Anonymous on BBB
8 years ago
01/13/2015, 07:29 AM
Complaint: DC&F contracted to refinish my wood floors. After 3 attempts, the company returned my deposit, but left the floors damanaged.
After 3 attempts to fix the damage caused by the company, the company left the job unfinished and the wood floors damaged. Due to the multiple attempts to fix the prior damage caused by the company, there is not enough wood to refinish a 4th time, so the company abandoned the project leaving me with damaged floors, not enough wood to refinish, and no options.Desired Settlement: Replace and/or repair the damage caused by the company
Initial Business Response /* (1000, 9, 2014/12/05) */
Mr. ********* hired us to take up carpet in his living and dining room and replace it with 360 sq. ft. of new hardwood flooring. The job also required us to lace in and connect to the existing 477 sq. ft. of hardwood floors on the main floor including the kitchen, entry, hallways and bath. Once the new floors were put in, we were to sand and finish the entire 837 sq. ft. of hardwood, old and new, as is required to get a consistent color throughout the entirety of the floor.
The first crew had an equipment problem that led to the customer not being completely satisfied with the project. Our goal is to always have a 100% completely satisfied customer. We subsequently fired that crew as it is imperative and required that their equipment be properly maintained. We then had our second crew come in to redo the sand and finish portion of the job. This crew did a much better job, but had two issues arise in the kitchen section (where the floor existed before the start of the project): (1) their sander hit a nail securing a board that wasn't fully driven into the board in the first place or had subsequently come up over time, and (2) after completion of the job, the water line connecting the refrigerator had a leak.
Our contracts with our customers specifically state "Installers do not disconnect/reconnect appliances including gas lines for stoves or plumbing attachments on refrigerators". Our sales reps are trained that there are no exceptions to this rule and our contracts with our installers specifically state that breaking this rule is cause for termination. This is one of the contributing factors that led to the termination of the second installation crew.
After the water line was repaired, the customer informed us that they had a long term house guest and wanted to wait until October to have us come back and look at closing out the project. We agreed to that. When boards get wet, it takes time for them to dry out completely to be able to fully assess the situation to determine if there will be any damage anyway. The amount of visible damage by the water leak was a small patch about 4"x6" in front of the refrigerator and most likely a few boards underneath the refrigerator.
When October came around, I had the head of our third crew, a crew we had hired in the interim and absolutely one of the best and most experienced there is in Denver, meet with myself and Mr. ********* at the ********* residence.
At this point in time the installer informed the customer that in their opinion, the floor had one if not two more sands left in it, meaning that the nail that had come up before with the first crew was no indication that the floor could not be re-sanded at least once if not two or more times. They also tested the moisture content of where the leak from the refrigerator was and indicated that with fans on it, it could be sanded if needed most likely within just a few days. It was agreed that they would come back with fans the next day and start work the next week.
Later that evening I received a call from the installer and he stated that after thinking about it further, he was having reservations about starting on a job that already had so many issues. He said that he would take on the project, but only if he could contract directly with the customer. I believe that he felt he was putting himself at too much risk. After doing the work, the customer might hold payment for a reason related more to an issue from one of the previous installers, and if that were the case, he probably feared he would have no recourse. Though a little upset about it, I understood where he was coming from.
After much thought the next day, I phoned the customer to explain the situation I now found myself in. As a business owner, the last thing I would ever want is to have a customer that would feel like they were being abandoned, and I made it clear that I would go to the ends of the Earth to find another crew to make sure this job was completed under our supervision if that is what they wanted. I let them know that I have never walked away from a job before, and to make the decision to step aside was an extremely difficult one, but I was willing to put my ego aside to make sure they received the best level of service in getting their project completed. I felt so bad about it, I didn't feel like we deserved a dime from these folks and felt it would be best to refund all of their money.
At the end of the day the customer was given two choices:
1) Have our company find another crew and finish the job
2) They could take a full refund of their deposit, obviously getting the brand new hardwood flooring in their Living and Dining room for free, and then work directly with the one of the best sand & finish companies in Denver to repair any water damage in the kitchen.
I spoke to both Mr. and Mrs. ********* on the phone about it at length, making sure they understood the issues and were happy with the approach we were taking. They said that they understood, thanked me, and chose the second choice.
I put the installer in touch with the *********'s and immediately sent Mr. and Mrs. ********* a check for the full amount of their initial deposit.
Per our agreement, I assumed that after the check had cleared the bank any outstanding issues were successfully resolved.
Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 14, 2014/12/08) */
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Although I can appreciate ****'s response, there are still unresolved issues. The response is accurate up to the point of giving us two options. Although this statement is true, DCF also agreed to supply the contractor to fix the damage caused by the 1st 2 crews at DFC, letting me pay for the work. However, I wanted to make sure the cost to fix the damage did not exceed the original price of $5,000. If the cost to repair the damage exceeded the original bid, I would ask that DCF pay the difference. I'm not trying to get a free wood floor, just trying to be fair. I think this was confirmed in an Oct. 6th email from **** (attached email) asking if he could drop wood off to our house on Oct. 18th. This would be the wood for the existing wood floors, not the new wood floors that were installed by DFC over the Summer. So, it was the intention of DCF to replace the wood and finish the job, not simply return a deposit and part ways.
I have repeatedly told **** it's not about the money, it's more about finishing the job correctly. Once the deposit was returned, **** and I had several additional conversations about fixing the damage caused by the DCF wood floor crews. **** agreed to put us in contact with a wood floor specialist who would charge us to fix the damage. Despite several attempts, DCF has not honored this obligation. We starting talking about accepting the poor work and just fixing the damage because we have been through the wood sanding exercise two times already, moving all the furniture ourselves, losing the kitchen for a week each time, and then cleaning up the dust afterwards and putting the house together. I would be hard pressed to have my wife accept a 3rd attempt, which based on the first 2 attempts, might be left with even a worse result.
I am requesting assistance from the BBB because I want to to be fair to DCF, but also get the work done. Yes, I currently have new wood floors covering 360 sq ft in the living room and dining room. However, we have damaged wood floors in the 477 sq ft original area. I have requested an estimate to repair the damage caused by DCF, but have not received it yet. Wood floors can usually be sanded down 4 to 5 times before being too thin and must be replaced. This also depends on the amount of wood taken off by each sanding. There are nails showing through in places, which indicated nearing the end of life for the floor. Although the old floors have been sanded 2 times prior to DCF and 2 times with DCF, my fear is that I have run out of wood and once I get a crew in, will have to replace the floors, which is what was offered in ****'s Oct. 6th email. I suspect the loss of wood is near critical because of the 6 bags of dust taken away as a result of the first 2 attempts and the nails showing through the wood.
I have an estimate from Home Depot to replace the 477 sq ft + 10% wood floor in the original part of the house for $13,000. The cost of the wood is $7,086 and labor to install and finish is $5,383. In this scenario, I would expect DCF to pay the difference of $13,000 - $5,000 or $8,000 to fix the damaged caused by the prior DCF crews. Alternatively, perhaps DCF could provide the Select/common #1 red oak wood and leave me to find the contractor to install and replace the floors.
Final Business Response /* (4000, 16, 2014/12/30) */
I am sorry that Mr. ********* still insists that there are unresolved issues. The agreement that we came to was for me to refund all of his money and take a financial loss so that he could use that money to work directly with another contractor. We never discussed what would happen if the contractor that I recommended he use did not end up taking the job for whatever reason (including lack of communication from either party). At that time, nor any other time before he cashed my check, was it ever discussed what would happen if another contractor came in at a higher price. He only brought that up later, after he made this complaint.
Previous to us settling our differences and coming to an agreement, I sent Mr. ********* an email in an attempt to figure out when we would be coming out to complete the job. I think this is the heart of the matter which has led to his assumption that our company would be replacing the floor in his kitchen. The fact of the matter is that I relied on what my sales reps first impressions were - that it was possible that a floor replacement would be needed. In the interim, I have had had three professional flooring companies tell me that a replacement was in fact not needed.
Mr. ********* says that he has repeatedly told me that "it is not about the money." Originally this seems to be true as he told me that even though a replacement was not needed, he would be happy to cover the cost of replacing the wood on his own, as he may possibly like to have the floor replaced anyway. In our last conversation, he told me that he does not intend to replace the floor now at all. I was standing right there when the third professional flooring company that I tried to get him in touch with told him that the floor looked fine and that he could never recommend "replacing a perfectly good floor with a new floor." Now Mr. ********* is seeking $8,000. This is obviously an inflated number that I doubt even comes from a legitimate quote in writing. The cost of the wood in his quote comes in at $14.86 per square foot for 2-1/4" red oak just for the material. Look at it this way. Our price was $5,000 for the whole job including 360 sq. ft. of new wood and 477 sq. ft. of existing wood. If he decides he wants to replace the entire floor in the kitchen, which again, is not needed, then the absolute worst case scenario would be that you flip those amounts and there would be 117 sq. ft. more wood needed this time around giving only as 14% increase in cost or $700 more. The fact is, three professional flooring crews said that if you did any replacement at all, you would not have to replace everything. These same crews also said that no replacement was needed at all.
I think it is clear what Mr. *********'s intentions are. At this point, I am not willing to give this customer anything more than I already have.