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  • Report:  #306

Complaint Review: BUDGET BLINDS inc - Costa Mesa California

Reported By:
-
Submitted:
Fri, February 12, 1999
Updated:
Mon, May 01, 2000

BUDGET BLINDS inc
1570 Corporate Drive Costa Mesa, 92626 California, U.S.A.
Phone:
1-800-420-5374
Web:
N/A
Categories:
Building Services

STORY ORIGINALLY FILED 2-12-99

REBUTTAL BY BUDGET BLINDS 4-7-00

REBUTTAL BY VICTIM 4-9-00

BUDGET BLINDS DEMANDS NAME REMOVED FROM REBUTTAL 4-13-00

BUDGET BLINDS SAYS, LAST RESPONSE 4-1-00

Home Improvements

Nation wide

Budget Blinds, inc. Literally a Rip-Off

They promised a better quality blind that was presently in both my

homes. They installed the blinds more than 5 weeks late. They

canceled 4 times for installation. When they finally installed the blinds some of them had no way of opening and closing them! The owner offered no apology for the delayed service or quality of the product.

The owner of the franchise had dirty shoes and permanently stained my carpeting in several areas.

Several Months later, The owner came back to one of my homes and

stole 2 bicycles and caused criminal damage to the property. Jerry Newport, one of the owners returned 1 bike and pled guilty and paid a fine.

The owner Jerry Newport of this so called independent

franchise is still with this big company and refuses to pay any

compensation for the 1 bike that is still missing and the $950 for the missing bike and criminal damage to my property.

Then there are the blinds that have no way of opening and closing them. He said the corporate headquarters will not allow them to replace them.

The president and vice president Todd Dossett and Brent Hallock of the company have a very nasty attitude and offer no remedy to the problems.

I'm an unsatisfied customer. There franchisee is now an admitted

criminal and could be looking over your home for things he wants to come back for.

Is this any way to run a business?

Mr. and Mrs S.M.

______________________________________

REBUTTAL 4-7-00

Subj: Rebuttal to report

Date: 4/7/00 11:38:17 AM US Mountain Standard Time

From: [email protected] (NAME REMOVED FOR SAFTY REASONS)

To: [email protected] ('[email protected]')

To Whom It May Concern:

Our company just became aware of a complaint about us on The Ripoff Report.The complaint is under the Building Services category and is dated 2/12/99.

The title of the complaint is "Budget Blinds...poor quality and admitted thief." Please post our reply below immediately. Thank you.

Most of us have, at one time or another in our lives, been the subject of a false or inaccurate accusation. Whether it's the National Enquirer, a political talk show, or The Ripoff Report, anyone can say anything. Backing up their statements or accusations with facts, however, is another thing entirely. Budget Blinds, Inc., regrets that an accusation such as the one

brought up by Mr. and Mrs. S.M. here has occurred, but we do feel the need to respond in an appropriate manner.

First and foremost, some factual background is necessary in order to correct the several false and misleading statements made by Mr. and Mrs. S.M. The key to understanding this situation is that Budget Blinds, Inc., is a FRANCHISING company, not a retail window coverings company dealing directly

with the public. Our corporate office is in the business of selling independently owned franchises that sell window coverings to the public -- we are not a main office overseeing branch offices. What this means is that when someone buys a Budget Blinds franchise, they have bought their own business. We provide them with extensive new-franchisee training, we make ongoing support available to them forever, and we advise them on how to run their business in an ethical, honest, and efficient manner that will make them successful and also represent the Budget Blinds name in an honorable

manner. But, the new franchisee owns his or her franchise, he/she does not work for us or anyone else, and in the end he/she can run his or her business as he/she chooses (this is, of course, the primary appeal of owning one's own business!).

In paragraph 3 of their complaint, Mrs. and Mrs. S.M. state that The owner Jerry Newport of this so called independent franchise is still with this big company Their reference this so called independent franchise is still with this big company clearly indicates their inability to understand the nature of Budget Blinds franchises as described above, despite the fact that it was explained to them very clearly and politely when they originally phoned our corporate office. Budget Blinds franchises nationwide complete thousands of sales to customers every month and sold more than $35 million (!) worth of window coverings to satisfied customers in 1999. For obvious reasons, we cannot hop on an airplane and go conduct an investigation when

some customer somewhere in America has a complaint about an order. Even if we wanted to, we cannot --again,our franchisees own their own business (Ironically, customer complaints to our Corporate office are few and far between, and when they do occur, experience has shown that most are the result of miscommunication and get resolved quickly once the lines of

communication have been restored.)

In their complaint, Mr. and Mrs. S.M. also detail a sordid account of late..................................

installation, canceled appointments, inoperable blinds, dirty shoes, damaged property, stolen bikes, etc. Again, since we cannot legally get involved in a customer complaint with a franchisee, we unfortunately have no way of knowing how much truth exists in these allegations. What little we did hear

was that Jerry Newport supposedly took the customers' bikes after they refused to pay for the blinds he had installed in their home, and that the local sheriff's office took the case over from there. Was taking a customer's bikes the professional way to handle such a situation? Of course not, and we at Corporate obviously don't condone such behavior. There are

proper legal avenues to resolve such situations and they should have been pursued. The other side of this however, and what Mr. and Mrs. S.M. neglect to mention, is that customers are sometimes the ones at fault in such disputes -- some bounce checks, or make appointments only to not be there when the installer or salesperson arrives for the appointment, some change..................................

their mind after blinds have been ordered and paid for by the franchise owner, and so on. We are not alleging that this is what happened with Mr. and Mrs. S.M., but merely pointing out that as a whole, our franchisees nationwide have earned a reputation for outstanding service and sometimes it is the customer who is at fault. (Incidentally, Jerry Newport sold his

franchise in February 1999 and is no longer a Budget Blinds franchisee.)

In paragraph 4 of their complaint, Mr. and Mrs. S.M. claim that He said the corporate headquarters will not allow them (sic) to replace them (referring to blinds that allegedly won't open or close properly). This is simply not true. In the same paragraph they also allude to a fictional Todd Dossett.

There is no one named Todd Dossett working for Budget Blinds, Inc., nor has there ever been.

We are glad The Ripoff Report exists and offers a forum for consumers to expose dishonest business operators to the public. We all know there's no shortage of them. The unfortunate thing, however, is that Budget Blinds franchises nationwide are being indicted because of one customer's dispute with one independent franchise owner, and no one at The Ripoff Report bothered to check the validity or accuracy of Mr. and Mrs. S.M.'s claims

before posting their complaint. Budget Blinds, Inc., has approximately 170 franchises throughout the United States who sold more than $35 million worth of window coverings last year to satisfied customers. How? One of the primary sources of new sales for our franchisees is REFERRALS -- people are

happy with the window coverings they buy and the service their Budget Blinds franchise gives them, so they tell their friends, family, co-workers, etc., about how great Budget Blinds is. We have become the No. 1 window covering franchise company in America by selling independently owned businesses that offer quality name brand window coverings and great service to the public -- if we offered anything less, we would not be where we are. It's really that simple.

We invite anyone who would like more information on Budget Blinds to log on to our web site at www.budgetblinds.com and see what we're really all about. We thank The Ripoff Report for the opportunity to respond to Mr. and Mrs. S.M.'s complaint, and we trust the reader will understand our position and recognize our genuine commitment to offering great people, products and

service to the American consumer.

___________________________________

CONSUMERS RESPONSE TO BUDGET BLINDS REBUTTAL

.......................................................................................................................

4-9-00 RESPONSE FORM THE AUTHOR'S SON OF THE ORIGINAL STORY

First let me tell you, my mother is 83 and my dad was 89, you did this to 2 senior citizens.

You stated above "Budget Blinds, Inc., is a FRANCHISING company, not a retail window coverings company dealing directly with the public. Our corporate office is in the business of selling

independently owned franchises that sell window coverings to the public -- we are not a main office overseeing branch offices.

........Well then, why do you have a number for a costumer to call?

Don't you care how your Franchisees handle the consumer?

You definitely do not. Most of what you have said is a lie.

Your legal mumbo jumbo to your Franchises means nothing to us the consumer. You should then require a sperate sheet that all consumers should read and sign that simply states, .."if your local Budget Blinds dealer screws you,please do not contact us for any reason, because: as you state above "What this means is

that when someone buys a Budget Blinds franchise, they have bought their own business. We provide them with extensive new-franchisee training, we make ongoing support available to them forever, and we advise them on how to run their business in an ethical, honest, and efficient manner that will make them successful and also represent the Budget Blinds name in an honorable manner. But, the new franchisee owns his or her franchise, he/she does not work for us or anyone else, and in the end he/she can run his or her business as he/she chooses (this is, of course, the primary appeal of owning ones own business)!.

THEN ADD, So, if they do not give you what they said they would, or they steel form your home or they charge you for something they don't give you, please do not contact this main office

even though we give the perception to the consumer we are a big company and we give consumers help if there is a problem, BUT SORRY, we do not! We do not stand behind the work of our franchies.

NEXT........YOU STATE:

Budget Blinds franchises nationwide complete thousands of sales to customers every month and sold more than $35 million(!) worth of window coverings to satisfied customers in 1999.

I"M SURE THEY WERE ALL SATISFIED! BULL! WHAT ABOUT US? LIAR!

...........BIG WORDS and no action. My parents are on a fixed income with no energy to go to court for something like this. A 35 million dollar company a year should be ashamed of themselves and its a good thing there are organizations like the badbusinessbureau.com to let others know about companies like you. My parents are sick over this and have to deal with the poor quality blinds.

This 35 million dollar a year company should have either refunded the money or replaced the blinds with the blinds it was promised and pay them for the bike and criminal damages to their home by YOUR franchisee. After-all, doesn't headquarters get a good size percentage off every sale? 35 million a year, and no executive owns their own plane?

NO, I don't expect you to fly there, you mentioned it like we expected you to hop on a plane!

YOU ALSO STATED:

(Ironically, customer complaints to our Corporate office are few and far between, and when they do occur, experience has shown that most are the result of miscommunication and get resolved quickly once the lines of communication have been restored.)

..You did nothing for us?

..................If they are so far few and in-between, then you should have had plenty of time to take care of this consumer rip-off to senior citizens! Your franchisee was convicted

of the crime, you still did nothing! There was no miscommunication here!

Why do you say allegedly? ...He was convicted and admitted to the crime?

What is this 35 million dollar company doing about that? Maybe you need to do less business, too much for you to handle? The bigger companies like you get, the less you do for a consumer.

Above you mention, missed appointments and bounced checks, you know this is not the case. Why are you trying to mix up what you did to my parents, specifically dealing with a big company like yours thinking they will not get screwed, which is exactly what your company did here?

You should be offering a correction to the situation, like a full reimbursement for YOUR MISTAKE! and reimbursement for the stolen bike and the criminal damages.

That will go a lot further with the consumer than your bogus response.

YOU ALSO CLAIM......

There is no one named Todd Dossett working for Budget Blinds, Inc., nor has there ever been.

BULL........... My dad spoke with him and so did I on more than 4 occasions. We both worte down the wrong name?

I also have taped phone conversations when he called our home. Maybe we have the last name spelled wrong? He claimed his name was Todd. Maybe company officials hiding for fear of a lawsuit?

Since I see you have attempted to advertise your web site above, I would like to also let consumers know, since my families horrible experience, I have looked around and compared what friends bought at the local Home Depot or a Window covering type store,in my opinion, what you get in the store seems to be of a stronger thicker quality in general. The store has a place of business to go back to. Companies like Budget Blinds Franchisee's tend to operate from a PO Box and you cannot find them or get action form the headquarters that claim they are

independent.

I suggest to consumers that you take a sample of the material form the in home sales person for you to keep. Take that sample to some local stores and compare price and quality. If the in home sales person says he has no samples to give out, then tell him you need to do business someone else. If you decide to get your window coverings from an in home company like Budget blinds,

you should also want to hold on to that sample to confirm thickness and quality when they are ready for instillation. Most stores including Home Depot offer in-home installation too.

I am sure there are many good dealers (Franchises) with budget blinds. But, there excuse is inexcusable and still my parents are at a loss with flimsy blinds with no way to adjust them, a stolen bike worth over $600 and criminal damage to their property.

IF THIS 35 MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR COMPANY SEES THERE WAY TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION BECAUSE THEY MIGHT HAVE OVERLOOKED THE SITUATION BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO BUSY COUNTING THEIR 35 MILLION, I WILL POST IT HERE.

________________________________

Subj: Response to the Ripoff Report

Date: 5/1/00 12:53:34 PM US Mountain Standard Time

From: [email protected] (Info)

To: [email protected] ('[email protected]')

To Whom It May Concern: The reply below is our response to a customer reply to our company's previous response. The complaint is under the Building Services category and pertains to Budget Blinds, Inc. Please post our reply immediately. Thank you.

Regarding the response from the son of Mr. and Mrs. S.M., this will be the last response from Budget Blinds, Inc., concerning this unfortunate situation. Our previous response consisted of a patient, detailed explanation of the facts. Facts and truth are, as a matter of fact, what will mean the most to the consumer.

While we truly regret that the complainants had an unsatisfactory experience with a former Budget Blinds franchisee, existing franchise law prohibits Budget Blinds,Inc., from getting involved in customer disputes with independently owned franchises. We trust the reader will be able to discern

the truth in this unfortunate matter.

______________________________________

5-1-00 CONSUMERS RESPONSE TO BUDGET BLINDS REBUTTAL ABOVE

More corporate BULL! Wouldn't it be much better if you stated in your response, ..the corporate headquarters looked at your situation and we regret any problems. We would like you to contact us for a fair reimbursement of the defective product you were sold, the stolen property and the criminal damage to your property.

Mr. Todd Dossett & Brent Hallock, your full of it! You state "existing franchise law prohibits Budget Blinds,Inc., from getting involved in customer disputes with independently owned franchises" ...Typical corporate BULL CRAP!

So, your trying to say that some state or federal agency will come and arrest you or slap you with a fine for reimbursing a consumer. What planet are you on? What a bunch of BS!

Any consumer reading this will see for themselves, ..your big company will do nothing to stand behind their product or service, ..so why deal with you!?

Your company is the reason why consumers need the badbusinessbureau.com

I am now looking into doing a mass e-mail of my story with the police report, criminal court decision and your response to the rip-offreport.com to Realtors Nation wide and other home improvement web sites.



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