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January 15, 2008

Comments

First of all I can't believe that I read this entire thread. I'm sure I have something better to be working on.

Next I didn't understand why Brian posted so many times, until I realized that THIS IS HIS BLOG.

Here is my story... I signed up for a drawing (like most here) for Penguin windows. I received a call and a single sales person showed up on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. (about a week ago) He went through our house measured windows and commented on that even though our current windows were "low end / cheap" they were in good shape. Only one had a failed seal, which was obvious because of the moisture between the panes. He informed us about his windows, which I thought he did an excellent job in doing, and he was gone in 60 minutes. Now not to offend other readers who think I’m dishonest because this appointment was only 60 minutes, it is the truth. He also made a recommendation that we just call a glass company to replace the glass in the bad window we had.

A couple of days later the company called for a follow up appointment, saying a manager would like to sit down with my wife and I offer a discounted price, and this would be the last I hear from them. Two different people came out and they showed us some demos we didn’t see before, and we were impressed.

Now I only believe about 50% of what I read in this blog, it is usually somebody trying to defend why they did or didn’t buy brand x or brand y. Earlier in this thread Don made a comment that hit home with me, he basically said don’t let these salesman walk all over you. (I might be reading between the lines, but that’s what it sounded like).

When this current couple reworked my proposal, and gave me discounts and discounts, I asked if this offer was going to expire tonight… if they had answered “yes” I would have walked them out the door at that moment. That is not how I do business, no way… no how, am I going to make a multi thousand $$ decision with a few minutes of thought. If you want to pressure somebody in to buying something you are at the wrong house. These sales people have a good product and nobody in this thread has said that the aforementioned window is a bad product, service sucks, they don’t stand behind what they sell. No. What I have read is prices are extremely high, and the sales people are too pushy. I can’t explain their pricing, but selling… I do know if they leave your house without an order, their odds drop to less than 10% that you will become a future customer of theirs. I believe that is why some sales people are pushy. My advice to the homeowner… push back. Pick up their samples, cases or clipboards and help them start carrying stuff to their car.

Whew… now that being said, my wife and I told the couple we were not going to make a commitment (after 90minutes, exactly). I’m still considering Penguin windows, but I have more homework I’m going to do. I’ll say this if I had the cash sitting in a drawer in the other room they would have made a sale, but today I don’t see myself taking on debt to save $100 / month in energy savings.

I have heard terrible things about Penquin windows from people I work with. One person's quote was 70,000.00 who can afford that these days! What a rip off company.
Debbie

We are buying Penguin Windows for our house. The sales reps were pleasant and even left the house for awhile to give us time to think without them being present.
I looked them up on the Better Business Bureau site and found that they had 17 complaints filed in a 3 year period. Most of these were noted to have been settled to the complainer's satisfaction. Their BBB rating is A-.
Doesn't sound bad to me.

Dennis, another person who checked into this found that Penguin Windows had forty Better Business Bureau complaints in a three year period, not the 17 you found. See his unhappy tale here:
http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2008/01/06/money-out-the-window-2/

It sounds like you had an unusually pleasant experience with the generally obnoxious Penguin sales team. Lucky you. I'd be interested in knowing how much you ended up paying for the windows, and if you got any other estimates.

Most people, like the guy who tells his story in the link above, find that Penguin windows are much more expensive than other brands, and not superior in quality. But it's a personal choice. Hope they work out for you.

http://www.bbb.org/oregon/business-reviews/windows/penguin-windows-in-vancouver-wa-74001956#complaint

Says 17. This is the BBB site.

Dennis Brown

Dennis, there are various BBB sites. The guy who wrote the "money out the window" post linked to this Penguin Window BBB site:
http://alaskaoregonwesternwashington.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=114&bbb=1296&firm=500577

It shows 23 complaints in the last 36 months, and a rating of "B" -- not the A- you reported. So Penguin Windows gets quite a few complaints. The number depends on the 36 month period being reported, apparently.

I'd be concerned about a company that got so many complaints. But if you're not, it's your money. Like I said in this post, buyer beware. That's good advice for whatever you're buying.

penguin windows might offer a great product but there install methods are terrible i worked for them for six years and eventually got let go because of my arguments on their install methods they pretty much have the idea as long as it looks good is all that really matters the only way i would buy their windows was if i could install them myself i put their windows in my friends house it was right around 15 windows i paid 3400 for all of them

Some of you posting in defense of Penguin are management from Penguin. 21000 clients in 5 years is a pathetic number to brag about, absolutely pathetic! There are other high end window manufactures out there. Milgaurd, Marvin, Andersen, Pella, Schuco, just to name a few. There is one thing which stands out of these companies compared to Penguin. Their names are not posted on blogs with the negative frequency you see here. Nothing like what you see here! It is this simple. The writing is clearly on this wall, good product or not the windows sell themselves, but the prices I have read here on the Penguins are extremely overpriced even installed. Buy the windows you prefer and have them installed by a very small or just one licensed contractor and save a fortune.

Thought i would check back to this post to see what has brewed up. I am no longer with the company and have some exit interview information/dirt for anybody that wants it...

However i could not help but say... Lisa... The window is NOT soundproof... It IS however sound rates and will help with sound a LITTLE bit... I really hope you are commenting on the fact that you loved the reps "joke" because if you think he/she was serious you are a F*CKING idiot (sorry there goes my professional credit, but whatever sometimes i just have to speak up)


ANYWAY for those who are SERIOUS about windows I NO LONGER work for penguin BUT would still love to give you some advice BEFORE your appointment, it can help save you time and possibly $.

[email protected]

After reading all these posts, I can't find any that are from an unhappy Penguin window OWNER. The only unhappy people are the ones who DIDN'T buy Penguin windows.

Funny that.

Duane, maybe that's because most people who are smart enough to use the Internet and post a comment on my blog are smart enough not to buy Penguin Windows.

Greetings Penguin-bashers and -lovers

I can see that I am late in contributing to this thread, but I wanted to add my experience here nevertheless.

Just tonight my wife and I 'entertained' two Penguin reps, who were in our home as a result of their canvaser talking with my wife, promising her a $25 gas card for our trouble, as well as no more than 60 to 90 minutes of Penguin pitch. The two guys were clearly comprised of one well-informed, even authoritative youngster (age 32), and one trainee, whose task it was to give us the technical talk. He did the 'science experiments' as he called them, which were the aforementioned heat lamp trick and an additional demo with boiling water and vinyl frames, which he bent like soft rubber in his hands after being in the hot water for 5 to 8 seconds. Then his 'composite' Penguin frame, which was hard as steel after soaking in the water for more than 10 minutes. Cool huh?

We informed the guys, after they were finished measuring every window in the house, of which there are twelve, that I had been laid off from my job just one week ago -- a job with a church for whom I had been employed at for ten years as a graphic designer and staff pastor. They were appropriately sympathetic, but this did not deter them from moving right into their tag team sales blitzkrieg.

First question I asked these guys was why the name "Penguin"?
I figured their training had provided them with a nifty explanation, and I was not disappointed. They did explain the change from 'Statewide' to Penguin, but, oddly, nothing about law suits or fresh starts or anything of that kind. They did, however, explain that the flightless bird, the penguin, represents the most insulated and weather-protected bird in existence (or, at least, one of the most...), and served as a symbol of 'Penguin Windows' strength and durability. Not bad huh? "A load of horsey poo," I thought, but pretty inventive nonetheless.

We were told, of course, that all our windows were in gross disrepair, bowed and drafty and among the worst this rep had ever seen in his [ ] years of experience. At 32, I wasn't sure how much experience he could have -- heck, I'm 50 and still wondering when I will have all this experience I am supposed to have. Anyway, he made us feel pretty bad about our third-world-quality "holes in the wall", as he referred to them a number of times the remainder of the evening, which, in the end, lasted three and a half hours, only 120 minutes longer than advertised. My wife and I were planning a nice long bike ride together, and told them so when they arrived. They promised to be quick so we could get to riding, but by the time they left our poorly windowed house, we would have needed halogen high beams to see our way through the streets.

So, on the basis of this horrendous diagnosis of our window situation, we eagerly sat them down in our kitchen, served them iced tea, and listened with rapt attention to their proposed solution to our rapidly deteriorating window tragedy.

They methodically, first one and then the other, walked us through each facet of Penguin's master plan for restoring to our home the financial and domestic tranquility that could be ours, if only we were visionary enough, bold enough, strong enough, sucker enough, to heed their erudite advice and replace every window in our home with Penguin triple-paned, Krypton gas-filled, composite material constructed windows, all of which would cost us a mere $26,000.

Remember now, they knew I was just laid off a week ago and was still in a bit of a state of shock as to this stunning turn of events in our family. Ten years in a job at a church, only to be cast out onto the garbage heap of society -- with a decent severance package to be sure. But a church mind you! The nerve!

Immediately upon hearing this ridiculous number, I asked what sorts of discounts could be offered, and the trainee glibly and with a certain air of self-satisfaction immediately responded, "We can chop 3% off that total right now." And he did so as if he were offering us a free set of Ginzu Knives to go with our new windows. He thought the discount was that generous! Well, I promptly let him know, in my best sarcastic face and voice, that I had to catch my breath. 3%!!?? How could they afford such an extravagant discount? How could Penguin make money when they were so willing and so hastily giving away their windows like this?

Younger Rep Man quickly saw thorough my sarcasm and added some nutty story about a recent sales rep meeting where their sales manager asked the group how many customers they talked to in a day. "10" the answer came back. "And how many of these actually purchase..." Oh sorry, "...invest in Penguin Windows?" "Three," again the answer. "And, finally, how many f those three ask you to come back another day for their answer?" "One." YRM (Younger Rep Man) then went on to explain that instead of losing that one fresh sales call another day, when they would have to waste it on visiting the hedger, his sales manager thought it a better use of their time and money to offer a client a day an additional discount to entice him into a purchase, I mean, investment. That additional amount discounted is 11%.

11%?? Well now I was impressed. That $26,000 was quickly getting whittled down to a much more reasonable .... um ... er ... well, somewhere around $23,500. Now we're talkin'! Actually, we were still very skeptical of an amount hat would have us paying somewhere around $300 per month for the next decade. I let them know that by the end of that payment plan, I would easily be residing in a nursing home, drooling on my lap blanket. I AM 50 now you know.

Now, much more tag team, much more verbiage, much more slippery talk about panes and Krypton Gas (which my wife was very intrigued about, specifically HOW they get that gas into those windows!) and BTUs and second marriages and Yorkie Terriers and all sorts of stuff that swirled about us like Dorothy's tornado.

Well, at a certain point, I was feeling my will weakening, and as I looked across the table at my wife, I think I saw her eyes rolling around in her head. Then I flashed a look at YRM and OTM (Older Trainee Man) and I could have sworn their eyes were red and they had these fangs. I might have hallucinated though, I can't be sure. So, I took the bull by the testes and asked the two guys if my wife and I could have a couple of minutes to talk -- without them in the room. This was obviously a new development for them as they both snorted iced tea out their noses. But they quickly recovered and very politely agreed that this was a terrific idea and it gave them a chance to haul some of their propaganda ... er ... materials, out to the car.

As I watched the front door close behind them, I looked at my wife and said, "What the hell are we doing here? Before tonight, did you have one thought about needing new windows in this house?" "No," she said. So we both agreed that we would hold our ground at all costs and say "NO!" to these nice young agents from Hell. You see, in our house, ever since we married, my wife and I have had notoriously low sales resistance. We have owned to Kirby Vacuum Cleaners. We have bought 6 or 7 new cars, at least a couple of them we didn't even like. And we just recently, finally, unloaded a time share in hawaii that had an annual dues of $2000. So, as you can see, we are the perfect suckers ... I mean, candidates, for this sort of sales pitch. And somehow, I think these guys can actually smell low sales resistance the same way a dog or bees can smell fear. Weird, I know.

I went and retrieved our new buddies and we all sat down in the kitchen (again), at which time I informed them that we had to decide to forego any new windows at this time. We had won. We resisted one of the toughest, most intense and well-planned sales pitches I had ever experienced. We withstood Satan and were going to live to tell about it.

Or, so we thought.

Saying that 'no', what we thought was a final, deliberate, intentional 'no' was seemingly the sort of motivation they needed to kick their presentation into turbo. We were there another hour, inventing new ways to say 'no' to these two minions of Beelzebub. The discount kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. What was once a generous and expansive discount of 3% had now ballooned to over 25%. We had them down to $20,000, with the first payment deferred for one year. Wow! That old feeling of capitulation was creeping back in. I looked at my wife, she looked at me, and strength -- a new, supernatural muscle-bound energy -- swept over both of us. I stood up and went across the room and stood with my wife, who had since gone to steam herself a latté, as she needed a caffein boost about now. And as we stood together, I said to our visitors from another dimension, "Gentlemen (I wanted to remain friendly, after all) -- Gentlemen, as much as it pains us to pass up such a generous and fantastic deal on such a quality product -- a product of which we are in real need -- we have to. Our lives are simply to unpredictable right now, and if we can't predict our financial status for a month from now, then deferring to six months or a year will not make our lives any more predictable. We must decline new windows today."

Huh? Huh? Pretty good, huh?

Three and a half hours after that first flashing of the tape measure, our Guests, the Antichrist and his Prophet, relayed their regrets, gave us their cards, and slithered out our door and into the night, the dark night to which they belong.

When they were gone, my wife and I looked at each other once again, this time with a sense of triumph, of a well-fought victory over a most-worthy opponent. We had resisted. We had prevailed.

Then we went to our computer and Googled Penguin Windows and found this thread and a number of others, relating stories much like ours.

Thank you, fellow warriors. Don't weary in well-doing. Do not falter in the ongoing battle for our financial discipline and responsibility. For those who may have given in and are paying Penguin's exorbitant prices, don't beat yourself up for too long. But learn damn it, learn!! I recommend that you go to the mall, walk in to a furniture store, go to a car dealer and let them know you need a new car -- real bad. Then practice that sales resistance.

Our experience with the Penguin Demons is only one of a thousand such experiences people have every day in places all over the globe. So take heart everyone. If we continue to practice wise purchasing...I mean, investing, and if we continue to support one another on blogs such as this one (Thanks Brian, keep it up!), and as long as we continue to warn each other of these Snakes in the Grass that would creep up on us and bite us on the tooshies, we will prevail and lead one another into the Promised Land of responsible spending.

Thanks all for hearing our story. And thank you Penguin Windows, for inadvertently helping us grow in strength against people and organizations just like you.

Scott

Scott, you're a winner! (Sorry, not of a $25 gift card that will require you to sit through a four hour presentation by the anti-Christ.)

I declare you to be the winner of the Most Entertaining and Well Written Penguin Windows Sales Horror Story among the comments on my blog post.

My wife and I heartily enjoyed your tale. When you talked about your low sales pitch resistance, I was reminded of the time I was trying to sell a car and was talking to a guy who responded to an ad in the paper.

We negotiated for a while in the carport. Then I said, "Wait! We've got things backwards. I'm supposed to be trying to get more money out of you, and you're supposed to be trying to get the car for less money. We've got our roles reversed."

You see, I'd linked up with another Overly Nice Guy. I'd been talking about how the Blue Book value was such and such, and he could have it for less, while he'd been telling me that the car was in such good condition, it really was worth more than I was asking.

Penguin Windows preys on nice people who don't like to say "No, get out of my house!" even to obnoxious salespersons. I'm glad you and your wife found the strength to resist. Hope you find another job soon. (I think you have a career awaiting in writing, of some sort. You have an engaging honest style.)

[Note from Brian, the blogger: this comment sounds a lot like a Penguin Windows sales pitch. But, hey, buyer beware and reader of comments beware. I note this guy didn't share the comparative cost of Penguin Windows and high quality windows from competitors.]

[Update to above: I just got two more comments from the same IP address -- more glowing praise for Penguin Windows and making excuses for their name change, and dumping of their previous corporate identity. I delete corporate spam, so have deleted the rest of the comment below and the other comments entirely.

Memo to Penguin Windows employees and sales staff: don't play games with comments on this blog post. This is a place for consumers to share their experience with Penguin Windows, not a place for you to present your sales pitches.]

I use to have Milgard vinyls for a while and after a few years, I felt drafts and my house was getting colder and colder every month with my furnace on max! it turns out that window expansion and contraction broke the seals around the edges. Anyways...

if anyone thinks the penguin window is a rip off I was sold on these features alone, consider this friends...

What other window company uses triple pane with 98% krypton, quad layered soft Low-E coating giving an R-value of 10 in glass to a beefy frame using 5-6 times more titanium oxide in the 100% newly composited vinyl frame weighing 2-3 times more than any other competitors frame and insulated with special r-23 insulation and fiberglass reinforcement I-beams?

Also an installation crew with all AAMA certification, every crew paid by the hour to maintain consistent quality, double checked by foremen. In installation they take out your rotted wood from your crappy windows and replace those parts of your wall that have rotted away with fresh wood free of charge, then use the most expensive caulking and silicone to seal your windows.

How else does a company guarantee lifetime transferable warranty against accidental and intentional damage/breakage from glass packs, leakage, frame, everything, without running themselves out of business? Quality that's in their best interest? What do you think? Do you think that they'd do everything in their power to have the strongest float glass in the industry, and the most impeccable frame in the industry as to avoid excessive warranty claims? This company has flourished for 26 years and growth has multiplied. Folks, when do you ever see any company scam their way through 26 years?

How else does a company guarantee 40% minimum energy savings and pay the difference without literally throwing money away?

If you realize that Penguin is not a business set up to fail, you'll see why all these posters are unfortunately misinformed, or working as industry saboteurs.

Companies like Milgard and champion are the ones scamming innocent homeowners. An easy example we look at window composition process. Chalk is used to color Vinyl. Its cheap, but brittle. Companies like Milgard dump vinyl into their mixes and create a very cheap product, and you'll notice the random cracks and breakages you see after 8-10 years. How long did you expect this product to hold up a 250lb glass pack anyways? These reps take a heat lamp and tell folks during presentation that their Low-E double panes are just as good as Penguin's quad soft coat Low-E triple pane by using a lamp and a BTU meter. Results come out the same and they say the Penguin is overpriced and a huge ripoff. What those reps scam you about is that Low E shows reflectivity of light, not the transference of heat, which is why your energy bills are high. The penguin window uses roughly 3 times the weight in vinyl, and this is 100% virgin vinyl (virgin vinyl is made of little interweaving fibers), not 40-60$ ground up recycled vinyl, and this vinyl is a sunlight proof acryllic hardened vinyl, giving it long lasting structural integrity.

What's a bigger ripoff, investing twice as much for a product that lasts 50+ years 100% fully warrantied and giving you full equity waiting for the day you move places, or replacing your 8-10 year window 5 times and having a warranty says lifetime, but covers nothing, not even wear and tear from normal use.

You folks are the jury. If anyone disagree's let's hear it.

Adam, nice sales pitch. It sounds like an ad to me, and I don't like spam on my blog. But I'll leave it up, even though there's a lot to question in what you said.

One thing you said is correct: the buyer is the jury. Also the judge. There's only one thing that needs to be said and resaid: buyer beware with Penguin Windows. Or any windows. Don't trust a sales pitch. Research competitors. Compare prices. Make up your own mind and don't be a victim of high pressure sales tactics.

If a product is of high quality at a good price, why would pushy sales tactics be needed? Ask yourself that. Then decide on your own what kind of windows to buy.

Brian it actually discredits you to discredit factual information by dismissing any of it as "some sales pitch," following the assumption that the content is true product information is relevant to the topic at hand.

I completely agree that our homeowner's are the jury. Please explain how a builder's grade product designed to last 3-5 years is differentiated from a homeowner's grade 8-10 year product which is differentiated from the Penguin product built to last 50+ years, which is differentiated from superior grade vinyl built to last 30+ years, and old growth wood grade built to last 50+ years. In all logic, marketing strategy cannot possibly be a basis of evaluating a high or low quality product. What you did do well Brian is broadcast an assumption built on an emotional premise.

What gives any company the damn right to build windows designed to fail after 3-5 years (consumer reports) and minus the luxury of affording timely replacement, cause anything from mild to widespread damage through dry rot to other internal structural components and causing comfort, security issues? While at the same time, writing a warranty that excludes everything that could possibly happen (for example, damage from the sun), so if any part of that 3-5 or 8-10 year window breaks or fails and cold air is drafting in or the locks broke, its somehow the retired homeowner's fault, or the single lady with three children's fault. Is that ethical?

Why should those folks bear the burden to pay for a 3-5 or 8-10 year product priced to perceive good value, and marketed with a "lifetime warranty" that warrants absolutely nothing. Who's tricking who? So who's side are you on Brian? You claim to support the consumer, but you are really only supporting Milgard windows (makers of 3-5 and 8-10 year windows).

Adam, this is the last Penguin Windows spam/advertising comment I'll leave up. This is a personal blog, not a Penguin Windows ad. I wrote about my personal experience with Penguin Windows, and other homeowners are free to share their own experiences.

My only interest in Milgard is describing how this company's wood clad windows have been working for us. In short, great. They were a lot cheaper than Penguin Windows and met our needs a lot better. Other consumers might come to a different conclusion.

What continues to go through my mind is why, if Penguin Windows are so superior to other brands, they need to be marketed using such pushy sales tactics?

My experience with quality products (such as Toyota cars and Apple computers) is that they almost sell themselves. When I've gone to buy them, salespeople simply say, "Do you have any questions?"

Penguin Windows is free to use any (legal) sales approaches it wants. And prospective window purchasers are free to do comparison shopping, which includes comparing the sales approaches of various window manufacturers.

I absolutely agree with you. Every purchaser has the right to choose whichever products fits their immediate needs or long term needs, either a Penguin window, or a Milgard window, or a _____ window, it doesn't bother me one bit. But do you or do you not realize that your statements here may actually leading consumers towards a less broad selection of choices, by telling folks who may be 100% compatible with a Penguin product to look disregard it and look at at another product they may be 80% or 50% compatible with. Would you agree that in these specific cases, that your statements here may actually be hurting consumers?

I don't appreciate you callously calling things as a sales pitch simply because it doesn't agree with you. On the other hand, I would gladly appreciate your feedback.

With 100% respect Brian, please keep in mind that Apple computers and Toyota cars are multibillion dollar companies with marketing budgets larger than you can even imagine, allowing very ambitious marketing strategies, such as apple and toyota appearing in almost every TV channel, and apple having a store in almost every mall, while toyota having 2-3 dealerships per city. I strongly believe that if you could find a way for a 60m dollar company to operate in that scope and succeed, you'd be one of the wealthiest people alive. It's either that, or its sacrificing quality to joining the price war in the sharktank of window companies. My 2 cents.

Thanks for great website, and all the comments by users. It really saved me from going thru this "THE PENGUIN ORDEAL".

I narrowly escaped this harrowing experience after reading all the comments.

Like most users on this site, a nice girl knocked on the door, saying they are in the neighborhood and they will do a free inspection for windows, and for letting them do that they will provide a $25 gas coupon. More than the gas coupon I was just curious how my windows are doing. Though my house is 1980 build, it was remodeled by previous owner less than 5 years ago with new double pane vinyl windows(It says westcoast vinyl). Anyways, I said ok, you can come over, check and give me the report.

She mentioned her supervisor may call to confirm appointment. Just with in 5 minutes after she left, this guy Robert( Lastname with held) called and started confirming things. He asked myself and my wife should be there, I was puzzled, but said we both can not be home at the same time as we have altered work timings so that we can take care of our little one. I told him, I am the who makes these kind of decision if I need anything. He kept on going, all the homeowner on the paper should present and started questioning me if the authority to write sign the contracts, checks etc. It really pissed me off, they came and asked they could provide a free report about the windows, why they hell I will verify these things for them. I asked him to put his supervisor on the phone. One lady (name withheld)came who claimed to be his supervisor, stating that their company needs all owners to be there etc. I gave the time when we both will be there and she assured it will only take 1 hour.

I was suspicious of all this requirements of all owners being there etc. Then I looked at this site read all the comments, and oh boy, I am glad I saw this. I called them to cancel, as expected he asked me what the reason is. I explained him my experience with first call, as well how good reputation they have all over the Internet.

Anyways, before reading comments, I did not even know that windows could cost that much. As per many federal energy audit documents, avg energy loss thru windows is 30% at max. Even if you save 30% of your energy bill( these guys claim 45%), you would never be able to recover the cost of the windows, even if you happened to live there your whole life. I see some positive comments, these are either by these sleezy Penguin sales persons, or very uninformed buyers, or someone with so much money and do not know what to do with it.

I am thinking, may be many people did not file any lawsuits against this company because they themselves feel guilty for accepting it begin with.

It does not matter how good the windows are, no one needs to go thru this experience, and no one needs to pay arm and leg or your first born for windows. They will never recover their cost unless these windows become a museum piece later!!.

I wish there is a easy way to completely shutdown companies who do practices like this.

I'll be honest by starting this comment stating that my father owns a window company, so I probably am a little biased. However, to make myself a little more credible, I'm not going to mention my company's name. I just honestly think people need to know the truth about Penguin.

I have spent many, many years in this industry, literally grown up in it, and know that Penguin Windows is not a company to do business with.

First of all, everybody needs to know that Penguin is actually the new Statewide. They changed their company name a few years ago because of how terrible their reputation had become.

Second, I know and have met sales reps that have worked for the company who have stated that they are REQUIRED to give a 4 hour sales pitch, and call in to the main office at least twice (could be three times, I'm a little fuzzy on specifics) to check on "deals" they want to offer the homeowner.

Third, their windows are insanely overpriced. Anyone who states otherwise either works for Penguin or has received a bid ONLY from Penguin. Their technique is to beat down the homeowner until they finally give up and sign before receiving reasonable bids from other competitors.

As someone who's job is researching our competitors and examining our pricing and quality, I can assure you that you WILL find the same quality of product for at least half the price with any number of other window companies.

Just always, always make sure to check out the company before signing a contract. Check the BBB, ripoffreport.com, Angieslist.org (if you don't mind the fee) etc before committing to doing business with any window company.

Penguin is not the only shady company out there, just one of the largest.

My husband is working for Penguin Windows right now and he hasn't made much money in the last 8 weeks that he has had the job and I can't convince him to get a differnt job.

Ladies and gentlemen let me put to rest some of the items I have just spent an hour reading. I have been in construction for seventeen years. I hold a MA Unrestricted
Contractors License as well as my Home Improvement Contractor License. Several months ago I was presented an opportunity to start a new career in sales. I was told of this company called Penguin Windows. Little could be found about them as they are operating as a DBA Penguin Windows. Well I was intervied by their top man from their new Danvers MA office. I was able to skip the typical three manager interviews based on my experience. After a couple hours I decided that a change would be good as these long new england winters can beat you up pretty good. After spending (2) weeks in a rather intensive training program, I was off and running. Yes! running right out the door. I heard terms like let the elderly get a reverse mortgage, sales associates lying about why they do not have penguin windows in their rental home ( they have owned the home for over (10) years ) bold face lies to a customer on what was wrong with their windows. I was truly concerned and decided to read the true warranty with a magnifying glass. WOW! Look deep people here is a list of items they DO NOT COVER and claim they do when no one else does. These are facts as I read them from their warranty that I have in front of me presently! (1) They do cover glass breakage, however they will ship a new glass unit to your local dealer. It is uo to you to figure out how to take the window apart and replace the glass. (2) They DO NOT cover the glass is it was missused??????? ( according to who) (3) They do cover the screens, however they send a peice to your local dealer and again you need to figure out how to replace it. You are also responsible to go to your local dearler to pick these items up. They WILL NOT be brought to you! (4) They DO NOT warranty the window if it was installed impropery. Even after that whole time talking about their installers. Well in MA they should all be licensed and they are NOT. But its o.k. someone in the office is licensed. THESE AND SEVERAL OTHER ITEMS ARE WHAT PENGUIN WINDOW PRIDES ITSELF ON, guesss what their PRIDE IS ALL LIES. Read the warranty for yourself. Do not take my word but unless you feel your own eyes are lying STAY AWAY FROM THE PENGUIN!!!!!!!!!!

wow... just because you didn't have the balls or the heart to say "NO" .... you blame the pushy sales person?.......hmmmmmm............ you sure have a lot to say....

Mercedes, it's mostly other dissatisfied people who have had a lot to say in the comments on this post. I just started the "buyer beware" discussion going.

We did say "no." And are sure glad we did. Fairly priced quality products don't have to be sold using high-pressure deceptive sales tactics.

Try walking into an Apple store. My experience is that a salesperson says, "Can I answer any questions?" He or she knows that Apple makes quality products that basically sell themselves.

With Penguin Windows, it's different. Very, very different.

I'm creating a window quote page for users because of all the complaints I've seen like this one.
Would you all have found this useful?
Gorell Windows price quote form.
Any feed back is appreciated!

Just had a rep come tonight, so looking into it right now. I can say, I am definitely not a windows person so my information you can take it or leave it. If you are in the market for windows here was my personal experience:

The presentation was from 620pm to roughly about 830pm and he even said he didn't get a chance to give the 'full' presentation. He was not pushy but one comment that just left me with a bad taste is the "I will not make any money on this deal" then right after that added another 5% off the other discounts. I do not know if what he showed me was a 'trick' or not, I can say that the heat lamp demo if a trick I have no idea how it is done. It did show me that a window filled with standard installation that comes in walls (fiberglass) cuts the heat transfer to 0 and their window (sample) does close to the same. That I was impressed with. He was very polite and nice (again except that one comment is all) I would say a completely standard sales experience. If anyone has ever had sales people try and sell you know you have to expect some forms of gimmicks and techniques. The other thing I did see through is the 'savings' and value. I was told it would add about 10k value to my home. I am not stupid and there is absolutely no way he could guarentee that nor prove that.

Ultimately, I am in the middle ground with them. I need to research and find out if they are worth the money spent truly. I can say I found 212 businesses in the Portland metro area on BBB that had 0 complaints, does that mean their 49 in the last 3 years makes them unworthy, not necessarily, but it does mean you should think seriously before purchasing. I recommend to anyone:

If bought the day off presentation and having 2nd thoughts, cancel for the time being. You have 3 days to cancel. Research it and then make an informed decision. If you didn't buy, then skip step 1 and do step 2 :)

Read the oregonian, news 8, other places that have done specials on window installation and get some ideas from them. Read reviews (be diligent and realize that many can be fake/false) I tend to avoid the 5 stars and 1 stars and read the more middle ground reviews that give you honest opinions. (imho personally) What I think of penguin windows so far:

Sounds like great installation, great window quality, rather high price. So just remember lower prices may or may not mean lower quality just research it first please!

A Russ De Vos, former pastor from Central Oregon was released by his church elders not long ago due to several indiscretions with women in the congregation, and conduct not acceptable for a minister. Maybe a coincidence, but if this is the same Russ De Vos, it would be consistent with much of the negative comments expressed in this blog, against Penguin Windows and their hiring practices. BUYER AND WOMEN BEWARE!!!!!!!

I was very entertained by the reading of the responses from this blog. I find it interesting that the negatives coments concerning Penguin windows are from home owners that could not afford a top quality window.

John, I think you're mistaken. In fact, I know you're mistaken in regard to my wife and me. We ended up getting a top quality window, wood clad Milgard windows, which look hugely better than the vinyl-clad Penguin windows and were much less expensive.

After doing a lot of research, we concluded that Penguin Windows was overpriced and the quality wasn't that great compared to other brands.

Well everyone has their opinion and I personally know more people that are happy with the Penguin windows then other brands.

I feel that the Gorell 5100 with Eco Master Glass is the best over all deal.

[From Brian, the blogger: I got some emails from Tim, a guy who had an interesting Penguin Windows sales call experience. I asked Tim if I could share what he said as a blog comment, and he said "sure." Here it is:]

I am writing to say thank you for your post about Penguin Windows. I got interested in them simply because they had a rep at ACE hardware and he offered a free $25 gift card in return for letting them come out to talk about windows. To be honest, I could use that gift card so I agreed. I knew there was something going on (no such thing as a free lunch) but didn't know what it was.

So I looked them up in Ask.com, and your blog came up in second position and told me what I needed to know, which made me ready.

I feel kind of bad because (and I told them this up front and every time I spoke to them on the phone) that I have ZERO dollars to spend, and my house (built in 1955 as an early pre-fab) has very unusual thin walls, so unless they have a special window, I don't see how they are going to be able to do anything. Of course, they still wanted to come out and talk to me.

Just as you reported, they came out as a team and they had a great show. The sample window does look very impressive. I had shopped around years ago and saw worse products with much less friendly sales folk at about the same prices (I imagine that friendliness changes once you sign on).

Anyway, in spite of all my warnings (and I told them up front I wanted the gift card - no bones about that) they were surprised that they could not provide replacement windows for me. They'd never seen a house built like mine, this was news to them.

So there wasn't much they could do except on two house addition windows, but they had to run the numbers and as you advised, it was through the roof. Ironically, they were trying to make it so I could meet their minimum costs to have them do the work, so they were UPPING the prices and let me know that. Now THAT is desperation.

But armed with your warnings, I stuck to my assertiveness and said "No money to spend, can't make the down payment even. But in time, should things  improve, I now know that you make a quality product and would more than likely call you."

Like you warned they had every number juggling scheme, but in the end, they realized there was nothing they could do. So they packed up and left somewhat in a hurry.

That gift card? Well, we'll have to see about that. I thought they would have it with them.

No. They gave me a form to mail in and they will send the card to me within 30 days. I'll send it in, I was up front with them all the way through and they did offer, so I think it's fair to ask for what they offered.

I do have to say that I kind of enjoyed talking to the guys. They put on a good show, I'm a bit smarter than the average consumer in these things because  A) I had your warning and B) I've been down the "replacement window" road before.

I was amused how they responded to my crazy thin wall house (the wall thickness is half normal, so replacement windows are impossible to install) - but I told them about that before they came out, and still they had to see for themselves. Okay, I don't mind having visitors.

Anyway, I really appreciate your blog about the Penguin Window deal, it gave me real strength and confidence.

I don't have that $25 gift card from Penguin yet. They are supposedly going to mail it to me. We'll have to see if they do. I read another story where a guy was offered a $25 gas card, and never got it.

I did a bit of comparison shopping with interesting results. The Penguin guys worked out that for three windows without installation, the price would be $3,800. That's $1,266 per window.

Lowes Hardware has Pella Windows of the same size for $149 each. The Penguin guys said that such windows would have to be replaced every 5 years. So, it would take 40 years (8 replacements) using the Lowes windows to come up to the price of just one of the Penguin windows! (And that is assuming I am still here in 40 years, which would require some major anti-aging medical breakthroughs.)

Of course, that does not include installation costs (about $2,000 for Penguin's people to do it).

Another funny thing is that when they did the laser test to prove that my windows needed replacement they kind of got a surprise. They pointed it at the wall and it read 64 degrees. Then they pointed it at the window they wanted to replace. It read 62 degrees. They didn't lose a beat on that and said I was definitely losing heat through the windows I had. 2 degrees???!!  So I should spend $1,266 to gain 2 degrees - assuming Penguin windows lose NO heat? How does that work out exactly in terms of heat savings?

Actually I was surprised and amused at all this and the cool way they did not allow the facts to get in the way (they could get jobs as politicians), but I just smiled and nodded and said "That is so amazing!" (I really wanted that $25 gift card!)

I have to add this, and you must have guessed it was coming...

So where the heck is Batman when you need him?

(In case you have been living under a rock, one of Batman's arch enemies was called "The Penguin". No insult to your intelligence or cultural understanding intended, but I actually know some people who have no idea who or what Batman is.)

I am a homeowner in Seattle and i dealt with this company before. i signed a paper saying it was ok for them to give me a call 1 time to set up an appointment, and they called me every other day for the rest of time until I canged my number. They are very annoying, Unproffesional, Rude, Disrespectful, and liars. They are being investigated by the ATG (Attorney General)for their sleazy sales tactics. Instead i decided to give one of Penguins competitors a chance (Evans Glass) and was very pleased. They didnt try to bargain the price with me or anything like that. Instead they told me what the price was and that was the bottom line. I have a split level home and the bottom part is brick, but Evans Glass did an awsome job on my home. I strongly recommend Evans Glass. Their product is comparable to Penguins but about half the price.

This is an update to a posting for me by Brian (see Mar 04, 2010 from Tim)

Just to let you know, Penguin did indeed send me the $25 gift card for Ace Hardware, as they said they would. They did it within the 30 days, just as they said they would.

I worked for Penguin Windows for a little over five months. I was repeatedly sexually harassed by Polly Primeaux and it came to the point that I had to turn in my gear and be done with the company. I reported the incident to the HR department and they blew me off. This company does not stand behind there hard working employees.

Yes, Penguin Windows are way overpriced. To the point of being ridiculous. The only good part about it, is as a salesman you make a ton of money at the customers expense.

Hello,
You are all adults. What do you think a salesman does. He sells. High pressure it may seem but then he wouldnt be doing his job (or eating) would he. If you believe in a product then your going to be exuberant about it. You are an adult just say no. Dont blame it on him if you are to wishy washy and undecided. If cost is the only issue and thats why your mad then you maybe should have told him at the door we are getting estimates from several companies. That would leave you with an out not to sign a contract. We have many competitors to choose from its the American way. Wow, grow up! you blame this on this company when its you not doing the research ahead of time and then having buyers remorse. Shame on you! Ever heard of the internet. Oh, and by the way I have nothing to do with this company just searching on the net and saw you people and your smear campaign. Shame on you!

Riki, there's no smear campaign, just people talking about their experiences with Penguin Windows.

In your comment above you urge people to research on the Internet. News flash: this blog post is on the Internet! Reading about pushy Penguin Windows salespeople and the high price of their product is part of the research that should be be done before deciding whether to buy.

Thanks for the input regarding Penguin Windows.

Soon, we’ll be handling all online feedback with personalized responses; for now, we’re using this message to get the word out about upcoming changes to our customer service.

Penguin Windows is in the process of totally revamping the way we interact with our customers, especially online. We’ve always been dedicated to providing the ultimate replacement window experience, and have thousands of thrilled Penguin Windows customers to prove it. This new program simply insures that as we grow, we can continue to offer excellent service to match our excellent windows.

Keep a look out for our new, more personal online presence - we’re looking forward to working with you to make Penguin Windows even better.

If you have any questions, check out our website at www.penguinwindows.com, call me at (425) 322-0550 or email [email protected]

Thanks again,

Vaughn M
Director of Operations
Penguin Windows

Of all people to make a comment like that... Vaughn frigging McCourt. This guy is the left hand side of the 2-headed dragon over there at Statewide... er "Penguin" or whatever they're going to change their name to 10 years from now.
I've been in the home improvement business for a long, long time and thankfully have had the good fortune of working with companies like Statewide, State Roofing etc. I say thankfully because I worked for them at a young enough age where I discovered how "not" to do things as a professional sales rep. Oh the stories I could tell. My stomach churns even now when I think about Friday morning sales meetings and the discussions regarding the sales made over the last week or so and the total lack of respect they have for the customers. Referring to those who spend tens of thousands of their hard earned dollars as "mooches" and "lay-downs". For those of you who were sold on their bull, you should seriously re-examine what your perception of the truth is and what you believe defines honesty and integrity and for those of you who said no... bravo for having a cooler head and prevailing over these con-men and women. That is exactly what they are... con-men. They are given a presentation to master and a demonstration to perfect and they hatch plans on a daily basis on how to get you to say yes using fear, guilt and to some of you that actually buy... greed. Yes... greed. Your fear of loss of what you perceive as a good deal completely gets in the way of value. Wish I had your money but then again who in their right mind finances frigging windows for 12 years. 12 years!!! Are you serious... 12 years!! The world has a beautiful way of paying Penguin/Statewide back for all their wrong-doings. You only need to look at the Bernie Madoffs and Conrad Blacks of the world to know that they will get it in the end... if not here now... then somehwere else later. That's my 2 cents... I'm out. Good Luck to them... Their gonna need it. Oh yeah... one more thing - Vaughn - it's been 10 years and you still owe me $1200 for that deal.

Haha Vaughn is such a pile of shit. Him and his puppet Donny. Donny wears lipstick an tucks it for Vaughn.

Regarding Penguin - you can take one more comment? I had the Penguin folks here last week,I got sucked into the sales pitch, and just fell in love with everything, I went through with all the paperwork, and then today, reality set in - I was about to finance $20k for SIX windows - yes, I was getting a garden window, 2 bows and 4 other windows but my common sense kicked in $20k for six windows but $3k per window - what are they lined with gold??? I should be horsewhipped, tarred and feathered, shame on me for getting sucked into the vortex. So here is the rub, I am cancelling after the 3 days is up - and the branch manager called me to try and "calm" me down - he very nicely said that I'm responsible for a 3rd of the negotiated rate, which I balked at, he then proceeded to make me a counter offer to do less windows but it still came out to $18,000!! I am at my wits end with these people until I re-read my contracts, and no where is it stated that I have to pay the contracted price if I cancel after the 3 day "waiting" period is up. In his way, he threatened me...I filed a complaint with the BBB and contacted the Consumer Office - I live in MA - BUYERS BEWARE!!!!!!!! $3000 per window - that does not make sense no matter what kind of window it is - I can't believe that I was going to do this, and for $20k I can have my house resided and my roof done over (My house is small, 700 sq feet) -
thank you for your website

Kim, thank you in return for sharing your story. It's amazing that the Penguin Windows guy wanted you to pay 1/3 of the contract, even though you cancelled the contract. Whatever happened to "the customer is always right"?

I just ordered a backup battery for my iPhone. The connecting cord worked with my old iPhone, but not my iPhone 4. I emailed the company about this, saying it wasn't a huge deal because i found I could use the cord that came with the iPhone.

But they immediately wrote back and said they'd send another one. This sort of customer service earns repeat business. It seems that Penguin Windows is just out to make high pressure sales, not provide high quality windows at a reasonable price. They really need to rethink their business model, in my opinion.

Hi Brian - all well that ends well - I posted a complaint to the BBB in MA, as well as the state attorney general's office, and Penguin called me the day after I posted here and offered to cancel everything as well as return my deposit if I withdrew my complaints. I said put in writing - which they did. I am still waiting for the refund - hopefully it will be processed soon. I am still shell shocked by the episode but grateful that I woke up in time and did not go through with the project. The sales technique they use really works, it is amazing. I never thought of myself as someone that gulliable - anyway, I was so glad to find your website - thank you for taking the time to inform folks.

you guys must all be retarded .....if someone was in my house for longer that 2 hours and I didn't want them there I wouldn't let them convince me to stay. I would make them get out as the law states ...it's trespassing if I've told you to leave ...and if you don't I'll forcefully evict you ...but of course as I stated I am a man that stands 6 ft 4 250 pounds ....I guess I just have a larger nut sack

My story about Penguin Windows started when I was shopping at BJ's Club, Danvers, MA. A BJ's sales associate approached me of signing a form for windows inspection for free with a promise of receiving $25 BJ's gift card with no obligations whatsoever. I got a call few days after from Penguin Windows and I agreed for an appointment (accdg. to him it will last only just 45 minutes to an hour)to inspect our windows. During the inspection and measuring here and there with matching lots of negative comments about our windows, sales talks, demos, bla bla bla, da da da which lasted for 6 long hours but NEVER mentioned about the BJ's gift card, NEVER. Yes I like their windows, expensive but good quality as a matter of fact I ordered 2 small ones just to try their product and I'm satisfied with their installation service, very polite and very professional guys.
I myself is a salesman but I'm straight forward.
When I said 1 hour I mean it and whenever I promise something I will do it at all cost because I'm protecting not just the integrity of the company but my integrity as a Christian to be an effective witness for Christ.

I just learned that Penguin Windows reached a settlement with the Washington state Attorney General's office over the false claim that its windows save 40% in energy costs. So this shows how true my blog post is: buyers really do need to beware with Penguin Windows. See:
http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2010/03/01/daily14.html

The settlement agreement describes activities that Penguin Windows no longer can engage in, including the offenses that so many people have complained about in comments on this post -- such as not being able to get rid of sales people when they're asked to leave, sales people making false claims, and not getting promised gifts. Check out page 5 of the agreement:
http://atg.wa.gov/uploadedFiles/Home/News/Press_Releases/2010/PenguinWindowsconsent%20decree.pdf

Oh,too funny! Repudiate this if you will, but 2 years after this thread started, I had the same sleazy sales pitch. High pressure full court press the entire time and condescending attitude when my husband and I stated up front that we were just doing market research and wanted a quick quote, then at the end of an hour and a half wouldn't buy his windows... That and the fact that he was rude to his female assistant made the whole experience very uncomfortable.

To be fair, the product seems very impressive. The jerk trying to sell it, was not.

We purchased this penguin windows for a crazy 24k this year. I did not want it due to our old windows were just perfect.. My husband rally like to have them because of the promise 40% energy reduction. Winter time came, I checked the back sliding door and the cool air is coming in. Apparently it was not installed properly. Summer time came, It was still too hot in the house since we don't have an air-conditioner, I tried to open up the windows to have some breeze before I pass out, I can't even open it for the best of my ability. Only my husband can open the window. It takes a strong person to open it. The color is pretty but it was not stabble enough that I can feel it will pop out if I try to open it more. The screen outside the sliding door (which the sales person were boosting about) was cheppo like. It came off from the frame and torned. We couldn't even use it or the flies will get in the house..I am pretty much UPSET with this purchase! It cause me and my husband to argue! NOT HAPPY WITH PENGUIN WINDOWS AT ALL! They also installed this windows quickly and it seemed like, this is not even well attached to the side walls.

They used their high pressure sales on my wife.
They would not let her cancel the free inspection & would not give her a contact number.

I looked them up and had to be very curt with them in order to cancel.

No way I would ever do business with them.
They run their business like criminals.

Not only are they pushy, but you lose any benefits of replacing the windows when it is done improperly. While two state attorney general's are investigating them, I cannot believe they are still allowed to prey on the elderly. Here is a related blog article about how to properly shop for replacement windows: http://www.betterlivingshow.org/blog.choosing-energy-efficient-replacement-windows.htm

I worked for penquin in their vancouver, WA branch as an installer for five years. It was definitly an experience I will never forget. I wish I could say that they were all happy times, but unfortunately, it was a time when I witnessed some of the worst corporate corruption ever heard of. I mean, we all know how the tactics of places like Wal-Mart and Monsanto are less than kind. But this was firsthand experience. I didn't work around sales much and tried my best to avoid them at the jobsite or office. So I can't tell you a lot about their sales tactics. Usually, they were the worst experience to the homeowner, but many of them were liked. I'm here to tell you about the things that would happen during install. From my experience there, I can tell you that about 85 percent of the time, there was at least one damaged window that we were expected to install. Always without the homeowners knowlegde. We were told many times by management that "if you can hide it, install it". This damage would include cracks in the frame, scratches or defects in the glass, ordered the wrong size or not triple pane, or other defects in the product. We were also required to cover up rotten sills or sheathing or anything else that would have costly to deal with. Drug use is also especially rampant at this particular branch. Mainly marijuana. And I'll be honest, I know because I smoked at work myself many times. Almost all crews (not all) smoke pot on the way to the job, on the way home, and sometimes at your house in the truck. I'll admit, it's not a very responsible thing to do while your working, (especially with power tools and other peoples property) but we all do stupid crap. Just remember this: if your windows are being installed by the vancouver branch, your installer is most likely stoned. Probably the most shocking thing about this is that this behavior is well known by management. In fact, one of the inspectors there was a huge pothead. This just isn't the behavior you would expect from a professional company. And wait, there's still more. I will give you one specific example of how slimy they could be. Me and two other installers were installing six windows for an elderly couple. It was a one day job that should have two. So after rushing through the install it came time for the paperwork. Now, at this point the lead installer goes over maintenance and operation, condensation, NFRC (national fenestration rating council)and payment method. This particular method of payment was cash. The only problem here was that the total owed that we had was 1500 dollars more expensive than their copy showed. It took about an hour to figure out what happened. Their copy of the contract had an addendum that was written by the sales rep that stated that penguin would pay for the sales tax, which coincodentaly was 1500 dollars. Our copy had no such addendum. After a few phone calls we placed to the office, we finally had the full story. The sales MANAGER returned to the house after the first sales rep had left and got the homeowner to sign a new contract. This new contract was convenientely without the sales tax addendum. The husband informed us that the manager (Mr. Roberts) told him that his (the husband) signature was not showing up well on our copy. So he got him to sign a new contract. Now, I'm not sure about this one, but it is possible he signed a blank contract. We were never able to make that clear with him. I don't think he even really understood what was really the problem, (like I said, they were elderly) but his wife sure did. She was in tears and very upset. We were told by management that they had to pay the sales tax. And they did. This is just one story of many of how greedy these people can be. I am not a disgruntled worker. I left there on good terms. But I thought I should say my part. Unfortunatley, I didn't have time to put any info on their take on safety. Let me just say this. IT SUCKS.

I am amazed at just how many fake comments made by Penguin employees are on this board. You morons are so obvious.

I worked there for about a week & after I saw what those sleazy sales managers BEAT INTO the 20 or so innocent, unsuspecting new hires each month. Out of 10 people in my traning class, 4 made it through(2 weeks). Most of them were good people, just victimized and used by promises of fake riches.

Penguin, West Coast, & all these other shady companies that do business this way will soon be weeded out by our attorney general.

I work for a real window company now, Window World, look us up. That should be good for business.

Penguin safety tips:
1. You don't need any fall gear. (Besides, we won't give you time to set it up)
2. Why don't the two of you go ahead and install that 400 pound bay window by yourselves. We don't think it's cost effective to send help.
3.You don't need a new saw. That one you have with the frayed cord works just fine.
4. We're gonna have to require you to comply with lead based paint removal laws. But we're not gonna train everyone on it, give you time to set up the gear, or even provide you with all the gear you need.

5.Don't worry about the carcinogens you work with. You can count on us not being there for you when you get cancer.
6. What do you need a new ladder for? That one you got with the loose rungs looks fine to me.
6. Please refer to the manual for all other safety negligence tips.

Wow is all I'm going to say because as I have read the good and bad reviews. I've noticed that some of the bad commentaries talk about products that penguin doesn't carry or complain about their windows being dark. So for the record they don’t do double pane windows or French doors with issues being the sales force and price.
I had the penguin windows come out and our sales pitch wasn't four hours more like 1.5 hours. I also had the windows measured not once but twice with the installer making the second measurements along with notes about it needed.
When we bought the house the owner didn't maintain it properly and we have done quite a bit of the deferred maintenance that comes with owning a neglected older home. This deferred maintenance includes vinyl windows previously installed that were not installed correctly to the point that two of them leak a tremendous amount of water when it rains along with an old aluminum slider installed backwards.
So I went with a product that is only triple pane, no french doors, no double paned windows that are custom fit to the openings of my house where I don't have to have standard stock that doesn't fit put in. Was it expensive, yes it was. Will I be living here for more than two or three years? Yes, I will. Are they contractors or company employees? They are company employees, so while I'm sure that Anderson, Pella and Milgard are all nice quality windows (I won't tell you which ones weren't installed incorrectly). So in essence, you get what you paid for, poor quality and installation.
Now I do not work for them, I do not have family working for them nor do I care if I did.

Me too! Had a canvasser come around the hood in November and signed me up for a window inspection and bid. The canvasser said the inspection and bidding process would only take 30 minutes!

Next day two fellows show up with bags of stuff. One guy was knowledgeable about windows, the other guy must either live in a rented apartment or a weekly-rate motel because he knew very little about home remodeling or windows (except his spiel). They looked at all of my windows and of course every window was bad according to them. Much the same as other posts above regarding the sales pitches thrown around. After 2.5 hours they left empty-handed. A few days later I went to the big box store and bought some cheap Arium windows and installed them myself. I saved ~$27,000 by not going with Penguin. I know the windows I did buy wont last as long as higher quality windows, but in this economy I'm just trying to maintain. Thanks for the blog, Brian.

I think this story is very classic. I too once used to be a Penguin Windows Employee. Not only do they lie to their customers, but they lie to their employees. I was lied to from the very start. Told all I would be doing was asking people if they wanted to sign up for our contest in "our stores" which they neglected to mention were not actually Penguin Windows stores, but random hardware/sports/grocery stores. I asked them several times if these people were interested in our windows when they came in, because I was not interested in being pushy or bothering people while they were shopping. At no point did they tell me that that was exactly what I would be doing. Secondly I was told the amount of people I got to sign up would not reflect on my hours, or full time status. Another lie. Within 3 weeks of not meeting my quota (which was ridiculous high and unrealistic) I was cut in hours. Every week we would have group meetings, where we would discuss our progress. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE ever met the quota, and in tern, turn over rate was VERY high. They also made no effort to train us in any way, yet were very harsh when we did not do what they wanted. All I can really say is they had the most sleazy underhanded disgusting business practices I had ever seen. Oddly enough the windows themselves are very good. So I always wondered why they felt the need to be such pushy annoying douche bags. Needless to say I RAN AWAY as soon as I could find another job.

Here's "the rest of the story": Penguin Windows has been recognized by Guild Quality - an independent firm that conducts customer satisfaction surveys for the real estate and building industries - for its "ability to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience." After compiling the results of over 4400 customer surveys, they have published on their website: http://www.guildquality.com/cr/Penguin-Windows/8BE42643833D6E/ as follows:

* Likely to recommend 94.5%
* Quality construction 96.6%
* Professional and Organized 97.2%
* Value 92.2%
* Work done right 94.7%
Check it out. You will learn that this company is truly interested in providing their customers a superior experience.

TIm, you've pointed to one source of information about Penguin Windows. Prospective window buyers also should Google "Penguin Windows complaints," check out Angie's List reviews, review Better Business Board complaints, and, naturally, peruse the comments on this blog post.

Here's a link to the Complaints Board site where some messages about Penguin Windows can be perused:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/penguin-windows-c182071.html

Most importantly, do the research. Get several bids from reputable window companies. Compare the costs and benefits of each product. And consider what the Penguin Windows sales tactics say about the company and it's product.

As I've noted before, I've found that when a company engages in high-pressure sales tactics, it's usually because their product won't sell itself -- so people have to be coerced into buying it.

If penguin windows are so freakin' great, why does the company throw thousands of dollars of them into the dumpster every day? In the five years I spent as an installer at the Vancouver branch, I have seen more waste at this company than any other. As to why they throw out perfectly good windows every day is a mystery to me. These are bone windows (windows that couldn't be installed because of misorder or factory screw up) are perfectly good and could at least be donated to Habitat for Humanity. One minute Penguin donates windows to Habitat for Humanity (rarely) and the next they throw more in the trash. And what they throw away far outweighs what they donate. I guess they figure that if they can't sell them, no one can have them. And where does that dumpster go? Straight to the landfill. Vinyl cannot be recycled and releases dioxin's into the earth despite efforts to contain landfill waste. Dioxin's from vinyl and other chemical compounds are responsible for many types of cancers. These chemicals are slowly killing the earth with a cancer epidemic where 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will have some type of cancer in their lifetime. We're filling ourselves with debris and Penguin Windows is helping.

My wife and I escaped from a trio of Penguin salesmen just last Saturday. All of the basic scams discussed previously were tried on us, including the "heat lamp scam". When I told them I'd have to think about it, their jaws dropped, and the REAL hard sell started. I would say no, not today, and they would try another tactic-over and over and over again. I finally got them to leave, then I found your blog(and many, many others) telling the truth about this company. I also found this news article about Penguin's recent financial difficulties that may cause people to rethink Penguin's lifetime guarantee: http://www.nwcn.com/news/washington/Penguin-Windows-closing-115033904.html

Penguin Windows has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2014359734_penguin01.html

Michael, thanks for sharing the bankruptcy news. As a commenter on the story said, "couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of crooks." My feelings exactly.

I just purchased my first home in May of 2010 and am looking at the end of my first year there. After going thru the summer and most of the winter I knew my windows needed replacing. Main windows in living room are just picture windows and don't open so no air circulation in the summer. One pane in back window is GONE! Other windows leaking moisture with mold and moss growing on them - they are horrible! Did a lot of research and invited the Penquiun people in. Was really impressed with the product, warranty and what they pointed out in the windows that I have (they found the missing pane and the moss and leakage). I, myself, could feel the heat loss thru the existing windows and want better. Yes, they are expensive BUT since I don't plan on selling (they'll take me out of it in a pine box)I don't want to look at replacing my windows again. None of the other manufacturer's had a warranty like Penguin or the safety features or any of the other things that the Penquin windows had. (I looked at Pella, Anderson and Milgard). Plus the fact that all the construction and trim work is included in the cost (I know they say "free" but I am not THAT naive!) And the down and payment plan works with my budget. I can't wait until they are installed. And Shawn and John were very friendly, courteous. If you are not interested in buying don't ask them in. This is their job to sell and if you want cheap you get what you pay for.

You did "research", and yet you didn't discover that they declared bankruptcy after closing all but one store? Good luck with that warranty, and I hope you actually get something installed....sometime....by someone.

Hey Kelly... Make sure you keep a good eye on the installation process because they have a tendancy to hide a lot of things from homeowners such as dry rot and previous leaking damage. Not always, but often they do. Trust me. I remember a couple of times when the management asked us to hide rot to save on the labor of fixing it. I really hope your installation goes well and you enjoy your windows, but remember that you have been warned!

Well well well. Guess who showed up at Our door today? You got it - Penguin! As soon as he told us he didn't even have a brochure but wanted to sign us up for the "inspection" I told him that was okay, that I would just check out the company online. You never saw someone get so p!$$ed off and pouty, so fast in your life. As the word "scam" neon-ed across his forehead and he said "Well obvously SHE isn't interested", I answererd "You got that right. Have a nice day."

A reputable company will have a brochure and will welcome internet research. There will be no "hard sell" or tantrum-tactics. If I hadn't been there, my elderly parents would have caved and allowed him to continue. I just feel such anger wondering how many nice, kind folks who, like my parents, don't want to "rock the boat" have fallen prey to this "company".

Penguin Windows is no longer in business. After laying off 400+ people, the corrupt former leaders of Penguin have formed a new company... DaBella Exteriors. I hear they are canvassing the Portland area heavily right now. Beware!!

Just found your blog, and I saw earlier that this company is out of business now? http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/jun/14/penguin-windows-to-shutter-operations/

That said, I had a very similar experience to many of the people here that I detailed back in 2008. http://www.staze.org/journeys-of-a-salesman/

Absolutely amazing that they made it this long. It's sad that they'll end up laying off people, but seriously, it's kind of amazing they made it so long with their apparently rampant sales tactics.

In hope' s to clear my name I am Polly Primeaux responding to a post placed on this site many years ago by a former employee that worked for penquin Windows. I was accused of sexual harassment by this employee after he decided to quit his job with the company I worked for 8 years. Many of those years I worked mainly with men as it was dominated by a males sales force. After years of successful selling I finally achieved a position as sales manager. It was a very stressful yet rewarding experience for myself and family. To my surprise after Brett R. decided to part ways with our company I was investigated about my professionalism with others I worked with. Everyone had been questioned about me and of course I was the last to know that anything was going on with regards to any investigation especially concerning me so I was very caught off guard by all of the questions but more so the false accusations. I only write this today becuase I am in the sales business still today and I don't want people thinking I'm some sort of pervert who would ever mistreat or disrespect another person in that manner. The investigation came back clean with only made up stories by a disgruntled employee trying to extort money out of the company. Don't believe everything you read as every story always has two sides and this is mine. Good luck to all who follow these post.

Who was penguin Windows bought out by for warranty reasons

We too purchased Penguin's triple pane windows for 2 sets of sliding doors in our home and we absolutely love them. They were not only beautiful but we had one set for 12 years with no problem at all. We subsequently about 5 years later purchased the doors for our second set of sliding doors. They fit perfect they looked beautiful and we were so pleased. Maybe the presentation was a bit longer than we like but I would not say we were pressured at all. We do not tolerate high pressure sales people. No means No...We too received the heat lamp test and I don't know if it was a trick or not, but one thing I DO KNOW, after installing our new doors we could feel the huge difference. Before with our double pane windows we felt the cold of winter coming, no actually blowing through the glass, but with the triple pain windows, we felt the glass and it was not cold at all and it stoped that wind chill from coming through. We would buy them again if we could for our 2nd. home. Yes they are pricy, but they are worth it if you are gong to keep your home for many years. We do not look at it so much as for saving in energy we love them because they are keeping us warm. They also keep the home cooler in the summer time so you save on the cooling bill.

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