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 Post subject: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Medford, OR
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I have written some comments on this board regarding manufacturers responsibility when it comes to their dealers questionable ethics. Manufacturers know when their dealers have lousy reputations and if they keep them as dealers it is a reflection on themselves. In my humble opinion. Apparently the Washington State Attorney General feels the same way:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 02, 2010

Window maker cleans up claims about energy savings

SEATTLE – An Ohio-based window manufacturer has settled allegations over erroneous energy-savings claims. In a settlement with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Great Lakes Window, Inc. agrees not to make false or unsubstantiated representations about the energy efficiency of their window products.

“Window manufacturers like Great Lakes and not just companies that sell windows directly to consumers must avoid deceptive marketing tactics like energy savings pledge programs that promote false or unsubstantiated energy savings claims,” said Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini. “Our settlement prohibits those marketing practices and puts a few dollars into the pockets of affected consumers.”

Great Lakes Window, Inc. sells replacement windows to retail window companies nationwide, including businesses in Washington state. One such company is Statewide, Inc., also known as Penguin Windows. The Attorney General’s Office reached a separate settlement with Penguin Windows in March.

From about 2004 through 2009, Great Lakes sponsored an energy savings pledge program used by Penguin Windows. The program promised that consumers who purchased new windows and doors throughout their homes would save at least 40 percent in energy costs the first year, or be paid the difference. In its complaint, the Attorney General’s Office says the claim was false – a violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

The AG’s Office says the energy savings actually realized as a result of replacing old windows varies greatly due to many energy-consumption factors, including the type, size and location of the windows replaced; the home’s insulation; the climate at the home’s location and the type and condition of the home’s heating and cooling systems. As a result, consumers should not believe advertising claims that promise all homeowners will realize the same high percentage of energy savings. The only way to accurately estimate the actual energy savings a particular home will achieve by replacing windows is to have an extensive whole-home energy audit conducted by a reputable company that looks at all energy-consumption factors, not just the windows.

Under the settlement, Great Lakes does not admit to wrongdoing and specifically denies the allegations. However, it agrees not to engage in the prohibited marketing practices and will set aside $50,000 for refunds for qualifying homeowners. The window manufacturer will also review and respond to written customer complaints about energy efficiency claims and keep records of those complaints for four years.

The Attorney General’s Office agreed to suspend $25,000 in civil penalties provided Great Lakes abides with consumer protection laws in the future. The company will pay $10,000 in attorneys’ fees and legal costs.

Washington state homeowners who replaced all of their patio doors and windows with those manufactured by Great Lakes and sold and installed by Penguin Windows between from Nov. 1, 2004 to Nov. 1, 2009 will receive letters about reimbursements.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:08 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
Posts: 1579
Location: Northern,Virginia
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Great, now hopefully other States will start cracking down on some of these ridiculous claims. Somehow this all got started with salespeople convincing consumers that buying windows was like buying stocks and bonds. Then consumers started thinking that windows should magically pay for themselves. Silly Humans.....


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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1787
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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EDIT.Superior, your present and past posts clearly show a vendetta against them (Great Lakes)... As for the content, I agree 100%. These energy-savings pledges are misleading and unethical. Here's some info for you though: Softlite, Sunrise, Gorell, and Milgard dealers in my area make these claims CURRENTLY. Are you going make a post lambasting them as well?.... None of these manufacturers are any better or worse than the other when it comes to this stuff. To single one out is absurd. I understand that GL happens to be the one that had an actual lawsuit here, by I'm willing to bet that if you spent as much time digging up dirt on any of the other companies, you'd find plenty of complaints, if not legal actions... IMHO, the majority of the blame falls on the dealers anyway. Do you sell any of the brands I specified above? Are you going to stop selling that product now because they aren't enforcing ethical practices on their dealers?


Last edited by HomeSealed on Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:34 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Medford, OR
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HomeSealed wrote:
Wow Superior, did someone from Great Lakes screw your wife or something? Your present and past posts clearly show a vendetta against them... As for the content, I agree 100%.


If my content is accurate today, then maybe my content was also correct yesterday. Windows are my business and my business feeds my family. When I comment on things that affect feeding my family I can get a little passionate, but I don't write lies and my heart is in the right place.

If you are aware of businesses doing things that are unethical then YOU need to do something to protect your neighbors. I have posted on my business blog (superior4windows.com/blog) and my business Facebook page about Penguin Windows and Evans Glass as these are the guys affecting my neighbors.

I have also posted some nice things about Ply Gem on my blog. But no one is perfect and I have written things about them here that were 100% true and accurate.

Loyal customers tell you when you've screwed up so that you can better take care of them. Customers that are not loyal just go away and buy somewhere else. I am loyal to Ply Gem and I want them to be better. There is nothing I wrote here that I had not already discussed with them.

BTW, July was our 2nd best month in 26 years. We did that in a way that I, and all of my employees, can feel good when we go home. We opened our second showroom one year ago and we are hiring so as to open our next showroom. How? Not with lies. Not with high pressure sales tactics. Just expertise, integrity and service.

And we expect the same of our vendors. Period.

HomeSealed, can we PLEASE put this behind us?


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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3563
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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While as an energy auditor I can appreciate the requirement to be factual, I also acknowledge that there are far worse offenses that are propagated by the salespeople and installation companies.

The installation companies and salespeople are the final information sources and are the ones that are promoting these fallacies.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
Posts: 1579
Location: Northern,Virginia
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I just realized why my 2010 Simonton Prism Platinum brochures have a chart with expected annual energy savings in different parts of the country.

Richmond, Va.-$200
Ft. Worth TX-$261
Atlanta Ga.-$176
Des Moines, Ia.-$378
Pittsburg, Pa.-$430

are just some examples.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
Posts: 309
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I have read some of W&D's post and found nothing to warrant the rude comments regarding W&D's wife.I must of have missed something.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Lake - Ply Gem - Penguin Windows
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1787
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Superior,
Congratulations on your recent success. I admire the way that you do business as I run my company in the same fashion. You won't find any high-pressure or unethical practices in my company. As I said, I agree with the content of your post, I just think that: 1. Ethical sales practices are 99% the responsibility of the dealer, and 2. It is irresponsible to single out one manufacturer when most if not all engage in questionable tactics in order to sell their product. Energy-savings guarantees are only a drop in the bucket. You can open any product brochure and find several "must-have" features that have very little substance and are nothing more than sales tools. Most manufacturers would sell snow balls in Alaska if their dealers bought them... I must say I'm not particularly fond of government regulation in this regard either. I think that we (ethical professionals) all do our best to educate consumers on what is legit and what is bunk when it comes to this stuff. This is America, let the market force these companies to change their tactics through educated consumers who won't stand for it and won't purchase their products. Again, to clarify, I'm against these practices 100%, as I put up a blog post on the subject a few months ago, so I definitely am doing my part to protect my neighbors. I just try to stay away from calling out individual companies whether they are dealers or manufacturers unless someone asks a specific question. Many consumers visit these sites and do research however only remember a couple things here or there. In fact, I can specifically cite an instance from our last heated discussion. A consumer who saw that thread later commented in a different thread that they thought PlyGem windows were poor, based on "a post he saw a few weeks back that seemed like everyone was piling on." My point is that folks don't always remember all the details, but they do remember negative connotations, even if it wasn't about product quality. This thread will have that same effect imo whether or not that is your intention, and that is why my response was somewhat harsh. I do apologize for that... There is nothing wrong with speaking the truth, I'd just ask that you think of the larger picture and the indirect effects that a post may have.

Todd, while my post may have been a touch harsh/crude, I made no direct personal comment against his wife. I highly doubt that he took that comment literally, nor was it intended to be so . I sincerely appreciate your input though. :mrgreen:


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