Thank God, or Tao, for Oregon's "Buyer's Right to Cancel" law.
It just saved us from a pushy Penguin Windows salesman, who somehow talked us into signing a contract for some vastly overpriced (though seemingly high-quality) replacement windows.
I wasn't going to mention the company's name in this buyer beware post. But after reading a bunch of comments from people who had remarkably similar bad sales experiences, I decided to say it like it is:
Penguin Windows engages in annoyingly high-pressure sales tactics.
Which, unfortunately, are pretty damn effective. Laurel and I generally are resistant to salesman B.S. But the guy who spent over four hours in our house last Saturday was good. Real good.
Yes, I said four hours. When Laurel called Penguin to get an estimate she was told that this would take an hour to an hour and a half.
I only wish. When Jay (not his real name) arrived promptly at 11 a.m., I figured I'd be back to my usual Saturday activities, like a nap, by early in the afternoon.
Nope. Jay had a seemingly endless series of sales pitches that he unveiled both before and after he measured our windows.
We saw frame samples from Penguin and other companies. We had the temperature in various spots in our living room measured by a nifty laser pointing device (I learned that our dog's exterior is about 80 degrees, while Laurel is considerably cooler). We watched a heat lamp experiment where Jay showed how much radiation passed through several types of single, double, and triple-pane windows.
In the end I was getting both really hungry and bored. And we weren't sold on the Penguin Windows, which struck us as (1) wildly expensive, and (2) vinyl'ly unsuited for our almost all-wood interior.
So Jay smoothly shifted away from an estimate to replace all of our ancient aluminum-framed windows, to just those downstairs. That reduced the cost considerably. We thought it might be OK to try five windows as an experiment.
I won't bother to describe all of Jay's sales tactics, many of which were irritating. They're described in the litany of complaints from other people, which are headed by titles such as:
Don't waste your time…LIES AND BROKEN PROMISES…sleazy is too kind of a word…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
One comment came from a guy who used to work for Statewide (now called Penguin Windows).
I used to work for statewide and I agree that it's a S***ty company. Not only are the people high pressure but the atmosphere in the office is high pressure. If you didn't get a certain number of people scheduling appointments each week they would first verbally warn you, then write you up the next week and then they would fire your a** for being "incompetent" if you didn't meet the quota of appointments three weeks in a row. I worked for the Vancouver division for a few months and I will never do that again. Apparently they have been in the same territory for up to five years in some places, which is just stupid for the marketing tactics that they use. I would warn you to stay clear of these people. The next time you see someone in a baby blue shirt with a clipboard heading your way do the smart thing and turn tail and RUN! Dealing with this company is not worth the hassle. Cheers!
Over the weekend we came to our senses. I emailed Penguin Windows and told them we'd changed our mind, but might consider having just one window installed as a test. Laurel also left a message for Jay, who we talked to on Monday.
He said that it wouldn't be possible for us to get a single window. Jay wanted to meet with us again today, and to bring his boss along. We figured, why not? Wouldn't hurt to talk some more – so long as it wasn't for anywhere near four hours.
But today Laurel checked out some other window options. She realized that our woody home would look much better with wood-clad frames. She phoned Jay and told him he'd almost certainly be wasting his time if he came out, that we were strongly leaning toward cancelling our contract for the downstairs windows.
However, Jay insisted on coming out. Which, he did, promptly at 6:00 pm this evening (I'll have to give him this; he's punctual).
This time it just took us about 45 minutes to get Jay out the door. He was exceedingly reluctant to take "no" for an answer. We had him outnumbered (his boss didn't show up) and we both rank pretty high on an assertiveness scale.
Yet there were moments when our cancellation resolve started to weaken a bit in the face of Jay's relentless rear-guard Save the Sale manipulation techniques. Emotionally he went from cheery, to determined, to grumpy, to sadly put upon, to (thankfully!) resigned to his non-sales fate.
Someone single, lonely, elderly, and/or eager to please could easily have fallen prey to the slick Penguin Windows sales tactics. Jay reminded me of car salesman as they were several decades ago, complete with "Let me talk to my supervisor and see if he's willing to give you the discount that I want to offer."
Give me a break. We got several thousand dollars off of our estimate for being willing to have Penguin Windows put a sign at the end of our driveway when they did the work (which, now, they never will). That's just one of the many Penguin gimmicks.
Tomorrow the "Buyer's Right to Cancel" is being mailed to Penguin Windows, comfortably before the three business day deadline, and by registered mail.
The horror stories I read (along with some positive comments) make me feel good about escaping from the Penguin's clutches. We'll end up saving a lot of money when we go with another window company.
And we won't have rewarded obnoxious sales tactics.
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.
Posted by: Rain | January 16, 2008 at 06:30 AM
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.
Posted by: Brandon | January 16, 2008 at 09:29 AM
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.
Posted by: snbrown | January 17, 2008 at 12:28 AM
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.
Posted by: Brian | January 18, 2008 at 10:45 AM
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.
Posted by: Wally | January 25, 2008 at 12:29 AM
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.
Posted by: Morty McNutt | January 28, 2008 at 09:48 AM
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!
Posted by: steve | January 29, 2008 at 08:49 PM
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?
Posted by: BHC | February 04, 2008 at 05:47 PM
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."
Posted by: Brian | March 06, 2008 at 09:57 AM
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.
Posted by: Katzzmeow | March 10, 2008 at 02:36 PM
Umm, is there such a thing as a wood-clad fiberglass window? I don't think so.
Posted by: BHC | March 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM
BHC, yes, Milgard offers a fiberglass frame that's clad in wood. See:
(Scroll down to the wood clad fiberglass option.)
Posted by: Brian | March 11, 2008 at 01:07 PM
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.
Posted by: Charity | March 15, 2008 at 02:43 PM
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.
Posted by: DeltaDawn | March 17, 2008 at 03:02 PM
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.
Posted by: Piper | March 17, 2008 at 08:49 PM
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...
Posted by: PT | March 18, 2008 at 07:17 PM
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.
Posted by: Brian | April 01, 2008 at 03:47 PM
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!!!
Posted by: Misty | April 05, 2008 at 08:22 PM
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.
Posted by: Brian | April 06, 2008 at 10:53 AM
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....
Posted by: samster | April 13, 2008 at 09:10 AM
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.
Posted by: Tony Casella | May 06, 2008 at 02:30 PM
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.
Posted by: Brian | May 06, 2008 at 02:40 PM
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!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Kari | May 06, 2008 at 06:33 PM
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!
Posted by: Shannon | May 20, 2008 at 08:30 PM
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
Posted by: Russ De Vos | May 26, 2008 at 10:53 PM
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.
Posted by: Steve | May 29, 2008 at 11:37 PM
Steve, we have indeed read the Milgard Lifetime Warranty:
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.
Posted by: Brian | May 30, 2008 at 11:04 AM
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.
Posted by: steve | May 31, 2008 at 06:14 PM
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.
Posted by: jack todd | May 31, 2008 at 08:22 PM
I have Penguin windows and I love them!!!! My house is so much more beautiful and comfortable. Plus my power bills are way lower
Posted by: j wad | June 10, 2008 at 10:47 AM
I think what is important to remember in all of this is what is to honor what is important to each person. Some people buy for price alone.
When I was younger I was a "price only" person. I have some horror stories dealing with shady tire salespeople and car stereo installers who would try to arrange "under the table deals" perhaps it was because I was young but in both cases one day jobs took multiple days and there were some other shady things going on. As I have gotten older I have really come to grasp the "get what you pay for" philosophy. I now will only get my tires done at Les Schwab and my car stereo work at Car Toy's. Why? While the price is not going to be the lowest it is a good value and I get the service and guarantee that I want.They stand behind their work without hassle. So I decided who I want to do business with now do I buy a 40,80 or 100k mile tire? Do I buy the top of the line stereo equipment or the middle? Depends on my needs and wants.
I too have been doing research and Penguin is one of the options. Penguin is obviously the Mercedes of the industry but perhaps it would be more accurate to call them a Hybrid Mercedes being that they will save you some money on your energy along the way. I am willing to pay a little extra for a company that stands behind their warranty and takes care of everything for me.
I am also considering Milgard. The final decision is how far do I want to go with this, do I want to replace all of my windows or just some windows in key areas (my bedroom always gets real cold).I'll let you know who I end up picking and if I am happy with them.
Posted by: Heather | June 14, 2008 at 10:50 AM
I am a former Penquin sales rep. Unlike previous comments, I left the company because I could not in good conscious practise the "used car salesman" tactics REQUIRED by Penquin, not because I was "overly aggressive". The people have a training program that actually acknowledges the appointment setting process is a fraud. The appointment setter quotes 1 to 1-1/2 hour presentation, but the training class confirms that 4 hours or more is normal. The financing options are on par with the recent house financing scams. The product is good, but WAY over priced. My conscious demanded that I quit those bastards.
Posted by: Roger | June 26, 2008 at 06:21 PM
I've read everything to this point. I am somewhat familiar with Penguin Windows, have a background as a specialty contractor and think there are some inconsistencies in some of the detractors statements. For one the fiberglass wood clad window is not really addressed in the Penguin presentation as it is a hybrid product combining fiberglass and wood. The Penguin presentation talks about real wood framed windows, not the cheaper hybrids. My own concern with hybrid products is the different expansion and contraction rates between "mixed" products like wood/fiberglass or vinyl/steel or vinyl/aluminum. The Penguin is using complementary materials as far as I can see so the expansion and contraction rates wouldn't seem to be a factor working against each other but instead they compliment each other. After all, windows fail because of wierd expansion and conraction differences. The other factor is the insulating value of these windows mentioned. I went just yesterday to the NFRC website (http://nfrc.org/about.aspx )and researched Milgard, Pella and Penguin which is actually under the Great Lakes Window name and called the Uniframe window. The rating on the triple pane, krypton filled window is found at toward the bottom of the page here: http://cpd.nfrc.org/pubsearch/psLineDetails.asp?CPD=GLW-N-74_8884&pagenum=7 and is pretty impressive to say the least. The tinted color on the glass is because of the low e coatings which block out UV rays that damage furniture, artwork, flooring, etc. That is important to some folks. I've done my research and it appears from third party verification this is a superior product. It is no wonder other window companies want to tear it down. When you go shopping for anything there are three things you can rarely get all at once being, high quality, superior service and low price. Penguin has two of the three nailed and from what I can tell the price is pretty much reflective of their quality and service. With what they bring to the table there is no way they could be the lowest. I'm sure you can buy something cheaper but you will also give up quality and/or service. If you can't afford the window then don't buy it. If you want quality and service then buy the window, just stop tearing up a product because you haven't really done all the research on it and/or maybe can't afford the quality. They are right about real wood windows being more expensive paricularly if they have to be custom made to fit your openings. Real wood windows come in standard sizes and they cost alot. Let me leave you with this thought. Part of Penguins thing is they doen't have a warehouse full of windows and just grab something that comes close to fitting your openings. Every window is custom measured and made to fit your opening exactly. That to me is worth extra money. I've seen hack jobs with lots of filler needed. They also don't use sub contractors and have AAMA certified and experienced installers. You probably pay a little more for highly trained installers also. But, if you were having open heart surgery tomorrow you could have it done cheaper I'm sure by some guys standing outside the hospital waiting for a surgery job to come up they could jump in on for the day or you could pay a little extra for heart surgeon. Price sometimes isn't the point at all.
Posted by: RD | July 16, 2008 at 07:41 PM
Brian, great post. As for some of the others, I think Penguin reps have hijacked most of these threads. Read some of the entries - anyone who claims the Penguin sales people were in and out in less than 90 minutes are lying. People who say the windows are worth every penny are either lying, in denial or greatly deceived. How many years will it take you to make back that (fill in the number) percentage of energy savings (if they really do save as much as they say). Really - I mean figure it out, if Penguin costs you $20,000 more than the competition, how long will it take to make that up in energy savings - 40 years?
I was working from home last week (live in the Portland metro area) and a Penguin canvasser came by and asked if I'd be interested in getting quotes for our 2 aluminum (double-paned, but not insulated) sliding glass doors. I hemmed and hawed, but eventually said ok, especially when he said the sales reps probably wouldn't even look at the windows, since I told him they were only 4 years old, with some being less than 1 year old (whole house had been remodeled). Again, he commented that it'd likely be closer to the 60 minutes than 90, so I thought, well I need an estimate on those doors anyway, so why not?
Well, that 60-90 minutes turned into 3 1/2 hours of sales tactics. As with many of the entires here, we were tag-teamed, having two sales reps visit us. One of the reps was the stereotypical sleazy used-car salesman, while the other seemed technical and more honest (and in fact was a nice guy, unlike the first). The first guy (sleazy one) kept saying things like our windows were the worst he's seen in his 6 years as a rep, blah, blah blah. Really, our 4 year-old Milgard windows are the worst you've seen - boy you must be working in some ritzy areas then, aren't you? He spewed so many half-truths, that I stopped really listening to him. At one point he was telling me how FHLMC and FNMA do business - which I thought was funny, since I had been a compliance auditor for a mortgage bank and was well familiar with FHLMC and FNMA rules. Once I told him that, he knew he lost his perceived "edge" and changed the subject again to how my window seals had failed. Well, after the heat lamp demonstration (during which he got really annoyed each time the nice sales rep interrupted him with other information (giving more insight into the sleazy one's real character) the sleazy salesman had to leave. Boo hoo - don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Not only were we glad to see him go, but we thought the presentation, now 2 1/2 hours might almost be done. Well the other guy had to go through his song and dance and fill out the "Investment Review" as their quote is called, he showed us our discounts, and sign today discounts, etc. All said and done, he even resigned the fact that we weren't going to do all the windows, so he broke it down to just the sliders. But at $4k a piece, I said something to the effect that I can't afford to save that much in energy savings. He was very polite and didn't rant and rave when we said no. If he'd been the only one, our experience would have been better, but still not something I'd wish anyone to go through.
In my optinon, here are the Penguin Window pros and cons.
Pros - 1) good quality windows. 2) I liked the idea that their installers were trained and did it all what sounded like the "right" way.
Cons - 1) way overpriced, 2) dishonest sales practices (at least by one of our visiting reps), 3) canvasser's (and documentation) initial lie telling me it's only a 60-90 minute presentation. 4) Penguin is just sales arm of larger corporation that owns the window manufacturer (Great Lakes Windows - I think in Toledo, OH).
Well the good news is that (supposedly) we will get a $25 gas card for my trouble, so between my wife and I, we each made about $3 an hour last Saturday :-)
Posted by: DPC | July 23, 2008 at 03:32 PM
I have some penquin windows that I've had for 5 years now (they were still Statewide at the time). I got their sales pitch for the entire house, but opted for replacing the two bad windows (moisture between panes) I had. They were too expensive, but I got one stained glass window over my front door that I love, and it was worth every penny. The other "triple paned" window has had some problems with allignment. After 5 years and a company name change, they are still honoring the lifetime warranty and coming to fix it. I will not get the rest of my windows through them though.
Posted by: Susan | July 25, 2008 at 11:08 AM
My wife and I had no problems with the sales people who came to our house from Penguin. Of course my wife entered a contest to try and win windows, yeah...okay. Anyhow, it was a guy/gal team and the gal was certainly a distraction. Low cut top with breasts popping out sitting there while the guy did all the talking. Of course she let out the typical air-head giggle when he tried cracking a joke; but all in all she was a show piece (after all, sex sells) for any man (or lesbian) of the house.
Long story short, we were sold on $14k worth of windows and new sliding rear door. Sure, it was spendy, but in the end we are pleased with our experience; especially the installers. Very nice and experienced. So far things look great and it has kept a lot of the summer heat out of the house.
Moral of the story, it depends on where you live, the kind of house you have, and the nature under which the local branch of the company - or any company for that matter - is run will dictate the kind of experience you will have with "door to door salesman/women."
Posted by: Troy | July 31, 2008 at 01:03 PM
Hello - I am a new person in this forum. I have done my own research on penguin Windows. I can't beleive what I am hearing.
First thing is First:The estimate was several tens of thousands of dollars less than Penguin" "Penguin doesn’t offer a wood clad option. Plus, their frames are vinyl (with a fiberglass insert, I believe).
Several people have stated that penguin Windows are VINYL- This is a LIE. Penguin windows happen to be made of PVC , the same stuff that PVC piping is made out of. That is why plumbers are starting to use pvc tubing instead of copper, because it is non-conductive. PVC does not bend or warp over time. It never fades or discolers either. Vinyl does.
The person making the statement that PENGUIN Window is VINYL is either very misinformed, or an Industry sabotager working for another window company.
I am neutral in this forum , but I can't see how so much hatred comes from someone who didn't even buy the product.
Posted by: David | July 31, 2008 at 01:33 PM
David, you obviously have done very little research about Penguin Windows. Their product is indeed vinyl. Check out their web site:
Here's a quote from this Penguin Window web page:
"Not all vinyl windows are created equal. Low-grade PVC can bend, bow and discolor. That's why Penguin windows are made from high quality New Generation vinyl - the strongest, most advanced material we could find. Specially formulated uiPVC(polyvinyl chloride), New Generation vinyl withstands harsh weather and wear-and-tear better, with through-and-through color to resist the appearance of scratching and look like new for years to come."
So their windows are vinyl. They just claim it's a higher class vinyl. It should be, for the price they charge. As I've said before, we got wood clad fiberglass Milgard windows installed for many thousands of dollars cheaper.
Posted by: Brian | July 31, 2008 at 02:45 PM
Uh... Brian, do you see what you just wrote above ... " Specially formulated uiPVC(polyvinyl chloride), from Penguins site ..
I guess you are a little uneducated in the Industry. The above statement refers to PVC , That's PolyVinyl chloride, it's the same stuff under your kitchen sink that the water runs through. It lasts a lifetime too.
Posted by: David | August 01, 2008 at 05:05 AM
David, did you see what you just wrote, and what is on the Penguin Windows web site?:
"Vinyl." Repeat, vinyl. That isn't the same as fiberglass, is it? No, it isn't.
Our Milgard windows are fiberglass. The Penguin windows that, thankfully, we didn't get, would have been vinyl. PVC vinyl. Check out Milgard's superior product:
You can keep on trying to claim that Penguin Windows "vinyl" isn't really vinyl. But one thing that's crystal clear is that vinyl isn't fiberglass.
The message remains: Buyer beware with Penguin Windows. Check out the alternatives before you succumb to a high-pressure sales pitch. Get multiple estimates. Learn the facts.
Posted by: Brian | August 01, 2008 at 09:39 AM
Just remember if you do sign up, your paying the guy who walks in your door giving you the sales pitch 20-25% commission.
Posted by: | August 10, 2008 at 05:21 PM
Just remember if you do sign up, your paying the guy who walks in your door giving you the sales pitch 20-25% commission.
Posted by: | August 10, 2008 at 05:22 PM
My wife and I completed the Bidding Phase of our window replacement project this last week and ended up selecting Champion. The first company we had out to visit, however, was Penguin. As others have related, the sales tactics were high-pressure. The details would sound like a repeat of what's already been said, however, so I'll spare you all. The price of the Penguin windows was the biggest issue for us, however; they were exactly twice the price of the closest competing bid. That's just silliness.
Three other companies came out, and they averaged about half the price of Penguin. The Champion salesman was far and away the nicest, lowest-key guy of the bunch. He was the last one out. I wish he'd been first! Oh, the hours that might have been saved!
The funniest bit about the Champion sale was that, among the cross-sections of competitor's windows, the guy had a Penguin window! My first response was, "Wow, where'd you get ahold of that? Don't tell me somebody's replaced their Penguin windows with yours?" He said, "Of course not." and then proceeded to tell us about a couple he'd visited a few months ago who had just endured a five-hour stint with a Penguin salesman. Upon finally being turned away, the Penguin salesman angrily declared that he was quitting his job and proceeded to leave all of his equipment and samples behind! The couple made some effort to return the items to the man as he left, and subsequently to Penguin, but nobody every picked it up. The couple later insisted that the Champion salesman take the Penguin cross-section when he visited. Pretty funny! He said he periodically calls or emails Penguin and offers to return it, but had not been contacted.
Happy window hunting!
Posted by: Aaron | August 23, 2008 at 10:54 PM
Hi, I've had issues with Penguin Windows also. They've been to my door at least once a month for the past 2 years (sometimes more) I've told them that I'm not interested and they just don't get it! I found from reading some of these posts that they used to be called Statewide Windows - and back about a year ago my husband and i signed up with Statewide at Kmart to have a free window inspection (we also received a $20 gift card for Kmart- Totally not worth it!!) the ladies that came to our house were extremely high pressure and after 4 hours of making us feel guilty for not wanting to spend $14000 on 7 windows they finally left. However they think that we might change our minds and keep coming back every month to find out. I know have a new baby at home and today they rang the door bell while he was sleeping, I was so pissed! Oh and FYI i have a local glass guy give me a quote on my windows and explain why it was totally not necessary for the triple pained windows (due to the fact that it we don't have extreme weather here) my quote was less than $4000 interesting huh!! So beware of the white mini van driving through your neighbor hood that says Penguin windows on the side because a pushy sales person will be knocking on your door soon!
Posted by: Kristi | August 28, 2008 at 02:42 PM
Yes.. I would avoid them.
They had good marketing and were on my short list for when we did an upgrade. We made the mistake of filling out a card at a local fair.
We got a call. (pretty sure I checked the email only box) But it was a pleasant enough chat and I made it clear we were not remodeling the one area that needed new Windows but would call them when we did. I meant that)
Then next day they call again.. I tell them to stop that if they called again I was going to never buy.
Then they called the next day again.
I told them to stop. They said it could take 72 hours. I said if I got another call I was going to complain to the state.
Do not enter their contests or EVER give them your info. They are by far the most aggressive unapologetic sales organization I have encountered since going to a Vegas time-share presentation.
Posted by: K.H. | September 16, 2008 at 04:22 PM
Let me second, third, millionth this advice to NOT ENTER THEIR CONTESTS. I, like an idiot....did, via their website.
They called the next day to schedule a 60-90 minute presentation, which they made sound like I must allow in order to be in the contest. Actually, the contest rules say the in-home visit is not required, but I hadn't read deeply enough.
So they scheduled for Tuesday. We told the two men who showed up that my husband only had a short time and had to go to work. 60 minutes would be okay. They said they'd make it as quick as possible, and would take 'no' graciously for an answer.
5 1/2 hours later, we FINALLY got them to leave. Every time we said no, they shifted their angle of attack and wanted to know what was holding us back, since clearly we WANT new windows (and that was and is true: we do). In fact, the first time they went outside to let us talk privately, and we went out to tell them 'Thank you, but no', the salesman deliberately "mis-heard" us and said "Excellent! Go? We'll start the paperwork now!" So we said no, we want to think about it for a few days and do research. We said we don't even buy a $150 camera without researching it first, and the tentative bid we had for the windows for our house was over $30K. They began grilling us about what was holding us back, was it a lack of trust in the company? Something we didn't like about the windows? And of course no, it wasn't any of those things. It was just a matter of not wanting to be rushed into an expensive purchase. They told us we'd lose an 11% discount (about $3400) if we didn't sign the papers TODAY.
In the end, they finally did take 'no' for an answer, but it was not gracious, and the one man was visibly angry. We had wasted his day. And he had wasted ours. My husband could not leave for work until 4pm. Trust me, it was not a good thing.
I wrote to the company to complain. As of today, 48 hours later, they have not bothered to reply.
Even if we were to win their contest, I'm not convinced I would take the prize. Because they'd no doubt want us to say how wonderful they are, and I refuse to smile, and lie.
Posted by: Angela in Seattle | September 25, 2008 at 03:54 PM
Oh, as a follow-up:
The nametag on the salesman who came to our house said 'Russ De Vos'. Either it's the same fellow who claims above (dated May 20, 2008) that these heavy-pressure sales tactics, and multi-hour sales pitches, are not company policy and such employees don't last long.....in which case you'll have to judge for yourself whether you can believe his apology....or everybody who works for Penguin has a Russ De Vos nametag, as a sort of 'working name', to protect their real identities.
But you'll have to judge that yourself.
Posted by: Angela in Seattle | September 25, 2008 at 04:58 PM
Tuesday, October 30. 7 days, one full business week since I sent a letter of complaint to Penguin Windows. No one has bothered to contact me yet. Good thing I haven't been holding my breath.
Posted by: Angela in Seattle | September 30, 2008 at 01:22 AM
For "October" you mean "September."
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | September 30, 2008 at 11:51 AM
I had the displeasure of listening to a salesman from PENGUIN windows. Said a rep would be out the next day to give me the experimental technology I've heard tell about in this issue. Luckily they never showed up. Anyone want a $25 voucher card for gas not authorized? October 7, 2008
Posted by: Sam in Seattle | October 07, 2008 at 07:37 PM
Thank You Everybody :)
Posted by: carmen | October 09, 2008 at 05:02 PM
Wow! Thank you for posting this. I know the reputation of Statewide and I will NEVER go with them. I had no idea they were the same company as Penguin. We had the door-to-door guy come by today and we specifically asked if there would be any pressure to buy today or lose a discount or whatever. He said "definitely no." Having had the Statewide people in our home and the high-pressure tactics they had (about 5 years ago), I am NOT going with the same company. I don't care how good your product is, if you give me a "if you sign right now you get XX discount" I'm walking away. I did it with Sears, I'll do it with any company. Thank you for identifying that Statewide and Penguin are the same company. I'll be canceling that appointment tomorrow and saving myself 4 hours :)
Posted by: Lisa | October 19, 2008 at 09:37 PM
they used to not follow code back in the day with installing and the vancouver, wa office is full of jerks and family crooks.
Posted by: cabinetwizard | November 01, 2008 at 04:05 PM
I see several interesting comments.
We did enter the contest, I now wish I hadn't.
The "in home meeting" didn't last that long, it ended pretty quickly after the rep called in to try to finance us and found out they couldn't. We told them from the start we just entered the contest and couldn't afford the windows... the saleswoman said no problem, they would just work up the bid and leave it with us and wouldn't submit it (but then did, tried to submit anyway).
1) Said they wouldn't push it, yet tried to call for financing.
2) Claimed they meet all Federal Codes since they install in several states.
-Note: There are no Federal Codes. Each state has it's own codes that *must* be followed in that state.
3) Claimed they installed to the IBC.
-Note, the IBC is a Commercial Code, not residential
I don't like thier method of installation either. On my house there is no trim around the windows. The siding goes up to the edge of the frame. To install the Penguin windows they tell me they will cut around the window to reveal the nailing flange, then when they install the new window they will insert a piece of trim around each window. How ugly. Creating a space around the window just to fill it with a trim piece later.
I do agree with one of the previous commentators on here, the saleswoman I got was cute, and had a nice bit of cleavage and fairly tight slacks and heels. At least the eye candy was nice. But that's not what I buy windows for...
Saw the previous discussion on whether or not it was vinyl or PVC. Apparently it is considered both. At least every manufacturer of PVC/Vinyl windows are claiming that uiPVC (polyvinyl chloride) are also Vinyl. And there are a LOT of manufacturers that seem to be using this. Apparently it is some form of composite construction that makes it stiffer, probably what the fiberglass I reinforcement is.
Overall, If I win the $10,000 in windows plus $10,000 cash I still can't afford their product. I'd replace the worst windows I have, but I'd watch the installers like a hawk.
Posted by: Dave | November 02, 2008 at 03:55 PM
We bought 3 penguin windows. They were suppose to be sliding glass patio doors. What they brought out was 3 French doors. The window area was only 21" The door opening was just 20" Our other sliders had a total of 63" of glass and the door slides to 27". Almost ALL of the frame was a cheep white plastic. The door did not even fit in the opening. They had to caulk over 2" top, bottom and sides. We have filed and complaint with the BBB, Attorney General and with Penguin windows. We have stopped payment on our credit card. We told the installers to leave our other slider and called the company 6 times and emailed them pictures. They took our slider and refuse to give it back. They will not come out and remove the wrong door and told us if we touch the door all warranties are void. The frame is even cracked. I asked them what about their 100% satisfaction warranty. TRUST ME they do not warranty their doors, service or installation!!!Even if they make the mistake in their own measurements it is always the customer that pays. We are now having to go to court. Will let you know how things go.
Posted by: Janice | November 08, 2008 at 12:39 PM
Penguin windows doesn't sell French Doors. Only Sliding glass doors. No construction company that I have ever heard of offers a 25% Commission thats just stupid. ps if you find one please let me know I'll go work for them. Don't buy any window or door that combines wood with vinyl it will break down just after the warranty expires. Companies engineer their products to last as long as the warranty, so if you want to replace your windows every 10 years on average get something cheap. I used to install windows and I have seen if hundreds of times. Rotting wood windows or horrible self installs. You get what you pay for. No sales person is perfect, so cut them some slack, if your hungry during a presentation get a snack. Remember some people these days will go ballistic if you charge them 10 cents to much for a donut or mispell a word. I quite simply can't afford triple pane windows, but when I can I will get them from the company who I feel will stand by them. Always do your research before you call someone to your house so you can take advantage of all of the discounts you can get and know your budget and credit score. Otherwise your not going to be happy with any large purchase.
Posted by: Freezing in Vancouver | November 23, 2008 at 10:05 AM
I used to work for penguin (statewide), windows are great, sales tactics are high pressure, but the product makes up for it. The pay is good 15% commission if you make quota plus random bonuses. Its a lot of hours and to much driving around for me. The pay was good but needed a change. Honestly if your looking for the best windows on the market penguin is it. You pay a premium but you get what you pay for.
Posted by: Penguin | November 24, 2008 at 06:59 PM
From an unbiased third party window expert, you all may want to know 2 things: 1. Good window (simply Great Lakes brand), but 2. EXTREMELY! overpriced from this company. The frame is not metal reinforced and the intercept/warm edge is a midrange seal and they don't even swing in! Worth about $900 at most - installed. In short and simple this dealer ought to be ashamed of themselves for gauging people. And, will probably soon have to undergo another name change much like Pacesetter Corp. did. People, DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!
Posted by: Dan Goldman | December 02, 2008 at 10:23 AM
I called Penguin windows just this morning to inquire about a sales job or maybe installation. Well after reading these comments, mostly negative ones, I think i will try to start my own window installation business, I have many friends at Oso Lumber and Milguard. These people need jobs and so do I. I just can't become a pushy car-salesman type individual just to make money. I would rather come over to your house for a coffee or beer and shoot the breeze, sooner or later we could talk about your remodeling needs and window repalacement. After reading these negative reactions it makes me wonder why people can't take a few seconds and say positive stuff, I personally feel better after I have said or wrote something nice.
Posted by: Johnny Olson | December 03, 2008 at 09:13 AM
the windows are guaranteed for the life of the house. That means no matter what, you will never have to spend another penny on the windows. If you are a cheap skate bargain hunter do not waste your time looking at the nicest things in life. Besides, you could just have your buddies come over and do yourself right? You get what you pay for! And if you don't like someone in your house instead of waiting out hours of the salespersons time and then writing dirty letters online, simply ask them to leave. Show a little backbone.
Posted by: gobama | December 06, 2008 at 09:23 AM
I've been waiting for someplace to vent about these scumbads!!!
The first sales rep that came was a younger kid, he was very personable and respectful. His pitch ended up about 4 hours. I told him I needed to think about it as the total was around $26000. My house is a 3 BR basic ranch house.
A few days later we get a call from a woman that was the first reps "boss", so she said. Now to backup for a second all we talked about and got demos on with the first rep was triple pane windows. OK so now this young lady comes over, again very amiable likeable person, even reminded me of my daughter a bit,(Dumba$$)!!
The first thing she asked me was if I'd be willing to go for double pane instead. When she told me overall it would save me about $2500 I told her I was not interested for that price in double pane. Everything else we talked about for the remainder of her visit was about triple pane, I bet you're guessing where this is going!!
All said and done she was jotting info on a blank pad crunching numbers and finally comes up with doing the job IN TRIPLE PANE for $24000.
I shook her hand and accepted the deal.
She makes some phone calls, has a few more cups of coffee with myself and my brother and as she's getting ready to leave tells me that she needs to get the formal paperwork filled out for us to sign.
When she comes in with the paperwork she makes sure that now we're talking about anything but the paperwork. So did I screw up?? Yes I was stupid enough to believe that her word meant something and did not read that on every box double pane was checked off and not triple pane!!
While I'll take my share of the blame for being stupid enough to think that this rep and Penguin windows would be honest, I find it pretty dam annoying, no actually it outright pisses me off that all the nice nice chit chat was a hussle!!
Now I'll give her credit for being an excellent con artist and being deceptive!! She's really good, I hope she pats herself on the back!!
To me if I have to worry about watching what someone I'm doing business with that closely I'd rather not do business with them in the first place!!
So I'm just putting this out there to let you all know, if you chose to do business, forget aboutanything they TELL you!! Go over all the paperwork with a fine tooth comb!! They will do whatever they can get away with and in my personal opinion are sleazy!!
I got home from work just as the crew were finishing the job, which I will say the installers were fast and left no mess behind. They were also very polite and overall did a very good job on the install.
Personally I believe that they did a good job in spite of Penguin not because of Penguin!!
As they were finishingg up I looked at one of the windows and realized what they installed. Unfortunately it was too late, the job was done!!
I called Penguin, now they sent her "boss" out and he of course informs me that they fired her because she was such a thief!!
He refunded $1000 and told me that was the best he could do. I spoke to my Attorney and he told me that since all the formal paperwork had double pane checked off I didn't have much of a chance in court.
So now I have double pane windows that look no better then the cheapies that you could get at Home Depot for $140 each!
Oh yea one more footnote, 2 months later guess who was trying to sell to my neighbor from Penguin windows??
Yea the rep that was "fired"!!
One othefootnote, I am not a contractor and admittedly I do not have a ton of knowlege about building in general. My house was built in 1964 and what I have discovered since they put the windows in is the walls are not insulated, or they're very poorly insulated. The installer is the one that informed me of that. That being the case my energy savings has been exactly 0!!!
SCUMBAGS SCUMBAGS SCUMBAGS SCUMBAGS
One more comment to the jackass stating that we should all go to walmart because that is all we can afford and deserve...
Since there are likely some ladies reading I won't call you what you are, instead I'll just say this
Go to the pet store, buy a dog and name it life so you'll have one!!!
To everyone else, please if you chose to do business with these people READ ALL DOCUMENTS END TO END!!
Any special provisions you may have, be sure it's clearly stated on the documents!!
Happy New Year
Posted by: George Johnson | January 02, 2009 at 09:23 PM
My wife and I went through the Penguin sales process. It was a bit high pressure in their tactics - let's face it they make their living selling - but their reps were both friendly and professional. In the end we went with them and are glad we did.
Penguin windows are not cheap. They cost a bit (10%) more than the Andersons a neighbor had installed a few months ago. Penguins are a vastly superior window though. Their thermal qualities are much better than the Andersons - which we also know first hand as we retained a few high end Anderson new construction windows we had installed during a renovation about 5 years ago and there is no comparison. The Penguins are wonderfully weather tight, easy opening, and look good. Could we have gotten a window quote for much less money? Of course we could - just go to Home Depot and look at the cost their low end replacements - there not the same window though. The quality of a replacement window is not easy to gauge for the average person. I worked as a carpenter and a cabinetmaker for years and saw much the same in the cabinet industry. The fact that something looks good doesn't make it well made and that is true in the window industry as well.
Another thing we liked about Penguin was that brought in a group of their own employees that installed all 23 windows in about 7 hours. I have heard stories from others who hired the "best price" contractor who took two weeks to install the same number of windows. The Penguin installers were both respectful of out time and did an excellent job with the installation.
Overall we are pleased with the whole transaction. If you are looking for high end windows and feel they are worth paying for I would recommend them. If you are willing to sacrifice quality for price you should look elseware.
Posted by: Chris | January 07, 2009 at 05:57 AM
Chris, it's nice that you're happy with Penguin, but I have to disagree with some of what you said.
FIrst, Penguin isn't just a little bit overpriced. They're a lot overpriced. As I've said in comments to my own post, we found that Penguin wanted to sell us vinyl windows for many thousands of dollars more than we could get wood clad fiberglass windows from Milgard.
Yes, Penguin uses triple pane. But this lessens the amount of light coming through the glass, which is sort of depressing here in the Pacific Northwest. And the triple pane energy savings would take a huge amount of time to compensate for the vastly overpriced Penguin windows.
You called these "high end" windows. I call them high-priced. The triple paning and krypton gas is the only special aspect, so far as we could tell. Otherwise they're vinyl windows, which in our case would have looked terrible in our wood walled house.
I still advise: stay away from Penguin Windows, unless you feel like stimulating the economy by wasting your money.
Posted by: Brian | January 07, 2009 at 10:21 AM
The Penguin Window guy just left. He was here OVER 4 hours. My finace scheduled a 3:00 appointment and when I got home from work at 6:30, I was NOT happy that he was still here, but what could I do? He left at 8:00 - that's FIVE HOURS! He was very informative, showed a great product, then gave us the unbelievable high prices everyone here is quoting. Since I hadn't been here all day, I was able to see just how personable he was and how taken with him my fiance had become. He was a nice guy, smart, funny. My fiance didn't even know what hit him! We have children in college and in middle school, he is out of work for the winter, and I am in high-tech sales - in this economy! No. These windows were nice, but ours are fine! Heck, he only signed up for the appointment because BJs offered a $50 gift certificate if you let them come out to your house. I only hope I don't have to avoid calls and knocks on my door now.....
Posted by: Lisa | January 09, 2009 at 05:38 PM
Okay, I just got the rest of the story from my fiance. This is too funny. Apparently, the Penguin guy was trying to show him how soundproof the windows are. He held up his sample, opened the window and started talking...then he slowly closed it as he lowered his voice, then mouthed the words while it was closed, and raised his voice slowly as he opened it! ARE YOU KIDDING ME????????????????????
Posted by: Lisa | January 12, 2009 at 04:43 AM
I'm with you guys (most of you). Their sales pitch took 3 hours (they told us 30 minutes). It was hell. I don't care how good the windows are, it was lies, lies, lies. They told us they had the highest possible rating with the Better Business Bureau (lie). Said they had top rating with consumer reports (lie). And they told us FIRST THING that they'd would happily take "no" for an answer as gracefully as they'd take yes. Also a lie, unless telling them "yes" would have meant them hanging around for an additonal hour.
I complained to the BBB about them advertising a 60-90 minute presentation (the guy said "it'll probably REALLY be around 30 minutes"). They said they were shocked and that they usually take no more than 90 minutes. Total B.S. They hadn't even wrapped up the inspection and started the pitch after 90 minutes. And they did NOT take no for an answer.
I wouldn't get their windows in my house even if they were comparably priced. Not after that.
Don't submit to their sales pitch. You'll regret it.
Posted by: Jeff B | January 12, 2009 at 11:02 PM
WOW. What fun it has been reading everyone's posts. As someone who used to work for a direct competitor of Penguin(Statewide), and who now works for Milgard. I can honestly say that those of you who fall for the schlock that the sales reps of the company give you, you deserve what you get. I made money hand over fist pimping canvassers to set appointments for windows that, while expensive, don't match the quality of the product of the company I currently work for. There is a reason that there are only 4 offices of Statewide(Penguin), 3 for West Coast Vinyl, and only a handful for Evans. Milgard is a nation-wide company that puts their money where their product is. Of the above listed companies, only West Coast and Milgard manufacture their own products. The others buy theirs from someone else. And Brian, congrats on the Woodclads. I am much happier at a company that willingly backs their products with a Lifetime Warranty. As the saying goes 'Caveat Emptor'. Buyer beware. You guys have all provided a great end to my week, thank you!
Posted by: Don | January 16, 2009 at 03:53 PM
I decided to install Penguin Windows and have been more than stisfied. my entire house minus 2 windows in our larder, cost $10,000 and the entire house is so much nicer and warmer, especially during this very cold winer in the Northwest. My neighbor decided to install windows in his house and had a contractor install windows from another above mentioned national brand. The installation has now taken over 2 months and some of the windows were not measured correctly. After the cost of installation and the inconvenience of many weeks (durning our recent snow and cold snap) my neighbor paid as much as he would have if he had purchased the penguin windows in the first place and they would have been installed in just a few days. I suspect many want the best price but sometimes, price is not everything. The man who measured our windows was also on the installation team and the entire job was done in just a few hours. We live in an older home and the triple paine windows are a wonderful addition. I was a bit concerned about three layers of glass blocking out light but I actually found more light entered through our windows because our original windows were so pitted and dirty and the new windows are clean and clear. the salesman, Rus De Vos was quite gentel and kind and answered all my questions to my satisfaction. I am a Landscape contractor and have had some experience with clients who have built their homes and the ones who have used Penguin have been very satisfied. I also querried general contractors in the area and those who have used Penguin have been very pleased with the quality of the product and their service. The cost of this quality of window is far less than some most top end window companies. I was quoted over $12,000 for one of my windows alone. I wish Penguin made doors....
Posted by: Joseph Arnold | January 19, 2009 at 11:55 AM
Joseph, I don't find your laudatory comment believable. How could Penguin bid you $10,000 for all of your windows, and another company want to charge you $12,000 for a single window. Come on... (Maybe you meant $1,200?)
Also, I'd like to know which top end window companies charge more than Penguin Windows. Our experience with the Milgard wood clad fiberglass windows, a top end product, was that Milgard was much less expensive than Penguin.
Posted by: Brian | January 19, 2009 at 01:12 PM
Hey guys and gals,
I just wanted to clarify a few things that I have researched about most of the main window companies in the NW. Let me start with my story.
I had 14 aluminum windows in my home and 1 slider, and to be honest yea my house was cold and the windows had mold. So when the penguin person came to my door my wife and I wanted an estimate. The person who set up the appointment talked to us a little bit first. Here is what they said:
"So they will send out a consultant who will measure and inspect the windows as well as educate you on the positive and negative aspects of the various windows out there. It should only take about an hour to and hour and a half, but sometimes depending on the needs of the home they can go longer, so be prepaired for that."
He left us with a coupon for $25 for gas which we thought would be worth it.
So two 'consultants,' (just a fancy word for sales guys) show up right at 3:00pm on the nose, for that I was impressed. They come in and we chit chat for a bit, very nice guys. One thing I liked was they were the ones to cut the small talk short and flat out told me what they would do at my house. The main guy said they have a specific list of things they do, something like inspect and measure, tell us about their company, show us the windows and he actually jumped the gun and said and we will write up contracts and get you ready to install the windows etc...
My wife was the first to stop them and politely told us that we weren't gonna get windows we just wanted a bid. He couldn't believe it and walked out.
We were in shock, and so was his partner. But he came right back in and said of course he was just joking, and that he said it wrong and meant that the company is a one stop shop and does it all for us, and actually made a deal with us to ensure that the situation wasn't high pressure for us or them, (though he did say he was determined to earn our business that day...)
Well we talked further while they were looking at the windows, and they were honest and detailed.
In our daughters room one rep took out his tape measure and measured the distance from our daughters crib to the window. He instantly moved the crib (without asking us) to the other side of the room. I asked what the hell he was doing and he said the mold on the window was putting our daughters health at risk, and they we need to take care of that window today, and at the least move her bed away from the window. I was surprised to see the amount of genuine care from the rep who was quite most of the time.
They didn't make it dramatic and say your daughter will die, nor did they complain about the mold in other rooms, I thought it was fair and honest.
After inspecting our windows, which in total took about an hour alone (mostly due to them explaining things to me and my wife and us chatting along the way...)
They told us that the windows were in pretty bad shape, not the worst shape they've seen but they were bad. anyway after seeing all the other windows, and hearing about the warrenties, and having bad sub-contractor installs ourselves on our addition, we were almost ready to buy the windows...until we saw the prices...
Wood, and the high quality vinyl were way overpriced, and the penguin window wasn't cheap either, so we were interested in the vinyl windows.
They showed us how vinyl was good, but also how it was bad. We made the choice to get a bid on the penguin window.
The project came to about $38,000 with a few unique windows, and a wood look on the inside.
We said no way. way to much. We knew they were worth it, but it was just way to much money for our blood. So we declined.
This is where the sales came in.
They showed us that we had discounts and were open and honest about a discount that only would apply today. It was a big price drop. They talked about why it was there but finally admmited it was to save the company time and money from coming back out,as long as we could make a choice comfortably that night.
We saw this as a car sales tactic, but it was appealing. As a lawyer for most of my professional life, I asked a question I already knew the answer to:
"can I get this discount tomorrow."
They were right in saying no. It's a one-day thing, if they came back and gave the same discount it would be illegal.
So overall I decided not to get the windows, just to much money at that point. After a car accident I am no longer working and have medical bills like you wouldn't believe. I just couldn't afford them. They stopped all the sales and just said, "look, we have a minimum order, but because you have a baby daughter and the mold in her room was so bad I'm going to call my boss and try to get it approved to do just that window."
We ended up with just the 1 window for only $2000 after taxes. I knew they weren't making more than $100 in commission from the project, but the fact that they stopped and took care of the window for my daughter made me a customer for life.
I am so impressed with that part of it that i am going to be doing my entire house. They were honest and sincere. The are more expensive, but I would say for a life time warrenty and after seeing the window be slammed hard by a tape measure and after my wife jummped on the window it seems to be worth it.
I would say it sounds like you just got a bad sales guy. The install was quick, clean and the sales rep brought me out coffee on the day of the install and stayed just talking about for about an hour or so.
For what it's worth that's my experience.
Posted by: Jude M. | January 26, 2009 at 08:36 AM
When we went to a garden show this past Christmas, a Penguin salesman was there. As we walked by we were talking about something and this person just interrupted us while we were talking - just out of the blue. He reminded me of a Kirby salesperson. When he asked if he could come by the house, I answered with a resounding "no" which sounds like it was the right answer from what I've read above.
Posted by: Jesse | January 30, 2009 at 09:56 PM
I was in sales for over 6 years, starting with Sears. It sounds like these sales rep's do what every sales rep does for every company out there. Every training seminar or class or whatever you want to call it teaches the same thing, only difference being the product you sell. It also feels like some of you leave out the constant information and personality that these sales rep produce while using "sleazy tactics" to get you to buy. Which would explain why you let them stay for so long. I saw my neighbor here in the Salmon Creek area have a visit from two of these Penguin Windows sales rep and they were gone after half an hour. Since I am currently unemployed and thinking of applying for work with Penguin Windows I want to find out about them first. So I asked him(my neighbor) about his experience. He said that they left after informing him the money he'd save from buying new windows would not be significant enough to warrant new windows. We live in a fairly new complex.
That's about the most honest sales pitch I ever heard of. When I worked at Sears, "no" was not an option. We were to sell, period. Whether the customer wanted it, needed it, or not interested. I would have professional contractors, the ones with ads in papers and signs all over the county, buy the cheapest tools we had and thats the Craftsman tools. Now I'll tell you about Craftsman tools, the hand tools are a good investment because they are strong and have a lifetime warranty no hassles to replace them and no receipt needed. But power tools are a whole different ball game. One of my brother's is a house framer, they are the people that build the foundation and entire frame of the house. If they screw up, the whole house will need to be torn down and rebuilt. If you were to walk onto a job site with Craftsman power tools they will laugh at you to no end. Most likely even get fired for having the improper tools. There's no law stating what brand of products you need to build a house, but these workers know that their livelyhood depends on it. If you want a quality house, you pay for quality products. If you're not ready to pay for quality products don't ask someone to explain and demonstrate their product when you have no intention of paying for it. If your upset or angered by this statement, walk a mile in their shoes. It doesn't matter where you go you will always find a "sleazy" sales pitch. Brian, I'm glad your happy with the way your house looks, but that's all you were really interested in anyway, the looks. An all wood interior/exterior is always gonna make the inside darker. wood does not reflect light, that's why people paint the walls, it reflects more light through out the room/house. Yes I was also trained in paint sales as well as tools. What I'm telling you is not a pitch but the truth. I was not top salesman for this reasons. The lesson being never listen to the top salesman, that's the first person they will always send. I hope many of you will stop spitting so much venom and come clean about your experience. Some of you have been very honest with your experience, but since you liked the personality of the sales rep minus the "sleazy" part, that's why it took 4 hours.
Posted by: Armando | February 12, 2009 at 04:28 PM
Very Happy with My Penguin windows. You negative people are missing the boat!
Posted by: ronald | February 15, 2009 at 03:42 PM
Armando, a few corrections to your comment. We were as concerned about how our replacement windows were built, as in how they looked. We preferred a real fiberglass frame to vinyl, which is what Penguin Windows offers. And letting less visible light into our house with a three pane design didn't appeal to us, given how cloudy Oregon is much of the time.
Also, we weren't thrilled with the personality of the Penguin Windows salesman. He was obnoxious. It was politeness, mostly, that kept us listening to him. Plus, we wanted to learn more about his product, figuring it would help us decide on what windows to get.
I don't think that your argument, "all salesman act this way," is defensible. Actually, most salesman don't act that way. The last Toyota cars we've bought there was no game playing and no hard sales push. Ditto with other home improvement projects we've done the past few years.
For some reason -- probably because Penguin Windows are vastly overpriced for their quality -- Penguin sales staff aren't willing to let their product sell itself. They have to push, and prod, and cajole, and play sales games in order to get someone to sign an order.
LIke I said in the original post, buyer beware with Penguin Windows. They may be fine for some people who don't mind paying a lot of money for windows. But these days especially, most people are looking for value for what they spend.
Posted by: Brian | February 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM
I just recently bought my Milgard Windows from www.1stwindows.com and everything went really well. I highly recommend checking out their website!
Posted by: dougthewndowguy | February 16, 2009 at 07:17 PM
I just got through with a penguin pitch.(literally 10 minutes ago) I have 3 others this month with other companies. I found the sales people polite, not high-pressure at all (at least only as much as the other companies) and after comparing products, thiers is superior. I cannot afford to replace all my windows with penguin windows, so I will use penguin for my most important spaces and use a chintzy window for my less important rooms.
Posted by: Sara | February 19, 2009 at 10:43 PM
Penguin phone rep told us it would take 1-1.5 hours for the presentation, just as many here claim. The actual presentation time was just under 4 hours (just as many here claim) and would have gone longer if our kids had not repeatedly come in to ask us for dinner. Our sales reps were Vernon (large tatoo right inner forearm) with the company for 6 mos. and Kathleen (former realtor from Mercer Island WA) with the company for 1 month. Both were pushy and went by the Penguin sales books/flip charts page by painful page, especially Vernon. They offered the same 11 percent one-time discount to sign up that night, just as others have claimed here.
The price ranges they gave for competing products from Millgard were exagerated by anywhere from 18-45% after receiving competing quotes on those products.
They claimed that other companies windows were vinyl and that Penguin's were not vinyl but rather the much superior PVC with a fiberglass insert. Truth is that PVC is vinyl. You can find that information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_chloride Scroll down to the part that speaks about building materials applications under the "Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC)" heading and you'll see that PVC is used in vinyl siding and window frames and sashes that are commonly known as "vinyl" in the marketplace.
The Penguin quote for our house went from $76,000 down to $63,000 after a phone call to the "supervisor" when we didn't initally accept the offer. Where else but a bad used car lot or jewelry store will you get that kind of mark-up and discounting? Subsquent competing quotes from West Coast and were in the $30-38,000 dollar range. Staggering difference. I will admit that their triple-pane krypton-filled windows certainly appear to be high-quality and equal to or better than the competing windows we've seen, but over twice as "good" as the rest of the products? Highly doubtful.
Penguin had copies of many of the warranties of competing window companies. They claimed, among other things, that the warranties weren't tranferrable to subsequent owners. When we talked with the Millgard rep we asked that question specifically and he said it wasn't true. Indeed, after further research we found that the Penguin claim wasn't true. Here is the link to Millgards warranty that says it is transferrable to future homeowners: http://www.milgard.com/_doc/warranty/consumer-warranty-us-2009.pdf
If you can clearly see blatant misrepresentation and deception from a company before you buy their product, why would you trust them during and after you buy from them? If Penguin really has a better product (and they just might), why the high-pressure and deception approach to sales? Shouldn't the windows sell themselves, even at a reasonably higher price, if they are truly head and shoulders above the rest? Penguin's own tactics indicate that they are afraid that you might comparison shop. That's why they want to close the deal TODAY and will move heaven and earth to do so. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.
My suggestion would be to try to get these windows (made by Great Lakes, not Penguin) from another certified installer, instead of Penguin, that is honest and straight forward and doesn't have such inflated prices. I'm not sure if this is possible as Penguin may have an exclusive. That's my next fact-finding project...
Good luck to you in your search for windows. Penguin has made it a bit easier for us to narrow it down.
Posted by: Michael | February 22, 2009 at 10:03 AM
Okay, okay: Us, too. We just survived the 4 hour presentation, the whole scha-bang. We not only had the "call to the supervisor" (which was totally a joke--they agreed to take another $1000 off the price, if we signed up today), but they also "made a mistake and quoted us on the wrong size window," which also miraculously saved us $1000. Our house is small--10 windows, so it was $19K for everything, but $15K if we signed up today. The salesmen were polite and presented well. But, that's what they are: SALESMEN. The misleading part of this whole situation is that when you agree to do a free, NO OBLIGATION energy analysis, you're agreeing to let 2 salesmen into your home, from this deceitful company, once known as Statewide Windows.
GOOD NEWS: In doing a little research, and after getting burned by this experience, I want to put the word out that you can contact your utility company (Electric, etc), and ask for the Energy Trust Program(s)in your state. These are very VERY helpful folks, NOT salespeople. In Oregon, the website is: http://www.energytrust.org, and the phone number is 866-368-7878. Each state is responsible for their energy program(s)---in Oregon, they have consolidated the programs into what's called the Energy Trust or Oregon. Anyhow, it's a non-profit organization with trained professions who will educate you about the benefits of double vs. triple pane (turn-around costs, etc), and do a free home energy analysis (which includes educating you about the overall importance of insulation, not just paying out your nose for windows). WITHOUT selling you anything, WITHOUT barricading you in your own home for hours, etc. You may have to schedule out several weeks, but it's WORTH IT!!!! :)
Posted by: Sarah Shay | February 23, 2009 at 04:29 PM
One more thing: The Energy Trust of Oregon states that it's realistic to realize that it takes on average 40 years to recoup ANY energy costs you spend on windows. FORTY YEARS!!! Imagine the technology that could be available to us in 40 years. Penguin promises to cut you a check after a year (just 1 year), for any difference above-and-beyond the 40% savings off your heating/cooling bill. They don’t promise to do this for 40 years. You will save money by ensuring the windows you choose meet the guidelines for Energy Star, and by insulating the rest of your house--all of which offer you tax incentives and more overall house value (and comfort!).
Posted by: Sarah Shay | February 23, 2009 at 05:17 PM
We went through the 4 hour presentation with 2 great guys who were pushy & knowledgable. We signed. The installers left in the middle of installation (Good Grief!) & told us that 2 windows were not tempered, although we had paid for tempered, and 3 others had cracked frames! We are waiting for replacements, and wonder if the original installers had not told us about the screw-ups, would the Company have done anything. We doubt it. The installed windows are beautiful, however, and our energy bill is much lower.
Posted by: Mary | February 25, 2009 at 08:47 PM
Two salesmen from Penguin came and spent 4 hours. They were funny, and we signed. The installers came, and half-way through installation, they LEFT! On the way home, they told me that 3 windows were cracked on the outside, and 2 picture windows were supposed to be tempered, but weren't. The windows are all being replaced, but I wonder if the installers had not told us about the screw-ups, if the Company would have replaced them.
Posted by: Mary | February 25, 2009 at 10:09 PM
This comment is addressed to "Angela in Seattle"
Indeed your penguin rep went by the name of Russ, to be honest with you he is one of the most informed and ethical representatives at the company. As I have taken ownership of my actions i make with this company i also would like to quickly reply to some of the negative comments i have been reading on this post.
Personally i avoid using a "used car salesman" tactics. I Arrive at my appointments for one reason and one reason only, problem resolution. I would not be out there if there wasn't ANY interest in windows. My job is to give you all of the proper information you need to make a well informed decision on what kind of window would best fit the house.
Our clients are VERY pleased with the product and i do not think i have actually ever heard about a complain against the product itself, but rather a sleazy salesman that is no longer with our company. So long story short, if you are looking for a low pressure presentation off company time send me an Email and i would happily get back to you and present you with all of the information you would need to determine which kind of window you would want installed in your house.( even if its not penguin, because its not the window for everybody.)
However in all fairness every piece of information i give to my clients is like a piece of the puzzle, and at the end when you put the puzzle together, more often than not it will clearly spell out "Invest in Penguin Windows"
Thanks for your time
[email protected] Please Ask for a presentation(response time in less than 12 hours)
Posted by: Shea | March 02, 2009 at 09:41 PM
Outstanding My post above has some typos.Oops! I decided to read and reply to this Specific thread simply because of a clients house i just left. Sadly she needs the windows more than most people. $300 a month on her gas bills. no names included for obvious reasons but she was unable to invest in the windows ONLY because her finances would not allow her to. But she told me she had read some bad experiences online about sales reps, but appologised to ME for taking up my night only to miss out on a house with "younger people to sell windows to"
MY reply was "if you could go back in time and redo this entire evening 10 years ago would you?" her reponse was "of course, you're a very nice and well educated young man" i quickly replied "then my time was not wasted here, i hope you have a great rest of the night"
Posted by: Shea | March 02, 2009 at 09:50 PM
Shea, I don't blame you for putting Penguin Windows advertising on my blog. All I can say to prospective customers of yours is what I've been saying all along: buyer beware.
Your windows are way over-priced. We looked at the competition and were very happy we went with Milgard. Any company that has to pressure people into buying its product is selling something that people, on their own, aren't willing to buy.
I was in a Salem Ace hardware store yesterday and was approached by a Penguin Windows guy with a clipboard who wanted me to sign up to win $10,000 or whatever if I agreed to suffer through a Penguin sales pitch.
I told the guy, "No thanks. We looked at your windows and went with someone else." I've never seen any other window company engage in such pushy sales tactics. Again, quality products sell themselves. The fact that Penguin Windows mostly only sell after a high-pressure sales pitch should tell a prospective buyer a lot.
Namely, shop around before you fall for a Penguin Windows scam.
Posted by: Brian | March 02, 2009 at 10:21 PM
Just had a call from Penguin (filled out one of their contest forms...oops). Anyway, they asked if I was the homeowner (yes) and then if there was anyone else that owned the house with me. I told them my wife did. they said we both had to be present for the sales rep to come out. I told them truthfully that my wife has no interest in deciding these things. That if I decided to buy the windows, that's what we would do, but I wasn't going to waste even 20 minutes of her time listening to a pitch that she had no interest in.
they insisted that she needed to be present and I finally said, "well, if you want me to say she going to be here, fine, but she's not going to be here" they scheduled the appointment and said that their supervisor would be calling back to confirm.
about 10 minutes later the supervisor called back and i told him that my wife would not be present. he made the comment that the sales rep "knows better than to schedule the appointment". I asked him if they could just do it without my wife and he said no and canceled the appointment and hung up.
I thought this was rather odd until I found this blog. after reading all of the comments, I realize that they were trying to make sure I couldn't use the "I'll have to check with my wife" excuse and try to get me to sign immediately. Knowing that I just dodged a 4 hour sales pitch makes me feel a lot better about it.
For what its worth, my feeling is that if a product is really good, you shouldn't have to resort to high-pressure sales tactics. Give the customer the information and let them go comparison shop. If you really are the best, you should get the business more often than not.
Posted by: rob c | March 03, 2009 at 10:08 PM
honesly i think that penguin windows are best window if you want QUALITY! if you want something you'll have to replace 10 to 20 years later then buy someone elses windows and most of the people that are bashing penguin are the competitors of penguin and want to persuade buyers to shop elsewhere. ok this is how it is. you can go to home depot and get a cheap vinyl window that will last 5 years for cheap....and it will barely help with your energy costs OR you be a little smarter and get a higher quality window that will last 50+ years. YOU DECIDE.
Posted by: Ton | March 06, 2009 at 08:53 PM
Ton, not true. I'm just a homeowner who learned that Penguin Windows offers a way overpriced product that actually is of less quality in some ways than cheaper competitors, like Milgard. Milgard offers woodclad fiberglass frames, while Penguin offers vinyl in a couple of basic colors.
Most people commenting here aren't competitors. They're just homeowners. On the other hand, I suspect that most positive comments come from Penguin Windows sales staff. Regardless, the basic rule remains: shop around and don't let yourself be pressured by the sleazy Penguin Windows sales tactics.
Posted by: Brian | March 06, 2009 at 09:04 PM
WOW, glad my sales person blew me off.
Call #1: Call center calls to make appointment. Call #2 Call center calls business day before to confirm. Day of appointment NO SHOW. 1 hr after appointment call center calls to reschedule.
Appointment can ONLY be with BOTH husband and wife. We both wasted 1/2 a day and 1/2 day of income / productivity.
Posted by: KC | March 09, 2009 at 09:22 AM
Brian, thank you for posting this on your blog. I had my Penguin visit after signing up at Ace too. We were looking for quotes on windows. We had been burned before, so we told them 90 min, no more. It took 3+ hours for the hard sell, which as others stated, was very effective. I didn't sign at the end, as I get all the facts on purchases over $100, and this was way more. Same deal, $1000 for advertising, just tonight, 11% discount too. I feel great about saying no, and never again. I wonder what a decent way to buy windows is though?
Posted by: Cindy | March 16, 2009 at 02:51 PM
statewide = penguin = what's next?! - the only reason why salesman do pressure sales is because their ass is on the line if they dont meet their quota - at least when you work for penguin(statewide).
their window is no better than other "vinyl" window manufacturers. (triple pane = retrofit nightmare)
they give "high" bids then come down in price, so that you will become their sales prey, once they have you in a corner, they will do anything so that you will sign on dotted line - b4 they leave ur house!!!
also, who do you think will pay for all the "marketing" tactics that this company uses - you the *homeowner*
remember, you are "free" to shop around, dont let this company convince you otherwise.
hint: contact your local power company, they should be able to give you a list of "approved" contractors in your area that do quality work.
Posted by: Used_Car_Salesman | March 20, 2009 at 11:21 AM
My Mom and I listened to a nice Penguin guy and gal sales team last week. The gal barely spoke while the guy was clearly the sales person. As with most everyone else the 90 minute measure and sales pitch turned into a nearly 3 hour ordeal. The windows look like some of the best out there. I had Anderson and Pella in earlier in the month so I knew what was out there. I was amazed by the price quote but figured it was a nice way (and probably effective) way of easing you into purchasing the product. After 2 hours I was getting annoyed and antsy. At the 2 1/2 mark I was really annoyed at having to say "no" and "not today" repeatedly. Are they great windows? Yes. Are they worth the inflated prices? No. I have not yet pulled the trigger on any windows but they would have to lower the price a lot for me to go with them. If anyone in their company is reading this blog...and hopefully they are then they should lessen the expensive "used car" salesmen leashes they have on their salespeople because it annoyed potential customers like me. Thanks for taking the time to start this blog and best of luck to everyone and anyone looking to buy windows. Get lots of bids and argue them down to whatever price you find is worth the price. I for one am still shopping around and who knows maybe Penguin will lower their bid enough for me to get past my annoyance at the sales tactics.
Posted by: Dave, Portland, Oregon | March 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM
Just came across this expose of how Penguin Windows cheats people, written by a former manager at Statewide Windows (which became Penguin Windows when they had to change their name in an effort to escape their lousy reputation). Read, then run from the Penguin Windows salespeople.
Posted by: Brian | April 08, 2009 at 09:49 AM
We moved into our home Oct 1, 2005 - the window demo was pre-scheduled by 6 wks....unfortunately I ended up in the hospital with life threatening problem when we planned to move in, so the move was delayed..I completely forgot the window demo was scheduled....the moving van is in the driveway and we are in the middle of unloading, etc., and the window TEAM show up and I ask that they come back....they insisted they couldn't reschedule and proceeded to unpack their equip (laser, heat lamp, competing window samples). I put up with them while my husband was out doing errands...they ALWAYS want both parties present but proceeded without him here. I repeatedly told them he was running errands, told them I just got out of hospital, AND obviously the movers were here! This did not stop them. Three hrs later we got them out of here. All I wanted was an estimate for a garden window - NOTHING ELSE...I was assured by the scheduler that was all they would do.
Move ahead to April, 2009.....yes, I am a blonde - but not a dumb one! Two guys going door to door, in absolutely pouring down rain came and I agreed to a "window effiency evaluation" - I told them I was NOT in the market for windows for at least 2-3 years because our kitchen remodel was our project this year and starting in four (4) days. Andrew promised that since I told him up front I was NOT in the market for windows at this time, the demo would take about 1/2 to 1 hour. In 15 minutes the main office calls to verify the date scheduled and I re-iterate that I had a bad experience before with window salesmen and did NOT want any high-pressure nonsense, and that we were NOT in the market for windows for a few years. You know the rest...Needless to say, almost exactly four hours later, we had been put through the proverbial wringer. Every feasible purchase/finance plan was presented to us. With each one, an additional discount came.....original quoted cost was $40,651. Final quote was a whopping $32,240...... (about $13,000 higher than 2005 quote). Then they tried to get us in a "buy into the plan and pay as you go starting with master bdroom sliding door and two windows for $8952.... The really sad part of this is that after he left I started remembering some of the demo I put up with in 2005 and guess what . . yepppppers, they were both PENGUIN presentations.... They will never set foot on this property again.
Posted by: Linda | April 16, 2009 at 05:34 PM
I have penguin windows in my home. Yes>>>the presentation was longer than it needed to be, but I WAS in the market for new windows.(They are not the only window or sales company that uses this tactic however!!) Now that I have the windows, I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER WITH THEM!! They are tight, sound proof and beautiful. They have been installed for 2 years, and I had one small detail that they returned and fixed IMMEDIATELY. Originally, the installation was on time with an excellent and polite crew. Clean Up was excellent. So, whatever you want to think, they have a good product. Just be sure you are ready to buy if you have them come in, or you are in for a long long day!
Posted by: Jan Otto | April 17, 2009 at 02:20 PM
As I review these comments, I wonder who BRIAN is, and why he has posted over 10 times trying to convince everyone about Milgard???
Go to a HOMESHOW, look at ALL THE VARIOUS COMPANIES AND THEIR windows in a "safe place", do NOT enter ANYONE's contest, research on the internet about window technology>>>>then make a choice!
Posted by: Jan Otto of Olympia, WA | April 17, 2009 at 02:28 PM
Jan, Brian is me, the homeowner who wrote the original post and has been happy with the Milgard wood-clad windows that we ended up getting instead of the over-priced Penguin windows.
I've added several comments where I mention Milgard because some people keep on saying that they are inferior to Penguin windows. I like to use Milgard as an example of how a superior and better-looking window can be had for considerably less money than Penguin charges.
Posted by: Brian | April 17, 2009 at 03:18 PM
Brian , your milgard windows are a joke. You obviously couldnt tell a silk purse from a sowes ear. Nice how Milguard just shut down its factory. Check it out. Also, Why dont you tell the lady who just spent $20,000 for her beutiful Custom Granite counter tops that she loves should could have spent much less and put Plywood sheets down and painted them Rock color.
Posted by: ronald | April 18, 2009 at 03:56 AM
ronald, you've got your facts wrong. We're happy with our Milgard windows. We're careful shoppers -- got 10 years of Consumer Reports issues stacked on a shelf. We looked into quite a few brands of windows before choosing the wood-clad Milgard product, which both looks much better than Penguin windows and cost much less.
Milgard is expanding production of its windows after the stimulus package stimulated demand. See:
I couldn't find any info via Google on recent Milgard factory closures. So it looks like you're wrong about this also.
Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2009 at 08:59 AM
Now, now fellas. All window manfacturers will have good and bad windows and customers with good and bad experiences. I think what both of you are trying to say is that the buyer should do their own homework and get bids from all the companies out there and then make their window decision in a calm and rational manner. In my case I am still on the sidelines and given the nicer weather recently figure that it will be closer to the Fall before I might pull the trigger...or next year as well. My crappy current windows might leak energy (sadly) and are well past their prime but they are paid for and the economy stinks.
Posted by: Dave, Portland, Oregon | April 20, 2009 at 08:44 AM