• Report: #251499

Complaint Review: College Works Painting Aka Student Works Painting, Aka CWPNC Inc, AKA, SDP Inc, NICA1

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  • Submitted: Thu, May 31, 2007
  • Updated: Wed, April 23, 2014

  • Reported By:Colorado Springs Colorado
College Works Painting Aka Student Works Painting, Aka CWPNC Inc, AKA, SDP Inc, NICA1
1835 W Un Unit 12 Englewood, Colorado U.S.A.

College Works Painting Aka Student Works Painting, Aka CWPNC Inc, AKA, SDP Inc, NICA1 Have written contract to piant house by 5/28/07-no show no call- No choose paint Englewood Colorado

*General Comment: As a franchise manager

*Consumer Comment: total scam?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: from a CWP painter

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Rules for working with College Works Painting

*UPDATE Employee: Not the same thing

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Shady

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Shady

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Shady

*UPDATE Employee: CWP is given a bad rep.

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Colleges Works painting had a written contract to paint out house May 28, 07 No show no call. Contract was made 3/24/07 put down a $440 deposit. They were to come out in March so we could choose paint. No call no show. I called them. They would not give me a managers number or email. Nobdy called untill May 30th, set up an appointment as the original sales guy quit. New guy no show no call. They knew we were trying to paint the house to sell. Then they call afetr I talk to the call center manager in CA and then I was told, the manager Eric Barstow said, "just give them thier money back."
Never gave me any options, never said can we move the appointment nothing. They did the same thing to two neighbors. One said the paint was cheap and watered down and didn't last two years and had to have it re done. They keep changing the name of the company. Better to paint it yourself than to use these guys. They will not give any other phone numbers or emails. CEO and Owners are: Matt Stewart, Jason Reid and Justin Schultz. The sales guy who left us hanging was Eric Barstow.
No we have to wait to sell the house. We could have sold out, now we have to do it. College Works Painting are scams artists. I talked to former employees who said they are taught to "scam". They get ripped off like the customer. Don't get paid for jobs and get lied too. RIPS OFF CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES! SICK!
Andi
Colorado Springs, CO

Andi
Colorado Springs, Colorado
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/31/2007 03:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/College-Works-Painting-Aka-Student-Works-Painting-Aka-CWPNC-Inc-AKA-SDP-Inc-NICA1/Englewood-Colorado-80110/College-Works-Painting-Aka-Student-Works-Painting-Aka-CWPNC-Inc-AKA-SDP-Inc-NICA1-Have-251499. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 9Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

As a franchise manager

AUTHOR: Anjou - ()

I don't think either party is wrong. I just think we have a fundamental misunderstanding of how student painting businesses operate. For anyone who is considering student painters (College Pro, College Works, Student Works, etc) please consider this. This applies to both painters that want to work for the company and homeowners who are looking for a paint job.

 

1: The local franchise manager

You are giving your business to the franchise manager. No matter what, you have to feel like you can trust the franchise manager and you believe he will get the job done at a reasonable time and at a high quality. It's same same for any contractor: do you trust that contractor?

As an employee, do you trust that your franchise manager (and boss) is capable? This can be either in painting knowledge and experience, or working with payroll, or budgeting, etc. Make sure your employer knows what's up. I've worked for places where the boss paid me under the table because he was bad at accounting. Really nice and well-intentioned guy, just incredibly disorganized.

Lastly, the estimate prices and budget hours are also the franchise manager's responsibility. For example, if I know I consistently underbudget my hours, I will increase my hourly rate. There are steps to resolve this problem. It's part of the problem solving aspect of being an entrepreneur. I can't tell you how many estimates I've done before I learned the tricks to estimating budget hours.

Here's my best comparison:

Let's take Subway for example. I've been to some phenomenal Subways - the employees are nice, the line moves quickly, and the place is clean. I've also been to some sketchy Subways. It's a local business (usually), so the local owner can run a tight ship or a careless business. It's the same way with any franchise.

 

2: The overall company

Please don't malign these companies. It's not a pyramid scheme, and throwing the word around flippantly doesn't help anyone.

Here is the job description directly from CWP's website:

"Like in any challenging pursuit, this program is tough and not everyone is successful at it. While the system works, it only works if you do. A majority of poor reviews come from individuals who found the workload was not for them and who did not even complete the program."

These student painting companies train college students on how to run their own companies using painting as the medium. The majority of students who enter this program as shakers and movers - they are students who are door knocking on a Wednesday night to get business for themselves. They are students who are out at 8 am doing estimates with homeowners.

These companies want to help their franchise managers succeed. They've been at it for a long time.

College Pro: 1971.

Student Works: 1981.

College Works: 1993.

The general managers are people who ran their own painting franchises before. They stuck around to train the next generation of franchisees. The companies want to work with you to ensure that you're satisfied.

At any point if you need to reach someone higher up, please be understanding and patient. No one likes being yelled at and  a kind word goes a long way.

Keep in mind once again that no matter what you have to feel that you can trust your franchise manager as a homeowner or as an employee. Running a business isn't easy. It requires tremendous priority management, accounting, leadership, you name it. 

 

Thanks all.

 

3: Just my personal journey (you can totally skip reading this section, but for anyone who's looking for a more personalized experience here's mine)

I joined one of these organizations for personal development. 

I had friends and acquaintances in college that were A+ players. These were people that started their own student groups, organized massive volunteering events, created their own startup companies, you name it. I wanted to be that sort of person. Instead of spending my Friday nights partying or playing video games, I wanted to put my efforts into something that I could be proud of y'know? If I looked back on my 20's in ten years, I didn't want any regrets.

That's where I was. I saw this opportunity and I took it. And man was it brutal.

When I say it's not for everyone I really mean it. At first, every rejection was soul-crushing. You would door knock for an hour and just have doors slammed in your face. You can do estimates for an entire weekend and only get "not right now" answers. It's brutal.

I tried to quit. Believe me, I was so close to being a quitter and just doing poorly overall. For a while, I didn't go door knocking, I didn't do estimate, I made excuses to my general manager and avoided responsibility.

And he called me out on it. He straight up called me out on my bullshit and told me the choice was up to me - I could be a fighter or a quitter. If I wanted to make it, he'd be there with me every step of the way. If I wanted to quit, I can quit. I had my own goals and I knew my own potential.

I basically owned up to my failures after that point. I worked 20+ hours on top of school and still managed above a 3.0 GPA. I'm able to priority manage and work towards my long-term goals instead of living party to party, video game to video game.

 

For me this opportunity is irreplacable. I had people who believed in my potential even when I didn't live up to it. People kept me accountable and held me to a higher standard. No one made excuses for me, and no one let me make excuses for myself. That changed who I was and who I will be for the rest of my life.

 

I'm very sorry that some of you had a bad experience with student painters - you don't deserve that. For potential homeowners, I can't say how grateful I am that you all give us the benefit of the doubt. The 99% of who make it through this program really couldn't be who we are without you. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

total scam?

AUTHOR: EMark - (USA)

I had a similar issue getting this company to come out to my place as well. They did show up to the paint choosing, but I never saw them again after that. It took a small claims court to get my deposit back from them, and I went with a different company who lived up to my expectations.

I'm not sure what the deal with this company is, whether it be poor management or an all-out scam, but they need to get their act together.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

from a CWP painter

AUTHOR: Anonymous Utahn - (USA)


It is true that the estimation algorithm that CWP uses is fundamentally flawed.  They assume that you can do a certain task at a certain pace, which is actually fairly reasonable for that one task (for example: 15 minutes to scrape, sand, and apply primer to one square foot of surface).  It is true that I can do that task at that pace, and easily "beat budget", however, There is no way I could keep anything near that pace for a 10 hour day and still produce quality work.  That is one of the fundamental flaws. 

As an experienced construction worker (aside from being a student), I am confident in my ability to work efficiently and get high quality results under normal circumstances.  In this job, however, I was completely incapacitated to do so and found myself falling far behind the estimated job time in order to satisfy our clients (I refused to hurry and do a shoddy job).  In some cases it took me and my crew more than double the time (and consequently we got paid much less for our time)...and this was after our manager (the intern) had become fairly experienced at estimating and was doing a near-perfect job with it "on paper." 

Our manager was wonderful and would bend over backwards as far as he could for his crew (us) and his clients, but company policy prevented him from being totally fair and honest with either.  I will say that most of our clients were satisfied, and we were very good to them, but much of it was at the painters' expense in time, effort, and lost pay. 

Another complaint I had was that the company (CWP) had policies against paying the painters and marketers for required marketing hours with payroll funds.  My manager had to resort to gift cards to stores in order to pay us for the company-required 10% of our hours to be spent marketing.   Also, we were encouraged to bully potential clients while marketing. 

I believe that if my manager had started his own independent business I would have been much better taken care of as an employee and that both I and my manager would have made a lot more money, all without risking client satisfaction.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Rules for working with College Works Painting

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

In response to the consumer in Colorado who filed a report following her experience with CWP.

I worked as a branch manager and district manager for CWP for four years (2001-2004). Each year the company hires college students to run a branch (much like a franchise at your favorite fast food restaurant). CWP has an extensive training program which starts for most the students in January or February each year. They also have a mentor who's been successful in the program before that goes out with them and holds weekly phone meetings to provide training and guidance.
In the spring they learn sales and marketing (thus the reason he came by in March). The painting doesn't start until school gets out in May, and for a portion of them they don't start until June. As with any franchise or business the service will vary from manager to manager. The CWP program is intense and many of those the company hires can't handle the rigorous hours it takes to get their business going. CWP knowing the nature of their business have put the following things in place to ensure that customers receive the best posible service. 1). after booking the manager is to stay in contact with the customer, at least every other week until the job starts. Get the managers cell phone number when you book, not just the national 888 number. 2). the manager should request to do nightly "walk arounds" once the job starts. This serves two purposes, it ensures that the project is being done the way you both agreed (time line, prep, color, ext). It also allows for communication between the two of you.
In fine, I apologize that you had a poor experience with the company and it does look bad for them. Realize however that each manager is different and the majority of the clients are very pleased with the results. I painted over 200 houses during my time with them and I worked very hard to ensure that every project was done right. We used the 100% acrylic paint from a top paint store (mine was Kwal Howells). I still drive by the houses I painted my first year and I'm proud of the duration of my work. When hiring a CWP manager, make sure you trust that manager. The company is solid and as you said they gave the money back when their manager couldn't hold up his end of the bargin.
In case you were wondering why I left the company, I joined the Army after graduating from college to fulfill my lifelong dream.

Scott
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Not the same thing

AUTHOR: Batuki - (Canada)

College Pro and Student Works are NOT the same company. Student Works Painting (at least in the western half of Canada) is run very professionally although territorially it always depends on who is the owner. I'm sorry you had such a poor experience (it seems not too uncommon - remember, these businesses are student run and not all students are up to the challenge) but I know for a fact that I myself pride myself on having happy clients. Please don't lump us all together.

Best of luck choosing a painting company in the future.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Shady

AUTHOR: Clay - (U.S.A.)

I worked for them for a summer in 2005.

TO ANY COLLEGE STUDENTS LOOKING TO MAKE SOME GOOD MONEY - DO NOT DO THIS.

It's a massive pyramid scheme. My manager quit halfway through the summer. He was promised more money than he was getting. Our crew was promised more money than we were getting. Very shady.

Here's how it works:

They under estimate the time it takes to finish a house. Meaning they give you X hours to finish. In reality, it's near impossible to finish in that time. After that time frame you get a small portion of your pay. Our first job we got like $4.50/hour. We all said we're done with this blah blah and agreed on an hourly wage regardless of time. If we never threatened to quit, I'm sure they would have taken advantage of us the entire summer.

I suggest you do something less physically demanding for bad bad pay.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Shady

AUTHOR: Clay - (U.S.A.)

I worked for them for a summer in 2005.

TO ANY COLLEGE STUDENTS LOOKING TO MAKE SOME GOOD MONEY - DO NOT DO THIS.

It's a massive pyramid scheme. My manager quit halfway through the summer. He was promised more money than he was getting. Our crew was promised more money than we were getting. Very shady.

Here's how it works:

They under estimate the time it takes to finish a house. Meaning they give you X hours to finish. In reality, it's near impossible to finish in that time. After that time frame you get a small portion of your pay. Our first job we got like $4.50/hour. We all said we're done with this blah blah and agreed on an hourly wage regardless of time. If we never threatened to quit, I'm sure they would have taken advantage of us the entire summer.

I suggest you do something less physically demanding for bad bad pay.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Shady

AUTHOR: Clay - (U.S.A.)

I worked for them for a summer in 2005.

TO ANY COLLEGE STUDENTS LOOKING TO MAKE SOME GOOD MONEY - DO NOT DO THIS.

It's a massive pyramid scheme. My manager quit halfway through the summer. He was promised more money than he was getting. Our crew was promised more money than we were getting. Very shady.

Here's how it works:

They under estimate the time it takes to finish a house. Meaning they give you X hours to finish. In reality, it's near impossible to finish in that time. After that time frame you get a small portion of your pay. Our first job we got like $4.50/hour. We all said we're done with this blah blah and agreed on an hourly wage regardless of time. If we never threatened to quit, I'm sure they would have taken advantage of us the entire summer.

I suggest you do something less physically demanding for bad bad pay.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

CWP is given a bad rep.

AUTHOR: Mike1305 - (U.S.A.)

I am a successful manager in Northern California. While I cannot attest to the different divisions/states across the nation, our division is a tightly run ship with great leadership and training. While I won't be making much more money than I would have working at Raley's all summer, I gained so much more in knowledge and experience that I am pretty much knowing that I'm going to run another successful business in my life. Besides monetary gains, relationships with clients are huge and I am doing alot of local charity work for hospitals and churches. I'm sure that sounds super-cheesy, but don't judge College Works Painting until you have an estimate with your local rep and get references from people in the area. Then you'll see what we're made of.
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