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Select Blinds vs American Blinds

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SELECT BLINDS

Select Blinds was created in 2003 with the purpose of offering custom window shades and blinds at prices that the average consumer could afford. Promoted by big names like HGTV and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show, this company is accomplishing what they set out to do: for more than 200,000 customers and counting.

You'll find an extremely easy shopping process on the Select Blinds site. Browse the category images on the main page or use the top navigation to go directly to what you need: Blinds, Shades, Shutters, Motorized options, or shop by room or need (like Best for Kids or Water Resistant).

Then, use the side navigation to refine your options by color, price, production time, options/features, and much more. You'll quickly see which products meet your criteria, and most have thousands of customer reviews to give you an idea of how well they work when they're actually installed.

Each product has a wealth of information, from images and videos to detailed measurement and installation guidance. Select Blinds is one of the only companies to offer extended warranty options, too:

  • 3-Year Limited: included for free, this covers defects, internal mechanisms, and brackets
  • 5-Year Limited: covers the same items as above, but for two extra years. The price depends on the blinds you buy, but on a set of blinds that cost $8.99, the cost was just $0.67 more.
  • 5-year Unlimited: according to their description, this includes accidents, "general mayhem", "overzealous child or hungry pet", and "any damage you can dream up". (We love businesses that have a sense of humor!). We'd pay an extra $2.33 for this additional coverage on blinds that sell for $8.99.

Compared with other stores that sell in-house brands of window blinds, Select Blinds' prices are about average. Shipping is free; we didn't see the usual exclusion for products measuring more than 94", so we reached out to their customer service department via live chat. It took a few minutes, but we eventually got a very helpful person who confirmed that yes, shipping is complimentary on window treatments with large dimensions - no oversize charges. That could save you as much as $80, when looking at what the competition charges.

You can also order free samples of any blinds or other window treatments, especially if you're trying to match a particular color in your home. We found that Select Blinds will honor the price at the time you order your samples, so that you don't feel rushed in placing an order. You might need to contact their customer service department, to get the previous discount applied to your purchase.

What about returns? Select Blinds is equally generous: if they ship you a product that is defective or that doesn't match the measurements you sent in, they'll exchange or repair them for up to 90 days after delivery. If the mistake is on your side, you can either return them to be trimmed to the right size for a fee of $20 per window treatment or place a new order at a discount of 50% off.

You'll definitely want to use their measuring tools page, to ensure that the "oops" isn't on your part, though.

Select Blinds has one of the highest overall customer satisfaction scores we have ever seen. Not only do they have an "A+" with the Better Business Bureau, but they're one of the only businesses we've found that has hundreds of positive reviews there. Even looking at other third-party customer review sites, people have excellent things to say about this company. That doesn't mean that there are no complaints. On the contrary, the most frequent negative comment usually refers to problems with getting the right fit. But, many customers changed their reviews from negative to positive after getting a prompt, helpful, even apologetic response from Select Blinds' representatives, instead of being told "too bad" or refusing to accept responsibility for the problem.

There's only one small drawback to shopping at Select Blinds: you won't find any name brands like Levolor. Then again, when you see that you can get the same quality as a brand-name manufacturer, backed by excellent warranties and shipped for free no matter what the size, you may not mind. Select Blinds is an excellent choice for affordable, high quality window treatments.

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AMERICAN BLINDS

American Blinds has come a long way since our last review. With a much more user-friendly website, improved customer satisfaction policies, and a call center with dozens of window decorating experts on standby, this Texas-based retailer is definitely interested in earning your business.

Looking at our base comparison window treatment - Levolor Visions 2" Faux Wood Blind - American Blinds' pricing was right in the middle, at $39.64. This price reflects a promotional discount of 35%, but customers report that AB tends to have rolling promotions year-round, so just make sure you look for the coupon code and enter it at checkout to get the lowest possible price.

Shopping the site by brand, window treatment, or feature is a breeze: just use the headings at the top of the page. You can also get design inspiration by using the Lookbook link; you'll see ideas for specific rooms in your house, decorating styles like Modern or Traditional, or even by window treatment type.

When you find the blinds you want, the product page will give you a wealth of details, from specifications and mounting requirements to estimated installment times and any child safety features you may want to know. You'll also find quick links to instructions for measuring and installation, as well as the specific care and warranty information for that product. You'll probably also see reviews about that specific window treatment - often with photos from customers, showing how it looks once it's been installed in an actual home.

Another improvement is the satisfaction guarantee: originally limited to 14 days, their policy now covers the first 30 days after delivery. You can return your product and get a suitable replacement at no extra charge; if American Blinds determines that a replacement won't solve the problem, they'll refund your money. Be aware that if you ask for a refund because of color issues, you must have received a swatch prior to your order in order to be eligible for the guarantee. Those swatches now ship for free, and they come with a discount offer of 30% on an order of $299+.

You can also take advantage of their "Love It for Less Guarantee": if you place an order and find the same product at a lower price on a competitor site within 14 days, American Blinds will refund the difference.

Shipping is free for products that are smaller than 96", and $30 for each oversized product. Unfortunately, if you live in Alaska or Hawaii, American Blinds won't ship to you at all.

American Blinds had an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, with only a handful of registered complaints. Elsewhere, however, we found customers who said that American Blinds didn't deliver on their new-and-improved customer satisfaction policies. Some of those complaints described situations where the customers hadn't followed the policy of needing to order swatches to be eligible for a refund, which is not American Blinds' fault. Others said that their blinds were packaged poorly or delivered much later than promised.

On the other hand, we also found compliments praising the quality of the window treatments, the responsiveness of the customer service department, and lower than average prices. Several of the positive customer comments came from people who have bought from American Blinds multiple times over the years.

Because of their improvements to their online store and their customer satisfaction policies, American Blinds moves up in the rankings among retailers of blinds and other window treatments. They still have some room for improvement when it comes to delivering on their promises, but we expect to see more good things from this store in the future.

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Best Window Blinds

To help you find the Best Window Blinds, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Select Blinds and American Blinds.

Who has the best Window Blinds? Whether you're decorating a brand-new home or changing the look of an existing one, window coverings are an easy way to add beauty and flair along with function. From traditional vertical blinds to roller shades and much more, your options are almost limitless, especially when you add in the dimensions of material, color, and brand.

Gone are the days of needing to hike from one store to another with the measurements of your windows, gathering price quotes and hoping to find exactly what you want. Most of today's top brands and retailers sell their window blinds online. These sites typically have helpful tools to ensure the right fit, and to help you choose the right window treatment for the room where you'll install the blinds.

When you order window blinds online, your order is shipped directly to you, and many stores give you the choice to put them up yourself or to pay for professional installation.

As you decide which window blind store you'll use for your purchase, you should keep in mind these criteria:

  • Selection. Does the retailer carry a wide variety of styles, brands, and options? Will you be limited to their in-house blinds, or can you also choose from established name brands? Can you get a sample of different types of blinds that they offer?
  • Price. What will it cost to get the window blinds you want? Will you spend extra for shipping? Are there any discounts available, to make your purchase more affordable?
  • Policies. If you don't like the window blinds once they're delivered, can you return them? Does the store offer a satisfaction guarantee? What happens if the blinds don't fit when you try to install them?
  • Reputation. Have other customers had a good experience with the store, both with using the site to place an order and once they receive their blinds? Does the retailer have a solid history, especially when it comes to resolving customer concerns?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Window Blinds stores available today. We hope this information helps you find the window blinds you want right away!



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