Include installation setup in contract when ordering blinds

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Garand Prebay says he wanted five remote-controlled blinds but Superior Blinds had trouble with the technology. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Garand Prebay says he wanted five remote-controlled blinds but Superior Blinds had trouble with the technology. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A Surprise couple say they spent more than $10,000 on blinds that had no chance of operating as they expected due to a mix-up with Superior Blinds.

It's very important to get details correct when buying blinds because blinds are generally a custom product. They're made for you. If you don't like them after installation, it's difficult to return them for a refund. So if you require a specific type of installation and technology for your blinds, make sure it's in writing.

Garand Prebay says he wanted a specific type of setup when he paid Superior Blinds more than $10,000 for five remote-controlled shades. Prebay says technology was the first priority.

"The battery pack was small and it was above the rim of the windows so it could not be seen," Prebay said.

But just prior to installation, Prebay says Superior told him and his wife the battery packs wouldn't work on the two big windows facing the golf course but they had another way to install and he'd barely notice the difference. The alternative required hard wiring to outlets. 

"We didn't like it immediately, and we told them that's not what we ordered, that's not what we wanted, and it was in plain view," Prebay said.

It gets worse. The battery packs failed on the other three windows. After consulting the manufacturer, Superior notified Prebay the battery packs were incompatible with this type of blind. Prebay says that should have been mentioned at the start.

"They will not return our funds because they're custom-order blinds, and the only solution, is their solution," Prebay said.

Prebay says Superior wants to cut open walls and move outlets. He says that wasn't an option upfront, and shouldn't be now.

"If we had to do this again, we would make them give us a picture of the installation and have them sign that it's exactly what we're going to get," Prebay said.

Prebay says he wanted the battery pack technology first and that particular blind second. Superior Blind's owner told CBS 5 News his staff thought it was the opposite; that the blind was more important to Prebay than the technology.

The fact that Superior Blinds installed Prebay's blinds with battery packs when the manufacturer says that particular blind isn't meant to work with battery packs, indicates Superior Blinds didn't know the product.

Superior Blinds says they're willing to work with Prebay on a number of different solutions, but they will not provide a refund.

This case is a great illustration as to why consumers and contractors should always include installation requirements in writing.

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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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