in a completely different league. Unfortunately, none of the three samples we brought home from Joann's was quite the right thing but, rather than going back for another 3 samples (a 40 minute round trip), I will be making the 20 minute round trip to Calico Corners.

The net result was that instead of the several hundred dollars I intended to spend, I walked out with $1.50 in embroidery floss! Although I have never filed a complaint before, I decided that I have had enough of this nonsense (especially since employees have asked me to give them a good review to boost the store's ratings - something I can't in good conscience do even though the problems I regularly encounter are not their fault).

To add insult to injury, the web site is set up to make filing a complaint virtually impossible......customers are expected to have full contact info, including phone and zip code, for a store in order to file a complaint and comments are limited to so few characters it is impossible to adequately describe the problem. Hence my decision to post my complaint on this and other web sites.
     
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Nohandle on 2013-08-21:
I don't sew, wish I did, but know what you're talking about. I ordered some custom furniture and the sample I was looking at did not contain but a tiny portion of the predominant color in the sofa. The two occasional chairs in a solid fabic did match but you darn sure did have to look for the color in the sofa.

That won't ever happen again.
Karnamay on 2013-08-22:
I have been an avid sewer for 45 years and have never been to a fabric store that gives out samples. What a great idea. Wish I had the option of samples at the stores I frequent, even if they were small and a limited number.
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Joann Fabrics-Bad Return Policy
Posted by on
MARLTON, NEW JERSEY -- On 4/25 I purchased a couple of yarns from JoAnn Marlton NJ store and wanted to return them yesterday 6/5 within 90 days from the purchase. Their return policy without receipt sucks. Basically it is not there.

So the manager there said he can scan the merchandise back and the corporate will send me a check within 2 weeks. I said OK, but the minute he started to ring the products on the register I noticed he was refunded me half of what I paid. I stopped him and asked why? He stated that per company policy they have to give me the actual lowest price of the merchandise. I asked how much does the same yarn cost now and he gave me the price that I paid ($9.99). When I asked him why does he refund me only $4.99 if the product did not have a price change he said because he doesn't know when I purchased the items because I do not have a receipt.

I think if you use common sense and a little bit of logic he should refunded me the price that I paid regardless the date of the purchase if the item did not have a change in price!!!!!

I have tried to tell him that what he says and what he's doing doesn't make sense and it is illogic to refund me half of the price if the price didn't change and the policy says to refund the lowest price of the product at the time of the return. He was looking at me like I have stolen the yarns from the store. Bad customer service!!!!! Do not shop there!!! I will never ever shop there!!!!!
Sorry for the long post but I needed to share my bad experience with you.

     
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MDSasquatch on 2011-06-06:
In the absence of a receipt, I have to side with the store on this one.
Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
Lots of stores do this if you don't have a receipt.
azRider on 2011-06-06:
I got to go with the store on this one too. you did not have a receipt, and I know joann's often has sale flyers with coupons that come in my paper on Sunday. so without a receipt there is no way to know if you used a coupon, it was a special sale or if you bought them a year ago during a clearance promotion. they have no way of knowing the price you paid. so I don't see a problem with the store.
MRM on 2011-06-06:
Expect to face hassles if you don't have a receipt.
Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
AzRider, I was just about to add to my comment, but you summed up what I wanted to say!
SteveWiginowski on 2011-06-06:
To add onto AzRider, if you purchased it at $6.99 when it last went on sale, and then the refunded you it at $9.99, then you are esentially making $3.00. If a company started letting me do this, then I may want to take advantage of it. I'd buy a lot of items when they go on sale, and then return them all once they stop going on sale. I'd probably be able to make a good amount of money.
Sophia Marie on 2011-06-06:
Lesson learned - - there is a price to pay when you make a return without a receipt. You are rightfully at the mercy of the retailer and their policies.
Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
So if a customer doesn't have their receipt, the store MAY accept their return, but can refund them 50% off what the customer paid because the store has no idea when the customer actually bought the item(s) and that sounds reasonable?

I find this review interesting b/c oddly enough I just had a similar experience at Michael's the other day, when I needed to return some items and I didn't have my receipt. No hassle, a simple look up in the system to see when I'd made my purchase and within 5 minutes I had cash in hand. The OP doesn't say how they paid, but I would suspect that most businesses have the technology to look up a credit/debit card transaction no problemo...it's just a matter of whether or not they choose to provide good customer service or not.

I don't know how many times I've said it, but store policies are guidelines.. they are not rules that can never be broken.
Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
Great review, very helpful!!! +1,
Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
JC, when I worked retail, we could look up when a customer made a purchase if they paid by credit card and they had that credit card with them (we had to scan the same card). We couldn't look it up if they paid by cash or check or gift card. I don't know if things have changed since then
SteveWiginowski on 2011-06-06:
JC, if they are able to look it up, they should do it. We are unable to determine what was used to purchase it in this though. Giving a refund for the lowest sales price makes sense so that the store won't lose money. If everyone was honest, then I don't think there would be a need for receipts when returning a product. The problem is that people try to cheat the system, which hurts the honest people.

Having a receipt can prove to be very helpful. It can prove not only when an item is purchased, but the actual purchase price.
Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
Yep, I agree SteveW...I wish the OP had mentioned what method was used for purchase. If it was a cash purchase, than I agree that JoAnn's probably did the best they could.
Venice09 on 2011-06-06:
That has been the policy of almost all retail stores for years. Common sense and a little bit of logic should tell you that a store is not going to give you back more than you paid. Without a receipt, how does the store know that you didn't pay the lowest price of the item in the last 90 days? It's your responsibility to prove what you paid for the merchandise, not the store's.
Buddy01 on 2011-06-07:
One example at my store of a customer that tried to abuse the no receipt no return policy is a man who wanted to return a man's shirt. He swore that he bought the shirt the previous week. Actually my store hadn't sold that particular brand of shirt in about 10 years.
Starlord on 2011-06-07:
Steve hit the nail on the head. If there weren't dishonest people trying to rip stores off, they would have no trouble with returns, receipts or not. It is a truth that when dishonest people (sounds better than crooks) cost stores the amount that has been reported annually for many years, then the honest customers have to foot the bill with higher prices. this forces the stores to at least try to mitigate the damages by absolutely requiring proof of purchase, AKA a receipt, for a refund or exchange.
Katrina on 2013-07-10:
I had a receipt, and still had a bad experience with Joann's. Basically, I purchased some beads on sale, and decided on a different color. I asked for a even exchange, but was told that since they were I longer on sale, I would have to pay the difference. That made no sense to me since I had my original receipt, and just wanted the same product in a different color. I have no problem respecting a store's return/exchange policy (which is why I do not shop at Burlington Coat Factory) however, when that policy is not expressed in the store, nor the receipt, I have a problem with that. I used to spend a lot of money there, now I simply take my business to Michael's.
Who Now on 2013-07-23:
To Katrina,

When you tried to make an even exchange, did the employee there explain to you that each and every item in that store is tracked by computer and if you just swap out one slightly different item for a slightly different item, it can through the entire inventory off? That causes so many headaches for everyone at the store.

Sorry they did not explain it to you, but they have to stick to the exacting rules.
Mirya on 2014-02-28:
Stores do not have to accept any returns without a receipt. You are lucky that they gave you anything at all.
As for switching items out, once a sale is over the sale is over. If an employee creates a discount for a customer without manager authorization it is grounds for dismissal.
Inventory must be tracked. One cannot simply 'swap' similar items without corporate coming down on the store for 'shrinkage'.
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Outdated Items
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
BOISE, IDAHO -- I ran into JoAnn Fabrics on Federal Way in Boise, Idaho to grab a couple of magazines and some candy since I needed something to occupy a few hours of time sitting in an office. The magazines were from JANUARY 2014! Not just one, but 3 different magazines. I finally found a Somerset that was current and then went to the check out aisle to find a couple of candy bars. The candy had expired in 2013. I tried several, including the bags of candies. EXPIRED!! I let the clerk know. Her response: "The magazines get replaced when someone has time to do that, and since we only have 2 employees in the store at one time, we don't have time." I asked if they were discounted, since they were past the expiration date and she "Absolutely not!".

Don't the people at their corporate offices understand that if they don't keep up with the quality, they will lose their customers?! More and more I am finding that JoAnn's as a whole doesn't care at all about customer service, only transporting all that cheap fabric into their stores and all that CRAP FROM CHINA onto their shelves. Today was my very last visit to their store. Too many other stores where you can purchase magazines, not to mention craft supplies and QUALITY FABRIC.
     
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Cwazychicken on 2014-02-26:
personally I would not buy magazines or candy at a store that's main focus is selling fabric. Same goes for I would not buy groceries at a gas station because half the items as well are expired..
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Worst Experience, Please Don't Risk It
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON -- The short of it. ..
they said they would be getting more material in, so we bought 1/3 the amount needed because that was all they had at the time, 3 months go by while I check every 2 weeks. They kept saying in 2 more weeks. . Until finally material is discontinued. .. Now they won't take back our original purchase. This is the 3rd awful transaction. I will NEVER shop there again, their corporate policies are not good for the customer and there are other fabric store that carry almost everything they do, so why risk it. ..
     
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Customer Service and Ads
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA -- I haven't been to Joann's in a long time, and never been to the one in Fairbanks, so I thought I would check it out.
I found their ads for discounted fleece to be very misleading. They posted the discount on all of the shelves with fleece, it was all over the place, but when I got to the checkout counter I found out that it was only for one kind. WTF then only post the ad near that brand that is discounted!!

Then things all over the store were on shelves without prices, I guess they want you to be surprised at checkout.

The cashier didn't know what she was doing and counter our items and what showed on the receipt like 3 times, and when I asked her about the discounted fabric she explained it to me like I was an idiot...

It was my first and last time in that store.
For now on I guess I'll stick to Walmart and Michaels for all of my craft needs. (I actually get better customer service there anyway)
     
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Staff Don't Honor Pricing or Coupons
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Rating: 1/51
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Shopped in Joann Crafts today - got the email reminder about today is the last day for 25% off all purchases including sales items. Picked up some things I needed and then added some cross stitch items because the sign said additional 25% off. When the clerk rang up the sale, the 25% didn't come off. She said she would have to go back and look, but she didn't want to do that because there was a long line. I explained that I too had been waiting for a long time in the line and the store should honor the sign and the price. She said she didn't have time to go look for the sign. I told her that was bad business and if she wasn't going to honor the advertised price I wasn't going to buy the items. She tried to say that I would be getting the 25% off because I had the coupon. I tried to explain that there's a difference between 25% off plus another 25% off.

Additionally, she gave the woman just ahead of me in line the 25% off the entire purchase even though she didn't have the coupon. The clerk essentially told me that my business is not important to the store. There are so many frustrations shopping at JoAnn's that I think I will take that advice and not shop there anymore. I will also advise everyone else I know how poor their business practices are and that it is much better to shop elsewhere.
     
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onlooker on 2013-08-05:
what did the manager say? don't stop going there - in this instance go to the manager, or to the signage if your phone has a camera take photos bring the info back to them

In the future go to manager first if you are concerned it is sometimes hard to get management attention - don't stop shopping there
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Dishonest Advertising
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CUDAHY, WISCONSIN -- I am fed up with JoAnn's misleading advertising!! I recently visited my local JoAnn Store where a sign posted in the middle of several shelves stated that Copco was on sale for 40% off. The sign led me to believe that both the cups AND the water bottles were on sale. When I checked out, the water bottle was not discounted. I questioned the clerk, so she called the Store Manager up front who stated that the cups and bottles are usually on sale at the same time and it should be discounted. However, the clerk would not adjust the price. I was livid!!

This is not the first time that I purchased an item, only to find that the advertising sign was placed in the incorrect location. (If an item is not included in the sale, DON'T POST THE SIGN WITH THE NON-SALE ITEMS!!!!!! Common Sense!!!)

With another incident, the clerk cut my fabric too short. I had 6 pieces of fabric that I could not use because the measurement was shorted! When I filed a complaint about this, the Regional Manager contacted me and stated she would send me a gift card, which I NEVER received!

I am DONE with JoAnn Fabrics!!
     
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Rude Employers
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE -- I have worked for the Joann Fabrics store for 3 months and for the most part I have enjoyed learning all the crafts that Joann has to offer. There needs to be protocall and how an employer talks to other employee. I am not a dog and deserve to be talked to like you want to be addressed/. There is an manager in the Chattanooga /Tennessee Joann by the name of marcy [snip] who has no respect for her employees and well as the customers. There has been complaints about her and nothing is ever done.

when I was hired I was not informed I would have to work pass 10 pm since I have school aged kids that have to be woken up to come and get me from work. When I informed the manager I had to leave since it was after 10 I was informed I needed to make other arrangements if I wanted to be there further..

That I feel a very rude comment to make. The bathrooms and the over all store needs be supervision and not a manager that is always missing in action when its time to work she makes sure she's off. There should be notice given to employers when needed to stay later and be told the day off that you need to stay late because there was a big boss coming and things weren't done all that needed to be done should have been done at the last minute.
     
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leet60 on 2012-08-22:
In an economy in which jobs are at a premium, and there are a large number of entry level job seekers this becomes the norm. If the store is generating a profit your managers superiors may willingly turn a blind eye to these actions. Most retail estabilshments are understaffed and the employees are overworked, even in a good economy.
Anonymous on 2012-08-22:
Unfortunately, an employer does not have to accommodate to your schedule needs. Business needs always come first
madconsumer on 2012-08-22:
I shop this store all the time for fabrics and other craft items. I will keep an ear open to understand how this manager is.
Hannah on 2012-08-22:
I don't quite understand your complaint. You have a manager you dislike, but post it here instead of contacting her supervisor. If you kid(s) need to be woken up to come and get you, then maybe they should purchase an alarm clock. Learn to be proactive and take control of your situation, and you will be a much better person for it. Good luck to you.
KevinTX on 2012-08-23:
Actually, the responses above are a little harsh, you make very valid points. Everyone has dealt with a manager as you mentioned one time in their lives.. and if they haven't it's probably them who is harsh (as their responses indicate). Do what you can to get by, if the manager's 'rude' nature persist, simply look elsewhere for work. No one needs that. Unfortunately, bad managers DO exist, and they usually slip by.
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Jen-Weld Window Failure
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I purchased a home that was about 10 tears old which was built with Jen-Weld windows. My crank out casement windows had to be replaced starting as soon as I bought the house, about 6 years ago at this point. Jen-Weld did sell me the windows at a discount. I thought that the failure was possibly because the previous owner failed to take care of the windows. Now, however, most of the fixed windows, including 2 big picture windows, are failing. These are vinyl clad, permanent windows. I started noticing the failure at about 14 years. I understand they are out of warranty, but the replacement of these windows will cost me thousands. I am hoping Jen-Weld will sell the windows at a greatly reduced cost, but have not heard from them regarding my request. I would certainly not recommend Jen-Weld windows if they fail in such a short time.
     
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GenuineNerd on 2010-11-23:
The window company is actually "Jeld-Wen".
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