Attorney General’s Office says it saw through Evans Glass’ alleged ruse
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office today lifted the curtain on a Seattle-based window installer’s allegedly deceptive sales practices and negotiated a settlement to insulate consumers from future harm.
In a complaint filed today, the Attorney General’s Office accused Evans Glass of deceiving consumers into thinking they were getting a bargain and claiming its sales reps were only going to perform a free home energy audit. The company denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement filed today in King County Superior Court but agreed to restrictions on its marketing tactics.
“The law is as clear as glass: If you intend to sell windows you can’t get your foot in the door by telling consumers you’re going to do something else and you can’t make up discounts and rebates to trick consumers into thinking they are getting a deal,” Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini said.
Evans Glass sales reps, who wore tool belts during home visits, allegedly subjected consumers to a high-pressure sales pitch lasting up to four hours. The state’s complaint claims the company misrepresented that its windows ordinarily sold for much more and that prices were specially reduced. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is investigating other window and home siding installation businesses for similar allegations of using inflated prices, nonexistent discounts and high-pressure pitches.
In the Evans Glass case, the company also allegedly used fraudulent endorsements, including misrepresenting to consumers that it was somehow partnering with local governments and organizations. Evans allegedly used forged letters to make it appear that a glass manufacturer had chosen the business to participate in an energy efficiency study based on the quality of its products and services.
The complaint also accuses Evans of using scare tactics to suggest that mold found during the home “inspection” was deadly – regardless of the amount or type – and of advertising that its windows could save homeowners 40 percent on their monthly heating and air conditioning bills. No reliable scientific evidence exists to substantiate either claim.
The Attorney General’s Office agreed to suspend $25,000 in civil penalties provided the Evans Glass abides with consumer protection laws in the future. The company will pay $60,000 in attorneys’ fees and legal costs.
Kristin Alexander, AGO Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432
Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725