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Star Decorating vs American Blinds

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STAR DECORATING

Since 1985, Star Decorating has been a premier mail order company, selling not just blinds and shades but also area rugs and more. Their "A+" rating with the BBB continues to demonstrate that they do a good job of taking care of their customers. And, they offer a decent variety of brands in their inventory: not just the bigger names like Levolor and Bali but also Coolaroo and their own StarBlinds brand.

Star Decorating has made some changes since our last review, the most helpful being the ability to order free samples. You'll find that option with each window treatment you look at; this definitely keeps this retailer competitive, since most of their competitors offer samples too. They also guarantee that they'll beat any price you find at another store; just fill out their contact form and they'll get in touch with you to offer you a better deal.

You may not need to make that request: when we shopped the site most recently, the Levolor blinds we used as a comparison product across retailers was several dollars less than the price at other stores. We needed a coupon code to get that price, but the code was shown right next to the product description. Just be sure to enter your product dimensions: the default on those Levolor window treatments was 8" by 10", not the standard 24" by 36" typically used on other sites.

As with many window blinds stores, Star Decorating offers free shipping within the contiguous United States for all blinds and shades under 94". Expect an oversize charge of $70 if your window treatments are larger than that.

This store only accepts returns due to damage or defect, but you'll have to make that claim within 5 days of delivery. Any product warranties depend on the manufacturer, and you'll be responsible for any shipping costs if you have to return your merchandise for repair.

The only change that Star Decorating hasn't made since our previous review is their website. More now than before, it looks very outdated compared with other retailers of window blinds, and we still found typos in their policies and product descriptions. We also got text-heavy pop-ups during the ordering process; we appreciate the information that they provided, but when their competitors offer images and even videos to illustrate the same details, Star Decorating seems to have fallen behind the times.

But, because of the improvements they've made, Star Decorating earns an extra half-star in our ratings, and we hope to see an improved, more user-friendly site in the near future.

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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 Star Decorating 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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