This question relates to indoor blinds, but is generic to many items.
Some 15 years ago my Mum had indoor blinds installed in her unit.
They all still work, chains are in good condition and blinds are cleaned as needed.
Some time after she had them installed, a few years after, she went away. In one room she rolled the blinds down and saw something odd: they were misaligned.
On close inspection it is clear that for all three blinds the chains are in the right place.
On the blinds next to walls, the chains are on the side next to the wall.
In the middle blind, the chain is on its right. These matters were I recall discussed with the contractor before ordering.
Of the three blinds which are side by side, two roll “from the rear” and on rolls “from the front”.
When they are rolled out, two blinds are in line and the third is say 5 cm out of kilter. It rolls out say 5 cm forward of the others.
While this blind like the others keeps the sun out, this blind’s position looks wrong.
I called the installers a few days ago and mentioned this. I was told that a serviceman can come out for $180 and then there is a charge to fix the blind so it rolls correctly.
Must my Mum pay for what looks to me like a manufacturing or installation error?
I considered disconnecting the offending blind from the end plugs and reversing it but am unsure if I will damage it, so will wait a fortnight until another serviceman comes to clean the blinds. He will surely know how to remove the blind safely. I hoped the installer would offer a cleaning service so he could see the blind issue I am concerned about when he cleaned it, but apparently he does not offer a cleaning service.
Even if the cleaner removes the blind safely from the end plugs and confirms that he can reposition the blind so that it it rolls “from the rear”, and that’s an assumption, the chain will be in the wrong place. Not against the wall as it currently is, but millimeters form the chain of the middle blind.
What are my Mum’s rights? Has she left her run too late?
I would say yes unless the blind company is feeling very generous to an older person, if they are not you would be wasting your time taking it any further. My question is; if nobody noticed or felt the need to act in 15 years is it really important enough to do something about now?
She did notice it years ago as did I, but now it’s more in-your-face (as it were) as she is renovating and making other changes to the room requiring her to be in that room daily. But she wants to keep the blinds and with a different paint colour on the nearby walls, the contrast with the blinds would be significant, and the back-to-front blind would stick out like a kid poking a tongue.
While she wants to keep the blinds she would prefer they were all uniform.
You mention Mum may have left her run too late.
Is there a statute of limitations on such things?
It’s not like she wants a refund. I suspect all that is needed is to remove the part housing the chain (currenly on the right of the blind as it rolls wrongly) and replace it on the other side of the blind, so when placed in alignment with the other blinds, it too would be on the blind’s right hand side.
I forgot to mention that while I would like the small job or what I consider a small job be done under warranty ie for free after all they did install an incorrect item, I would consider a small fee reasonable.
We installed our own blinds, similar to yours I suspect. A roller set into the window recess, with a chain loop that lowers and raises it. At first I put it to roll flat against the window, but it started to rub against the window latches (aluminium sliders), so I turned it around to leave a gap between the window and the blind.
Then Mr Z decided that the chain should be near the light switch, so it was a simple matter of taking it down (a spring loaded pin at one end) and changing the chain mechanism to the other side. It was a simple process, but took a while to get used to the chain working in reverse.
15 years is a good life for a blind. I am looking at replacing my 8yr old Day/Night blind in the bedroom as being operated twice a day, every day and subjected to sunlight, dirt, mould etc they are starting to look sad and I put my finger through the one in sunlight every day it was getting so brittle.
Has the blind been rolled on the wrong way some time ago? It is easy to do. It is easy to do and why the blind rolls backwards compared to the other two. Has someone over the 15 years removed the blind (for cleaning, painting etc) and reinstalled it back to front - something also very easy to do.
After 15 years your rights under the Australian Consumer Law has expired, along with any chance of claiming under a manufacturer/installation warranty.
It seems odd that you have only noticed it now after 15 years of good use…which suggests it has been wound on backwards.
Not that I know of. Consumer legislation is sometimes a little vague and imprecise and takes interpretation, it does not have fixed terms in it that I have seen. My guess is that no tribunal would accept that this was the installer’s responsibility given that they could conclude that 15 years was a fair lifetime for a blind and that anyone could have fiddled with the blinds during that period and the state they are in now can not be guaranteed to be the state the installer left them in.
If you think the price quoted is too rich try getting a local handyman who may be cheaper. Re-hanging roller blinds is not difficult unless some part is broken or lost. I would do it myself (that is if I had the problem, I am not offering to do yours) but you don’t sound too confident.
Well why didn’t you do something then? How long did you think would be reasonable to wait, 20 years, 30, more?
Thanks for the reply.
I looked at the blind closely and am not sure if the chain’s “housing” can be relocated to the other side if I want to reverse the way the blind rolls.
As for any obstruction such as the one you list…there is none in this case.
I booked a cleaner for Feb to collect the blind for cleaning, or clean it on site, I don’t know what he will do. I will ask him/her to reverse the blind if possible.
As for 15 yrs… it really was not used for that long as Mum traveled a lot and the blind was rolled down most of the time. It was not installed so much as to block out light as to ensure privacy. Also it looks to be of good quality so I would expect a good life out of it.
Your point on another person doing the job is how I think. As mentioned elsewhere I will ask the cleaner for advice or to do the job. If his price is too high and if, as many wisely suggest I have zilch chance of getting the installer to do it for free or even at low cost, then I will give it a go myself.
I suspect, from what I have seen, that repositioning the blind so it rolls from the rear is doable. But the chain will in that case be very close to the chain of the middle blind.
To explain: between two walls are three blinds. Let’s call then Blind A, Blind B and Blind C
Blind A, the left most blind is to the right of a wall and its chain is on the side close to the wall
Blind B, the middle blind is to the right of the left most blind. Its chain is on its right side, furthest from the left wall.
Blind C, the right most blind is to the left of a wall and its chain is on the side closest to its nearest wall
By reversing Blind C, as I can’t see the chain “housing” is detachable, while prima facie I could get it to roll “under” or “to the rear” like Blinds A and B, its chain will be millimeters from the chain of Blind B and that is not the outcome I want.
The issue appears to have been caused by the laziness of the original installer not wanting to spend around ten minutes fixing an error made when the order was being put together.
The end fixtures holding the chain and pin end to the blind should be detachable and reversible. However, by just reversing the blind what was the front will now be the back. This would not be ideal if the back and front are of different material or colour, it the blind has a bottom fitting which is different on each side or if the side that was the back has faded.
If the simple switching around is not a good option, you can have a go at removing the blind from the roller and replacing it the other way around. This video and probably others show how this is done.
You could: reverse blind C, if that’s the one rolling from the front, and switch places with blind A, leaving blind B in the middle, and the chains of blinds C and A next to the wall.
Now excuse me while a get an aspirin for my headache
There is also a responsibility on the purchaser to inspect the work on completion and accept that the work completed is as they ordered or requested at the time.
For some details of trade work the consumer is accepting the tradesperson has carried out the work as required of their trade. It is up to the customer to reject the work at the time, or within a reasonable time there after. The customer is accepting that what was delivered, colour, model, handing, and other key features the customer identified have been correctly provided.
What ever had been said about what happened 15 years prior, the customer in this instance has paid for and accepted the orientation of the blinds and cords at the time. It seems an injustice to be blaming an installer/supplier. We all make mistakes, and as consumers ‘change if mind’ exists to clarify per ACL for which circumstance a consumer needs to accept the product or service.
It assumes that it was the installer that originally installed the blinds as they are currently arranged…
We have changed this ourselves as most blinds have generic type fittings which can be reversed/swapped to other end. They were purposely changed as the external side of the blinds had faded a little and were rotated to allow them to look better from the street - internally the blinds were behind curtains do having slightly faded blind wasn’t overly an issue.
It would be in injustice if the customer specifically requested that the blind be installed differently to the others. Putting this remote possibility aside, if the the issue was not obvious to the installer before the blind was installed in certainly would have been once it was.
Is calling out someone if they made a mistake an injustice?
You would expect a professional to install blinds with the chain closest the the nearest wall. If this happened and the blind was taken down and put back in reverse, the chain would not still be closest to the nearest wall.
Consumers make mistakes and have memory lapses, just as suppliers and installers can also make a mistake. As consumers we are also known to make poor choices. For an order completed yesterday one answer. For a job completed more than a decade prior, it’s a long time . Only one party is present in the discussion.
My logic of which light switch on a multi plate panel and my partners are not always the same. While the local sparky has a third logic. I expect the most used or important in a room to be in the top row and to the side nearest to the doorway. For a blind with a chord preference is one of convenience and accessibility. Obviously I’m not a believer in the perfect ‘Block and Home Perfect’ accord of symmetrical and spatial perfection. Roller blinds were common in several high rise offices I’ve worked in. The logic to which end the cord was placed on escaped me. Most often they were all handed the same way regardless of how many were side by side.
As the poster has not given us details apart from aesthetics, perhaps it is to do with the design/build of that window necessitates that the blind is further out, so they roll from the outside? We have that on several drops, where the latch and the vertical extrusion it is on would otherwise abrade the blind.
Is it not possible that the installer actually put in more effort, not less, to avoid longer term damage?
I’m sorry, I disagree. I expect a professional to put the chain where I have ordered it to be, depending on my/our personal preferences.
For side by side blinds, I have the chains together so I can control two adjacent blinds at the same time. Also, depending on the placement of furniture etc, having the chain in the corner makes it impossible to reach, so I have asked for the corner blind’s chain to be away from the wall.
I am sure others, such as you, have their personal preferences which are different to mine. This is why it all comes down to what the original order was, and what could actually be achieved. Sometimes the installation cannot be done according to the order. Variations should be discussed before an installation contrary to the order is completed.
Clearly many injustices have been carried out in our home due to the designs of our windows.
I think that the problem in the original poster’s situation is that the installation was carried out some 15 years ago. It’s also clear that ‘mum’ doesn’t have a recollection of what happened, so it is possible that the blinds were installed differently for a reason. If they were good enough to go unnoticed for 15 years, the installation must have been pretty good.