The Good, the Bad, and the Misleading
I consider myself an excellent yard sale shopper. I spent years attending yard sales with my mother and watching her careful eye as she determined what was a good deal and what was just more junk. It was at the age of 8 that I realized what I so desperately wanted at the yard sale around the corner would inevitably end up at our own yard sale in a few years.
In addition to yard sales our webmaster introduced me to Freecycle, a website where people post furniture, electronics, and other items that they just want to get rid of free of charge. If you find an item in your area that you are interested in you just set up a time and place and make the exchange, no money involved. The trick to yard sales and Freecycle is being able to separate the good from the bad. While some may argue that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, I would argue that some trash is just trash. It really is a talent to be able to determine the difference between treasure and trash. Not everyone possesses that intuition.
Unfortunately for the window film industry not all consumers are capable of discerning the difference between the good and the bad and, most importantly, the misleading. So, who makes sure the consumer is receiving important– (and truthful)– information and not the junk?
In July, we published a story about dubious “information” published the internet that was reported to Window Film magazine. When we followed the source trail we found that it was written by a “home professional” from an “Ask the Pro” section of the website. However, the website doesn’t note that and unless you continued to search the website you wouldn’t know. The fact of the matter is that to the consumer’s eye it just looks like factual information which is completely misleading.
In addition to this, a question on Angie’s List was brought to our attention. The question, asked by Roger Linville (who is listed on Linked In as being employed by glass manufacturer PPG until 2009 and is now an independent consultant) asked, “Our front windows face southwest. We have no shade trees in the front yard, so we are expecting the front rooms to get hot this summer. We also have condensation between the panes. We plan to replace the glass, but I am getting conflicting advice. Should I get low-E glass and rely on it to block the infrared heat waves, or get clear glass and have an infrared-reflective film applied? Which will give me the best results?”
The answer to Linville’s questions came from Todd Overpeck at Glass Doctor and guess what he recommended— low-E glass and not film. Within the response to the question it states, “Overpeck says adding tinted film to a clear glass window is a lower-cost alternative, because it blocks the sun, but does not stop the heat. Since the film doesn’t stop the heat from escaping, you don’t get the energy savings and your home is colder in winter, he says. Another advantage to low-E glass is that it’s clearer than the reflective film.”
After reading this I was confused. Not only was this information about window film misleading, but I also didn’t understand why Linville would ask the question to begin with. After working for PPG for over 28 years as the marketing communications manager Linville should know a lot about glass and energy efficiency. So that leaves me wondering why Linville would ask the question in the first place. I’ll leave it up to you to solve the mystery.
So now what? As much as we’d like to be, we can’t be website police all the time and some mis-information is bound to live on in cyberspace. Is the answer to continue to put truthful education about window film out on the web ourselves and hope that it gets read? Is it easier to combat misinformation with correct information? How should the battle be fought? Are there non-traditional ways of informing the public that might spark interest?
If you find news material about window film that is false and misleading e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to look into it.