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College Pro Painters / Terrible experience

1 United States Review updated:
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The reason College pro stays in business has nothing to do with doing quality work. The reason they make money is because they are a franchise operation - they take no risks. They take the first 25% of all money the Franchise Manager generates as a royalty. If the Franchise Manager turns out to be bad, it is in his best interest to continue plugging away and being bad because he will face a $2, 000 fine if he quits or is fired, in addition to any bills College Pro charges him. Not to mention what happens to a kid who is in debt 5 or 6 grand just for sucking at his job. Oh, and the GM - the guy who manages the Franchise Managers - his biggest job is damage control.

Because College Pro makes money whether the Franchisees are good or bad, their top priority is getting kids to sign the Franchise Agreement and go sell jobs. There will always be customers who don't do their research and buy into the image that College Pro projects. College Pro is not invested in doing quality work on your home or helping you succeed in business. They are invested in a phony image and getting young, inexperienced kids to buy into it.

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  • Jj
      15th of Aug, 2008

    We had an estimate done by college pro painters, and gave a cash deposit. No one showed up on the day scheduled day to complete or start the work. Our phone calls went unreturned for months. After filing several formal complaints within the company we did get one phone call with a "promise" to return our deposit. 4 months later we still have not received our money back and again cannot get any phone calls returned. would not recommend this company.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      19th of Aug, 2008

    I'm tired of the run around from College Pro Painters who took a deposit check to paint my house on May 12, 2008. with work to begin by June 16. The job was never started and I have been calling and emailed them to get my deposit back. Today I took the next step and talked to the Consumer Division at the Attorney Generals office. (412 565-5134). The Attorney Generals office is going to send me a complaint form.

    -1 Votes
  • Cp
      8th of Mar, 2009

    I'm not sure why you've decided to post your ignorant opinion about college pro but it sounds like you couldn't handle the risk of running your own business or possibly even painting for a summer? This is my third year running a college pro franchise and I have doubled my business and profits each year. So I'm not sure where your going with college pro exploiting students. If you work hard you make money, if you don't your a deadbeat and should have never signed a franchise agreement to own your own business!!! Being a franchisee Owner is not a job its a business, not sure where you got confused.
    And you are way wrong about College Pro not taking risk's with who they sign on for franchises. There is an extensive interview process where only the most qualified students are given the OPPORTUNITY to run a business. If placed in a territory college pro takes a huge risk in training that franchisee and trusting them to upkeep the established college pro reputation in that area. If a Franchisee decides to do something un-ethical or sucks College Pro corporate has the opportunity to take their franchise away.

    You couldn't be more wrong about your stupid comment "College Pro is not invested in doing quality work on your home or helping you succeed in business" Besides the fact that they honor a 2 year warranty in which I have personally worked on at least 5 warranty projects in my area, including jobs that actually voided the warranty. We also have the highest rating of people who refer College Pro than any other company in the industry!!! In the last 2 years of my business I have had 100% of the over 100 homes I have served circle "yes" on the contract after the job has been done and they have issued me their final payment and signature for work completed. Do your research and also realize that when you have a company that is the biggest exterior painting company in North America there may be a few bad experiences and bad apples as managers.

    -Manager of the year, College Pro Painters

    -5 Votes
  • Ha
      11th of Apr, 2009

    I would second what this last poster said, College Pro has done our painting for years, the difference is that yes they are young entrepreneurs but College Pro offers great training and from what I have been told by the painters and Manager, great support. I cannot think of a better way for a young person to spend a summer than tackling a business, and if the initial poster had any life experience the would realize that there is nothing wrong with failure, the difference is what you do with it and College Pro teaches the right ethical values to do the right thing and take care of the client.
    If you were such a "superior painter" why wouldn't you put you energy into HELPING the manager rather than putting all your energy into negativity on the net. Humanity has enough negative people, not enough helpers. Your a wast of breath in my opinion.

    -3 Votes
  • Do
      11th of Apr, 2009

    I had them paint my home and the paint peeled off within the first five months I called them and they did come back and re-did the spot’s only and it looked good but it peeled and blistered more then with the first job.. The original paint was on the house for 12 years and it lasted longer than the cheap paint that the “PRO’S” used. Now my house look’s just as bad as it did even more so then as if I never had them come out I WILL NEVER HAVE THEM BACK AGAIN...

    0 Votes
  • Jj
      13th of Apr, 2009

    college pro took our money & never did the job. after filing numerous complaints with college pro we still have not gotten our money back, or the work done. specifically Jeremy Homel in pittsburgh was the manager who stole our deposit. I would never even consider using them.

    +2 Votes
  • Jj
      13th of Apr, 2009

    never ever use college pro

    +2 Votes
  • Cu
      13th of Apr, 2009

    College pro is a terrible company to work for. I worked tons of houses, and was paid minimum wage, which was six dollars and some change, to paint houses in the middle of summer. The company itself screws everyone involved over, by taking HUGE royalties. On my 4 man crew, the painters only were paid about 30% of all the money people were paying for the houses, and that's with all 4 of the pays combined.

    +2 Votes
  • Wi
      30th of Apr, 2009

    I worked for college pro 4 years ago running a frachisee. I put up my own money when it came to a truck etc etc. I missed my contracted amount by a couple of thousand dollars and they took everything. I brought the contract to a lawyer afterwards and the majority of it was completely illegal. College Pro threatened to place me in collections for the amount of the ladders, soft supplies, etc when it clearly stated in the contract and their business model that your initial deposits went to paying off your initial costs including the ladders etc. They charged me for two company trips that I didn't go on as well. I still have documented proof. Their are some that clearly make money as you can see above in some of the arguments. I figured out roughly how many franchisees make money in the company, or hit their contracted amount I should say. I had a report at the end of the painting season that showed the list of frachisees and how many hit their contracted amount. 3 out of 15 hit their contracted amount under my general manager. I was number 4 and I just missed. If that number is comparable to the other general managers that means around 20 percent make it and the rest get dumped. They fill in their spots the next year. My frachisee clearly made money and they used the contract against me to take everything. I asked for something at least and all they said was read your contract. I sent all my info to the state attorney general of Connecticut. He and the state attorney general of Mass have nearly shut down the company because of so many complaints . This is the reality of college pro painting. If you noticed after around 2006 when they nearly dissapeared because of class action lawsuits against them they have tried to market themselves different to try to recapture some market share. This company is probably one of the most unethical I have ever heard of. Greed is their motivator. If you want to argue over negativity and complaining on the net, or anything else that tries to take away credibility from this company my documentation, solid evidence, might change your opinion.

    +2 Votes
  • Di
      13th of May, 2009

    Although we were not disappointed with the initial job--we were very upset when college pro did NOT honor their warranty. We have spots on the house, that they chock up to "weather" when one of their own painters saw it while looking at the neighbor's house and told us it was warranty work. Never again will we use them because they look for every "excuse" to get out of the warranty. And we would NEVER recommend them to any of our friends. This was our experience. Now we have to figure out how to do the repairs before more damage is done to our house.
    My recommendation: DO NOT use college pro, they are pricier and didn't follow through on their warranty.

    +1 Votes
  • Ge
      26th of May, 2009

    Collage pro is a slave boot camp... poor quality.. painting when the surface is wet just to ge teh job done and move on to the next victim... phsyco managers who are immature and weak minded fools only interested in money... congrats you'll all do well in corporate America where money is an obsession and quality work/products are something only your grandparents remember...that's all for now...

    +1 Votes
  • Ji
      1st of Jun, 2009

    We had our home "painted" by College Pro 3 years ago. They botched the job up so bad, we have had them back 3Xs so far, talked with 4 levels of "revolving-door" managers and supervisors. Still the paint is pealing and colors are mis-matched. NEVER will we use or recommend this bunch of miscreants again. They lack talent as well as ethics. My 2 most recent "contacts were John Mangano (the sleazy college kid) and his boss, Jason Hughes (the lying company man). Our home looks like it is suffering from post-sunburn and we are out almost $10, 000.!!! Never again.

    +1 Votes
  • My
      29th of Jun, 2009

    It has now been over a year since our signed contact with College Pro was done. The person doing the painting didn't start until late Fall 2008, and wasn't able to continue due to inclimate weather. He then issued another contract in November/December. This Spring, we were never contacted and never received any response to our calls and e-mails to him. We have contact College Pro directly several times over the past month - each time they can't seem to find record of the previous call. Each time we are told the same line - that they have issued a complaint and that a manager of some sort will contact us within 48 hours. Surprise! No one ever contacts us! I would appreciate any information that may be helpful in just getting our deposit money back: [protected]

    +1 Votes
  • Sq
      18th of Sep, 2009

    There are some very very serious problems within college pro as a company. I speak in a priveliged position as someone who has worked for, filed litigation against, and then worked for college pro once more. There are most certainly crooks within the company, and i know this as I worked for one who was allowed to operate for several years, creating a great deal of negative publicity, before his business was taken away, in part due to my own taking him to the labour board.

    That said, I have worked for another franchisee for the last 2 years, this year as his equipment manager, and I have nothing but respect for him, and know that both himself, our production manager, and myself demand nothing but quality work. There are problems sometimes with painters trying to cut corners to take advantage of the peicework system, but we are all constantly on everyones ###, and often put in a great deal of our time in fixing any problems with jobs that may arise.

    There are reasons that paint jobs fail, sometimes they are the fault of the painters, and sometimes there are issues with the substrate that is recieving the paint job (even if the original paint job had no issues, adding another layer sometimes brings up problems that were there all along but invisible).

    Ultimately there are jerks out there to take advantage of you, and people who have no business doing the jobs that they have (being complete ###s), but there are also people who take pride in their work, and do a good job even when the customer makes this very difficult. In painting, as in any other work, regardless of company, you must make yourself informed about what is getting done, know your rights, check up on the progress, and know the people you are working for, else you have nobody but yourself to blame for a bad experience.

    +1 Votes
  • Fu
      28th of Oct, 2009

    I am fresh out of being a franchisee for CPP for two years, I signed on before the recession actually hit, my buddy took $10, ooo back to school in the fall of 2007. Not bad. He ran 98% quality and hit his sales goal. My first year was the year encompassing the 2008 summer, I went through many CPP whirl wind weekends where we were sent through business bootcamp, sitting in a meeting room from 8 am till 8pm or later. Learned a lot, however missed a lot of information due to the lack of a 12 hour attention span. As far as experience goes I have to say that I learned everything that I wanted to in regards to running a legitimate contracting company. And yes I say a legitimate contracting company. I am a very obsessive person when it comes to quality, going into the summer I knew very little about painting, CPP taught me very little about painting, which is where many franchisees run into problems; but I spent many hours, probably days in the paint store asking questions, reading the back of products for the intended purpose and application. I know for a fact that every paint job I have overseen and done myself will last upwards of 15 years, which is above average for my region. However my dedication to my clients, neighbors, friends, aquaintences and more or less my personal reputation in my community is the only reason I did such good paint jobs. My first year after paying off my assests and variable expences I broke even. I hit my sales goal (100, 000) and had a 100% quality rating and also "brought someone up in the company" or recieved my internal rebate. Therefor CPP gave me a 5% rebate, of which I had to use to pay my sales tax. Ok... so I've done it once and should be able to take what I've learned and do it again and be more profitable. I was "sold" (like convindced by a used car salesman) by my GM and the Vice Presisdent to do it again the next year for an increased sales goal 130k and a 1% drop in royalty. Which is by no means a "good" deal. I remember that day vividly sitting over a Starbucks coffee signing my life away. Which is what I did. Due to the recession I had a hell of a time selling a quality paint job for the price I needed to to profit. I had to cut the quality of the job, ie spray vs brush and roll, or spray and back roll, or one coat vs two. Essentially every job that I sold was a budget paint job that I undersold myself on. I knew damn well that I could do a one coat color change via spray, if you stand ten feet away, but you look close, game over. But thats what I was forced to do. Given the margins that my business was structured in I was supposed to be paying laborers $9 per hour, instead I found a GOOD painter and paid him $12 per hour and I did the rest of the labor and was on the job the entire time. To be competitive in the recession I had to personally spray out all 26 homes that I painted this past summer. If I did not work for a franchised company I would be sitting fat like the rest of the painting companies out there with about $20k in the bank. However 25% went to CPP because I did not hit 130k in sales, I hit $75k and personally painted every single ###ing house to perfection. I paid my guy to be by my side and paint these houses, his labor ended up being 20% of the $75k not bad i supppose for a painter, however I needed to keep his labor below 15% to maintain a profitable margin for myself. And I needed to keep paint below 12% all said and done I was able to make it in at 18%. (this is how CPP does the "easy math for profit for franchisees). So that is 11% of profit margin blown just because I am painting the same houses for less money than I should just so I can get the work. The way it should line up in CPP's eyes is 18% Royalty, 2% Warrranty/Insurance, 3% Quality Rebate, 2% Internal rebate, (25% Fixed Cost with 5% Reabatable if you hit your sales goal), Paint should be max 15%, Labor max 33% (piecework), leaving the franchisee with a 27% contribution margin. Now the cash flow battle, 15% Deposit taken at time of landing the job, used to pay for marketing, ladders, fuel, living expenses etc in spring time, the money is virtually used before the job is even produced. That leaves 12% profit at the time of completion of the job IF you maintain the margins. Now the margins are completely different every job given that the franchisee does the estimate, maybe offers a discount, meets a competitiors price etc. A 1o% discount (merely 300 on 3000 easy math i know) and you are not profitable in a cash flow sense. Most painters, or employees complaints stem from the fact that they were told they would make $9 or $15 per hour. Well if that job was under bid or had a discount then that labor % instantly above where you need it to be and as a franchisee you have two options, pay your guys what they deserve or eat the cost yourself in your profit percentage (12%) I decided to pay my guy of whom was a good friend his hourly wage, it was not his fault I underbid a job, (I would like to blame the economy) so I maintianed his $12 all year. Year end my labor expense was 20%, should have been 15% (I painted as half of total labor), now I'm at 17% profit because I worked as half of the labor, well sure as ### the houses did not shrink when I gave the discount to be competitive and get work, paint costs were 18% should have been no more than 15%, so there went 3%, there I sit at 14% variable expenses taken into account, or $10, 500. Looks good on paper, well thats essentially the mind ### that a potential franchisse gets when they go through their information session. What they neglect to tell you about is how the overhead expenses affect all of this as well, (at least for me they didn't), taking into account that 15% deposit revenue generated and spent preseason and the varaible profit you make during production, subtract the overhead expenses of CPP ### and marketing and such I on the books profited about $7, 000. Mind you now this was my full time gig from february till october. I had to pay for rent, utilities, car payments, insurance, food, etc. That is not possible. I put in 1600+ hours, therefor my effective hourly wage was $3.99 per hour. And I have no money for sales tax and I still owe royalties on the last job and I'm broke. So all you people considering doing CPP know that you will not make that $10-$25k they are telling you about. That is really outlet profit not taking into account your overhead and living expenses, imagine making $10-$20, 000 a year and the life style you would have. That is what will happen. And CPP knows that college kids are accustomed to living substandard levels and don't really understand how hard they are getting screwed until they are done.

    ### EM

    0 Votes
  • Cp
      1st of Feb, 2010

    As a parent of a CPP Franchisee, I am VERY disappointed. CPP promises all this support. They explained to me upfront how the understood that College comes first. The amount of time required of these kids would be minimized during the school year. Well, that's where the story goes South!!! The meetings are out of town and begin bright and early on a Saturday morning and continue until late Sunday. How do you get to the meeting and back to school??? By driving all night or missing your classes!! There are Regional Managers that are suppose to be there to assist you in setting up your business and all of the steps throughout the summer to fininishing and shutting down your business. include assisting in your reports needed for taxes. Where is this manager??? I don't know. He only responds when he's being undoubtedly hounded by his boss for reports. Not to the kids under him that are trusting in him and CPP to have their best interest at heart! Taxes. . you are on your own. Excise Tax, Income Tax. . I sure hope you've got someone else watching your back, because nothing I've seen from CPP helps these kids prepare for the funds necessary to pay these taxes and the information necessary to complete the paperwork correctly. If you're reading this . . . .please think twice before agreeing to your child signing up for the CPP "experience." Experience it was. . .a VERY costly one!

    0 Votes
  • Cp
      1st of Feb, 2010

    I do want to compliment the College Kids who work their butts off for little or no return (literally work for free after CPP and everyone else gets their piece of the cake). They work VERY hard and take PRIDE in their work! It's the Franchise who is profiting from these poor college kids and not thinking twice about the devasting financial burden they are putting on them!

    0 Votes
  • Na
      13th of Mar, 2010

    College pro sucks and they will take all your money like they did to me. I was a franchise manager for a year and I booked around 72k while 80k was my goal. I still had time to make the goal but my GM told me to book the last 8k to get 9k check for my work at the end. I was like no ### that I didnt work 12-20 hrs a day while in college to make only 9k . So I quit right then when I could of made the goal and sold all my uncompleted jobs to different franchise managers so they could hit there goals. I was lucky to not have to pay anything for quiting but I did end up paying CPP 54k while I came home with $0. Great ###ing summer and a waste of time in college. Please spread the word. They are con-artists

    0 Votes
  • Bi
      27th of Apr, 2010

    College Pro had a complete lack of respect for my home and family. Our painting project went from bad to worse. we had to call college works to come and not only paint our home but fix what college pro had messed up on. do your research.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      3rd of May, 2010


    0 Votes

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