A place to talk about the Window Industry
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#1 Post by WindowEDU » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:53 pm

In TODAYS market it's Harder AND more expensive to reach homeowners today than it was 20-years ago. So what's a company to do to get the phone to ring??? Well..........In our part of the country and maybe yours too, there are companies advertising any size (quality) window installed.......$@@@. There phones ARE ringing and they ARE getting to the homeowners. And from what we have seen here on average about 70% OVER there claimed $@@@ per window price. So what's the big hairy deal anyway?? They ARE deceiving the public, they are progamming the homeowner that...... We have 10-windows to replace so the price will be about $1900. For the naive, or homeowner that has never bought windows before or never done any window research, I have seen them take the bait (switch), hook, line and sinker. I don't know if its true or not but I have heard that some of these franchises are being sued in several different States. I'd love to hear what some of the experts thoughts and perspectives are on this issue, even homeowners that are NOT in the window industry would be welcomed as well.

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#2 Post by WindowEDU » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:41 pm

AMAZING........ 17-Views, NO RESPONSES. Some feedback would be outstanding. Looking FORWARD to seeing some response soon. THANK-YOU!!!!!

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#3 Post by ANOTHER WINDOW GUY » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:34 am

Your correct it is bait and switch. I have written our
Attorney General and dept of consumer affairs, that was in October. I got a form to fill out and send back and felt it was like conversing with a tree. I should pursue it, in fact I will today. We've got about sixty windows in the warehouse to install and the local WW closer to four hundred. Their phone is ringing mine is not, but that's not entirely bad as I'd rather not go outside much for aother few weeks. But we need to get back at things pretty quick and as the economy slows their phone will probably ring more. What to do, better marketing to the up-scale market and working your job sights.
I'd also like to point out it's not always a picnic for WW. I'm very familiar with the local franchise and if they don't sell 400 windows a month their hurting. When they opened in 2002 they had one secretary and one salesperson. Today they have two salespeople and four secretaries and the owner is not a classy guy. He really doesn't care about anything but the bottom line. Hire the cheapest subs and buy the cheapest window. The people that set up the WW franchises are no dummies and have plenty of money and marketing abilities. For what it's worth the local franchise has pretty much stoped their newspaper advertisements and gone 100% billboards having more than 15 in the immediate area, food for thought. I have a meeting with the local outdoor sign people tommorow.

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#4 Post by Scott1q1 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:33 pm

Its just a sign of the times, you drive past a wal-mart lately?

Also it's not really a bait and switch in most cases, more like a la carte pricing.

Brilliant idea on the part of the franchisor, they get paid for the franchise and then get paid from the window manufacturer for everything the franchisees buy.

I agree with Another window guy about it being tough for them, it must be a constant struggle to keep a decent volume flowing while paying both salesmen and installers considerably less than they could make elsewhere, not to mention handling all the related customer problems those lower paid workers may create.

Working on such a thin margin must add to the fun as well.

They don't care as much about the unhappy customer as more traditional home improvement companies do, there are plenty of bottom feeders out there calling their ads and really who doesn't want the lowest price possible?

They are not going anywhere either, in my area we have four or five newer companies following the same basic business model. Throw in a large and rapidly growing non english speaking labor force and you got problems if you make a living as a small company or a sub.

What to do...

You could join them.

You could try some old school marketing, get out and knock on doors, make the most from truck/trailer/and jobsite signs, join local groups to meet more people.

You could diversify to make more sales from your exsisting customer base.

You could start buying rental houses..all these low paid workers have to live somewhere.

Definately not an expert but this subject interests me so I wanted to reply, the lowering wages for working people in general more so than the low budget franchises have really caught my eye the last couple years.

clear choice usa of dc

bait and switch

#5 Post by clear choice usa of dc » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:19 pm

some companys do use the bait and switch like window world . we do not use that method what we advertise is what we sell. we do not use sub par labor force . when you as a whole start buying 89000 windows a month from your supplier you will get a great discount . we sell and install about 500 windows a month when you have that many you can get your installers to work for less.

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#6 Post by WindowEDU » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:19 am

At Point Blank Range.... Shots are being fired.

SHOT #1 U mean to tell me that all 500-wds you install a month are
$185 each like clear choice usa advertises?????????? I know better!!!!!
You may be able to come on here and fool some people, NOT me

SHOT #2 How many months of installing at that rate before you have
to have a full time service department??? After all you are selling silverline, ahhh I forgot U probably use Andersens name instead. After all Andersen does now own silverline,, Correct?????

SHOT #3 Get your installers (subs) to work for less??
This is pretty sad. Your subs go out and bust there butts for you and you repay them by........................ paying them LESS??

I am so sick and tired of hearing the lies that truely mislead thousands of homeowners by deceptive advertising just to get there foot in the door. I feel it is WRONG... Flat OUT....WRONG.

I've researched WW and clear choice and they are basically the same model. I have absolutley no respect for companies like these. In fact, I recently checked out one franchise on the BBB and on the FIRST PAGE of 10-pages/ 20-franchises found a total of 80 complaints and the BBB states that this does not necessarily include all complaints.

Lets RAISE the bar and educate the consumers on the TRUTH.
After all....... The book says....... " The Truth Shall Set You Free"

clear choice usa of dc

#7 Post by clear choice usa of dc » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:35 am

i didnt say all my windows i sell are at 185 i dont know about other offices we say windows starting at 185. we also never use the anderson name it not a anderson window. the fact of the matter is you look at one company on bbb. we have alot of offices with one name. look up sears or home depot or the thousands of other window companys with complaints. my installers are very happy the have work and alot of people dont right know

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#8 Post by WindowEDU » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:01 am

clear choice usa of dc

Starting at.......$185 does command some respect on my part. The local WW does NOT have that disclosure (starting at). Therfore all of there billboards,newspaper ads, phone book etc...... Do NOT say starting at... and paint a picture of all white, double-hung windows are $189 installed.

When clear choice was pitched to us in 2007 We were told that the windows were made by Andersen. Then the rep disclosed the model #'s and I asked if they were silverline, He replied..... "YES".

Another note:
I've found that these franchise type operations are VERY quick to take credit of the total volume of all franchises combined. Thousands of local customers. We as a whole did 250 million dollars last year. We are the largest in the nation....... Yaaahhhdddaaaaa yaaaahhhhddddaaaa.
HOWEVER , combined they also hold the largest number of complaints with the BBB, BUT they want NO PART OF TAKING CREDIT FOR THAT..... INTERESTING !!!!!

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Windows on Washington
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#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:31 am

I would be interested to know exactly what percentage of your window sales are at $185 dollars.

You fail to recognized that a large portion of the customers on this site are here for research and as such, can see right through the BS that you company advertises.

So does that $185 window include capping, low-e,...?

clear choice usa of dc

#10 Post by clear choice usa of dc » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:34 pm

what is bs selling windows i have be a window installer for the last 15 years selling windows for the past 5 you sell windows and so do we what is bs about that. i only said ww uses bait and switch because i have seen it first hand .

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#11 Post by ANOTHER WINDOW GUY » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:03 am

Some companies use bait and switch, yes WW and Clear choice. I spent most of yesterday on the phone to our Dept of Consumer Affairs and what both companies do is right on the fringe. The law was intended for those that advertise a product and are conveniently out of it. There are a couple of other areas where a case could be made, but I'm not pursuing it anymore. Niether window at $185 or $189 includes low-e or argon and the truth is the customer ends up closer to $300 per. Little tricks include set up and disposal fee where the salesperson can write into the contract (which BTW is usually preprinted with the prices) whatever number he thinks he can get away with. Locally I've seen them use $100 a lot on the minimum five jobs, will that's a quick $20 per window and the energy packages run from $49 to $69 and they throw in removing the storm and sometimes a few other extras that most dealers always include.
A reputable shop with their own employees cannot compete price wise with these guys, but on the other side of the coin they usually can't compete quality wise with the quality shops.
I'm curious about how the new Illinois laws regarding sub's might change their method of operation. I also can see down the road and WW & Clear Choice aren't going anywhere. Windows are becoming more of a comodity every day.
Remember when all of your wood trim and lumber came from a lumber yard and now most of them are gone or just hanging on, and now where do you get your trim etc. WindowEDU and Scott1q1 both had some good tips and the tough are going to have to get tougher. Industry sales are down and the Mfrg's will be going to people like WW and Clear Choice for volume, it's going to get crazy out there.

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#12 Post by shamu » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:21 am

First, I am not associated with either of the companies in question or any other that conducts business as such. That being said, I don't find their advertising any more deceptive than companies that advertise a low monthly payment, a lowball price on a window upto 60 UI, or my favorite $50 or whatever for a trade on your old windows. That's what advertising is about, a hook to get you interested and grab your attention. We see it everyday. Automobiles, department stores, etc. How many times do you see "We are the most expensive widget you'll ever buy." I am personally more offended by the companies that use "buy or die" tactics and set up camp in peoples homes for 4-5 hours. I feel they are to blame for the bad reputation thrown over the home improvement industry in general and have spawned the WW's to exist.
Windows have been a commodity for a long time. Blame that on the "big box" stores. I remember when replacement windows were only available through dealers. They could set their price because consumers had no point of reference for what a vinyl window cost.
Look at what has happened to the gap between both price and quality of windows. Has it not closed in both areas? I feel that is why consumers get so confused when they look at different windows. Be honest, if you had 2 windows side by side and saw them for the first time could you tell who the manufacturer was without any previous experience?
I agree, we need to step up, be more creative, stop bashing the competion and quit bellyaching because others choose to sell and install windows for less $$$$!
Man, for some reason I feel much better!

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#13 Post by WindowEDU » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:38 am

The following does NOT apply to the feeders on the bottom of the Integrity or Quality scale.

I just want to take a minute and pesonally thank all of you for feedback on this subject (excluding the bottom feeders). I have been thinking about this subject off and on for approx. 3-YEARS. That's right 3-years!

I'm to a FINAL resting point on this subject and WILL draw my FINAL conclusion on a seperate post called......... Dealing with the Demon

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#14 Post by ANOTHER WINDOW GUY » Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:36 pm

Wow, Dealing with the Demon. I can't wait to see the rest of that story. Good luck with that BEAST.
shamu, your points are pretty valid. You forgot let the buyer beware and you pretty much get what you pay for.
Were a small window dealer selling 1500-1800 units a year. We advertise any size white double hung installed with low-e and argon for $237.00, it makes the phone ring. We tell the people what their getting and about half of those who responded from that ad buy at that price and the rest step up. We are candid and up front about our pricing and quality at each price level. Our slogan is a window for every home and every budget. Our customers respect us and are happy with the top shelf installers we use. We've had one complaint at the BBB in 19 years. We operate pretty clean. WW & Clear Choice are pretty much charge and take no prisoners. The reason most pro's don't like them is they know the level of quality these companies represent to the consumer is usually missleading, both on the product and installation. I can't recall the name of the National auto paint company that used to advertise we'll paint your car for $189.00 , but the public caught on to it after a million years and all most pro's here are trying to do is caution the consumer not to step into a big pile of s......, and occasionally we do get a little over zealous.

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#15 Post by Skydawggy » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:16 pm

My biggest issue with these type of companies is they try and convince the consumer that what they are selling is worth more than it actually is. IMO they play on consumer ignorance of the window industry in the same way that the $1500 window companies do.

The CC salesman who recently began trying to garner business from this site by violating the rules is a good example. He started out claiming they sell, for $300, the same window others sell for $700. When questioned about it he began backpeddling.

If you sell a Silverline window for $300. then fine, but don't try and B.S. a customer by trying to convince them it's anything more than a $300. window.

That's the problem I have with WW/CC/CW etc.

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