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January 15, 2008

Comments

I have never heard of the company but sounds very unpleasant as an experience. Only once have I had the experience of buying something from a salesman who had come to the house-- encyclopedias when we had a baby and became convinced we should enrich its life and ours by this huge encyclopedia set. We also came to our senses in time to use the buyer's regret escape clause fortunately as with the Internet things like home encyclopedias would be even more in the way and impractical than they were 40 some years ago.

I am from Virginia and had a great experience with "The Window Man." There were no high pressure tactics--I scheduled an appointment at my convenience at their showroom where I felt I could leave anytime I wanted. Great products; great showroom; great people.

http://www.imwindowman.com

My husband and I invited a penguin windows representative into our home in the early part of last year to have an energy inspection preformed on the house and recieve a bid for the windows. My husband (an engineer for a well known window company that will go unmentioned) was extremely reluctant to listen to the sales pitch. The guy they sent over looked fair enough, and seemed nice enough when he arived so we decided to loosen up a little bit and let him do his thing. HE took temperature readings all over the home and brought in his heat lamp an put it up to my windows. My husband and I could feel the drafts comming off our windows ever since we had moved into the home and it didn't take much convincing that we needed new windows. No, the convincing hadn't even began yet for this salesman had his work cut out for him. He was talking to a man (my husband) who had been designing windows of all shapes and sizes for years. Not only that but we could also get a heathly employee discount through the manufacturer my husband was working for. long story short, at the end of the night we had bought thirty six thousand dollars worth of penguin windows for our home. WE had been living with wood/aluminum clad windows that were only about eight years old. however after experiencing the deterioration of this product we had made up our minds that in our climate that was not the way to go. The sales person explained the problems with the clad, the expansion and contraction, the swelling of the wood over the years and sticking of the operating sashes. These were all things that we had been personally experiencing with our windows. We knew that we were going to be in our home till we got to old to take care of it and wanted to make sure and get something as maintaince free as possible. we know we could get windows for a lot cheaper, but at the end of the day there is a difference between the initial PRICE of something such as you windows and the TRUE COST of putting a cheap product into your home. There is also alot to be said for a company that stands behind there product, i would advise anyone who is looking at purchasing windows fo there home to look very closely at the warranties. The best part about our entire experience was the installation crew (who are hourly paid employees, not sub-contractors) they were very pleasant and treated our home with much respect. Having owned several homes and doing many improvments, both ourselves and hired out work, i have never had a nicer better home improvement experience and would recommend penguin windows to anybody. oh yeah, my energy bill being about 30% lower than it was over four years ago is pretty nice too.

An update with another big gripe about Penguin Windows' misleading sales pitch:

We just found an estimate that we'd gotten from Total Comfort in February 2007, less than a year ago. This was to replace all of our windows with Low E double pane argon gas windows.

The estimate included two windows that the Penguin guy didn't include in his estimate, because they're impossible to reach without a ladder. Cost: $14,314.

Penguin Windows bid: $60,041. Wow, over four times more. The Penguin product is higher quality, but not four times better for sure. Nowhere near.

Plus, the Penguin sales pitch includes a supposed comparison of the cost for various types of windows, including their own. We were told that "Homeowner's Grade" vinyl windows would cost us $37,800 for the whole house.

Actually, as noted above, the real figure is more like $15,000. So Penguin Windows is misleading people about what they'd have to pay if they went with another company.

Watch out if you let a Penguin Windows salesman in your door. Don't sign a contract on the spot. Shop around. Get multiple estimates. You'll be glad you did.

I had the misfortune of having one of their 4 hour sales presentations today. The only thing I can say positive about the experience is they do seem to have a good product and warranty. Aside from that, the salesman who was supposed to take 1-1.5 hours took more like 4 hours! And although he started out very friendly and helpful, he became increasingly pushy and very annoying when we told him we couldn't afford the $46,000 windows he wanted to force down our throats. He turned from nice and friendly to downright rude and condescending.

I wouldn't buy from them just for that reason. No homeowner should have to put up with being belittled just because they won't sign a huge contract on impulse.

Thanks for your post! Nice read. I had a similiar experience just the other day. It was NOT with Penguin. In fact, I have never heard of that company. I won't say the name of the company I dealt with last week.
Anyway, my wife and I have a house that could stand to use some windows. We were in a large super market type store and a salesperson stopped us. Three minutes later we had made an appointment for an estimate.
A day or two later when the salesman arrived, he put on a show similiar to what you mentioned. INCLUDING the heat lamp trick. FOUR HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES later, he left. I still can't believe how quickly that four hours went. We were signed up for five windows. The price was just over $4,000. Nowhere near what you were paying. I quickly got second thoughts. The next day, I told my wife, "new windows would be great, but we have other places where we could put that four grand to good use!". My wife reluctantly agreed. That afternoon, I went to the post office to mail the cancelation (certified mail, return receipt, etc). It is scheduled to arrive today. I am kind of dreading the phone call to get me back on the hook for the windows. Who knows what new deals they will offer me.
Interesting thing the salesman told me. He told me when he was talking about the "3-day cooling off period" that 1. A coworker was fired for too many cancelations and 2. It was a law to help old ladies from fly-by-night door to door salemen. I wonder if he told me that so I would not cancel as to not get him fired and 2. Not do it because I am not an old lady, but a 30-something male? Ha!
Anyway, I am glad I can cancel. We'll get windows one day. There is always another window salesman around the corner.

I have been pricing windows over the past few weeks and the experience that most of you have suffered is similar what I had to go through. Buying windows is kind of like what you go through when you buy a car.
I'm not sure if I can sit through any more of these sessions. Penquin windows are excellent windows and probably the best windows you can buy but for 35 grand is a bit much. After sitting for about 3.5 hours with very interesting demo's, discounts and tons of why we should buy these windows I said no. The sales person along with his training partner went away not happy but not in a huff. I told them that I wanted to check a few other windows before deciding. The discounts were only good for that night but I'm sure they would offer them again if I called to schedule another demo. The main salesman was good at telling me how I could save money and that this purchase would be an investment not a purchase. The final result would be like buying the windows for about $2000 with all the money I would be saving. It sure sounded great and my wife was ready to sign. This is a large purchase and I couldn't just sign the papers.
I made a mistake a couple weeks ago with another window company and did sign the papers. The 3 day right to cancel saved me because I did cancel that contract after I didn't sleep that night. They called me immediately after receiving the cancellation and wanted to discount the windows even more which makes me think there's more money to be discounted.
I'll see what happens with Penquin if they'll come back with a different price. I do like their windows but $24,000 is a lot of money still! I'll get back to you all to tell you what I did buy. Happy window hunting!

Just one thought on this, Brian, you quoted JudysBook:
"BUYER'S BEWARE! LIES! LIES! LIES!...STAY AWAY RUN AWAY AND HIDE!!!!RIP OFF!!!!!...I just kicked the sales weasel out of my house…Stay away Run run run…Terrible windows and service"

Since he "just kicked the sales weasel out," then he didn't buy, did he? And so-- how could he know about the level of service or the windows? Also, the splenetic anger level doesn't seem realistic. Clearly, that was written by one of their hundreds of competitors. I don't have a dog in this fight, but that quote is so glaringly illogical I would bet it was "industrial sabotage" by another window company.
I think real people would write something like what you did, normal, balanced, measured, complaint blended with the positive.
I mean, if you met someone ranting spittle-flecked anger like that would you value his opinion on anything? I can't understand why you'd quote him. Surely you didn't see that venom and feel you'd been given new information?

I just got an email from someone who wanted an update on our window shopping. Here's what I told her:
------------
"We’re happy we didn’t go with Penguin Windows. I’d strongly advise you to get estimates from other window companies.

A few weeks ago we got an estimate to have all of our windows replaced from a glass company in Salem that handles a wood clad fiberglass product (blanking out on the company name for some reason).

The estimate was several tens of thousands of dollars less than the Penguin estimate, and Penguin doesn’t offer a wood clad option. Plus, their frames are vinyl (with a fiberglass insert, I believe).

Bottom line: we can save a lot of money by going with a different company, and the product will be better. Our house mostly has a wood interior, so we’d like to be able to stain the window frames to match.

Penguin Windows, in their sales pitch, provided us with the supposed cost of getting other types of windows. That wasn’t at all accurate. Penguin claims that top of the line wood clad, fiberglass windows are much more expensive than the estimate we got.

So you can’t trust Penguin. Go ahead and get an estimate from Penguin if you’re willing to devote three or four hours to a high-pressure sales job. But don’t sign a contract. Get other estimates from reputable window companies. I’m confident you’ll find, like we did, that Penguin Windows is a bad deal."

We were lucky, we had an appointment with the salesman and his boss for an hour, the trick was to have a doctors appointment and had to leave after an hour. Now the salesman made an appointment to come back, because I told them I didn't want to deal with the scheduler,she was very rude. He made the appointment for the following Saturday and didn't make the appointment. We waited an hour past the time and left, but unfortunately we had the scheduler to deal with every night. They might be the best, but they are not in my future.

Umm, is there such a thing as a wood-clad fiberglass window? I don't think so.

BHC, yes, Milgard offers a fiberglass frame that's clad in wood. See:
http://www.milgard.com/products/fiberglass-windows/

(Scroll down to the wood clad fiberglass option.)

Those sales people come to our door at least 2-4 times a month. They drive me insane. They do not respect the no soliciting signs or no trespassing signs indicating you DO NOT want any sales people bothering you. They always come around dinner time or when you are trying to relax in the peace of your own home. You tell them to go away and they try to push on you "I am not selling anything" which really is annoying because they wouldn't be at your door if they did't want to make a sale. I came across your post looking up information on them because I am sick and tired of being harassed by them. I know there is the phone solicitor opt out do not call list. There seriously needs to be a "do not contact" list for door to door sales people.

Between them and all the various church groups along with other sales people, my home is not a peaceful place. If I want to purchase something I will seek out companies to purchase from.

Based on their tactics and constant harassment, they are the last company I would purchase from if I ever needed new windows. My windows are just fine and I do not need to replace them.

Oh my Gosh!! I have to say in defense of Penguin Windows that my experience is unlike any of the previous comments. There are always a few bad sales reps in any company. I can honestly say that my experience with Penguin was not only informative, but pleasurable. My presentation took well under an hour and a half. The sales person was courteous, informative, considerate ... need I say more. I have looked at "other" windows and done plenty of research. Penguin Windows outranks those "others" by far! I have had my windows now for over a year and can only say that it was the best investment I could have made for my family. Their triple-pane is far superior than your typical double-pane. In the first year alone, I saw a 63% savings in my home heating costs, and for the cost of my windows, I saw a significant increase in the value of my home. I must say, I know PLENTY of homeowners in my neighborhood that went with Penguin for all the right reasons ... honesty, integrity, value and passion for an absolutely superior replacement window product.

You folks are absolutely ruthless. I and plenty of my friends and neighbors have had Penguin Windows installed in our homes and couldn't be happier! From the moment the Sales Person walked through the door to the day the final product was installed and inspected, we were treated with nothing less than respect and courtesy. Our Reps were professional, thoughtful, helpful and informative. All without pressure ... Have you ever thought that perhaps there is a much larger population of very satisfied buyers out there? Perhaps you dealt with a greasy ex-car salesman who for very obvious reasons no longer works for the Company.

Yes, I too had a similar negative experience with the Penguin sales staff. I naively expected them to come measure my windows and hand me an estimate. Kinda felt bad for the guys when I had to tell them no, because they were blue collar guys, former installers, clearly not comfortable in their shirt and ties, and under pressure to sell. Anyways, if you want their expensive overkill product, haggle with them for a long time because they will keep bringing the price down. BTW, I wonder what BHC does for a living...

Updating my original post, we just got a final estimate on another brand, Milgard wood clad windows (fiberglass frame).

Cost for our entire house: $36,000
Penguin Windows estimate: $60,041

So there you are, a no-brainer reason to say "no thanks" to Penguin Windows. We would have paid 2/3 more with Penguin.

Yes, we miss out on triple panes, but we didn't like how the triple panes cut down on the light coming through.

And yes, we miss out on the krypton gas, but we can pay a lot of slightly higher electric bills with the $24,000 we're saving.

On the plus side, we get wood clad frames rather than vinyl, which will look much better in our mostly wood interior. Like I said before, get several estimates. You'll probably find out that Penguin Windows is significantly over priced.

After numerous problems with his old windows, my neighbor had PENGUIN WINDOWS installed with tremendous results!! His windows were specifically designed to his exact specs, installed with nary a problem, and they are WARRANTIED for 50 years. In the first year alone he saved 67% on his electric and gas heating (that was huge!). The best part is he didn't spend an arm and a leg to do it. You certainly get what you pay for, and in my opinion, Penguin Windows are the best in the market. They are high-end, upscale replacement windows, and in my estimation, better than any other window out there. If you check into their reputation, maybe you'd see that for yourselves. Penguin Windows is NOT over-priced by any means. I'm saying it loud and proud!!!

Misty, I don't see how you can say that Penguin Windows aren't overpriced.

In a previous comment I noted that they are. To be fair, a few days ago we found some inaccuracies in the Milgard estimate we were given.

The actual figure is $41,080 for our entire house. But this is still over 31% less than the Penguin estimate -- and gets us wood clad fiberglass windows rather than vinyl frames with a fiberglass insert.

As I've said before, Penguin Windows tells people in their sales call that other window choices are going to cost much more than they actually do.

Our Penguin estimate includes a page saying that wood clad windows would cost us from $51,000 to $62,000. That's a lot more than the Milgard estimate we got for wood clad fiberglass frames.

So you can praise Penguin "loud and proud," but the facts we've learned speak for themselves. Again, look elsewhere before deciding on Penguin. Get informed so you don't get taken.

My parents (my mom specifically, dad was pissed....) fell prey to Penguin's high pressure tactics, but luckily were able to cancel in time. I helped my mom do some research they day after their demo/pitch after she called me in tears (no joke).

Here's some interesting data from other posters and the BBB site:

Their BBB complaint rating is 6 times the industry average!

They used to be called Statewide Windows, but had to change names b/c their reputation as high pressure/over priced started to get ahead of them.

Buyer beware, anytime a salesman wants you to sign on the spot and it is over $1000, it is never a good thing....

I am a building contractor and have over 25 years in building homes here in the Puget Sound area.

I had Penguin Windows over my house to buy some windows and had a GREAT experience!!

But the difference between me and all of you is, I CAN afford to purchase quality windows.

My father use to say, don't go shopping if you can not afford the product. As a businessman my self I deal with dreamers and time wasters all of the time. Remember boys and girls and wieners, you get what you pay for!!!

When someone comes to your home and is showing you a product that will change the look of your home and save you a lot of money off of your energy bill it should take some time. Some of you forgot to mention that when the sales rep came by you talked so much you forgot why he was there.

If you don't need something and your not ready to buy, than don't waste other peoples time!!

You need to buy the Wal-Mart of windows, that's what you can afford and deserve.


Tony, good try on your plug for Penguin, but you don't make much sense. Like I've said before in another comment, we're getting a very high quality set of replacement windows from Milgard that are about a third less than Penguin.

And they're woodclad with fiberglass frames, rather than the vinyl (with fiberglass insert) that Penguin offers.

Fact: Penguin Windows is way over-priced.
Fact: Penguin salespeople use pushy and sleazy sales tactics.

I didn't appreciate all the used car salesman-like pitches that the Penguin guy used on us. If their windows are so great, they should sell themselves.

We've bought three Toyotas in the past few years. The salesman just tells us about the cars. He doesn't have to beg and plead for us to buy them, because they're quality cars.

Penguin Windows, because their product is overpriced for the quality you get, has to use ethically dubious sales tactics. So watch out for them.

Too bad, I didn't see this website until after the Penguin people came to my house!!! What was supposed to be an hour and a half, was like previous posts- 4 hours!!!! The windows seemed great, no doubt about that, but their sales practices seem a little off! We got our quote for 17 windows $25,000- they have a finance plan, $150 for the next 12 years!! If we did not sign that night, we would lose the 11% discount. Well, we didn't sign and the called 2 days later stating that the manager looked it over and they have a substantially lower revised quote. (I wonder if they would have let us know we over paid, if we signed.) They could not of course, mail the revision, a rep would stop by and it would only be 30-45min. Well, he just came and wanted to remeasure the windows. Gee, I thought they did that the other day and they had a revised bid. Apparently they did not! What kind of reputable company gives a quote, does not keep the measurements on that quote and then claims to have a revised quote?? Oh, by the way our sliding glass door that would have cost us $3500- we ordered with Home Depot for $500-no, not 3 panes of glass like penguins and we are installing ourselves,but well worth a $3000 savings! Don't let them waste 4 of your hours of your time that you will never get back!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, I really appreciate your comments! These people have been very pushy over the last three months to do a "free energy assessment" and I even suspect that they know I'm a recent widow. They do not seem to take no for an answer well and I am feeling rather intimitated. Two people showed up today in separate cars to do the "free energy assessment" and frankly, I did not feel comfortable letting them in my house so did not answer the doorbell. They loitered outside of the house for two hours and didn't leave until I did. When I got home 7 hours later there were 6 hang up calls from "unknown caller." Very weird!

As a current Sales Consultant with Penguin Windows, I am going to stick my neck out and try to give a fair view of our company and product, and address a few of the complaints stated.

As a pastor for the last 8 ½ years, now taking a break from ministry, my wife and I wrestled with the decision to enter the world of sales because of the exact things that are written in some of the negative reviews. I can now say, almost a year later, that I have nothing but praise for this company. I have seen very few companies that emphasize integrity, honesty, delivering on what is promised, customer satisfaction, and excellence like Penguin does. I am very proud of this company!!

From the classiness and sincerity of our owner, the quality of leadership in our top management, the superiority of our product, to the “go the extra mile” mentality and the supremacy of our installation department—this company is 2nd to none! Please understand that we are a HUGE company! As the 2nd largest window replacement company in America, we employ just under 600 people out of 4 offices nationally. We have earned the business of over 21,000 clients in just the last 5 years (and have been in business for 24 years)!! We were just featured in Remodeling Magazine as one of the Top 50 Movers and Shakers in the remodeling industry nationwide. As of April 8th, 2008, we have zero (0) unresolved cases with the BBB. That is astounding! I have reviewed every website that I can find, and read every customer review, and have found an equal amount of praise to the complaints. What we know about praise vs. complaint ratios is that those who are satisfied/happy are far less apt to crow about it than those who are upset. Meaning, there are multitudes who could write in and set the record straight, but don’t feel the need to do it. We often get these praises as personal letters sent directly to the office, directly to the consultant and/or installation team involved in the project.

For those of you who have been the victims of the pushy, sleazy, rude salesman/woman, I apologize on behalf of them. These types rarely last more than a month or two with our company…just long enough to tarnish the reputation of our company and of all the great reps that we do employ. These types do not characterize the vast majority of our sales force.

For those who have sat through a presentation that was longer than expected, again, I apologize. We are working to reduce the amount of information that we know is necessary for homeowners to make a solid, informed decision about such a large investment. In all fairness to us, a fair portion of the time spent in many of our visits is in interaction that is stimulated by homeowners who have questions, sad stories of other remodeling projects, etc…

Finally, regarding the price of our windows…we will never be your lowest bid. We make that clear from the outset. But, cost for value, you won’t get a better window anywhere. Period! You get what you pay for, and there is a lot of snake oil in this industry. Knowing what I know, I can say unequivocally, there is not another window that I would put in my home, despite the cost...and there is not another company that I would trust more to install, guarantee and service my windows.

I trust that these sincere judgments of our company will be a help to someone contemplating a window project with Penguin Windows.

Russ De Vos
Penguin Windows Sales Consultant


Brian.
You know Penguin window is the best window,just admit that the salesman pissed you off and your not smart enough to realize that there are some bad salespeople working for every company includeing Toyota. You said you bought Milgard instead and that they are just as good. Thats like me saying I bought a Daewoo and it's just as good as a Toyota. If you look up any product on Google somebody' pissed off about it. You can't please everybody. Hope your double pane run of the mill window works for you.


Did you read your Milgard warranty?? Void if the window fails with normal use as in open and closing!! And if you live within 2 miles of salt water.

Steve, we have indeed read the Milgard Lifetime Warranty:
http://www.milgard.com/about-milgard/full-lifetime-warranty.asp

It seems fine to me. It covers defects in materials or workmanship. I don't understand what you mean by the warranty being void if a window fails with normal use.

It's pretty darn unlikely that a window will fail with "normal wear and tear." In all my years I've never had a window stop opening or closing if it wasn't defective to begin with.

Milgard also covers accidental glass breakage, which Penguin does also, I believe.

We just had our wood clad Milgard windows installed. They look great, much better than the Penguin Windows would have. And they were much less expensive. Plus, we're getting fiberglass frames rather than vinyl.

Yes, Penguin offers a triple pane window. But as I've said before, we noticed that the triple pane is noticeably darker than the double pane. When we asked the Penguin guy about this, he admitted it was true.

I said, "This is Oregon, where we get a lot gray gloomy days. Why would we want our house to look darker with a triple pane window?"

He didn't have an answer. Our bottom line conclusion remains: Penguin Windows offers a decent product but its way overpriced, and the sales force resorts to shady (and pushy) tactics.

Brian,

I read the warranty to say if the window fails with normal wear and tear to mean everyday use. I copied the part below from their web site that you provided. Normal wear, including discoloration, on hardware component finishes is not a defect and is not covered by this Warranty. Loss of functionality of hardware (except as provided below for stainless steel hardware*****) in highly corrosive environments, which includes any Home located within two miles of salt water and any Home located in the State of Hawaii, is also excluded from coverage. This Warranty does not apply to any Milgard Products that are installed in a Home that has a non-drainable EIFS or DEFS siding product. I find it strange that their first warning on their warranty for installers is to store the window in a shaded area in fear of discoloration, since the window is going to spend it's entire life in the sun. And I guess Hawaii's climate is so bad that they won't even do business in the state for fear of warranty problems with climate breaking them. It sounds like your happy with your windows and thats all that really matters and it sounds like you bought wood widows anyway. I just want to let people know the majority of the sales people at Penguin windows strive everyday to provide excellent service to past,present and future customers. I personally apologize for anyone who has resorted to high pressure sales. My e-mail is [email protected] and I will personally help anyone with the process of looking at Penguin windows for their home improvement project. Enjoy your new windows and I hope it brightens up in Oregon for you. Steve.

I just had some pengiun folks come out and give me the pitch. I had read a few horror stories of pushy sales folks before they came so it kinda put me on edge. I had a back up plan incase the presentation went to long. Which it did. I did get good info and my windows could use updating but I told them upfront I only wanted info and was not looking to purchase on the spot. They did give me a bid and asked if I wanted to purchase today with the discount. I told them thanks but no thanks I need time to think on it. By now my back up plan had kicked in and I need to leave and so did they. They came to make a sale but did not push to hard. They do make a good window. I will have to explore the situation further to see if they are worth the price.

I have Penguin windows and I love them!!!! My house is so much more beautiful and comfortable. Plus my power bills are way lower

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