• Report: #275800

Complaint Review: Owens Corning Basement Finishing System

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  • Submitted: Mon, September 24, 2007
  • Updated: Wed, July 09, 2014

  • Reported By:Lisle Illinois
Owens Corning Basement Finishing System
2050 Integrity Dr. South Columbus, Ohio U.S.A.

Owens Corning Basement Finishing System BEWARE, Customers and Prospective Sales People, of the Lies and Deceptive Selling Tactics of Owens Corning - an Insiders View Columbus Ohio

*Consumer Comment: Owens Corning visit

*Author of original report: Do you know how to read?

*Consumer Comment: Owens Corning basement refinishing JUNK!

*Consumer Comment: OC Basement Finishing System

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Completly agree

*Consumer Suggestion: Jim, READ THIS !!!

*Consumer Comment: Question

*Author of original report: Response to Grimreaper

*Author of original report: Response to Grimreaper

*Author of original report: Response to Grimreaper

*Consumer Suggestion: sounds like some sales reps got fired

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Owens Corning Basement Finishing System

This communication is being offered, publicly, to WARN anyone considering the purchase of an Owens Corning basement. The information provided is completely accurate because it is coming from several sales people trained in the unethical selling practices of the Owens Corning Corporation and franchisees.

Jim Worden from Owens Corning Corporation said that the sales presentation used by the franchisees was created at the corporate headquarters. Jim Wordens phone number is: 419-248-6881. He did say that some of the lies being taught to new sales people, by the Lisle franchise, were not acceptable and that he was going to make sure that the franchisee owner, Stephen Brooks, would be notified. The practices are still being used in training and in the sales process.

It seems that Mr. Worden is good at attempting to pacify but doesn't really care how Owens Corning customers are treated or if they are lied to. Stephen Brooks is located at: (are you ready for this) 2050 Integrity Dr. South, Columbus, Ohio 43209 and his phone number is: 614-737-9000 and the fax is: 614-737-9001. Scott Stolzenburg is the sales manger at: 2200 Ogden Ave., Lisle, Illinois 60532 and his phone number is: 630-963-4600 and the fax is: 630-963-4480.

Here is a list of lies in the sales process:
1.Owens Corning Basement Finishing System franchisee does not retain their own construction crews. (We were actually trained to tell customers that they were all the caliber of Bob Villa.) One of the sales persons in our training class goes to church with an independent contractor that installs the Owens Corning Basements and he is an independent; that is how we found out that we were lied to.

2.That all the sales personnel or as they call them: Certified Basement Designers are certified. Our certification amounted to our woefully inadequate training and taking a test which we were given the answers to so that we could pass the test; I still have my copy of the test answers.

3.When prospects are being lined up for an appointment they are told that the price is good for a year. Little does the prospect know that the only price that is good for a year is the super inflated list price not any of the discounted prices.

4.We were trained to slightly overcharge because that is a win for the sales person. It also makes up for any items forgotten by the sales person. If the sales person was actually trained how to price a basement then you wouldn't have to overcharge. Gary one of the seasoned sales reps told me that the sales manager, Jim, was notorious for overpricing jobs by thousands of dollars which was supposed to be a no-no. Jim is taking a sales managers position in another state so how much of a no-no could it be?

5.The sales presentation has 9 steps and is designed to close the sale on the one and only visit from the sales person. Here are the steps of the sales process the Owens Corning way: 1. Warm-up make friends with the prospect. (Prospects have a hard time saying no to their friend.) 2. Design go over what the customer would like designed for their basement and then tell them why they need to change it for the homes sales ability down the road. (The reality is that if bathrooms and walls can be eliminated then the sales person has a better chance of selling the job because it will be cheaper. The customer goes upstairs while the basement is designed and priced.

3.Company make the prospect feel that all contractors are scum and that the only company that can be trusted is Owens Corning. (This is really humorous since they don't even have their own construction crews so they hire scumbag contractors just like the rest of us idiots)

4. Investment during this stage the prospect is to be made to believe that the Owens Corning basement is a better investment than a traditional basement because it is Owens Corning. I even had the sales manager, Scott, tell me I should have told the prospect, which I didn't sell, that some realtors even put a sign under the Home for Sale sign that says: Owens Corning Basement, which he told me he made up but sounded good.

The reality is that a finished basement, whether traditional or Owens Corning, will increase the value of the home the same amount. Where the problem comes in is that if you pay an inflated price for your basement, with Owens Corning, your return on investment will not be as great and to sell your home you may have to increase the price of your home, to try and recover the cost of the Owens Corning basement, to a high enough point that you can't sell your home or you end up lowering the price and take a loss.

5.Product The goal here is to scare the living daylights out of you that you and your whole family will die of mold! Or that your home will be a tear down and you will lose your whole investment because insurance companies do not cover homes for mold anymore. The reality is that mold is very bad and can kill you but the chances of you being affected that adversely by mold is remote at best. The proof sources of mold contamination that the sales people were to use never specified that the mold started in the basement of the affected homes. The main goal of the product step is to get people to never want to use traditional materials in their basement finishing project ever. The Lifetime Transferable Warranty was actually only good for 15 years and the product is mold resistant not mold preventive. We never saw any kind of a warranty for workmanship or the product. I tested my sample panel by putting it in water and the fabric peeled off.

6.Pre-close this is the pre-close: Folks because each home is unique, we do not make anything before we get an order. It sounds to me like this project is something you will eventually do, if not now sometime in the near future, is that right? (Wait for customers response.) Seeing it's not a matter of if you'll do this projectbut whenlet me show you how to save a lot of money by considering it now. (Do not hesitate) Let me ask you, if I can show you a way to save a lot of money, come up with a price or even a monthly investment that fits into your budget would there be any reason, other than affordability, why you folks would't want to get the project started while I am here? If the sales person doesn't sell the job at the first appointment then they dont get paid a penny for their efforts. The sales process isn't over because then the recovery program kicks in, which is explained below.

7.Price & Payment this is the point in the presentation when you show the prospects the drawing and take your time telling them each item that they are getting with their basement. (They are trying to justify their pricing) Now the sales person turns over the drawing and shows the customer the price. This is the point when as a sales person I always had 911 dialed and ready to push send because almost everyone that sees the price just about has a heart attack. We were trained to tell them that they needed to keep an open mind because we had some great discounts to offer them.

The discounts are: The Showcase Discount which is 15% off of the list or retail price and a 1% rebate on showcase referrals. The next discount is the flexible installation price which is a 10% discount off of the showcase price. The flexible installation is used every week and each sales person is given a new flexible installation letter at the Monday morning sales meeting.

We were trained to act like Columbo and bumble around saying that they have this new incentive that just started and is available on a first come first serve basis; just one more lie. If the prospect doesn't want to purchase at this point the sales person is to call the sales manager, Scott, and let him know what a great community the prospects live in and how huge their basement project is and that they are excited to be showcase customers and that they can be flexible with their installation date and that they would never even consider putting traditional materials in their basement. Then you tell Scott that the prospects really want the basement but it sounds to you that the project costs a little more than they can afford to spend at this time. He then graciously offers another 5% discount off of the Flexible discount and a 2% referral fee from all sales made from any referrals including the showcase sales.

If the customer says no then once the sales person is outside with the prospect and the prospect thinks that the last 4 hours he spent in hell is over the sales person is to ask what the real reason is that they didn't purchase the Owens Corning basement (HELLO IT IS JUST WHAT WE SAID IT IS TOO BLOODY EXPENSIVE!!!). Then the sales person can offer the deal to the prospect for the retail cost times .67 which is called a loss sale close because there just isn't anything left to discount. One of the seasoned sales rep, Tom, was really good at spending 4 hours in a persons home and coming as close as possible to getting thrown out and then going through this process at the door. Now if you thought that WAS THE BEST THAT THEY COULD DO you were wrong.

At some point in the near future a gentleman by the name of Bill, from the recovery department, will call you and let you know that the inept sales person measured incorrectly and that the prospect was over charged. Now Bill can get the cost down to the retail cost times .62 and if you read the web sites that speak about what people finally ended up paying for their Owens Corning basement they could get it down to $28 per square foot which is still less than the factor of .62. The original sales person makes nothing on this sale and I am sure the sales managers all make the same as usual.

The franchisee from the Lisle, Illinois franchise must be a bigger pig than other franchisees in other parts of the country. I was even told by the seasoned rep, Gary, that the assistant sales manager, Jim, had found out that you could get an Owens Corning basement for $20 per square foot in other parts of the country.

8.Close this is where you go in for the kill and remind the prospect of all their positive answers given earlier in the presentation that closes all the escape hatches so that the only honest thing the prospect can do is purchase. If they don't they are liars and all customers are slippery liars and can't be trusted.

9. Button Up the goal is to keep the order because the prospect has 3 days in which they can cancel so if the sales person doesn't do a good button up then the new customer may come to their senses and cancel.

These are most of the lies and dishonest sales tactics that we can remember. It begs the question that if the Owens Corning product is so good why does it need to be sold in such a corrupt and quick manner?

We were duped into believing the lies and didn't even realize how many lies we had been told until we ran into people that knew about the distortions and lies and enlightened us to the truth. We were made to believe that there are no other products on the market that can compete with Owens Corning and that just isn't true; there are a lot of products and companies.

Check out these web sites:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/basements/msg0122584619783.html

http://forums.joeuser.com/?forumid=7

Calebman
Lisle, Illinois
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/24/2007 07:39 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Owens-Corning-Basement-Finishing-System/Columbus-Ohio-43209/Owens-Corning-Basement-Finishing-System-BEWARE-Customers-and-Prospective-Sales-People-of-275800. 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:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Owens Corning visit

AUTHOR: Noel - ()

I just recently met with two employees from this company who came into my home for a free estimate. One of these gentlemen was from "corporate". The visit began very nicely with some small talk. My wife was in the other room dealing with our 6 month old child so I asked if we could get started. The corporate representative told me that he would wait for my wife, to which I replied that it could be an hour or so as my child was being fussy and we were trying to put her down to sleep. He said that he would wait. I expressed my desire to continue with the estimate process without her and said that she would join us as soon as my daughter was asleep. He rudely said he would wait once again and just stared at me. At this point I told him that I didn't have all night to commit to this visit and he said "then this isn't going to work". I replied by saying that I was sorry and asked him to leave. He said okay but didn't move. I asked him at multiple times to start heading to the door and after a minute or two of arguing and being lectured by him he finally stood up. However, he did not start moving for the door. I told him I was considering calling the police to which he replied "go ahead, the number is 9-1-1". A moment later he and his colleague started walking to the door, all the while lecturing me about appointments. They stood outside my house for another 5-10 minutes. My wife was shaken up about the altercation and asked me to call the police, though I did not. This was the absolute worst experience I have had with this sort of business. The gentlemen who set the appointment told me this would be 15-20 minutes long and they would leave me with an estimate that would be good for a year. There was never talk about signing contracts or any type of commitment that would have required my wife to be present for the entire meeting. My wife will now have anxiety about people being in our house. This was a truly shameful display. Avoid dealings with this company!

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#2 Author of original report

Do you know how to read?

AUTHOR: Calebman - ()

Maybe you need to reread my post; I was a sales person, not a customer, that was taught how to lie to the customers. Our sales class unfortunately didn't know we were lying until we were out selling for several weeks. In sales meetings a couple of weeks in we were shown, by our sales manager, how he lied to us in the sales training classes and even bragged about it. The most troubling fact I found out was that they were selling the system in the Chicago area for $60 - sometimes $80 per square foot. In Ohio the same system, different franchise, were selling for $20 per square foot. If a product is that good it doesn't need to be sold in the first appointment but that is how the sales process works; it's called a "One sit sale". The price you paid could have been reduced at least 3 more times. On top of not being able to read you can now be declared a chump as well...hope you love the overpriced system!

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#3 Consumer Comment

Owens Corning basement refinishing JUNK!

AUTHOR: JJShabooty - ()

Well, if you noticed just a small rip and had one panel replaced already then you are just beginning my friend. I have the system in my basement for about 5 years now cost me about 50k and the panels are falling apart. They never got wet or even damp and the fabric is just peeling off and if you have any animal with hair these panels are hair magnets. Just try getting the hair off or try getting ordinary dirt out. Goodluck! Soon you will be vacuuming your walls and picking little hairs out by hand but don't worry you will have to throw them in the dumpster soon enough as Owens Corning will not honor their warranty .  I spoke to a. Mr. Rhodes and he just laughed and would not even come out to look at them. He said they were abused. Sheetrock is 100 times better!

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#4 Consumer Comment

OC Basement Finishing System

AUTHOR: Fredricks - ()

I know that these post's are old but I figured I would give my perspective on the Owen's Corning Basement Finishing System.

My wife and I are recent customers on the OC basement system. We scheduled for a "basement designer" to come out to our home to give us more information on the system as well and give us a quote for the project. The representative that came to our home was extremely knowlegable and answered all of our questions that we had on the product. I put basement designer in quotes for one reason, though he was knowlegable and he obviously has been in the remodeling business for a while, the bottom line is he was a salesman representing his Owens Corning Franchise.

Being a salesman he was there to sell. I dont understand how you people can be so judgmental of these guys. Its his job to make his sales quota, so of course he was doing everything possible to make a sale with us just like you guys do your jobs everyday. There was nothing high-pressure about it, he did not threaten us to sign nor did he hold a gun to our head. His presentation was obviously scripted and you can tell he was saying what OC wanted him to say but he added his own experiences to it which to us was very helpful.

It sounds like you guys just had a bad company you where working with. As you may or may not know, the OC Basement Finishing System is a franchise that is purchased through a contractor in your area. These OC franchises obviously, from reading these posts, do not do business the same way. We live in Roanoke, VA and I will not mention the salesman name out of respect but he was a very knowlegable and really, from day one to the last day of our install, did everything in his power to keep us well informed and answer all of our questions.

We had one complaint about one of the panels they put up after the install was finished. (it had a very small tear that was hard to see but of course my wife pointed it out) The following week the salesman had a brand new panel delivered to our house and he was willing to make the hour and a half drive to put it up for us. Fortunately, the wall system is SUPER easy to replace even without any construction knowledge so we didnt have him waste his time but it was nice that he offered.

The system is not for everyone, obviously. It is more then a drywall remodel but then again this product is made for below grade applications and comes with a lifetime transferable warranty, which you will not get with a drywall remodel. In our area I believe the contractor has to give you a year craftsmanship warranty but OC gives you a lifetime warranty that will transfer to the next home owner if we decide to sell our house in the future. This, in itself, is well worth the extra money, it would make selling our house all the more easier.

We recieved different quotes from drywall contractors and the OC people. The price difference was about $5,000 more then the drywall contractor we would have went with. The big difference is the install for the basement with the OC guys only took 9 days versus the drywall contractor which would have been more around a month and a half. Plus there was absolutely no mess with our install and the suspended ceiling they put in was completely even and the lighting was placed perfectly through out the basement. This is due to the salesman's knowledge, he knew exactly how to light the basement so that there was ample light. Being we have no windows in our basement this was a big concern for my wife and I. Also all the work was done by the same two installers so there wasnt a bunch of different guys coming in and out of my home. My wife was very happy with this, being that she was the only one here throughout the day.

The golden rule in investing anything is you get what you pay for. This system guarentees we will not have a mold or mildew problem and if there ever is a water leak we can easily pull the wall panels off to address the leak and then put them back up ourselves. In the long run this will save us a lot of money in the future because being that we have a fairly new home we are bound to have some sort of plumbing problem down there.

These post's make me upset that you guys are so quick to post a blog about how unhappy you are with the OC salespeople. Like my father always said: "Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one."

P/S: The sales guy did come off with a high-ball quote (like hes suppose to) but we managed to get about $6000 off with the promotions he offered us and he put us into a VERY reasonable fianance option which we will be able to pay off very fast. If you cant afford the system then maybe you should try to manage your money a little better... dont go bashing the guys just because you dont have the money to afford the system. Its childish to post such crude remarks about your experience just because you didnt have the funds to remodel the basement the way you wanted to. Your obvioulsy upset because you had to go with another type of remodel instead of the OC system or else you would waste your time posting such comments! - The Wife

 

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Completly agree

AUTHOR: David Francis - (U.S.A.)

I also worked as an independent salesperson for Owens Corning Basements and though the product is good their pricing and selling practices are not The price can be discounted 30% or more from list and any giveaways "big screen TV, $1,000. debit card" are added to the price. Nothing is free. They also harp about contractors yet all their installers are independent contractors.
If you are interested in this system disregard their expertly written presentation and negotiate aggressivly.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Jim, READ THIS !!!

AUTHOR: Former Sales Ace With Ocbfs - (U.S.A.)

Jim, Owens Corning figures their price on the square footage of the finished product. Your $35 per sq ft is pretty reasonable, actually. Here in Wisconsin, $50-$70 per square foot is more normal. And just in case any of you believe that drivel about those of us filing reports here "Not being able to cut the mustard", you should know that I wrote over $3 Million in sales and had $1500000 of it installed in 2007. The rest either cancelled, were lost in financimg (Very Common) or were negotiated downward(Approx 75% of my deals were). Nobody else in Wisconsin touched my numbers, except for the Manager in Madison, but he wasn't even close to me. Everything he says is what OC teaches him. Its easy to tell when an Owens Corning Rep lies.....His lips move.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Question

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

Thanks for filing this report. I recently signed a contract with OC, and am now negotiating with them to get a better deal with the threat of backing out during the 72 hour grace period. My goal is to get them down to .62 of the original price or $35 per square foot. I have a question: are people estimating the square feet by the basement dimensions or the final room dimensions? At this point I've had a conversation with the sales rep's manager who is supposed to call me back to see if we can work something out. Any tips for negotiating?
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#8 Author of original report

Response to Grimreaper

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

Grimreaper it sounds like you could be an employee working for Owens Corning. The reality is that 5 sales people, from the same sales class, all sold exceptionally well right out of the gate. I earned over $5,000.00 in 8 days. Three of the above mentioned sales people all quit on moral grounds and walked away from the income. I even spoke to customers and told them the truth so they could cancel. The other gentlemen out of our training class have all departed and every one of these gentlemen have yet to be paid on jobs that were already approved and ready for production. The only thing that you got right was that most, not all, home improvement companies use these same sales tactics and that it doesn't make it right.
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#9 Author of original report

Response to Grimreaper

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

Grimreaper it sounds like you could be an employee working for Owens Corning. The reality is that 5 sales people, from the same sales class, all sold exceptionally well right out of the gate. I earned over $5,000.00 in 8 days. Three of the above mentioned sales people all quit on moral grounds and walked away from the income. I even spoke to customers and told them the truth so they could cancel. The other gentlemen out of our training class have all departed and every one of these gentlemen have yet to be paid on jobs that were already approved and ready for production. The only thing that you got right was that most, not all, home improvement companies use these same sales tactics and that it doesn't make it right.
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#10 Author of original report

Response to Grimreaper

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

Grimreaper it sounds like you could be an employee working for Owens Corning. The reality is that 5 sales people, from the same sales class, all sold exceptionally well right out of the gate. I earned over $5,000.00 in 8 days. Three of the above mentioned sales people all quit on moral grounds and walked away from the income. I even spoke to customers and told them the truth so they could cancel. The other gentlemen out of our training class have all departed and every one of these gentlemen have yet to be paid on jobs that were already approved and ready for production. The only thing that you got right was that most, not all, home improvement companies use these same sales tactics and that it doesn't make it right.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

sounds like some sales reps got fired

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

what we have here is a prime example of some disgruntled ex employees who couldn't cut the mustard in the commission sales business.

instead of trying to better themselves and produce income for themselves and ownes corning,they get fired for not producing,and decide to attack a company that gave them that very opportunity.

let's be realistic,every single home improvement vendor in this country uses the same or similar sales approach that as previously mentioned.
car dealerships use it,mortgage brokers use it.

it is a universal sales technique,and will always be around.

does that make it right?of course not,it is an aboslutely disrespectful and obnoxious sales technique,but it works.


let's not get naive,and think the world is one big orange grove.

as for the owens corning product,i am sure it is not any better or worse than any other basement finishing product,but that's not really what this complaint is about,is it?
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