We built a new house in 2005. Some of the windows we purchased for the house were Duraco but the majority of the windows were from a larger, national brand window manufacturer. All of the windows from both manufacturers were triple pane, argon filled and low E glass. The Duraco windows came with a “Lifetime Warranty”. An excerpt from the Duraco warranty certificate confirmed the Lifetime Warranty on the frames and sealed units as follows:
“ … We are pleased to provide you with our exclusive Duraco warranty.
- Lifetime Warranty on PVC Frames and Sashes
- Lifetime Warranty on Glass Sealed Units …”
Four sealed units in our Duraco windows failed in the spring of 2017. I initially attempted to contact Duraco’s office in Weyburn, SK because that was the nearest Duraco outlet to me. I found the Duraco office in Weyburn is no longer in business and the phone number listed is no longer in service.
I then contacted the Duraco head office in Winnipeg on June 26, 2017. I explained the issue and was assured my concerns would be forwarded to the “Saskatchewan Rep” for windows. I was also told that the Rep would return my call later that day or the next day at the latest. I did not receive a response.
On June 28, 2017 I called Duraco again and after explaining the issue once more, I was transferred directly to the Saskatchewan Rep. The rep was not available and the call went to his answering machine. I left a message explaining the issue and requested that he call me when he was available. I did not receive a response.
On July 31, 2017 I emailed Duraco's Sales & Customer Service Manager and explained that no-one from Duraco had responded to my calls in over 30 days. I did not receive a response.
On August 22, 2017 I called the Sales and Customer service Manager. The call went directly to her answering machine. I left a message and I also followed up the telephone message with a second email to the Sales and Customer service Manager. Both the phone calls and emails explained the problem and requested a response from Duraco. I did not receive a response.
September 27, 2017 - I sent a letter to the President of Duraco Windows explaining the problems with the leaking sealed units and the failure of Duraco to respond to any of my phone calls, voicemails and emails.
The President did not respond but the Customer Service Manager called a few days later to say that:
- Duraco had come under new ownership in 2008 and was not honouring any warranties for windows manufactured prior to the ownership change. Since I had purchased my windows in 2005, there would be nil warranty.
- Duraco had called me after my June 6th call, but they had an incorrect phone number for me. Because Duraco was unable to contact me, the file had been closed.
- The Customer service Manager was unable to confirm the phone number Duraco had on file for me as she did not have my file in front of her.
(I pointed out that my June phone calls and my July and August emails to the Sales and Customer Service Manager and my September letter to the President all offered my correct phone number. I also pointed out that she had just called me on the correct number)
She then stated :
- She was very busy and had not looked at my file simply because it was not necessary as the 2008 ownership change had eliminated the warranty on my windows.
- Duraco had obviously “dropped the ball” by not attempting to contact me previous to her call. She apologized on behalf of Duraco for not responding sooner but reiterated that it wouldn’t have made any difference anyway as the warranty had been cancelled in 2008.
- She offered that Duraco could replace the sealed units but I would be responsible for all costs. Costs would include the replacement sealed units, mileage and installer accommodations for two round trips from Winnipeg and would be a “huge” bill.
- She recommended a different contractor (not Duraco) that I could hire to replace the sealed units for a lower price than Duraco.
I am a contractor so I elected to simply replace the sealed units myself. My cost (contractor price) for the 4 sealed units was $730. (purchase was direct from a sealed unit manufacturer not connected to Duraco) If not for purchasing direct at contractor pricing, I expect that the total retail cost would have been around $1,400 once markup, shipping, installation and taxes were included.
I was very disappointed that Duraco was refusing to honour their Lifetime Warranty so I drafted a review of my experiences with Duraco customer service. I intended to submit the review to the Winnipeg office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other online forums.
On November 22, 2017 I mailed a copy of the draft review to the President of Duraco as a courtesy offering the opportunity to discuss the warranty issue prior to posting the review online. The President did not respond.
On November 24, 2017 the Customer Service Manager called again to say that:
- She “did not have all the facts” in her previous calls and had recently discovered that the 2008 ownership change did not affect Duraco warranties. However, Duraco’s warranty on sealed units is only 10 years so there still would not be warranty on my windows because they had lasted over 10 years.
- She asked if I had a copy of the original Lifetime Warranty certificate issued when I purchased the windows. I confirmed that I did have the original Lifetime Warranty certificate from Duraco.
On November 28, 2017 I filed a complaint with the Winnipeg office of the BBB. The complaint to the BBB included a copy of the Duraco Lifetime Warranty certificate issued when I purchased the windows. The BBB forwarded my complaint to Duraco and Duraco replied to the BBB explaining that their warranty on sealed units was only 10 years. The BBB response to me simply repeated Duraco’s 10 year warranty and suggested that I could contact the Small Claims Court. The BBB did not post my complaint or their response on their website.
If you are reading this review for pre-purchase research, in addition to the Duraco customer service described above, I also can offer a few comments on the quality of Duraco windows compared to the other brand we purchased in 2005.
Our Duraco windows have eight sealed units and half of them (four) failed after 11 1/2 years. By comparison, our other windows from a larger, national brand have 26 sealed units and none have failed to date.