The Old Bait and Switch…Again

Posted By on March 27, 2009

Andy, I appreciate reading this blog and unfortunately I feel I am seeing this go on with Potterhill Homes. Let me begin with how I became aware of Potterhill Homes. I was listening to a radio ad and heard the 4.5% you are offering on your homes which lead me to view the website. I looked at available communities and came upon Independence Ridge where I saw the Roosevelt advertised for $119,990 with and 8 foot basement. I looked over the standards and saw the 9 foot ceilings, dimensional shingles, and ceramic tile surrounds to name a few. I showed this to my wife and she agreed that maybe we should build a new home instead of buying an existing home at this price. We made an appointment and arranged to visit a finished Roosevelt home. We looked around and fell in love with the home. It was perfect for our growing family and a great neighborhood also. We followed Sue to the model home and looked over available lots and pricing. We suffered a huge shock when she added $15,000 to the price for a basement. I showed her the printout from the website and it was dismissed as a typo. We went ahead and took home the information about available lots and the new price. My wife and I discussed the price increase and we estimated it was still a good deal with all the standard features included in the new price. So after some discussion and budget reviews we headed back to view the available sites, and choose one we thought would be a good fit. We called Sue and wrote up a contract that day. A few days later we were able to get an appointment with Candy to make selections and after going through all our choices we found out the dimensional shingles and 9 foot ceilings were an upgrade. Once again I was shocked and showed the website information to Candy who suggested we speak with Sue. Upon returning home I immediately called Sue and left a message. We spoke the next day and Sue said she would speak with Andy. I just spoke with Sue again today and she informed me that these items are indeed extra, and that was all she could do. I mentioned this blog and she suggested that I should try and speak to you about this. I understand there is a changeover from Charleston to Potterhill, but I researched and decided to purchase a Potterhill home. All I am asking for is what I thought I was buying in the first place. We love the home, the neighborhood and so far what we have seen from Potterhill Homes but honestly I am feeling a bit like there is a bait and switch going on here. I was willing to go with the extra charge for the basement, but if we have to come up with another $2600 for 9 foot ceilings and the shingles we will have to continue to shop.

 

I receive the comment above from a potential customer in response to my blog titled “The Old Bait and Switch”. This customer has made some very valid points.  As most of you are aware, we have recently merged Charleston Signature Homes and Potterhill Homes.  While the overall quality of the homes is comparable, the standard features were different between the two divisions and we’ve been making continuous adjustments. Unfortunately, some of these adjustments have happened faster than we can update all of the many advertising vehicles we use today. Frankly, this customer caught some of the changes that needed to be made before we did.

 

This response did prompt me to discuss another aspect of our business.  Potterhill Homes, like most builders, does offer different lines of homes in different communities across the Greater Cincinnati market. Builders offer these different lines, with different features, based on the area. One area may have an average sales price in the $250,000 range and another may be in the $150’s – for the same house. We understand it can be confusing to the consumer when they go to a web site and see features offered that aren’t included in every community where we build. Starting immediately, we will be working on a way to make sure it’s clearer to visitors to our web site.

 

The constants in any Potterhill Home are Energy Efficiency, Green Building Techniques, and High Quality. These aren’t “market specific”, these are commitments from our company to our customers.   I’m happy to report that we have been working with this customer and it looks like he and his family are moving forward with their plans to build a new Potterhill Home.  We look forward to building them a quality, energy-efficient home they will love for years to come.

 

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About the author

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!

Comments

One Response to “The Old Bait and Switch…Again”

  1. Shawn Walsh says:

    Andy, I wanted to follow up and first say that the fact you posted my response unedited really speaks volumes about you and your companies character. Although we are in the beginning stages of the process of building a new home with Potterhill Homes, I am impressed with your integrity. I have done some more shopping and there is no way that anyone is going to build this home at any price. Many builders offer a home in this price range as a 2 story on a slab and only electric for utilities. I was amazed at how many builders do not offer natural gas for heating. If you do the math on an electric water heater versus a gas one, it is a big difference in utility bills. The bottom line is I am building a brand new ranch with a basement and 9 foot ceilings for under $150,000. This price includes a wood burning fireplace and the basement is poured to be a true eight feet. I have lived in homes built by 2 other major local builders and I can say that i was very disappointed in not only the quality, but the efficiency as well. I look forward to moving on and moving in this summer.

    Sincerely,

    Shawn

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!