Replacement Windows

If you live in the Seattle, Vancouver, or Tacoma areas of Washington State, you've probably been stopped before by a Penguin Windows representative.  What is Penguin Windows?  Are they even a real company?

Penguin Windows: Legit or Scam?

Highly Aggressive Marketing Tactics

I don't think I have ever been approached more often by a single company--and in stranger contexts--than I have by Penguin.  What they seem to do is recruit sales reps to work on commission.  Not much different than other companies.  But the difference is that the Penguin windows reps are found everywhere.  I have found them:

  • At my local Ace Hardware.  No one was interested in the Penguin Windows, but kept asking them where the screws or lumber or plumbing were--as if they worked at the Ace. 
  • At several home remodeling expos.  Not unusual, except the Penguin people were wearing long coats with tails, to make them look penguin-like, I suppose.
  • At tables they have set up outside of stores.
  • At several malls.
  • At my house.  Yes, Penguin has cold-called my house.

But, hey--I'm the guy with a replacement windows quote form on every page of his site.  I can't be one to throw stones.  True, except for the following...

Crazy Marketing Tactics

Get this.  I have had the craziest two approaches from Penguin Windows:

  1. I'm at an Ace Hardware.  The Penguin Windows person makes the pitch.  I smile and cut her off:  "I live in a rented condo," I say.  Which happened to be true at the time.  She still continues with her pitch.
  2. The person who cold-called me at my house.  I smile and point out the brand-new vinyl replacement windows that were installed right before I bought the house.  These windows are no more than 1 year old.  The guy still makes his pitch.

Also, Penguin Windows is famous for these marketing tactics.  So famous that the Washington Attorney General has made action and reached a settlement with Penguin over its creepy sales tactics and misleading ads

A blog named HineSight has a great, first-person account of being attacked by a Penguin Windows sales rep.

Not Great on Follow-Up

Yet for all of that, Penguin doesn't even follow through.

Could it be that the Penguin reps get paid by each interest card they generate and return to the company?  Could be.  I have actually filled out a couple of these cards--in the name of journalistic research, y'know--and have never had Penguin contact me.  Now, isn't that strange?

Legit All the Same--And Local (For Me)

Yet Penguin Windows is a legitimate, real company.  Not only that, it's a local company.  Until recently, Penguin was based in that good old ferry jump-off point, otherwise known as Mukilteo, WA.  Then it closed several of its offices, with only the Vancouver, Washington location remaining. 

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