I was alerted the other day to a post from the online edition of The Telegraph. The post centers around a question posed by a reader, in which they ask which scheme is the best for replacement windows. 

The following reply then goes on to explain that window companies don’t have to be affiliated with any of the schemes, but also paints a picture of confusion because there are two ombudsman schemes and FENSA, non of which are government backed.

“To further complicate matters, there is another scheme being launched – The Glazing Ombudsman (TGO) – which also has no official Government standing. The double-glazing and replacement-window industry remains totally unregulated.”

Further down the reply, it is questioned why this person thinks they need replacement windows. And even worse: “the cheapest and most sustainable option is almost always to repair or refurbish existing windows…”

And to compound the already struggling reputation of the British window industry: “And in the unlikely event that your existing windows should be genuinely beyond repair, then I would counsel against PVC-U replacements. British PVC-U windows have a poor reputation for quality, and timber windows are likely to represent better value in the long term.”

Where do we start with this then? I’d just like to point out that these are only snippets of the article, you can find the whole misinformed piece of crap here. Firstly, yes the industry isn’t Government regulated, but so are plenty of others. We aren’t the only ones. and FENSA is probably the best we have got. They aren’t perfect, no governing body is, but they do good work, along with the GGF. We aren’t the cowboy industry we used to be.

It’s wrong to paint a confused picture of our industry – being muddled up with ombudsman schemes and other similar things. It’s not that confusing. All it takes is a couple of minutes with someone who actually works in the industry to explain the differences, it’s not confusing at all.

Then there’s the notion of timber windows being better than British PVCu windows. First of all, the guy/girl replying should take into account that a lot of the wood used in this country, and used for timber windows, is sourced ILLEGALLY – from what are supposed to be protected forests. How is this sustainable and better value in the long term? Timber windows need care and attention, they don’t get the same energy ratings as PVCu windows, especially now as triple glazing is becoming a viable option.

The Telegraph is a national paper with a big audience, the last thing our industry needs is yet more false information being publicly broadcast. Especially when it has a hint of smuggery and derogatory tones. Let me know what you think. Although I think I already know!