Day: July 26, 2018

Replacing Windows? Demand The Best Service

Knowing how to choose replacement windows and who should do it in your Colorado home can be a daunting task.

To start with, you have to figure out what kind of windows will work best for you and since you’re an expert in something other than windows, this can be a chore all by itself. You’ll get quotes from different replacement window firms, and each might come back with a different recommendation.

Wood? Aluminum?

And is the company recommending these windows because they’re really the best choice for you or is there some other motivation for the recommendation? Might they be recommending the windows for which they will get the highest markup, for instance?

(Here’s a hint: In Colorado, you want locally-made vinyl windows built and designed with our unique Rocky Mountain climate and altitude in mind.)

Then, there’s price to consider.

One homeowner recently received quotes from three replacement window installers – including a well-known “big box” retailer whose name you’d instantly recognize – and was shocked to see that the costs ran from “x” to “2x!”

How can one firm charge twice as much as another for the same job?

Another hint: Don’t pay 2x! The lowest bid isn’t always the best overall deal.

So, suppose you find two or three firms who come back with comparable bids and recommendations for high-quality vinyl replacement window installation. How do you choose among them?

Ask about service.

The best firms hold themselves to the highest standards of service quality. Go with the firm you think really aims to delight their customers.

Time Is Money

call replacement window company

If you call a replacement window company and they tell you they can have someone out to give you an estimate sometime between Thursday and April, that will tell you something about their service.

Maybe that example is a bit of an exaggeration but if the company doesn’t handle your job in a timely manner, it does say a lot about how much they value their customers.

Every business gets busy. A professional window installer’s time is valuable and so is your time.

You can sometimes tell, early in the process, whether a firm holds itself to a high service standard simply by evaluating how long it takes them to respond to your request for an estimate.

If the firm sends someone out to look at your job right away (within a few hours, or a couple of days, at most) and if the person who shows up is efficient, knowledgeable, and professional, that also sends you a message.

They care about their service levels. They care about you.

Cleanliness Is Good, Too

Say you have to choose between two firms who sent a prompt professional to estimate your job. You’ll ask each of them when they could start the work and how long the job will take.

Some jobs can be completed in a day. Others are completed over a period of two days or more.

If your job is one that will take more than a day, ask the installation firms what you can expect at the end of each shift. If they’re surprised by the question, that’s part of your answer!

The best firms not only anticipate the question but they have a procedure in place to keep things neat and tidy while they’re away from your property.

To the installation firm, maybe it’s a “job site” but the best firms think of it more as your home or place of business. And they have systems in place to ensure that they treat the place accordingly.

It’s About Respect

check reviews

Look at the testimonials and online reviews for the replacement window companies you’re considering. You’ll probably be able to tell a lot about the level of respect each firm has for its customers.

The best firms have glowing reviews from happy customers who received great products at a great price and excellent service as well.

The installers are friendly and courteous. The “job site” is kept clean and tidy during and after each shift. And the company do what they promise to do.

And if some tricky problem comes up during the installation, the firm should be able to handle it like a professional.

More than one company will say they want your replacement-window business. But if you ask a couple of questions and check out some online reviews, you’ll be able to tell which firms really do value you. They’re the ones who hold themselves to high standards of customer service.

See Also: What Would a Home Economist, an Environmentalist, an Allergist, and Your Mother Say About Your Home Windows?

The post Replacing Windows? Demand The Best Service appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

‘The Late Show’ has its own version of the secret Trump-Cohen tape

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So, we’ve heard the audio of the secret recording between Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen, but now there’s video?

Well, at least a video made by Stephen Colbert and The Late Show team.

The late night show has crafted their own comedic video accompaniment to the real 2016 recording aired by CNN on Tuesday. 

In the audio clip, Trump and Cohen discuss a payment for Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story, in which she claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006. 

In 2016, the Wall Street Journal revealed that American Media — which owns the pro-Trump National Enquirer — bought the rights to the model’s story for $150,000, but didn’t publish it. Read more…

More about Stephen Colbert, Trump, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, The Late Show, and Michael Cohen

Korean hotel firm Yanolja moves into Southeast Asia with $15M investment in Zen Rooms

Zen Rooms, the budget hotel network startup founded by Rocket Internet, had faced the deadpool earlier this year after a prospective funding deal collapsed, but now the business appears to have found a home. Korea’s Yanolja, a popular motel brand that has branched out into app-based hotel bookings, has made a strategic investment that could see it fully acquire the business.

Ten-year-old Yanolja is initially paying $15 million for an undisclosed “strategic non-controlling stake,” but it will retain the rights to buy 100 percent of the Zen Rooms business. Zen Rooms clarified that the acquisition is an option and not based on performance or financial metrics.

Founded by a former hotel worker, Lee Su-jin, Yanolja is best known for its lovel hotels although it is trying to clean up the general image of short-stay hotels by promoting them as destinations for business travelers, tourists and families, as noted by a Bloomberg profile story. The company has also grown its own app-based booking service which among the most used in its homeland with 20,000 rooms.

The company is reportedly planning an IPO, so expansion is on its mind.

For those reasons, Zen Rooms fits that new focus. The company borrowed the budget hotel model, first pioneered by SoftBank-backed Oyo in India, and brought it to Southeast Asia when it launched three years ago. The concept is simple, Zen Rooms guarantees minimum standards at all hotels including free WiFi, fresh towels and bedding, hot showers, etc all of which is controlled via a mobile app. Those standards are normal to most hotel stayers, but when traveling in the East, standards can vary wildly especially at budget hotels, which Zen Rooms is focused on.

For hotels, Zen Rooms manages the brand — and sometimes more — and it allows helps them tap the internet to find customers and bookings.

Today, Zen Rooms is active in six cities in Southeast Asia — it had previously also run operations in Brazil, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka — across which it claims to operate 1,000 hotel franchisees with an inventory of more than 7,000 rooms. Its rivals in Southeast Asia include Red Doorz, which raised $11 million earlier this year.

The startup has raised $8 million from investors to date, including a $4.1 million Series A last April that was led by Korea’s Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investment Korea with participation Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), the joint venture fund in Asia between Rocket Internet and Qatari operator Ooredoo.

However, TechCrunch understands that a major funding deal of over $10 million fell apart in Q1 2018 which left the company with a rapidly depleting runway. As a result and as TechCrunch reported in March, the company was aggressively shopped to potential buyers, investors and rival companies in order to keep the business afloat.

Yanolja has come to the rescue but a full buy-out looks like it will be dependent on the company’s future performance, such is often the arrangement with strategic deals made with a view to full ownership. Rocket Internet, which remains a major investor in Zen Rooms, will hope that the deal goes as smoothly as Lazada, its e-commerce service that is now owned by Alibaba.

Lazada ran out of capital in similar circumstances in early 2016 and Alibaba, the Chinese internet giant, came to its aid with a $1 billion investment. Although that was a majority investment it wasn’t a full-on buyoutAlibaba later increased its holdings until it fully owned the business, and today it is a key part of the firm’s overseas expansion strategy.

Already, TechCrunch understands from one source that Zen Rooms has gone on a hiring spree in recent weeks after it closed the deal. It had earlier been forced to make cutbacks to its team as a result of cost-cutting following the collapse of the funding deal earlier in the year.

“We now have the capital to invest,” ZenRooms co-founder Kiren Tanna told TechCrunch. “The deal has been in discussion since earlier this year…. we are treating like an acquisition but this is step one.”

Tanna added that the company plans to focus on five markets in Southeast Asia, and an expansion to Vietnam may be in the pipeline soon.