What is your experience with Pella sales and customer service?

PatintleAugust 21, 2006

We need to replace windows and patio door in our home and are very interested in Pella Impervia line. I especially like the patio door since it looks very well built. Overall Pella Impervia seems like a good product. However I strongly doubt how good their customer service is and how well they take care of customers after the product is purchased. My experiece with their sales is .. very interesting.. Read on if you're interested. If you have bought Pella products or deal with the customer service after the sale/installation, I would appreciate if you share your experience.

First the sales, Pella proposal (from a Pella local company that is authorized to sell and installs Pella Impervia, not from HD or Lowes. I belive they're the only company in the area that carries Impervia line.) comes in at surprisingly good price. However I don't know exactly what I'm getting with the proposal! What I meant was there is no product code that you can use to look up NFRC web site for the rating. And when I asked for NFRC rating of what's being quoted they did not know that either! I was given a customer service phone number for headquarter, and URL to Pella web site to find out myself. I wonder why a company as big as Pella does not know NFRC rating of their products. Is it common practice in the industry that, if you buy directly from the company that represents that large manufacturer they won't give out NFRC rating? Do people don't usually look at NFRC rating b4 they buy?

Second, when I called customer service at Pella HQ for help, it look them 3 days already and I got no rating info back. I called again and was told that someone 'is working on it' with local company, and it will take a few more days. The customer service person didn't seem to want to discuss anything more. It's surprisingly long time to look up the rating?!?

In addition to that, the company has 2 year installation warranty. But when I requested to see warranty detail, I did not get anything back.

So overall I don't have the feeling Pella cares much about customers. They probably have more than enough interest in their products. And I'm still interested in the products! Should I just forget about working with a company like this or am I asking for too much info than usual windows shoppers?? Thanks in advance for your opinion!

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Check out the Impervia website. Click on "for the professional", then select "architectural information". Sections "D-J Products" shows all the ratings. Shame on Pella sales and customer service for not knowing this.
I don't work for Pella, and I found this info in 30 seconds.
It's an interesting product, so if you really like it, I'd continue to pursue it. Maybe you can rattle some cages when you bring them the info???
Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Impervia

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:35PM
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I had Pella price out my job and it was 30% higher than anyone else. The salesman tried to sell me on using them because he said that they are Pella (the installers) and that they will fight for me if there are warranty issues or problems. I thought that was a weird angle to sell a job on. That is until I heard that Pella's customer service is horrible. I heard this from two contractors that gave me estimates. It could be our local Pella rep. that stinks. I don't know.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 10:45PM
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That is an interesting sales tactic. Anyone that needs to "fight" for your warranty claim, is obviously telling you that warranty claims and problems are common, and that Pella is not handling them well. It could be the local rep. I know my local reps are very good, but they are also 20 year vets with Pella.
What else did you quote nunz? I'm curious what the Impervia was 30% more than.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 12:19AM
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If Pella offer's any service, it's news to me. I'm building a 5,500 sq ft house, using over 60 Pella windows. When the winter rains came 11 of 40 windows on the weather sides of the house leaked. The leaks were not from improper installation, coming mostly from weather striping failures on casement windows. Pella was notified in early November. A Pella truck arrived within 10 days, a man got out, took a few pictures with his cell-phone, and departed. It's now more than two months later with no repairs. After repeated follow-ups Pella finally called my contractor saying they'd be at the house for an afternoon in late January. The failure rate on Pella's windows suggests inadequate quality control at the factory and the failure to provide after-sales service suggests the local Pella crew has their hands full fixing other leaking windows. My advice is that if you must have Pella windows, build in the Chilean desert where the rainfall is about an inch a year.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 11:32PM
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We have unfortunately had the same experience as oregonjon, we purchased Pella Windows and they were installed by Pella Professionals in July and have had nothing but problems. We do not believe it has been with the installation we believe it is in the manufacturing of the product. Pella has been at our home 2 times a month since July (every 2 weeks due to their schedules,it seems to take 2 weeks to get what they need, but the original problems have never been fixed. Upon installation there were huge knicks and gouges on numerous sashes etc, that did NOT occur during installation (they were stained). After numerous visits of the wrong sashes being brought out to correct this problem and unstained sashes brought out to correct this problem we have found massive air leaks b/w the sash and jambs NOT b/w the framing of the house. This past week we have ice and snow, yes, Ice and snow on 75% of our window interiors. The house is not in a high humidity environment. We also asked about the NFRC ratings and attempted to find them on line on the NFRC site you are able to input Pella's product number and no ratings came up. In asking the usual guy that comes out to help us he didn't know it, in calling the local Pella office and talking with the Service Manager she said she had asked corporate several times on the NFRC rating and "didn't get an answer." I feel bad for the installers I think they are having to deal with alot of grief due to poor manufacturing and quality control. Customer service is absolutely horrible. It peeves me that once the windows are installed you seem to be the last person to receive any customer service because they "are swamped installing new windows" Buyer beware!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 12:47PM
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Could it be that the Salesman didn't want to give you the ratings? ,,, In the Northern states it appears tht only 4 windows (all of them LOW E/Argon filled) pass the Energy Star efficiency ratings.

If you have a newer home you may want Enrgy efficient products. But believe me they cost a lot coming from a Pella store.

My experience with Pella has been that their High end product(is a good product -Aluminum Clad) however none of these high end products from Anderson, Marvin, Jeld-Wen or Pella are cheap. If you want the designer features-tint,Low E-Argon,Shades betwwen the glass, Grilles between the glass,Mulled windows with speciality tops. You are going to pay a premium price for them.

Are you going to get premium service AFTER the sale? Better check your local BBB.org and a few friends before you buy them. Different dealers operate different ways.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Impervia NFRC ratings-Adobe file

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:47PM
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A question: when people say "Pella", like oregonjon, do you mean Pella Impervia specifically or Pella other? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 5:35PM
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I had bought a bay window with the blinds in between, and it has been a nightmare! It started with the installation one of the windows was not working correctly it took them 3 other trips just to get it done correctly. Then about 6 months later it got worse, all winter long I had ice on the inside of my windows because I could see to the outside!!! When calling them they said I was mistaken and it would cost me to have them come out and take a look after calling and calling about a dozen times they just stopped responding at all, I sent pictures and would still get no response! My sales rep didn't even return my calls/e-mails. It has been six months and I am still trying to get this resolved. I love the "look" of the window but with all the problems and customer service issues I will not make that mistake again!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 11:14PM
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I am looking to replace many windows in Connecticut. I zeroed in on Pella Imprevia and they came in at 40K. Does anyone know how they do in Connecticut? I am very discouraged with the experiences that you are all describing but don't know the region. Also, does anyone know marginal price difference(approximate percentage) for brands like Pella vs.Champion vs.Marvin?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:43AM
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Our 5-year house has Pella windows. For the most part we've had no problems -- one very large custom window cracked right after installation, but it was replaced quickly and courteously. My one complaint: We selected large crank-out windows in several areas because, living on a lake, there are lots of days we enjoy having the windows open. Obviously they cost more than fixed ones of the same size. However, they can't really be opened because in order to close and latch them, you have to take a ladder outside and manually push the top in enough for the window to lock. The Pella repairman who came in response to our call said this is a common complaint . . . Pella continues to make the windows and the salespeople continue to offer them, and, as he said, "We repair people get the flack." So I may as well have gotten fixed windows and spent the $$ elsewhere. Bummer.

The jury's still out on what we'll choose for our next house. But it won't be big Pella crank-outs!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 9:50PM
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Finding the NFRC, WDMA or Energy Star Ratings should be simple. Ask the rep for your windows, if he cannot provide some literature or point you to a website, that is a sign that they do not understand their customer or their product.

Here is a link that might be useful: window certifications

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 12:46PM
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My experience with Pella has been horrible. I wanted to replace 3 sliding glass doors with French Doors. After 3 calls, the Pella sales person came out to measure the windows. That was in November. After repeated calls, I gave up on receiving any estimate or proposal. Marvin wanted $18,000.

The salesperson from Lowe's was extremely helpful and convinced me to go with the Pella product (850 Series) and it was a few thousand less. Big Mistake!!! The Lowe's installer was a diaster. He measured my kitchen sliding glass door opening wrong and when the doors arrived they were the wrong size (I now have a boarded up opening in my kitchen). The installation of the other two windows/doors after 3 days is still not finished. The doors are not centered, there is a big gap where I can see outside, and they did not install any flashing. I asked for another installer. To Lowe's credit, they appear to be trying to fix this diaster. But my contractor has pointed out all the mistakes they've made and just said the installation was really crappy. He said Lowe's is trying to spend the least amoutnt of money and do as little as possible rather than a good installation job.

At this point, I'm looking for another maufacturer for my doors/windows. I'm afraid Pella has gone the way of Maytag, used to be a good product but not anymore. Anyone with any suggestions on better patio french doors are welcomed because my experience with Lowe's/Pella has been horrible. You are smart to get feedback now before it is too late.

Good Luck!!!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:11PM
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what karenfromknoxville experienced is not a Pella Problem but a Lowes Problem there is a difference. Pella did not install her product Lowes did. The installations I have had to repair from Lowes would boggle the brain. Again a lot of people bashing Pella for Lowes' problems they would have had the same problem with any brand installed by that Lowes installer

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 7:32PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes


Pella has chosen Lowe's as it's representative!

Therefore, Pella needs to be proactive in all aspects of the business. Unless of course they want the results and reputation they are earning through Lowe's.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:49AM
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I have a Pella Architecture series casement, which I LOVE. It is extremely easy to open, close, and clean. It is clad on the outside with dark brown, had it for about 4 years now. I installed it myself. Highly recommended! It was a bit of a pain to seal, stain, and polyurethane the inside, since I took off all the hardware on the sash to do each step. Other than that, I could not be happier with the selection. BTW I purchased it from Lowes (250 series), but I purchased the Rolscreen (which I also stained and polyurethaned) from Pella.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Pella customer service STINKS!!!....I had the internal locking mechanism on a Proline slider break (just the little flat stamped spring inside)...called the store I purchased it at for warranty service...door is only 3 yrs old....salesman stated we don't have a parts dept and to please call their West Caldwell, NJ store....well I called them everyday since Dec 28th and all I got was an answering maching and STILL NO CALLBACK!!!!....then I called the 1-800 national number....first time was transferred to parts dept and got the same voice message as the Caldwell store- "unable to take your call leave a message".....so called the 1-800 number right back and told the receptionist noone answered in parts...she said I'll transfer you but extension is #310 if you need it....well got the answering machine again!!!!...called 1-800 right back AGAIN...got a pleasant young lady who took my information finally and transfered me to parts...well transfer went back to another receptionist NOT parts...she pulled up my info and then checked for parts order number after I explained what I needed....not sure she ordered the right thing based on questions she was asking but we will see...told me it would be 2 WEEKS to get the part????? so we will see what arrives in 2 weeks...meanwhile continued to call West Caldwell store and even filled out their online customer request form (which states a rep will contact you in 48hours)....well as you guessed still not a peep out of them!!!!! and its been 3 days from the online request and SINCE DEC 28th from my initial phone call....IS ANYONE HOME AT PELLA!???????

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Sweet, just to be fair, that has only been 4 business days, with new years holiday in the middle of that. I don't care for the way Pella has "regions" with local owners, tho. Some are GREAT, others not so great.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 9:09PM
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I did have my bay window installed by Pella and now are able to see to the outside (awesome cold breeze in the winter NOT) and they have been out to fix it several times but after 6 months the window is back to the same condition. The Installation Supervisor has done these repairs on THEIR product, and still can't get it right!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I have worked at 84 Lumber selling Pella windows for many years and now work at Lowe's were I sell Pella also. All I have experience with is the Proline Series and the Thermastar vinyl. The proline window is a decent product for the price, probably the best value out there. There are better products on the market, but you will have to pay a premium. The main problems that I have seen with the product is Seal Failures and stress cracks. And yes I have seen many more of them than I have with other wood window manufactures, much, much more. When I was with 84 Lumber I would handle most of these issues myself. The problems with Pella service department is all Warranty claims are handled through a Pella Store which is a francise. And most of the ones in my area have pretty bad attitudes especially when it comes to windows that were purchased from 84 Lumbers and Lowes since they are competition with the Pella Store. When I was with 84 Lumber, our Pella rep would work pretty good with us in getting us a replacement sash at no charge sent to the store, and we would replace it ourselves at the persons house.

Regarding Lowe's installers I would have to agree that they are not the best contractors in the area, thats why they have to have somebody else like Lowe's find work for them. But if you have a problem with the install Lowe's will back it up 100%, it maybe a little bit tough along the way, but it will be taken care of. What would happen if you us a local contractor to install your windows for you and you have a problem. There is good chance he will not back up his work, If you can even find the guy again

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Pella's Customers Service is Non-Existent. Both Pella and Anderson tie for last place when it comes to service.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 1:01PM
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I wish I had found this site BEFORE I wasted my time, money and energy purchasing my Pella windows. Good little routine they have, that's for sure. Spend a day with a sales rep - chatty nice Natasha who offered me a 5% discount if I paid in full up-front - thank goodness I didn't. Then another few hours with an Install Supervisor to make sure Natasha measured correctly. Then more follow-up calls by a Project Coordinator - all of this cheery consulting gives you a false sense of "touchy-feely" customer service. Natasha swore up and down she'd be following up throughout the entire process to be sure everything went 'swell'. I guess as soon as she got her paycheck I was checked off - haven't seen or heard from her since. My Pella windows are STILL sitting in my garage 2 weeks later, uninstalled. I even called the Sales Manager and he hasn't even returned my calls. ADVICE: don't pay in full up-front - this will leave with NO recourse. I guess I could always try to sell my windows on e-bay and start over :(

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Well, just as I was about to order, I found these threads, and emailed the sales rep who was answering my questions:

I was just about ready to place an order when I encountered this and other messages:
If it were only a couple of messages I could ignore that but apparently after-sales customer service at Pella is very poor, among other things, which makes me leery enough to steer away from Pella for now. That's too bad because I liked a lot about the windows overall."

Never heard back from them, not that I expected to, but kind of reinforces things for me. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:48AM
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Barb, did you pay by credit card? If you did call credit card and dispute charges. I have a feeling they don't do credit cards for this reason.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 8:29AM
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Pella stinks! They send a service guy out (who gets all the flack) who takes pictures with his cell phone, offers advice, promises to put an order in for any replacement parts then we hear nothing. Calls produce no results since you never get to talk to someone unless you pretend you want to order some windows. Talking to managers is a waste of time. They do not offer any service as far as I'm concerned. My advice: Buy elsewhere.

I think someone should send all these complaints to corporate headquarters!

Get the message out--DO NOT BUY PELLA

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 6:00PM
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I have. Twice.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Wow! Talk about caveat emptor. I bought 5 architect series windows, 4 double-hung, 1 arch with custom grill, over a year ago. My local carpenter that I know and trust installed them. The windows have performed well. Perhaps the architect series are more reliable than some of Pella's other lines, and perhaps (ya think) my carpenter does a better job than the lowes installers. I found him on angies list.

That said, when we do a small addition next year, I plan to get quotes from Marvin, Jeldwen, and a local (Boston-area) all-wood window company that the Boston Building Materials Resource Center carries.

I should also say that my house is 120 years old, and I have no plans to replace any of the original windows, which I am slowly restoring by hand, with many thanks to informative posts on this and the old house forum. The only reason I need any new windows was due to a poor "remodeling" done 40 years ago, where some original windows were replaced with "modern" Andersons. The 40 y.o. windows are all rotting and leaking; the 120 y.o. windows, except for needing a little reglazing and sash cord tlc, are going strong.

I don't expect any modern window to last more than 40 years, which is why I'm keeping all the old ones.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 1:09PM
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My customer was looking to have 27 replacement vinyl windows installed in a home that was nearly 100 years old. Home depot persuaded him that their low-cost vinyl windows were "good" quality at an affordable price. I've been in the remodeling business for over 30 years and had never even heard of the manufacturer that HD was pushing. Fortunately, the day the customer was to go in and pay for the windows so that the order would be placed, I just happened to be in Lowe's for some grout sealer & walked past the Door & Window department. They were having a 20% off sale on Pella windows. After calculating the prices for the sizes needed (most were 78" tall)I called my customer & told him about the sale. He was able to get windows that were double-hung (vs. HD's single-hung),argon gas filled, double strength glass and frames made of considerably thicker vinyl than those at Home Depot. It took nearly 4 weeks to install all the windows given I work alone and the installation included all the 2nd & 3rd floor windows. Three weeks into the project I unwrapped the plastic on the first window to be installed on the 3rd floor only to find a tiny crack (1/2") in the bottom corner of the inner sash. I called the salesperson I had worked with at Lowe's who informed me that the claim had to go through Pella, not Lowe's. I thought "Oh boy, here we go" expecting all kinds of problems. I couldn't have been more wrong. I got through to Pella's 800 # on the first try and spoke to a real person not a recording. I explained that I had found a crack that I had missed on first inspection. The Pella rep asked me for the serial number on the inside of the sash and after I gave it to her she said "Thank you and we are sorry about the cracked window. We will build a new one and ship it directly to the house, at no charge." After saying "Good-bye" I just stood there looking at the phone for a few seconds then thought "Wow, there are still companies in America who stand by the products they make and believe in customer service after the sale." The new sash arrived in 8 days (2 days sooner than I was told) and the customer is a Pella fan for life. He recently called to tell me he wants Pella windows installed this spring in the building he owns to operate his business.
P.S.About the 78" tall windows: the shear weight of a window this tall requires shimming the sides perfectly level not just top and bottom but also at least at one or two places on the side to do the job right. Do this and the windows operate as smooth as silk. Don't do this and you will regret it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:06PM
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I had 6 windows and a sliding door installed. It is absolutely the WORST customer service experience I have had with a major corporation. I have a cracked sash, a defective door handle, a inoperable sliding screen and no one has called. I had to call Pella corporate and finally reached a rep who listened and then just said he would have someone call. The Tempe office supervisor and sales rep deserved to be fired. The installer they sent walked off the job after 45 minutes because 'the job just didnt feel right to him'. In the meantime, he recklessly moved two new cherry cabinets (waiting to be installed) sitting away from the door (scratching one), slammed the existing sliding door twice on the alarm sensor that they wanted out to look at and flipped a ladder that wasnt in the way of a window installation away from its storage location. The arrogant attitude of the installer was backed up by the Tempe supervisor. I called the sales rep to come out for the second team of installers (which were fantastic) to make sure the installation got off to a good start. The sales reps attitude was markedly different. Pleasant when they were getting the check, ridgid and very cool/cold when he had to come back out for my request. The second installer said service would be calling the next day to address the defective issues. On the following Monday, no one had called from Pella. At which point I called Pella corporate. Had I know what kind of customer service I ultimately received, I would have probably bought other brand windows. I would recommend anyone dealing with Pella to be aware (in my experience) that the nice customer service ends with giving them the check. And dont expect them to be in any hurry to fix anything or reply to any issues you may have.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 4:50PM
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I'm curious about the payment terms you had with Pella. Did you pay for the entire job up front or did you have a payment schedule based on the job progress?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 8:48PM
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