Woman waits months for company to begin work on Cass County home

Problem Solvers

BELTON, Mo. — Trish Gorman points to the back of her home and describes the sunroom that was supposed to be built there last August.

“I’ll have a window here and a big sliding glass door,” she said. “I’ll love being able to see outside.”

Yet she has no idea when her sunroom will ever be built.

“They tell me I’m on the list,” Gorman said.

That’s quite different from what she was promised last April when she signed a contract with Champion Windows for both the sunroom and a bay window for her kitchen.

“They told me the bay window would be put in right away,” Gorman said. “Those were the word they used. And the sunroom (would be in) by August.”

Every time she called Champion Windows to find out why her windows had yet to arrive, Champion could never provide an answer. Instead it sent someone to her home to remeasure.

“The window has been measured three times now,” she said. “The sunroom four times.”

Finally last fall Champion blamed the hold up on her sunroom on Cass County, saying the permitting process was taking longer than expected. But when Gorman called the county, she and FOX4 were told Champion had never even applied for a permit.

That’s when Gorman really became worried.

“I’m out $14,400,” she said, referring to the mandatory deposit she paid Champion last April.

“Had I known they couldn’t get to it this year I would have gone with a different company.”

Gorman called FOX4 4 Problem Solvers seeking help in either getting her money back or getting her windows.

Problem Solvers did a little digging. The first red flag we found was on the Better Business Bureau’s website.

It has posted a warning about the company which has more than 1,000 complaints. Many of those complaints sounded similar to Gorman’s – people waiting for months for windows and receiving no explanation from Champion as to why.

Problem Solvers contacted the company’s corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. Sandy Stude, Champion’s vice president of administration, was apologetic for everything Gorman had experienced. She said she’d been placed personally in charge of solving Gorman’s problems.

Stude said Champion had done a poor job of communicating with Gorman about the missed deadlines and delays. She said the bay window was custom built and therefore took longer than the August deadline Gorman had first been promised. The sunroom has yet to even have a permit, she said, because the county was first requiring an inspection of Gorman’s septic system.

Stude said that should have been shared with Gorman, but since it wasn’t, she said Champion would pay for the inspection. Once that’s done, Gorman should qualify for a building permit and work on the sunroom can begin.

Here’s more good news, the bay window has been built and is on its way to Missouri, according to Stude.

Gorman is hoping this time she can trust Champion to keep its word. FOX4 Problem Solvers will let you know what happens.

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