I finally gave up on trying to order new windows through the closest local office, and called one just outside KC, KS. I managed to talk with the sales manager for the store (actually, the KC area, Columbus Missouri, and St. Louis areas) and filled him in on my predicament.
He was very sympathetic, but when I asked about placing an order through his store, he replied that their contract with corporate HQ won’t allow them to cross into another territory – even if the territory is not being currently serviced. I told him that I could pay cash, right now, for 4 windows (which means I could actually order 8 if I was confident of raising the other half of the money before they arrived), and all I want is to have those windows installed before cool weather in the fall comes along.
He took my name and home phone number, and is passing the information along to the regional sales manager.
Seriously, I get the notion behind protected territories. It keeps aggressive sales people from stepping on each other to make a sale, which is useful.
What I don’t get is refusing to service an established customer when the territory he lives in has been abandoned. There should be exceptions to not crossing the boundary when a store is not available to service the customer.