We just had a salesman from Thermo-Tite (http://www.thermo-tite.com /)
visit our house and wanted to share our experience.
For starters the repetitive sales pitch began the minute he came in the
door. At least three times while taking the measurements, he mentioned
that he always asks the old people how much they think the windows will
cost. He implied that he scoffs at their guess of $250 to $300 per
window. He laughed at the elderly who wear winter coats in the house
to keep the fuel bill lower.
After taking measurements of all the windows, he walked us through a
binder of collaterals, most of which were lacking a source citation,
making it hard to discern if the information was even true. The info
was repetitive...he told us several times that the windows would not be
installed by "roofers"...
Following the excruciating binder exercise was a painful promo DVD that
we were instructed to watch while he got the window samples from the
car. The sample show and tell was equally excruciating, followed by
the heat-lamp test. His sample definitely fared better than the others
in terms of heat loss, but who knows what those things really are!
Next, he showed us the crappy "Home Depot" sample with its cheap vinyl,
visible screws and shaky construction. Then he brought out the money
shot...the "beautiful" Thermo-tite window. We couldn't help pointing
out the unattractive wood veneer...yuck! The sample was a triple-pane
with maritime tape for insulation. When we questioned the efficacy of
the tape, he scoffed at our "stupidity", claiming that it's the same
tape used on airplane windows. Ok.
His frustration at our questions was beginning to show. He asked if he
should just get to the quote...did we want double-pane or triple-pane?
And btw, this was about 90 minutes into the visit. Finally, the quote
was ready...for 13 double-pane windows, it came in at approximately
$10K...but wait, if we signed the contract in the next 30 days, it
dropped to $9200...but WAIT, if we signed the contract TODAY, it would
only cost $7300. OMG! This is still about $560 per window, and it's
the classic "get it now or it's gone" tactic. As soon as he handed the
quote to me and I saw this, I immediately shoved it back at him and
said, "If this is how you pressure people for business, I don't want
anything to do with your company." He accused us of having been
"giving him a hard time" throught the whole demonstration. I told him
that he should not be afraid of intelligent questions, and that in a
free market economy, I would hope that he would want to win our
business by providing the best value. I said it would be crazy to
think we wouldn't want to get other quotes.
To top it all off, he then said that "most homeowners are stupid" and
that he had to try to make the sale that day or the people would forget
to call him back. Seriously! This didn't sit well with us, and we
called him on it. He didn't like that much either. In the end, he
gave me the "wink, wink...even if you don't go with us, don't pay less
than $400 per window or you're throwing your money away." At least
three times before getting out the door, he suggested that we do our
research on line and not talk to other vendors' salespeople.
Honestly, the product may be great...may even be superior and worth the
extra money, but people don't like to be pressured or called stupid, so
the tactics spoiled the deal. They need to earn their business.
-Kim and Johannes