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Abbey Windows Ltd -Double Glazing- threatening to remove windows


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Abbey Windows Ltd - Portman Road, Reading.


Installed some windows and a door.  Two of the windows were bay windows.  The specifications were clearly outlined in the contract.  A 25% deposit was paid and work started August 2019.  The overall install of the products was shoddy.  However, the bay windows were completely different in size to those agreed in the contract. 


I complained shortly before the windows were finished.  They didn't return to site to finish the windows.  I didn't pay the remaining 75%.  However, for some reason I did pay them a further 12.5% for the products that aren't in dispute.  They are a Trusted Trader. 


I complained to Which who involved the Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman offered us two choices.  I accepted the choice that suggested installing the windows according to the contract.  Abbey Windows Ltd are refusing to install the windows unless a further 25% is paid.  I have refused. 


On Tuesday Abbey Windows Ltd emailed me to say that they would contact me again to confirm a date when they will recover the windows w/c 21/12/20, according to their contract and that I would have to board the windows at my own expense. 


Bearing in mind they didn't complete the works and fitted the wrong windows are they in breach of contract and do they have the right to remove the windows?  If they do remove the windows the contract is still unfulfilled do they still have to fulfill the contract?

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Abbey Windows Ltd -Double Glazing- threatening to remove windows

No they don't have the right to remove the windows and for the avoidance of doubt you should send them a letter immediately putting them on notice that any attempt to enter onto your property for any reason will be treated as a trespass and will lead to an immediate County Court claim for trespass.

The information you have given us is fairly sparse.

You haven't told us anything about the value of the contract, when the job was apparently finished. You haven't told us when you complain to an ombudsman – which ombudsman is that? Because there is no ombudsman for windows.

You say that you were offered two choices – but you didn't tell us what the second one was

What is a "trusted trader"?

What term in this contract are they apparently relying on its they say gives them permission to enter into your property and remove the windows?

Has this ombudsman person agreed with your version of the quality of the fitting?


Have you had any independent assessment of the cost of remedying the problem?

Are the windows actually any use? Meaning can the situation be remedied with the existing fittings or must they be removed and replaced by completely new windows?

And I don't really understand too much why you have gone along with this for so long without taking action.


I'm sure you get the picture – we need a detailed account of what has happened – a bullet pointed chronology would be appreciated without too much narrative.

Also, I notice that your first post was put up a solid block of text and that one of my site team colleagues had to restructure it for you.

Please would you present your posts in a properly spaced and punctuated way so that it is easy to read – especially for people using small screens. That way people will be more motivated to read what has happened and to give you the advice you are looking for.

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Also, is there someone at home during the day or is the house usually empty?

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Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.


The value of the contract is £7954.00.  The deposit value was 1998.00.  Work began on the 27th of August 2019.  I went to see Abbey Windows on the 29th of August 2019, to explain the situation.  The job isn't finished one of the windows doesn't have a canopy, they left without warning and it still has the black plastic on it they put there.  In addition there are other parts to the windows named in the contract that weren't fitted.


I complained to Which in May 20, to say that as a Trusted Trader, they hadn't performed to our expectations with regard to quality or service.  A Trusted Trader is a Which scheme that allows you to choose from a list of traders that will provide quality service and products.  Which referred the dispute to the Ombudsman on 20 May 20.  The Ombudsman responded on 16 October 20, as follows:-


Having reviewed the case file, I understand that you are claiming that the two bay windows purchased from the business, have not been made to the agreed upon size. In addition, where the sizing has been agreed to be rectified by the business, you have advised that you are seeking the canopy to be white and the base should be a timber insulated construction clad in white UPVC and a single gallows bracket.


To clarify, I am not in a position to comment or assist in the trader’s pursuit of 25% of the contract, or in the consumer’s withholding of this. My decision below, is based on the merits of the claim and particular issues raised. As such, any award potentially made will be considered in line with the survey amounting to £7954.00 total, and I will not be commenting on the financial aspect of the dispute where it can only be reviewed by the appropriate bodies.


Having corresponded with the business further, they have confirmed the following offers:


1.       Maintaining the offer to install to the size and specification outlined in the survey, with a white canopy. Having discussed this with the business, they have confirmed that this is possible. If the consumer were to accept, the details of this would also be discussed between the parties prior to installation including any samples; OR

2.       In recognition that the current installation is not as per the contract provided, a price reduction of 20% of the cost of the two bay windows, amounting to a total offer of £976.80 with no further works carried out by the business. The consumer then remains free to use this award as they wish. To clarify, price reductions are an alternative remedy to repeat performance (remedial works) and are assessed having regard to the nature and extent of the issues, and the functional and aesthetic impact of the issue itself.


It does go on further but I think these are the most important points.  We chose the first option.


The windows are completely different in style to those agreed i.e. the central panels were 80cm in the contract, however, the installed size is 58cm, the side panels are 66cm in the contract, however, the installed size is less than 56cm, this gives a completely different appearance to the windows agreed upon.  There is no insulation in the bases and no supporting gallows brackets.  All agreed in the contract (which I'm happy to provide).


I have included a page of the terms and condition and I believe it is paragraph 5 that they are referring to although this hasn't been specified.


The windows need to be completely reconstructed, it is only my opinion but I feel they may have under-estimated the cost of the install and are looking for a way out.


As part of the Trusted Trader scheme I naively thought we would be protected and that Which's influence would be sufficient for the windows to be installed as per the contract.


27-28 Aug 19, install begins, Abbey Windows leave without completing the installation.

29 Aug 19, I complain that the windows are out of spec.

Abbey Windows and me swap emails that go nowhere for about 7 months.

04 Feb 20, I paid a further £1082.00 towards the products that aren't in dispute.

16 Mar 20, I formally complain to Which.

More pointless emails for about 2 months .

20 May 20, Referred to the Ombudsman

16 Oct 20, Ombudsman's decision

23 Nov 20, Abbey Windows acknowledged the Ombudsman's decision and requested a meeting.

30 Nov 20, Abbey Windows say the will install the windows but want a new contract.

30 Nov 20, Abbey Windows say they want a 25% deposit for new works.

01 Dec 20, I say these are not new works, I am not signing another contract, I am not paying more money and they are simply need to finish the works they started as per the contract.

15 Dec 20, We received the following email from Abbey Windows:-


Thank you for confirming your position Nigel. We will continue with the recovery of our goods as you are in breach of contract. I will advise of a date next week when we will collect the goods. Please could you make arrangements to have the openings boarded at your cost. 


I will send Abbey Windows an email today inline with your recommendation's on trespass.  I will also ensure that someone remains at home.


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I suggest that you post the message that you intend to send to them here before you send it off.


Please could you repost the terms and conditions in PDF format. Even on a large screen they are unreadable and a small screen it would be impossible for anyone. When you post material, please could you check it and see that it is satisfactory.
I'm not able to read the term which they are apparently relying upon.

So there are two problems, first of all is making sure that they don't trespass on your property and try to remove the windows. We are dealing with that when we see your draft.

Secondly, is to remedy the situation.

It sounds to me that the situation is so bad that you could say that they have breach the contract fundamentally and therefore you are released from your obligations.

I think that it is about time that you brought somebody else – maybe eventually to independent experts to give their independent assessments and also to give independent quotations for the removal of the windows and the reinstallation of something to your specification.

Once that happens, you can decide to have the windows replaced by somebody else and then pursue Abbey Windows for any costs over and above the money that you had undertaken to pay anyway.

An alternative might be to agree with Abbey Windows that they should carry out the replacement but that you are not prepared to pay them the 25% – but you are willing to pay in escrow although there will be a fee for that which they would have to pay and also release of the funds would be subject to independent scrutiny – and it might be an idea to agree between you the identity of a suitable expert to carry out that task.

You should check out in advance the qualifications of the person you appoint.

If you are right that they have under quoted and they are trying to get out of it, then they won't go for the escrow solution – but it would be quite a good thing to propose to them because any judge would consider that you are acting reasonably and prudently and if Abbey Windows refused, it would put you on the moral high ground and in a very powerful position if it came to litigation.

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Things have taken a turn for the worse, they say they will remove the products on 23 Dec 20.


I have included the contract and Appendix A which apparently is supposed to list an variation in the contract.  It basically says as per the contract.  Which we were of course happy with.  At one point Abbey Windows was using this as a defense as why they had installed windows of a completely different size.  Please see the attached I have had to modify them to remove the personal details.


Appendix A.pdf Survey Office Ref.pdf

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This is the latest email from Abbey Windows Ltd




We will make all of the relevant authorities aware of our visit so they know to expect your call on the day. 


We plan to collect the windows which remain our property on Wednesday 23rd December. Please make arrangements for the openings to be secured. 


Alternatively, reinstate the deposit in line with the terms of the contract and we will proceed with the completion of the bays as per the offer which the DRO endorsed. 


This is entirely your decision.

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Are they relying on paragraph 5.2?

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What is the name of the person making the threats?

Also, earlier on I made a fairly long post suggesting a solution involving an escrow. You haven't responded to this.


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The person we have dealt with throughout is James Stewart, I believe he is one of the owners.

Shall I ask which part of the contract he is referring to?

To be honest I don't understand how to go about the escrow.

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It seems to me that you have a fairly serious situation – and you need to respond and react quickly. That means that I think you need to be in close contact with the forum when we ask you questions please.

If you don't know what an escrow is then please look it up. It could be the way forward. I will talk more about it later that you will have to monitor this thread.

My understanding is that the ombudsman did make any finding on the question of deposit. The 25% deposit has been proposed by Abbey. Is that right?

You had the decision of the ombudsman in 16th of October but Abbey didn't react until the end of November. Is that correct?

Did you make any contact or react at all once you had the decision of the ombudsman?

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Incidentally, you have a serious situation here, not because the law is on his side. It isn't. He has absolutely no right to enter your property if you refuse it. The contract may say that the items belong to him, but he hasn't the right to go in and get them. If he wants to bring legal action against you for detaining them and that's up to him that that is only remedy.

You have a serious situation here because he is making a nasty threat and this is disturbing to you and any family you might have living at the house. It makes you unconfident and insecure. It's basically a thuggish threat – but you will be absolutely right refusing him permission to enter your property and preventing him from touching the windows.

Of course he may be bluffing and it just may simply be a vicious threat but all the same you need to protect yourself. If you have people at the house around those dates – are they adults?

Also, the fact that he says that he is going to: the 23rd doesn't necessarily mean that that is when he's going to come. If you are serious about coming then he may want to put you off your guard and in fact come a day or two early.

Unfortunately I think you need to have somebody in the house all the time.

Please will you deal with the questions I've asked and then will give you further advice from there. I think you certainly need to involve the police and report to the police that you've had this threat.

Please address the questions

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The Ombudsman wouldn't comment on the further 25% deposit.  The extra 25% was James' idea because he is trying to persuade me that these are new works and not a continuation of unfinished work.


On 25 Oct 20, the Ombudsman said we should allow Abbey Windows Ltd, 28 days to respond.  On 23 Nov 20 we were contacted by James (Abbey Windows).


Are only reaction was to confirm that we would like the contract to be fulfilled and we waited to be contacted by Abbey Windows.


We are working from currently so there will always be someone here.


I will contact the police tomorrow.


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Please monitor this thread for a reply tomorrow morning early.


It would make things a bit easier if you would respond to the thread more quickly.


We will need to write a serious letter tomorrow.


Have you looked up escrow?

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I've had a further thought about this and I realise that my suggestion that you pay money into an escrow we should then be released once the work is being carried out satisfactorily puts you in a vulnerable position at some point.

If they agreed to this, then there would be nothing to stop them from removing the windows on the basis that they were going to go ahead and install the correct ones – but then having removed your old windows, to leave the job and leave you without any windows.

Of course they wouldn't get paid anything that they already have your initial 25% deposit and they would then have the satisfaction of knowing that they had defeated you and left you in a position where your home was open to the elements with no windows.

There will be very little you could do to prevent this immediately and it would take some time before a legal action would result in a judgement for a sum of money but by that time you would have had to have made other arrangements with a different installer to fit windows.

I think you are in a very difficult position in terms of continuing the work with this particular installer.

I think you need to let me know what you think about this but I think you are very vulnerable because it seems that these people are now extremely angry – without justification – and they might prefer to cut their own if it manages to spite you.

I certainly think that you must write to them tomorrow and put them on notice that under no circumstances do they have authority to enter your property to remove windows or for any other reason. You will need to explain to them that even if they are correct that under the contract they still own the windows, that does not give them the right to enter onto your property to remove them and if they feel they do have a right then they should enforce it by an action in the County Court which you will be happy to defend.

I think you should tell them that you are already informing the police of the threat you have made and you have passed a copy of it to them. You should warn them also that if they try to enter your property then the police will be called and furthermore everything that happens from the moment they enter onto the property will be videoed and recorded.

In terms of your relationship with this company, I think you are finished. I think you are right to have no confidence in them. Not only did they fail to install windows according to your contractual specification, but also according to you the work that they did do was shoddy.
I think you should reflect on whether you really want to continue with them. You have no way to control the quality of what they do and there will always be suspicion and resentment between you and even if they complete the job, if the job is shabby, you will find it very difficult to say that it has fallen below a particular standard and then to take some action about it.

As long as you keep dealing with this company, I think that they will have control of the situation because you are not qualified or experienced enough to control the manner of the work and the quality of it.

Are there alternative companies which would fit similar windows? Or fit windows which would be acceptable to you?

My own advice is that you should cut ties with this company. They are making nasty threats against you and your home and this is completely unacceptable.

You have the ombudsman's advice on your side. You are in a very strong position that if you continue dealing with Abbey, you will immediately put yourself into a weak position and you will no longer have control.

I think that you should look around urgently and get a couple of independent quotations for removing the existing incorrect and shabby window installation and replacing it with something which is acceptable to you.

You should inform Abbey at every step of the way what you doing that confirm to them that you will no longer be dealing with them.

When you get a quotation for removing the substandard incorrect installation and then fitting a correct set of windows, we can then look at the entire calculation and we can then decide how to go ahead and sue Abbey for the return of your 25% plus also the cost of uninstalling their shabby and incorrect work.

I think this is the way that you should go. I think you would be taking a big risk if you continue with them.

In contractual language, it seems fairly clear that they have breach the contract so fundamentally that their breach amounts to a termination and you are now released of all obligations.

Please let us know what you think. We will help you all the way.

In terms of the threatened trespass, I think this needs to be addressed urgently so please will you respond to this post as quickly as possible.

You would have learned by now that on this forum we react very quickly. You need to react more quickly because we would like to get this done and it's rather frustrating hanging around waiting for you to come back and make your comments.

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Apologies for my slow response.  I haven't used a forum before.

I do agree with you regarding not using Abbey Windows again.  I simply don't believe they have the skills to complete the works to the correct specification or to a satisfactory standard.


I will get some quotes, there are a couple of local and national companies that I know have the capability to do the work correctly.  I did look into this previously, however, I stepped back as I believed Abbey Windows understood their own contract.


Would it be OK to use the following paragraph tomorrow:-


Under no circumstances do Abbey Windows Ltd have the authority to enter our property to remove windows or for any other reason. Even if Abbey Windows Ltd are correct that under the contract they still own the windows, that does not give Abbey Windows Ltd the right to enter onto our property to remove them and if Abbey Windows feel they do have a right then it should be enforced by an action in the County Court which I will be happy to defend.


I will be online early tomorrow.


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We'll work out a form of words tomorrow – but you definitely need to put your position very squarely in terms of their potential trespass and you should do it tomorrow.

I think you should also inform the police and said the police notice in writing about it. I don't expect the police to do much and they will probably try to say that it is "a civil matter" – but still have a paper trail that you informed them.

I think you're right have no confidence and I think you will feel much calmer once you are shot of them.
I think your letter should warn them about trespass and also tell them that you have no confidence in them and that you are investigating other installations and after that you will return the windows to them.

We can deal with the business of getting your money back separately.

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Don't forget that you still have the option to comply with his conditions.

My own view is that he's bluffing.  His claim that he would have made all the relevant authorities aware so that they will be waiting for your call is simply intended to add menace to his throat.

If you are prepared to call his bluff – then I suggest that you send in the following letter by email:



Dear James


Response to your intention to commit criminal trespass


I'm writing this letter to put you firm your notice that if you attempt to enter into my property for any reason including removing windows then you will be committing a criminal trespass. We shall call the police immediately and the entire event will be videoed and recorded.
The house is occupied all times.

If you attempt to trespass on my property then I will begin a legal action against you in the County Court for trespass as well as for the breach of contract in respect of the incorrect and substandard fitting of my windows.

I have already alerted the police and provided them with a copy of your threat.  I have explained to the police about your demand for money and I have told them that you are threatening to enter my property and remove windows if your demand for money is not met.

For the record, you agreed to fit windows to a particular specification and you failed to do that. Not only was the installation completely different to that which we agreed, but the work which was carried out was a poor standard in my view.
After having complained to the ombudsman, I'm pleased that the ombudsman has found in my favour and has agreed that you did not do the job which you are employed to do.
The ombudsman gave you 28 days to respond and you only responded at the last moment with the demand for a further 25% payment in order to address the problem and to install the windows as per the original agreement.

You have now accompanied your demand for 25% of the contract price with a threat to enter into my property and remove windows and to leave my home open to the elements.


You say that the windows which have been wrongly installed on my property belong to you because of a contractual provision.

That is a matter for the courts to decide but even if the windows do belong to you, that gives you no right to enter onto my property to remove them or for any other reason.

If you think that I am interfering with your right to take the windows away then your proper remedy is in the County Court.

Once again, if you attempt to enter onto my property then this will be a trespass, the police will be called and a legal action will be brought against you.

Yours sincerely

when you make your complaint to the police, I think you should emphasise very strongly that this threat is being made as part of a demand for money.

Do not let the police simply write this off as a civil matter. Make sure the police understand that there is a risk of a serious breach of the peace here if they do not take an interest.


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I would suggest that you respond to James Stewart's Abbey Windows Ltd unpleasant threat with the letter which I have drafted above.

I would also suggest very strongly that you put a copy of the letter up on his company's Google reviews https://www.google.com/search?q=abbey+windows+reading+reviews&oq=abbey&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0j46i175i199j46j69i60l3.3217j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x48769b0425dfc923:0xaa4afec8b6874d0,3,,,


And also on trust pilot with a short account of what has happened – although the letter above will be fairly self-explanatory. I think it's important to start to get this widely known and I think it's important that Abbey Windows Ltd of Reading start to realise that this is getting out of hand and that he needs to worry a little bit more about his reputation then bullying his way around.

Please let us know if you're prepared to take this action.

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Now we have to deal with the issue of your windows.

I suggest that you sent James Stewart of Abbey Windows Ltd in Reading a letter stating your position:



Dear James

Further to the ombudsman's report of XXX in which they agreed that you have failed to install Windows according to the agreed specification, and further to your demand of 25% before you are prepared to remedy the problem that you have caused, and further to your recent and unpleasant threat to trespass on my property to uninstall windows if you're demands for payment are not met, I'm now giving you notice that the installation failure and the quality of the work is so poor and the matter has gone on so long that I consider that you are in breach of contract to the extent that it amounts to a termination of the contract.

I've now decided that are not prepared to continue dealing with you any more. You have undermined my confidence in your company's and your demand for money under a threat to trespass on my property is not acceptable by any standards.

I shall be inviting independent quotations for the removal of the windows which you have installed and the new installation of Windows according to my original specification which had been agreed with you.

I shall keep you informed of all developments and I shall supply you with copies of any quotations I received.

As soon as possible I shall appoint a new firm of installers to remove your incorrect and substandard installation and to replace it with a correct installation of good quality.

When this is done, I shall contact you and invite you to collect the old windows from my property.

Of course I expect that the removal of your incorrect installation will come at a cost and I shall be looking to you to reimburse me in full.

This means that at some point I shall be approaching you for the return of the 25% deposit plus the costs of removing any materials which you wrongly installed.

I hope it won't be necessary to take court action but you should be assured that I am absolutely prepared to do that and am prepared to act very quickly. The ombudsman's report is completely in my favour. I think you have damaged your position very seriously by making your aggressive demand for money accompanied by threat of trespass – and I have no doubt as to the eventual outcome of this dispute.

I think you could save us both a lot of time and aggravation by sorting this out in a responsible and businesslike way.

However it is completely a matter to you.

Yours sincerely



Please check this letter and see if it does the job. Is there anything incorrect? Is anything you want to add?

If you are happy with this letter then that means that you understand the suggested position completely. If you're happy with this letter then I suggest that you send it off today but separately from the criminal trespass warning which I have suggested above.

My personal approach would be also to post this on the Google reviews and also trust pilot. I think it's important that Abbey Windows Ltd understand that when they behave like this particularly when they make demands for money accompanied by threats, that it won't be kept quiet.

If you are happy with the approach suggested in this letter, I suggest that you act quickly and start bringing independent quotations from reputable window installers. I think it is important that you are seemed not to be delaying so that nobody could suspect you of attempting to keep the windows already installed without paying anything further.

When you get your independent quotations, make sure that the quotations itemise the cost of removing Abbey Windows incorrect installation separately.

Always send a copy of this aspect of your quotation to Abbey Windows Ltd so that they are fully apprised of what you're doing, and the possible costs. You don't want to put them in a position where they say that you have needlessly spent money and they have never been informed of it or given an opportunity to comment.

A clear and transparent paper trail is essential.

Please let us know what you think about this. Also as I've already said, in view of the urgency of the situation because of the threat of trespass if you do not meet the demand for payment of money, you should keep close contact with this thread.


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Thanks for you help and I agree completely.

I don't think I can ask for the deposit back because we are accepting other products that they have installed, even though they have been poorly installed.  I would have complained about these as well, however, I simply couldn't face having to deal with all of it and decided to concentrate on the stand out failings in their supply and install.


If they retain the 25% deposit and the extra £1082.00, that would equate to the value of the goods installed.  I did suggest that they accept this as full and final settlement and that we would get someone else in to do the job properly.  However, this offer was dismissed immediately (although he took the money first) and so the saga continued.


I will be at home today and I will monitor the threads closely.



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Okay, well let us know if you decide to send the letters that I have suggested – and let us know that they have been sent.

How do you feel about posting copies of the letters up on Google reviews? And also on trust pilot?

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I think that is an excellent idea.  You have probably noticed this kind of online interaction is new to me.


I will send the first letter unchanged.  The second letter I will remove the sentence about the 25% deposit as in fairness I think he is due that.


I do think you're right that this maybe a vindictive attempt to ruin Christmas rather than any real intention,  as I notice he uses the word plan.  However, I do need to be ready if they do turn up.


I was intending to order some 4x2 and marine ply just in case they do turn up.  Are these costs I could seek to recover regardless of his actions?



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I wouldn't bother to order any ply. He has no right to come onto your property and you should resist it and prevent it. Make sure somebody is there to record everything and call the police immediately. However, as I've already suggested, you should inform the police now that a man is making a demand for money with the menace of coming onto your property and removing windows.

This is a very serious kind of threat to make.

I don't think you should put yourself to any further expense and if you start getting in plywood, it frankly has all the signs that you are going to give up and let him dominate you.

It seems to me that this man and this company Abbey Windows have been controlling this for far too long. You now have an ombudsman's report which is unequivocally supportive of you and you should now stand your ground.

I suggest that you post the trespass warning onto the Google reviews – and also the letter you are sending him about your proposals in respect of the contract. There is nothing confidential about it. He will probably rant and rave when he discovers – but you should leave it there in plain sight.


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