I was reading a report on a website called ripoffreport.com and came across a post by someone who was angry at Certa Pro. When I usually read something negative about Certa Pro I want to inwardly cheer the complainer on. But in this instance, this guy needs a lesson on how a painting company should run and I found myself defending Certa Pro.
Here’s the post -
HOME OWNERS AND BUSINESS BE AWARE OF CERTA PRO PAINTERS THEY WILL SUBCONTRACT YOUR PROJECT. I worked as a “subcontractor” for CertaPro Painters Milwaukee, WI from april, 2008 to feb, 2010.during this time i was very clost to lost all wat i have but finaly i took the decision and in Jan 2010 i star work directly with my own customers i am better in my financial and my business is more stablished now and myown customers can save around 35%. Certa pro painters subcontract out about 98% of all their jobs. They pay their subcontractors only 50% of the contracted price, and that is for both labor AND materials This is by far the lowest pay for a subcontractor. Be awere!they never tell the property owner that they are subcontracting I believe this is dishonest i recomend to the home owners to get a less 3 or 4 estimates frome local painting companies and ask if thay will not subcontract your project because if they do you will pay from 50% to 25% more.
After reading this report, I had to respond…this is what I wrote:
I just want to start off saying that I have no affiliation with Certa Pro at all, in fact, I’m not a huge fan of theirs, but there are some facts that need to be corrected here…this is not a ‘Rip Off Report’ for Certa Pro Painting.
Hiring subcontractors is a normal occurrence in the in the painting industry. It’s done a lot more than people know – and probably this painter knows. It’s a great way to ensure that your costs are stable and consistent for every job. Hiring hourly employees to paint a house can sometimes loose the painting company money because the painters drag their feet, take far too long lunch/smokes breaks, leave early, get to the job late, etc. Then what happens to the warranty that was given if the company is out of business? You’re right, you’re out of luck…
Hiring a subcontractor at a set wage is safe for both parties – the painting company knows exactly what its COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) are, and the subcontractor knows exactly what he is going to get paid before he or she starts the job. There is no one holding a gun to the subcontractor’s head saying that the subcontractor has to paint the house at that price; he can say no, he can take an hourly job, subcontract with another prime contractor, or simply find his own jobs. Again, if this painter felt slighted because of something he agreed to, how can he complain – he agreed to it? Are we not all accountable for our own decisions? (sadly…this is becoming the world in which we’re living…)
The GOOD painters prefer this method to any others. Good painters know that if they’re given a budget, they will work like crazy to beat it. If they’re given four days to get a job done, and it’s going to pay them $1000 – wouldn’t you try to get it done in three days? Of course you would…as would anyone. Because of that philosophy, this method of paying painters attracts the best, most knowledgeable and fast painters. They are the best of the best. These painters are not sidetracked at all – they paint. They don’t have to leave to go do a quote, they don’t have to worry about anything other than getting your house painted. They understand they’re good at painting, not running a painting business – these two things are greatly different.
There is a huge difference in between a painter running a painting company and a business man running a painting company. The painter doesn’t understand the costs and processes that need to be present (most of them anyway), whereas a business owner does (or should anyway – and Certa Pro guys do). The business owner knows that he is going to put about 10-15% into advertising, 50-60% into COGS, and probably about 15-20% into other overhead items. There isn’t much left over for the ‘greedy’ owner, but this is how a painting business should be run, and the way consumers want the business run so they know that the business will be around for warranty work, if it’s needed.
Homeowners – you will always get what you pay for. Hiring a cheap painting company might not always make it the best company to hire. Paying a little more for the quality and customer service can pay off in great dividends. I completely agree with this painter that you should get three estimates and vet all of them. See which ones have the best reputations, how many jobs they have done like yours, how long they have been in business, ask for testimonials, ask for their last three jobs as references (not just three references – you’ll get their mom, sister and best friend), etc.
Certa Pro has created a good and bad name for themselves in a variety of markets. In places where they have a good name, they’re able to charge more to their customers – as they should, they’ve built their reputation and proven to everyone that they can be a great contractor.
Certa Pro has done more painting jobs than any other painting contractor in America – and yes, they will get bad reviews from time to time, but please don’t make these poor reviews dissuade you from calling them to give you an estimate.
Again, I’m not part of Certa Pro, in fact I belong to a competing painting company in this same market, and many other markets – we compete with them all the time. Rarely (if ever) do we pick up the mess from Certa Pro after a job has gone awry, but we do all the time after other, cheaper painters. Who cares more about their business and wants good customer reviews? Someone who has invested more than forty thousand dollars on their business on day 1 to get their business going? Or someone who has been painting for a few years and suddenly thinks he or she can operate a viable painting business? For sure the guy who has probably spent his life’s savings on the just buying a Certa Pro franchise…
Certa Pro, like many other painting contractors, hire subcontractors all the time…it’s becoming the norm in this industry, and the consumer will probably benefit more if he or she hires such a company. What this painter wrote about Certa Pro really isn’t fair, and the only one ripped off here might be the customer that never called Certa Pro because of this post.