I was interested in getting information on how much it would cost to get my basement finished and I was searching the Net for walls similar to something you'd find in a mobile home. Something cheap and low maintenance.
I came upon the Owens Corning website and researched read about the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System and it looked really, really good. There were no prices listed on the site, so I entered my contact information to receive a free estimate.
We got a call within the next few days from Rembrandt Remodeling, a company in Georgia that represents and sells the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System and we set up an appointment for a "presentation" that we were told would take around two hours. We thought that was a long time, especially when we have a 2 year old and a four year old at home with us.
When the sales rep arrived, a Mr. Allen Bates, he checked out the basement, got some measurements and spoke a short bit about how good the product was, etc. And it ended up that the part of our basement we wanted finished was approximately 1100 square feet.
After that we headed back upstairs to get into the nitty gritty details of their system - and boy - did it take a long time! Allen was in our house for approximately 5 hours!!
During the presentation, Allen told us over and over again how damaging mold was. He showed us examples of people who had even died from mold and how likely mold is to occur in our house. He showed us pages and pages of mold statistics, and obviously, it wears on you after a bit.
Mr. Bates also told us that to finish a basement off using traditional drywall would cost us approximately $60 per square foot, and he showed us official looking papers that "proved" that. This obviously seemed quite high, especially for the two of us who didn't know any better. But of course, it was just another notch on why to go with the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System.
Allen then showed us some more official looking "fact" sheets from some magazine that showed that the value of our basement addition would increase by appriximately 50 or 60% every year, but increasing from the moment the basement section was finished. So if we spent $40,000 on our 1,000 square foot basement project, the actual value of the finished portion of the basement would immediately increase to be $60,000 ($40,000 + [50% of $40,000 or $20,000] = $60,000.) So what Allen was mis-leading us to believe was that our house value would immediately increase by approximately $60,000 once that portion of the basement was finished using their system.
Once the scare tactics were laid on the table, and there were a lot of mold scare tactics used, and the obvious choice was to use them because they were obviously so much cheaper than going the traditional drywall method, and of course the value of the basement would immediately increase by 50%, we felt like it would be stupid not purchase the basement system. And the reason we felt that way was because we were highly mislead by his very deceitful batch of hours and hours of misinformation.
Unfortuntaley, we fell for it and started discussing prices. Allen gave us the price of $55 per square foot to finish an approximate 1,000 square foot portion of the basement. He came down to $45 per square feet. That sounded better than how much we thought doing the drywall method would cost. Then if we used our home as a showcase home so others in the area can come in and look at it, he would reduce it even more. It finally got down to the price of about $40 per square feet or so and we ended up accepting the rediculous price of approximately $41,000 for the job.
But, if we based the price on just the (false) information he gave us, this was a real bargain! We trusted the sales person from Owens Corning to tell us the truth - not lead us to believe that what he was telling us was the truth. With the "facts" and figures he gave us, it obviously seemed like the logical choice to make at the time.
True, the contract had a 3 day period in which to cancel, but unfortunately, we weren't savvy enough to research Owens Corning or Rembrandt Remodeling sooner, or better yet, to research before hand to see what sales tactics these reps use. We found a neat little site for great information on what people think of their system and sales process: (((ROR REDACTED LINK FOR SECURITY PURPOSES))) I've encourage the users to come and post over here at RipOffReport.com!
And on top of all that, my business and sole source of income took a serious dive for the worse and we truthfully cannot afford to install a basement at this time even if we wanted to. We tried to get out of the contract less than a week after originally signing the contract, but longer than the 3 days. My wife spoke to the President of Rembrant Remodeling, a Mr. Brad Bishop and he said that he couldn't let us out of the contract because he had already invested over $10,000 in our project!! Say WHAT?!?!
That's funny, because in their list of things they do after signing the contract, they shouldn't have put any money out yet. Here's what their "What Happens Next?" paper says:
Step 1: Order Processing - All orders will be processed through Rembrandt Remodeling where they will be reviewed. If we are arranging financing, your application will be process and someone from the financial department will contact you, typically within one week. The amount of time it takes for an order to process through financing varies depending on the type of loan and what is involved in closing.
Step 2: Remeasure - Someone will contact you approximately 2-4 weeks from the time your order is processed and approved in financing (if applicable), to schedule for remeasure. At remeasure, we'll go over the layout of your basement, take another set of measurements, and work out any final details of the job.
Step 3: Stocking - Once remeasure is complete, we will call to arrange stocking of the job and to schedule an anticipated installation date. We typically stock the materials for your job a few days prior to installation. Any remaining balance of the down payment is due at this time and should be given to one of the Rembrand Remodeling certified installers stocking the job.
I'll stop there because step 4 entails installation and step 5 is completion/evaluation.
The point is, how can Mr. Brad Bishop have invested over $10,000 into our project in less than a week if he hasn't even done the remeasure yet?!? They can't order our things until after remeasure has taken place. After the remeasure, which they never did, THEN they do stocking for the job.
One last thing - their contract says you have to pay 25% of the contract cash price if you cancel out after the 3 days. That's $10,250 in our case! I don't mind paying the $1,000 down payment for any loss of time or money - but $10,250 is rediculous for not having done anything. Especially since we're in a financial bind and can no longer afford this project to be completed on our house.
Can we go on with the project? Sure - if we have to. It would be a definite hardship.
But my biggest beaf with them is: It's wrong for someone to be obligated to a contract that was signed under false pretenses.
Be forewarned if you want to buy the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System, from Rembrand Remodeling in Marrietta or any other franchise that sells the system. Check here for more complaints: (((ROR REDACTED LINK FOR SECURITY PURPOSES)))Hopefully some of the good folks over there will come on over here and fill out some complaints, too!
U.S.A. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.