We purchased the "Ceiltech" ceiling cleaning business opportunity in 2000 following a seminar scheduled through a local Home Show. Our total investment for the purchase of the equipment, freight and start-up costs totalled over $12,000.
We bought the package following several conversations with the Ceiltech salesman, Tim Richardson, who repeatedly promised the following items: 1) Local training, 2) Guaranteed National Account Referrals,
3) Guaranteed Bid Appointments scheduled by their Florida telephone team who follow up leads provided by us -referred to as the Personal Introduction Program or "P.I.P.", 4) Unlimited Earnings averaging $250/hour,
5) Work that was easy to perform with no ladders or scrubbing, 6) Huge Demand with Unlimited Potential. We were told that marketing support was provided so that Ceiltech could "guarantee our success." The above items were also described in various language in the contract we signed with Ceiltech and/or in their advertising banners and hand-outs.
The main reason we ended up purchasing Ceiltech's system was because we were guaranteed leads from the company - both national referrals and demonstration appointments that were to be set up by their Florida-based telephone specialists. (The P.I.P.)
Richardson repeatedly mentioned the availability and importance of this lead program and urged us to use it when we received our equipment.
We earnestly followed Ceiltech's recommendations including regular post card mailings and weekly faxes of our 20 lead names for their Florida follow-up calls. Guess how shocked we were when, after our first Fax, we received by mail an envelope of
Ceiltech form letters & faded photocopies of dated testimonials!
This was the "guaranteed" lead program we had purchased; there were, in fact, no phone calls or national lead referrals being offered.
From this point on, all we received from Ceiltech in trying to rectify this "bait and switch" tactic were more lies, spin and avoidance. The President, Mario Signorelli, feigned innocence about Richardson's tactics, and turned the whole thing back on us by insisting that we "weren't trying hard enough," which wasn't true. We paid for a yellow pages ad, did local telemarketing, cold-called businesses, and did regular direct mailings.
For all our trouble we never got the business past the part-time stage. The chemicals and equipment that we purchased did a satisfactory job, but there was not the "huge demand" for the service that we had been promised and we never received one lead from Ceiltech.
We complained to the "National Business Opportunity Bureau" - where Ceiltech is registered - but found out that they are a BBB clone; they keep complaints secret and don't do anything other than collect fees from the very companies they are supposed to be rating.
It was obvious that NBOB did not even read my detailed complaint, but rather forwarded to us a copy of Ceiltech's blanket denial of all charges.
As to the 6 items above, this is how Ceiltech fared: 1)We requested the local training but were told we had to pay to go to Florida to get it;
2) In 13 months of pursuing this business we got ZERO national leads; 3) The P.I.P. program was a TOTAL DECEPTION; 4) We NEVER made $250/hour an any job;
5) We found the work required high levels of energy and endurance; ladders were needed on ALL jobs to do a complete service and scrubbing was OFTEN required; and 6) In spite of all our marketing efforts we did not find a big enough demand to support a business.
After a year of filing complaints with various agencies and fighting with the corporate office, Ceiltech faxed us a name of a person who wanted to buy our used equipment - probably because they were tired of our pleas to amend their tactics.
We ended up selling the entire business at a loss. Ceiltech's spin on this is that they did us a big favor by facilitating a sale, and they refuse to admit that they did anything unethical or fraudulent.
Since then we have spoken to at least 3 other parties who also commented on Ceiltech's deceptive practices. We suffered through a painful year of stress and heartache trying to make this business work. I hope our experience can alert others to the real "truth" about Ceiltech.