MALDEN/SHALIMAR, FL, MASSACHUSETTS -- RE: Dangerous Awning Collapsed. Person beneath sustained personal injury. While I was temporarily away from the house on Sunday morning Oct 22, 2017, torrential rains and tornadoes started sometime afternoon. By the time I rushed home, the awning had filled up with water, causing it to sag severely in the center from its normal height. Even though I put one side lower than the other, a maneuver required by the company; the rain was coming too fast and overwhelmed the awning. I tried to release the catchment of water with no luck. A properly designed awning should be able to encounter heavy rains without immediately collapsing.
I called many people including 2 engineers and could reach no one to get help. Finally, I was able to get two friends to come over. Before anything could be done, the awning collapsed on one person, pinning their arm between it and a metal chair. The arm was badly hurt so they rushed to the Emergency Department at Thomas Hospital to get it x-rayed. My right rib was also damaged. Both of these matters could subject the manufacturer and dealer to serious lawsuits.
While speaking to SunSetter Awnings on Monday 10/23/17, Dillan, representative, requested that 2 incident reports be filed for the injuries sustained. He completed them and said he would send them to the SunSetter Products Corporate Department.
It is a design flaw that caused this accident to happen. There are 4 legs/arms that each have 2 levers that must be released to start telescoping each leg in PRIOR to being able to wind in the awning. The 2 legs/arms are 20 feet apart from the other 2 which makes it difficult to operate. They sold me a defective and faulty designed product. Immediately upon installation, the first heavy rain the next day, caused it to break in half. The main 20' aluminum bar across the front that carries the awning in and out, broke in half. (there are 12 pictures to prove this statement).
It is critical that these 2 companies (Sunray Home Solutions, Shalimar, Fl and SunSetter Awnings, Malden, MA) accept responsibility for the collapse of said awning and refund the entire amount paid in good faith by me for this product. It is very fortunate that no one was killed when the weight of the awning and water collapsed to the ground. It is necessary that they stand behind their product. The consumer must be protected from these dangerous products. If they continue to sell this particular design, other consumers will be hurt as well.
On Mon. 10/23/17, I made numerous attempts to reach Sunray Home Solutions. The owner David ** never responded to my calls. I spoke with the manufacturer, SunSetter Awnings, several times over a two week period. They said they spoke with the dealer to no avail. I wrote David ** a certified letter Nov 2, 2017 stating that if they would not refund my money by Nov. 28, 2017, he would force me to take them to court. To date 11/16/17, he has ignored my calls and letter.
MARYLAND -- Very bad experience. Ordered an awning on 12 August and it did not ship until 25 September (their records have two ship dates for some reason 11 Sept and 25 Sept?). Production was evidently delayed for reasons their representatives could not explain. I only found out about the delay two weeks into my order after calling -- their wheat canvas was backordered. I received notice of shipment on 11 September, but it really did not ship until 25 September if then? Their delivery agent, UPS, did not contact me for delivery until the first week in October. UPS then scheduled six different appointments for delivery and did not show for any of them -- who was stupid -- me for trying six times!
I called both UPS and Sunsetter several times for assistance with one Sunsetter representative essentially telling me it was my problem. I also emailed Sunsetter several times in attempts to let them know and to get help with delivery. Finally, I gave up and just told them to stop delivery and take it back. I also paid for the awning with my AMEX extending payments over four months. Sunsetter has now charged my AMEX twice since and I have an email acknowledging receipt of return for the awning. I called them on this as well and was told it is fixed. Fortunately, I can dispute the charge with AMEX.
Of note and very interesting, Sunsetter never attempted to make things right during our exchange -- I honestly am so frustrated with this company that I would not have accepted anyway, but I found they were very careful not to offer any discount or compensation -- they don't have to but it is and indicator of their approach to customer service -- they just said how sorry they were, made excuses for their production problems, and told me how great they are. I have now contracted with a local company which I should have done in the first place. For all their advertising about how wonderful they are... buyer beware.
I just want to say it must be nice that Sunsetter in this economy clearly has to be flourishing. We ordered an awning from them on their website. Now I will say the quality of the material was very good. No complaints there.However we did not realize that even though it was a retractable awning, it was stationary unless you adjusted the heavy arms on each side to retract it. Not until all the holes were drilled in my house and it was up did we realize it does not work as described on the website. Having had a stroke which left me weak on my entire left side,I realized I would be unable to ever adjust those arms alone on a daily basis.
And since we live near the shore it gets really windy some days so leaving it open all season is not an option. So we decided to return it. Much to my surprise Sunsetter said "OK fine, keep the fabric. Just return the hardware, don't even return the roller bar that holds the fabric!??" That was strange, considering they tell you that should you ever have to replace that fabric, it costs a minimum of $300. However I thought after I explained my dilemma they would offer me an alternative for possibly an upgrade with a decent discount. Yea good luck with that. They offered me a motorized with the exact discount anyone can get on their website. (Correction) NO FREE shipping.
Nor did they offer to pick up the old one when the new one was shipped. So in the end by the time I would have replaced it with the upgrade, paid the shipping to return the original and the upgrade cost it would be close to another $1000 out of my pocket. Let me add to this post since many misunderstood, my above post and I reread it and see I made some errors in original. Many thought I was looking for something for nothing... here is the exact description from Sunsetters web site of the awning, which clearly leads you to believe its a minute to open and close it: Please be sure to read onto page 2 (Maybe I'm the stupid one??)
The Model 1000XT is the first choice of most Sunsetter owners who choose a manually operated model because for just $129 more than our smaller Model 900XT, the Model 1000XT extends out a full 10 ft. 2 in. from your house giving you up to 23 square feet more coverage and protection!
The Model 1000XT requires no electricity. It opens and closes easily in less than a minute using a simple hand crank that operates smoothly and quietly. It features improved support arms that can be positioned vertically on the deck or patio floor, or angled back against your house wall. It has improved floor and wall mounting plates, improved fabric tensioning, and a host of other improvements that make these awnings a joy to use. Even longer lasting and easier to use than before! It even comes with pre-drilled holes to make accessory attachment a breeze. Excellent sun and rain protection. All in all, a terrific value!
Sunsetter agreed with me and have offered me an exceptional resolve!!!!
SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK -- I bought a new Sunsetter awning in July of 2012 and it is motorized because I have arthritis and I paid $2400 dollars for it. Last week, it started making a ratcheting sound when I rolled it out and rolled it up. I called the customer service department of Sunsetter and they listened to the noise. They then told me that they had prorated guarantee on their products and it would cost me $107 to replace the arms that extend it out.
That was the most crazy thing I have ever heard. To spend that kind of money and to not have it guaranteed full is nuts. Then she told me I would have get somebody to put the new arms on because they don't install parts. Needless to say, I am totally unhappy with their service and would never buy another one of their products again. That is just a lot money to spend and not have it guaranteed for longer than they fully guarantee it. So anyone who is thinking about one of these awnings just make sure you know what you're getting before you spend the money.