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News - April 6, 2023: Would you really want to buy a Sunsetter awning when the company delayes reporting a hazardous defect in it's fabric covers? Click here and here to read more. For a pdf of the complaint click here.
Sunsetter is often regarded by the public (incorrectly in our opinion and many others in the industry and the public) as one of the biggest names in the awnings and canopies industry. However, a comparison of the Sunsetter and Sunsetter Platinum models with comparable products from RetractableAwnings.com® shows that in all instances, Sunsetter comes up short.
RetractableAwnings.com® offers products that have all been tested in Europe for wind resistance. The Sunsetter and Sunsetter Platinum models, by comparison, have not been Beaufort wind load tested. All Retractableawnings.com® lateral folding arm awnings are TÜV Product Approved (German certification), tested up to 80,000 open/close cycles, and none of Sunsetters products are TÜV Product Approved. Qualicoat® brand electrostatic powder coating (the best in the world) is used by Retractableawnings.com® and Sunsetter uses an enamel paint and is not even powder coated.
Our products are also designed to hold up much better over time: Our retractable arms use heavy-duty commercial grade non-rusting German Flexon brand stainless steel chains and Italian heavy-duty springs; Sunsetter Awnings uses nylon-coated steel cables from China that are susceptible to rust and rain damage and low-grade inferior springs also from China.
Retractableawnings.com offers a variety of models in terms of appearance and, in addition, offers a maximum width of 52’6” (using one piece of fabric and one motor) and a maximum projection of 16’0”. Sunsetter, on the other hand, only offers two models in terms of appearance and a maximum width of 20’0” and 11’8” projection.
RetractableAwnings.com® offers three frame colors to choose from White, Sand, and Brown (Bronze). Sunsetter awnings are only available in one color - a cream-colored frame.
When it comes to the fabric used for the awning, RetractableAwnings.com® is even more of a clear winner: We offer over 500 solution-dyed acrylic fabric choices from name brands, worldwide manufacturers like Para, Dickson, Recasens, and Sunbrella while Sunsetter only offers 17 acrylic fabric choices -- none of which are name brand on their standard models and only 18 acrylic Sunbrella choices on their Platinum models.
All of our retractable awning models feature a patented and proprietary roller tube design that prevents the bunching of the fabric. Sunsetter doesn’t have this feature. Unlike their standard and platinum models, our awnings are offered with an optional flame retardant fabric and a high-quality sewing thread. We use Goretex brand Tenara thread that offers a lifetime warranty against seam separation and will never come apart. Sunsetter uses ultrasonic technology to join the fabric. Ultrasonic joins are known to come apart from even the slightest amount of humidity.
RetractableAwnings.com® offers features like non-rusting stainless steel roof brackets (in 3 sizes) and optional adjustable front bar telescopic poles for additional wind support on all models -- Sunsetter does not. And we have a variety of high-tech options you won’t find with Sunsetter, such as a smartphone/tablet iOS and Android module to let you extend and retract and also schedule the opening and closing of your retractable awnings.
RetractableAwnings.com offers a 25-year non-prorated warranty on our frames and a 10-year warranty on our brand name fabrics; Sunsetter offers only a 5-year, prorated, limited warranty on their standard series and a 10-year prorated, limited warranty on their platinum series with the enamel paint and manual gear excluded that have only a 5 year prorated, limited warranty.
When it comes to quality, durability, technology, and options, RetractableAwnings.com has clear advantages over Sunsetter awnings.
There are many complaints against Sunsetter at independent 3rd party websites.
Look at all the complaints and negative reviews against Sunsetter at the Better Business Bureau website and other links below:
Click here for the Sunsetter review link at the Better Business Bureau
Click here for the Sunsetter complaint link at the Better Business Bureau
Click here for the Yelp review at yelp.com
The above links are a partial listing of mostly negative reviews regarding Sunsetter brand awnings.
RETRACTABLEAWNINGS.COM® VERSUS SUNSETTER® COMPARISON
|MAXIMUM WIDTH & MAXIMUM PROJECTION USING 1 MOTOR AND 1 PIECE OF FABRIC||52 foot 6 inches wide and 16-foot projection||20 foot wide and 11 foot 8 inch projection|
|BEAUFORT WIND LOAD SCALE RATINGS||Yes for all models||No. Not Beaufort wind load tested|
|ASSEMBLY LOCATION & LOCATION OF COMPONENT MANUFACTURER||Assembled in Miami, Florida using 100% European components||Assembled in Malden, Mass using 100% components from China for all models (motor excluded). Chinese components are known to be the lowest quality in the world in the awning industry|
|CYCLE TESTING||Heavy-duty commercial grade. Tested to 80,000 open/close cycles. Most in the industry||Light duty. Only 20,000 open/close cycles|
|ARM COMPONENTS||Heavy-duty German, Flexon® brand non rusting stainless steel chains and Italian heavy-duty springs in the arms||Nylon coated steel cable in the arms. Cables will rust and nylon deteriorates quickly from the sun|
|FRAME, ARM AND HOOD POWDER COATING OR PAINTED||Qualicoat® brand electrostatic powder coating. Best in the world||Enamel painted. Brand of enamel (if any) not stated on website|
|FRAME COLORS||3 colors - White, sand and Bronze (Brown)||1 color - cream only|
|ASSEMBLY HARDWARE||316 marine grade stainless steel - Resistant to rust / corrosion / pitting||Not stated on website|
|ALUMINUM FRAME||6063 Aluminum - Resistant to rust / corrosion / pitting||Not stated on website|
|WIDTH X PROJECTION||Width priced in 1 foot increments. Custom made to specific width size requirements up to 1/8 of an inch. 7 projections available: 5'3", 6'11", 8'6", 11'10", 13'2", 14'3" and 16'0" (largest in the world)||Only standard widths available at 8 foot to 20 foot wide in 1 foot increments with no customization available. Only 4 projections available: 7'0"; 9'0"; 10'2" and 11'8"|
|ADJUSTABLE PITCH / ANGLE||Via hand crank on the Palermo Plus model. No ladder needed||By manually loosening bolts means getting on a ladder|
|PROJECTION GREATER THAN WIDTH AVAILABLE||Yes, on the Palermo model||No. Not offered|
|PATENTED CENTER SUPPORT TO PREVENT FRAYING OF FABRIC||Yes, on all models||No. Not offered|
|PATENTED ROLLER TUBE DESIGN TO AVOID BUNCHING OF FABRIC||Yes, on all models||No. Not offered|
|TELESCOPIC POLES FOR ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM WIND||Yes, as an option on all models except the Venezia||No. Not offered|
|GERMAN TÜV PRODUCT APPROVAL/CERTIFICATION||Yes, on all models||No as verified at www.tuv.com|
|CE MARKING. COMPLIANT WITH EU LEGISLATION||Yes, on all models||No|
|TECHNICAL INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS AVAILABLE ONLINE||Yes, on all models||No|
|FRAME WARRANTY||25 years NON-PRORATED, NON-LIMITED frame warranty on all parts and electrostatic powder coating||5 years PRORATED, LIMITED frame warranty on the standard series and 10 years PRORATED, LIMITED frame warranty on the platinum series. Paint excluded - Paint has a 5-year warranty. Gear on the manual version - 5-year warranty|
|BRAND NAME SOLUTION-DYED ACRYLIC FABRICS||Para, Recasens, Dickson, Sunbrella, and other brands are available. Over 500 fabric choices are available||Only 17 acrylic fabric choices are available on the standard series and only 18 Sunbrella choices available on the platinum series|
|FIRE RETARDANT FABRIC AVAILABLE||Yes as an option||No|
|SEWING THREAD||100% expanded clear Gore PTFE TENARA® UV resistant sewing thread with a lifetime warranty against seam separation since it is U.V. (ultraviolet) resistant and is unaffected by salt water, cleaning chemicals (even bleach), cold or hot temperature extremes and acid rain. It is also non-flammable and will not rot or mildew||Heat-sealed. Research by Retractableawnings.com® has determined that heat-sealed acrylic fabrics tend to separate from even the slightest amount of humidity|
|STRIPED FABRICS||Striped fabrics are sewn from the center out so stripes at both ends of the awning are always the same (equal)||Not stated on the website so most likely no.|
|TRIM/BINDING/PIPING ON VALANCE EDGE||Solution-dyed yarn is used to prevent fading. 45 colors to choose from||Yarn type not stated on the website. No color choice available - only available in 1 color|
|NUMBER OF VALANCE STYLES||Six (6)||One (1)|
|FABRIC WARRANTY||10 years prorated warranty from all 5 major fabric manufacturers||5 year prorated, LIMITED warranty|
|VALANCE STYLES||6 valances styles available from 6" to 12" in height||2 valance styles are available and only one height|
|RAIN & SUN SENSOR / TIMER / DIGITAL KEYPAD / KEYSWITCH||All available as an option||None are available|
|ROOF MOUNT BRACKETS||Available in 3 sizes: 12", 16" and 24". Non-rusting aluminum||No. Not offered therefore cannot be roof mounted|
|SMARTPHONE AND TABLET MODULE TO OPEN CLOSE AND SET SCHEDULES||Available as an option||No. Not offered|
|BACKUP MANUAL OVERRIDE TO RETRACT (CLOSE) AWNING IN CASE OF LOSS OF ELECTRICITY||Option on motorized units||Forced to purchase on motorized units. Not available as an option|
|220 VOLT MOTORS||Available for a minimal surcharge||No. Not offered|
|MOTOR BRAND||Somfy® and Simu® brands||Somfy® only|
|WARRANTY||Warranty to the original purchaser and subsequest owners||Warranty only to the original purchaser|
|WARRANTY LOCATION||Applicable worldwide||Applicable only in the USA|
|INSTALLATION||Can be used as a carport and can be installed on moving vehicles such as an RV||Cannot be used as a carport and cannot be installed on moving vehicles such as a RV|
|MOUNTING OPTIONS||Wall or soffit/eave/overhang or beam or fascia or side of rafter or roof mount||Wall or soffit/eave/overhang or beam or fascia or side of the rafter. No roof mount brackets available|
*Information obtained from both websites on November 20, 2021. Copyright© 1998-2021 • All rights reserved • Retractableawnings.com® Inc.
One of the main complaints we hear about or read again and again regarding Sunsetter Awnings is their poor customer service. For instance, one unhappy customer described their service as ‘abysmal’ and mentioned they had just come off the phone with the most condescending customer service representative they had ever encountered. With customer satisfaction, paramount this is no way to run a business.
Another customer made and documented one hundred attempts to contact customer service. Even a year and a half later, after the Sunsetter awning was installed, they still are unable to use it. They gave Sunsetter Awnings a 1-star rating as it was not possible to give them a zero!
Many other annoyed customers of Sunsetter are reporting that they are waiting months after paying for the Sunsetter awning for it to be delivered and installed. Some customers are ordering months in advance from Sunsetter to enjoy their new product in the summer but are still waiting as the season comes to an end.
One of the repeated complaints regarding Sunsetter is the contractors that they recommend for installing their Awnings. For instance, a customer who wrote a complaint on Better Business Bureau had her Sunsetter Awning installed described how disappointed she was with the work done - "For my installation, I had SunSetter come out with the fellows the representative recommended. But when I close the awnings, they bang against the house. Both the lights that I can have on at night have fallen off."
Sunsetter Awnings has many bad reviews on consumer websites; please check these reviews out for yourself before deciding to place an order with Sunsetter, a “big box” store, or any one of its untrained dealers.
In comparison, you can also check consumer websites to read reviews about our services and products. We have hundreds of very satisfied customers worldwide.
The bottom line is that you should do your research before placing an order with any company, no matter how good their product or service may look on the surface. You need to find out what other people are saying about them.
Retractableawnings.com has been in business for 36 years and a Better Business Bureau Member for 30 years with an A+ rating and with no active complaints on file. In addition, Retractableawnings.com has an A rating on Angieslist.com (ratings on both websites are the highest available).
If you would like to know more about us, feel free to give us a call at (305) 628-2424 or toll-free in the USA and Canada at (866) 438-2964, and our friendly staff will be happy to answer all of your questions.