Anonymous on BBB
7 years ago
07/30/2014, 10:43 AM
Failure to uphold warranty to fix repairs within 30 days of notification. Poor workmanship, poor customer service, poor communication.
I contacted BJF in Feb. for a quote on a vinyl privacy fence with a gate & a quote on Feb 7. This quote included a copy of the written, express warranty that stated: "LIFETIME guarantee of construction to be free of defects in workmanship...in the event that your fence is in need of repair, all repairs will be made within 30 days of notification."
***** came out to take exact measurements of the yard on Feb 19. As required, I paid ½ of the quoted price at this time. I was told this secured me a date for the fence to be built - March 19. I was told the job would require 2 days to be done properly. Getting the date settled was of utmost priority to me. I explained to ***** that my significant other, ***** & his ***************** son would be moving in post-fence build. I needed assurance that the fence would be up by Apr 1. Because **** was renting, he was moving in at the end of the month, his lease up at the time, & again with his son, there was little room for error in changing his environment. ***** indicated to me she understood & that the deposit would lock in the date.
A few days before the 19, I called to confirm the time that the crew would arrive. ***** told me due to weather the date needed to be pushed back but she didn't know when. She would contact me later. I stressed that b/c of work, I'd need as much notice as possible. I also reiterated the need to have the fence done by the end of Mar. On Mar 20, I received an email confirming the new install date as Mar 27.
Mar 26, I sent an email to confirm again. ***** responded asking if Mar 28 would work instead. I phoned ***** the date changed again to Mar 31. I stressed to her that if there were any changes to call my cell phone, not email, over the weekend. She agreed. I also reminded her that the fence needed to be completed that week because of ******* son & we had assurances the fence would be complete.
Mon came & I waited for the crew to show up. They didn't. I checked my email & ***** had sent me an email at 7 am that the crew would arrive on Apr 1st instead. I sent an email in return saying I was disappointed to receive an email rather than a phone call as promised & to please call me personally. He did call later that night after work hours. He was extremely defensive & said that he didn't call me back earlier b/c I was so upset. In my email, I expressed my disappointment but it was a professional response. His conversation with me was not professional-I was sure to appear beyond friendly in further correspondence to avoid this type of reaction in the future. ***** asked that I give him until the April 3-4 & he would take $200 of the quoted price. He said he'd accompany the crew & oversee the job.
On Apr 3, 2 men came to build the fence. ***** did not. They didn't have the design plans & I got on the phone w/***** to explain. I stayed to make sure the lines they laid out appeared correct. When I got home from work, the fence was fully complete. I had misgivings about this as I was told it would need to be a two day job. However, what was done was done & the fence looked good. I was grateful to finally have the fence - 15 days past when it was supposed to be done. I sent a thank you email letting BJF know I was pleased with fence and promptly paid the remaining balance.
Unfortunately, the fence developed gaping holes. The gate started to sag & drag along the grass &the concrete in front of it. It started scratching along the concrete & began ruining the bottom of the vinyl gate. I took photos & emailed them to BJF on May 27 asking for repairs to be made as it was clearly a case of workmanship& should be addressed within 30 days under the warranty. So as not to cause anger or defensiveness in *****, and because I knew this company was difficult to deal with, I tried to be as polite and demur as possible. On May 28, ***** replied she had to talk to *****(continued below)
I sent another email on May 30. ***** told me on June 3 repairs were done on Saturdays & they were running 3 weeks behind. On June 4, I told her I would put the 21 of June on my calendar-she agreed.
On June 18, I emailed to confirm June 21 date. ***** said ***** was no longer with BJF & they don't work on Saturdays but they'd come soon. On June 25, ***** emailed he hadn't forgotten. I confirmed that I'd been busy & hadn't checked the gate but appreciated the email & was trying to be patient as long as I could still use the gate-it was getting worse.
July 9 I sent another email letting ***** know the gate was getting worse. Again, I said I was trying to be patient & I wasn't being grumpy (trying not get a phone call from ***** stating I was overreacting again) & that the 30 days required under the warranty for repairs had well been exceeded (notified BJF on May 27).
On July 10, BJF sent guys to fix the fence gaps and gate. **** was home & spoke with ***** on the phone who told **** not to be so upset & defensive that it had taken so long to get a crew there & that we had had no notice that the crew was coming ***** works 2nd shift/sleeps during the day hence notice as a professional courtesy would be ideal). This sounded like the "quick to tell the customer to calm down when they aren't uncalm reaction" I received from ***** earlier. **** also had an opportunity to talk to the repair crew. They stated the fence should have taken 2 days to build & b/c it was done all in one day & settled poorly, there were gaps & the gate was not settling right. They made the repairs & showed **** how to do them himself b/c it was likely to happen again. In the process of fixing the gate, one of the guys broke the post cap. He took the cap with him so he could get a new one & stated he would return with it. No timeframe given. Later that day, ***** sent me an email stating that his guys came & fixed the gate & fence gaps. He didn't mention the cap. I responded saying the guy was supposed to bring the cap back to ***** & obtain a new one. I copied **** on my email in case ***** had any questions. I also asked ***** to call before coming. ***** responded confirming he would take care of the cap.
By July 20, having heard nothing about the cap, **** emailed ***** for a time estimate in the morning. The evening of the 21, **** again emailed *****. ***** stated he would be there sometime this week. By Thurs, I emailed asking when he would be coming. **** then emailed at noon on Fri. if we would be getting the cap. Around 3:00 Friday the 25, a guy showed up with the wrong cap & indicated he would return with the right one.
I have lost patience completely with this process. We sent the original broken cap back with the worker when it was damaged so that the correct part could be obtained. I sent ***** an email on Sat. letting him know that I would be obtaining a cap on my own & I would file a complaint with the BBB & would handle the rest of this through the BBB. On Sun, ***** called & left a voice message & sent an email & then called again. In his messages he stated that he was not aware it was a gate cap & that the part had to be ordered & this is why it took so long to return with the cap. This is not logical as the damaged part had been sent back with the worker & this was the first I heard of the need to order the cap.
All in all, the customer service has been lacking with this company. Communication & follow-through would go a long way. The warranty to have repairs complete was an express, written warranty, which was not upheld. Notification took place on May 27 with repairs done on July 10 resulting in further damage which is still incomplete. I feel entitled to a refund of some money-given that I relied in good faith on the warranty & the workmanship was poor-including a refund of the cost of a cap & the info on what company makes the cap so I can obtain the cap on my own & avoid any further interaction with this business.
It appears the customer is dissatisfied with her entire experience with BJF. Yes it is true it took longer to get to her installation than the original date given. These dates are given to a customer when a contract is signed and deposit is received. This date is given with full intentions and weather permitting. This winter lasted significantly longer than the norm and caused multiple delays for installations not only for Big Jerry's Fencing but with multiple fence companies and other construction work in the area.
The time frame an installation takes for a vinyl fence is based on the total footage of a project and the digging conditions. The customer's fence being finished in one day or two is not significant nor does is have anything to do with the durability of the construction.
Yes it did take 13 days longer than the 30 day time frame we inform our customers it would take to get to address her concerns with her fence. I also informed her that if any further damage was done to the fence, due to the extended time it had taken to get to her repair, we would gladly take care of it. Given the customer had made initial contact with us to receive updates, we were in contact with customer, per her own statement, keeping her updated as best as possible.
On July 10th when the repair was made, I did email the customer to make sure she was satisfied with her repairs and she informed me she was, other than a "broken post cap". I did inform her that I would take care of this.
July 25th the customer's partner did contact BJF via email stating it was 12:15 and there was still no cap and asked that we call him and left his phone number. I immediately attempted to call him twice from my personal cell, per his request, without response. A couple of hours later I had sent one of my installers to replace this $2 cap only to find out is was not a post cap, as she informed me. It was a gate frame cap. The difference being the size of the cap. The customer not being knowledgeable of fences and the specific terms of certain materials is not a big deal nor to be expected. I was made aware of this
Friday afternoon and was prepared to take immediate care of this over the weekend. I attempted to contact the customer via phone and email to make her aware of same. However it appears she did not just want the cap to replaced, according to her BBB complaint she wants money, and that explains why she did not want me to put the correct cap on yesterday the 27th nor does she want it on now. I have informed her that this is something I have in hand and literally can be resolved in within an hour of her giving the ok.
I am prepared to put the new cap on at any time. Please let me know when this can be done and if there are any other issues that need to be addressed. I will gladly make sure these are addressed promptly.
In response, I would agree with the assessment that I am dissatisfied with my experience with BJF. Contrary to the representation made by the company, I was not kept updated by the company. Rather, on almost every occasion, I had to reach out the company to be informed of the status of the job. In some instances, I would call the afternoon before they were supposed to be there, only to be told that they weren't coming. In one instance, I was contacted one hour, via email, prior to a start time/date to state that they cannot be there because they had to complete another job. Had this been a one time occurrence, it would have been more understandable. As I provided in my initial complaint, the lack of contact and updates and consideration for the consumer was a repeated problem.
Two further brief points: With regards to the cap. As I stated in my complaint, we sent the broken cap back with an employee so that there was no confusion about what cap was needed. It appears that employee never advised the owner of what cap was needed. That is fine. As the consumer, I was not notified that this was a special order or that it would take weeks. If the individual ordering the part had a question about what was broken, he should have asked the worker who was on the job site, or asked me to send a photo.
Point two: I will concede I know nothing about fence building. This is why I employed someone to build a fence. However, every contractor I spoke with indicated that this would need to be a 2 day job because of fence settling issues. The BJF employee who came out to do the measurements indicated that it would need to be a 2 day job - to let the concrete settle. When I spoke with the owner on the phone the week the job was done, he indicated it would be a 2 job. When his crew of 4 came out to fix the fence, THEY indicated it needed to be a 2 day job, that the fact that it wasn't had caused the gaps and the fence problems. In fact, they went so far as to show my partner how to fix this problem in the future so we did not have to deal with the owner again. All sources indicate to me that the fact that this job was done in one day is not the industry standard.
I understand the owner's frustration with having to go through the BBB over what appears to be an inexpensive cap. I have spent the past 5 months experiencing frustration as well. BJF has employees that make express promises that, perhaps, the owner is not aware of that set up false expectations for consumers and who have indicated that the fence was built poorly. Even when the other employees are not involved; however, BJF failed to meet their express 30 day warranty for fixing workmanship repairs. I relied on this warranty when selecting BJF. In sum, this fence building process should have been long over. It should not take the consumer having to attempt repeatedly to get the work done or complaining to the BBB to get an appropriate response.
Final Business Response
I am very sorry you did not have the best experience with Big Jerry's Fencing. We strive for excellence and complete customer satisfaction, however we apparently fell short with you and your experience, For that, I truly am sorry. Per your previous email to me you are satisfied will all repairs expect for the broken cap. Again, I will advise you that your Gate Frame Cap is in hand and can be put on at any time. Please let either myself or the BBB know how you would like to proceed.