I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a new client that wished to have a window treatment completed for her living room to go over an 8 foot wide patio door and existing vertical blinds. The product that we thought would look best was a large arched cornice made with the same upholstery material that she had some custom chairs done in about 7 years ago when she moved in. She already had the fabric which was absolutely beautiful, so we proceeded quite quickly in order to have it done before the holidays. When we arrived to install the treatment we were prepared to remove the existing vertical blinds and rehang after the cornice was installed. Upon further examination we noticed that the brackets were coming out of the wall and it appeared that not one bracket out of seven initially installed was secured properly...they did not drill into studs and did not use toggle bolts of any kind, even the brackets were improperly spaced apart. Because of all of this, the entire head rail had bent over the past 7 years and when we reinstalled the head rail the vertical blinds would no longer work properly. The client was mortified to find that the existing vertical blinds could have fallen at any time because of improper installation. Guess who she purchased them from? A big box home store that offers "free installation" with any window covering purchase. Upon doing a little research I found out that the manufacturer of the vertical blinds did not warranty the product because of improper installation. I called the manufacturer the very next day and advised the service representative of the issue. She was very nice and explained what I had feared, the product was not covered under warranty.
Moral of the story- Just because a company offers FREE installation...is it REALLY free??? Know the company you are purchasing any item from, just because it seems like a great deal from a big box store it more than likely is not!