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College Pro Painters / Want To Lose $20k? Join College Pro!

1 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Review updated:

I am a 19 year old University student and when I heard I could make $10k-$90k in a summer with College Pro I decided to find out more info. After going through two interviews with my general manager I had a thrid where we would go over the contract and I could ask questions. Here are the "expectations" of a franchisee that he laid out for me:

- Working 10-20 hrs/week January to May, 60-80 hrs/week May and June, 20 hrs/week July and August
- To start up a solid business would cost me roughly $2k from my pocket, College Pro finances the rest
- Most managers make $30k to $90k in one summer
- Full training on how to estimate, paint, and sell provided by College Pro

After hearing this I dicussed it with my parents and we decided I should/could do it. little did I know signing that contract would be the biggest mistake of life. Here is the reality of those "expectations" that were laid out for me during the interview:

- Working 30-40 hours/week January to May (Very little time for school let alone anything else)
Working 90-110 hrs/week May and June (Every waking minute is spent working)
- Starting up my business cost me $15k from my pocket and College Pro financed $7k worth of useless garbage that they make even more money on (such as papers, logos, signs, marketing programs which have zero effect)
- Most managers either fail or make less than $10k ( I have to mention there was actually one that made $60k or above in a summer)
- One day spent learning how to paint a house ( you then have to train your painters with that little knowledge you gained in one day on the most importan aspect of your business)
- Two weekends spent learning how to sell
- One day spent learning how to estimate AFTER you've done 10-20 estimates already

I quit being a manager beginning of June after I started losing even more money by painting! That's right, once I started painting I was losing even more money than the initial $20k because all of my estimates were apparently wrong and my painters didn't know how to paint because I didn't know how to paint. College Pro of course makes money though, 24% off every job plus you have to pay for other expenses of theirs which equals about 35% in total. The only people making money was College Pro, my painters were making less than minimum wage because the budgets are too short to allow a quality job. The end result was half a year spent working and over $20, 000 of debt incurred. That's enough to pay for my entire tuition! Not to mention all the things I could have been done that I gave up so I could make College Pro Money.

There are countless of other reveiws out there that say similar or worse things about College Pro. If you are thinking of being a manager or painter, or getting your house painted, be very cautious by doing lots of research and using good judgement. I would personally not recommend this company to ANYONE and think the word should be spread about how they rip off young students.

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  • Ni
      9th of Jul, 2009
    -6 Votes

    man i have already made 25 G in half a summer get over it

  • Sc
      4th of Mar, 2010
    -6 Votes

    I feel sorry for you and the person who hired you. You obviously aren't the caliber of entrepreneur College Pro requires for success. The training is more than thorough in my area (West Coast) and I have yet to lose money in a summer with College Pro.
    It takes hard work and dedication, constant self coaching along with your weekly goal setting and review with your GM. It takes HARD WORK. I have to repeat that, because this value has seem to been lost in our generation.
    I still think my work ethic could use some improvement, however, I have listened to my training and reflected on what works best for my business and translated that into profit (which is the bottom line for small business).
    I am not bashing the poster of this complaint, I am merely stating that this person may not have been the right fit in the first place. I do partially blame the recruiter for this, and I am glad that the poster decided to quit rather than continuing their work and damaging College Pro's brand image. Good luck in your future career opportunities and please continue to share your experiences in a respective manner.

  • Te
      19th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    College pro sucks, poor quality painters horrible management, from coast to coast the worst company to have paint your house, business, or whatever. your better off hiring the mexicans outside of home depot, "seriously" at least they work harder and for cheaper. It's funny that all the mangers for college pro decided to lookup the complaints in thier area and add a comment about how the complaints have been nullified???? booooooo!!! lol

  • Ms
      28th of May, 2010
    -2 Votes

    hello, i am suing college pro. and i am wondering if i can find out more about your story. I was a franchisee last year and i have a similar story.
    plz email me at

  • Ms
      7th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I agree Les, and I am willing to prove that the person who wrote the previous comment is a paid general manager, or even someone who has never had to deal with college pro and is just paid to search the internet and write good comments about college pro. But those people have no conscious, because new franchises will read those comments and believe it and end up in huge debt. For anyone who is reading this. Don't take my word for it, search other internet stories see what college pro has done to people.

  • Ca
      16th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Where's your proof then. I'm a manager from Canada, not someone hired to fix complaints. Out of the millions of dollars worth of homes painted each summer by EACH DIVISION of College Pro realistically, there will be complaints, there will be unreasonable customers and there will be unethical managers who "talk" their way into a position running their own business. It's unfortunate that these situations occur, and in some cases are not dealt properly by either parties.

    College Pro is a struggle for some managers, and others a reality check that maybe they aren't capable of what they thought. It's taken time, feedback, support, alot of training and even more effort and passion on my part to succeed and because of that I'm a better person, more experienced and certainly more profitable student/business owner.

    This is not for anyone, and I feel sorry for the homeowners who come across the managers without proper values, I feel sorry for the Recruiters/General Managers that may take risks they regret giving some people this power, and I do not feel sorry for Young people claiming to be entrepreneurs who enter something without the right reasons, who look for fast/easy money and who stain the reputation of a company after having been exposed.

  • Ms
      16th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    And i agree with u there are many unethical managers out there in fact there are many unethical people out there period. I was a manager at college pro and I know what managers do. I have worked with many companies in my life. I have managed two businesses other then college pro. I will not argue with you further as it is a waste for both of our time ( u see im not getting paid for it!) all i am trying to do is open new franchisees and anyone who thinks about it eyes to see what college pro really is. I will let them know what the GMs don't tell them upon signing the contract, and it is there choice after that! I have given my name and if u really believed in what u were saying you would say your name. I am a man of my word and i have proof for all i am saying. word of advice, get out of the company before they go to trial for fraud. Because then you will be implicated with there actions. Please note every thing u are saying here and will be saying here can be used in court.

  • Co
      17th of Jun, 2010
    -1 Votes

    College Pro is a rip job and they should be shut down for their dishonest and pathetic practices in which they lie and coerce students into signing a contract!! The intital complaint is dead on!

  • Hu
      27th of Sep, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I have been a College Pro franchisee for three years now. I have nothing but phenomenal things to say about the company. I have made great money! I have learned a lot! I look at some of these points and do not understand. Instead of posting on the internet why do you not go out and ask for help with your business. I know there are plenty of individuals willing to assist.

  • Co
      28th of Sep, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Thats intresting! would you be able to name a few of those indiividuals who are willing to help??
    And word of advice do not say your GM! hehehe nway im glad you had such a great experience with a fraudulant company i hope that you ran your business honestly and will not be called in court!
    good luck.

  • Kn
      11th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    So has anyone seemed to realize that this is a Franchise. This meaning that you run your own Franchise. Meaning the goverment allows them to be a franchise for going on 40 years. Wouldnt that mean that they are not doing anything illegal. Ok, so even if they have found a loop hole, why would they run the numbers. You say they front the overhead except for 2K. So you are saying that the company fronts you 8K on a 10K overhead? Then you say you owe them money, if you took a loan from a bank to run a business wouldnt you owe it back if your business fails? I am really confused. I ran a business with College Pro. They take a percentage of the job, yah like every other franchise. Yet they fronted the money and then when you couldnt figure it to be profitable, you go to the company and blame them for working to collect the 20K, you mean the 8K they fronted and then the 12K in bills you never paid. So if you ran over 100K business they would have broken even maybe? How are they crooks in this? How would they still be around? Some of these comments dont make any sense? The company would have gone under if they didnt have a lot of managers successful. Think through the numbers, you didnt even pay in the 20K, the company took a hit on thier investment, imagine how they feel? Life is not fair, and in the real world ladies and gentleman, if you want to be at the top, like running your own business you have to work harder then anyone and sweat more then anyone to make your way, ask any business owner? Risk = Reward! Either take it on yourself or dont, but dont blame everyone else because you couldnt figure it out after taking some risk.

  • S8
      11th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    No one is blaming them for a failure of a franchise to run a profitable business. Just to correct your facts, the company is under! in fact they owe franchisees money that they supposably took by mistake from there account to boost up there stock price! (smells like fraud!!). and you are right risk= reward. but the risk for college pro is very minimal as even if you went under like you said. they are still billing you and you are responsible to pay the bill. ( a franchisee cannot declare bankrupsy! ). Moreover the whole point of being a franchisee is to have monitoring that is enusring your business is run in an efficient way. otherwise what is stoping you form making that 8 k investment your self and starting your own business. In fact in college Pros case, There contract clearly state that they are there to ensure business are run efficiently. This is also the mono they go by. But unfortunatly they fail to live by it. As it requires time and effort on there side to. If you show the contract to a lawyer, he will point out several inconsistencies and unfair practices. But since college pro market it self to first year university students (18 or older! -- would you like me to explain why??) they are normally not mature enough to seek a lawyers opinion. In fact they are usually told that it is a once a life offer that only them can get and they can only get it at this time and that they need to sign the contract on the spot!
    Anyhow, I am not sure why you just rambled a bunch with no purpose. My purpose of writing the comments here is not to blame anybody as this will take place in court. But to give new students and people intrested in becoming college pro franchisee something to look at. And then they can make there own decision. I wish this information was available to me when i made my decision. But it was not therefore i strive to make all information available for futur individuals.

  • Ex
      2nd of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    It shocks me to see how many people have had a negative experience on here. Whats mis leading though, is whenever someone talks about the positives, everyone gangs up on them and says they "work for the company".

    I'd encourage anyone looking into this role, to look at the statistics:
    - There are over 700 student franchisees with College Pro in North America.
    -Statistically 9 out of 10 college pro franchisees make money in their FIRST year. (opposed to 1 out of 10 in businesses outside)

    SO saying that everyone was brand new to this like a lot of you will be--630 people a year make money, grow from the program, gain life skills and taste some pretty decent money.

    The remaining people, are the people who are on these sites, spewing out insults, and down talking a program that maybe they just weren't ready for.

  • Wi
      19th of Nov, 2012
    +1 Votes

    To those people that are saying that college pro was a great experience, you need to get a life! You obviously bought into Jeff's system. Who I can say is the biggest idiot I have ever met! There is plenty of ways to make the same about of money in a summer, and work far less hours! I would also say 9 out of 10 of the college pro staff (or coaches) spend at least 110 hours a week! They think they are making a difference in your business but really they have nothing better to do but call you every day nagging you to get your numbers in! I was looking forward to my summer with college pro when i started, but once I did I realized how bad it was and why they have such a low return rate for managers! Take advice, DO NOT SIGN THE CONTRACT! If you want to run a window cleaning business, get out there and knock on some doors and under quote what other companies are quoting! Instead of only putting 0% of the money in the 1st month and 25-40% the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, put a 100 in your pocket! Their "coaching sessions" in Toronto are a complete waste of time! If you have the drive to run your own window cleaning business, watching coaching videos online and get out there! NEVER SIGN that contract else your in for the worst summer of your life!

  • De
      28th of Mar, 2014
    0 Votes

    Well that makes sense you are in debt. What do you think happens to any other business owner when they quit halfway through.

  • Ne
      1st of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    I'm here to sell my product, but our product was made for people who want to run their own business with less stress.

    We understand a lot of the frustration with working for a company like this. We have developed a course that is affordable and easy to use. It teaches you to run your own landscaping business. Both summer and winter. Perfect student job. We don't make any commission and guess what? The course is $19.99. It's affordable and gives you everything you need to get started. It's still being developed right now and it's not so polished but it has all the information you need. A lot of people have been successful making much better than average wages. We think it's worth a shot. Give it a try?

    Thanks for your time,
    Newcollege Work Rep

  • Je
      19th of Feb, 2015
    0 Votes

    I was a franchisee for a couple years in school, and I found it an amazing experience. I made way more than I would've made at any other job!

    This is not a job. You are not an employee. You ARE running your OWN business. The whole program and GMs are just there to help you along, teach your what you need in the beginning, and be someone to reach out to when you need help. You don't get this when you buy a McDonalds or Tim Hortons. All the amazing learning, it is from yourself. You have to put in real time and get real experience, no one can teach you how to completely run a business, you need to get out there yourself and do it; the difference here is your GM who's done this before and can help you in any way you need.

    This is not for everyone. You have to want to put in the hours, because all those hours directly help YOUR business.

    I don't know you, and your story, but I found this a rewarding program. Coming out, I had no problem finding a job, and graduated debt free.

  • Si
      15th of Jun, 2015
    0 Votes

    My name is Anthony and i was an unsuccessful franchisee that also lost money.
    Evan though i was unsuccessful i still have to say CCP is an amazing company giving students that would normally not be able to run a business the opportunity and training to do so. If you follow the system and have an open mind and have the right personality, you can be very successful through CCP. It has worked for many people and many people to come. I failed because of me and am not going to bash a company because of my mistakes. I would advise the people thinking of joining to know that it is a risk they are taking, but there success lyes purely on there hands and there ability to effectively learn the system. Its a great program and you will grow a tone because of it.

  • Le
      28th of Jun, 2015
    0 Votes

    To the OP, (and others who are familiar with College Pro internally)
    (For those that are scanning the comments, this is a NEGATIVE review on CP.)

    I'm currently an EMPLOYEE for CP --- NOT A MANAGER. I'm disput|ngg over my pay with my manager. When I was hired, my manager told me that I would be getting paid BY THE HOUR; surprise, I was NOT. Like OP said, I too am being paid well less than minimum wage. Where I'm from that's $10.50/h according to our employment standards. Everyday, I'm paid for 45 minutes of setup, cleanup, and drive time between jobs. Then, I'm paid not for the ACTUAL HOURS I spend cleaning every house, I'm paid for the BUDGETED hours - you know, REGARDLESS if the estimate was wrong, or it took us longer because of external circumstances. Oh, then might I add our hours are divided up among us. (3 times at most if our manager jumps in) My last 2 weeks I wrote myself down at 65 hours for MYSELF - Paycheck comes in at 40.3 hours. That works out to be a deficit of about $300 compared to what I was expecting. We also keep a tally sheet of how much time we spend on every house. And yes, that 65.5 DOES ACCOUNT for the 45 minutes we're paid for every day.

    Our manager's "GM" or whatever isn't answering us, that's great. I'm definitely not sticking around. Better yet, my manager was my best friend; definitely the end of that.

    I support CP, and I know that it's one of the few entrepreneurial education programs besides Junior Achievement, Enactus, or any other such organization. It's unfortunate that situations like these occur due to recruitment, training, or the decisions of a CP manager, but I firmly believe that trust is something that managers must earn with employees. (this works vice versa) P.S. - There were numerous communication and organization issues with our manager already - the income however was what most greatly affected myself.

    Overall, do your research when you choose CP (buyer, potential franchisees, or job-seeking employees) CP franchisees vary indefinitely.

  • Jm
      30th of Nov, 2015
    0 Votes

    I don't believe the OP was stating the business failure wasn't their fault, just that what they got for their money and time wasn't worth it and didn't meet the initial expectations. I ran a franchise two years ago and wouldn't do it again. What the company provides for how much they take is minimal. They focus solely on sales training because that's what brings in the $ for them. Little regard for financial or HR management or even painting assistance to the franchisee. My advice is start your own business. You'll actually end up working less and making more money.

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