Flooring Installations by jackking.com – Horror stories, etc. of larger Flooring companies
These are excerpts from the Consumer Affairs website:
Carlotta, a contractor from Houston, writes (12/27/03):
I’m a female General Contractor who owns a small remodeling company. I’ve read some of the complaints of the customers and have this to add. Large companies such as Home Depot are slowly putting small businesses out of business by offering the customers to install their products.
Home Depot has to hire contractors to do the installing in order to have quality work done. The problem is that the contractors’ prices are being driven down by home Depot in order to get the customers to give the job of installation to them. Their prices are much less than the average cost for installation done by the average contractor.
When the customer searches for a contractor on his own and compares the price with Home Depot, he chooses the cheaper price. It’s like the old saying, “You get what you pay for.”
Most of the people at Home Depot are specialists in the fields of merchandise and materials. Most are not contractors. They may have a basic knowledge of the actual repair itself but do not have the skills of a good contractor. Therefore, they have to hire contractors to be on call to install their merchandise. They set the prices for the repairs, but this should only be done by a general contractor that has good estimating skills. Their low estimates keep small business contractors from getting jobs because of the price differences.
Houston Texas 77026
Darren, a contractor from Wichita, writes:
As for the dissatisfied Home Depot users, I can only say this: I am a contractor myself and I know that everyone wants to get the most for his/her hard-earned dollar and in this case you take a do-it-yourself store that is only going to be as good as the people it hires and the quality of work on its installs is only going to be as good as the quality of the cheap-labor-oriented companies they hire.
Some blame must go to the customer for being too trusting and not asking for successful installs, which are public info to anyone who asks, then basing your decision to do or not to do business.
In short, it is OK to buy materials at a reasonable price but not everyone knows how to install properly. Would you hire a professional to do a real job or a handyman?
They’re right. Consumers should always, always, always ask for a list of recent jobs the contractor has done and then check out those jobs — go see them, talk to the prior customers. It’s also important to have a clear contract that everyone understands and to be reasonable and understanding when glitches occur, as they almost always do. If Home Depot can give you a list of happy customers who’ve had similar jobs done, more power to them. But don’t count on it.
Jennifer of Lake Forest CA (1/6/04):
Last July, I decided to replace all of the flooring in my house. I placed a deposit for my Pergo flooring at the Expo Design Center in Laguna Niguel. After waiting a few weeks to be contacted in order to set an appointment for a measuring, I called the store myself to find the associate who had written my original order was no longer with the store and my paperwork would have to be located.
After finally reaching an associate who could assist me, I paid for the full cost of materials and installation totaling $5604.54 with my Home Depot Credit Card on August 21. I was told the material would take four to six weeks to be delivered since it was a special order product. The materials were delivered at the end of September and the installation was started on October 13.
During the installation, 15 cases of the Pergo were found to have milling defects so that the pieces would not fit together correctly. The installer at first set the defective pieces aside, marking them with his pencil. He soon noted a common batch number. He originally counted seven cases and notified the store and asked them to order seven replacement cases. After the installer had inspected all of the material, he reported an additional eight cases to have the same defect and notified the store of the new amount.
The store contacted me on November 14 to inform me that my order for seven cases of Pergo flooring was in and ready to be picked up with a balance due. After making many phone calls and leaving numerous messages at all levels from the delivery and pickup department to the store’s General Manager to The Home Depot’s Customer Care Line, the additional eight cases arrived and were delivered to me on November 26. I was told by the store’s Quality Control Manager that some of the cases were opened because he personally inspected them. I again had to make a series of phone calls to the Customer Care line, the General Manager, and to the installer just to get an installation appointment on December 18.
When the installer arrived, he immediately began taking a board from each case to see if any had the same milling defect. Not only did many have that same defect, but most were of the exact same batch number as before. The installer even noted a few pieces that had pencil markings identical to those the previous installer had made! I have left messages for the store’s General Manager, Mike Kenzie, on December 18 and again on December 23, and have yet to hear from him or speak with him. I left a message for the Expo Design Center District Manager, Johnny Cardena, on December 19. I have received no response from that message either. And on December 29, I mailed a letter detailing my problems to the CEO, Bob Nardelli, at The Home Depot Headquarters. I have received no response as of yet from that letter. I even filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau on December 5 to which the store has not responded. I have a two page log of all communication made and actions taken.
Because of all of the delays, I had to take my family to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, I had to have family to my house for Christmas and New Year’s Day with an unfinished kitchen, and had to cancel and reschedule appointments twice with another contractor who I hired to install the base molding. I used my Home Depot Credit Card because of a six months no interest special. This promotion period ends on 2/23. I received a message from a sales associate today that my new replacement flooring won’t be in for another two weeks. At this rate, the six month period will have ended before I get my flooring even completed! And still have yet to hear from the General Manager at the store, the District Manager, or anyone from The Home Depot Headquarters.
Steve of Glen Cove NY (1/6/04):
I am writing to you hoping that I will get somewhere with this because I have been having a problem for a while now and nobody has the decency to even give me a call back. On 11/29/03 I purchased tile from home depot expo and was told that it would take 2 weeks to get it in stock. I did not have a problem with that being that I ordered this tile well enough in advance, because my contractor was not going to install it for another 2 weeks so it would work out perfect.
I waited 3 weeks and nobody even called me concerning my order! I had to call the store numerous times and I was told two times that my order was on the truck and going to be delivered to the store in 2 days. Well 2 days passed and I still did not have my tile and I still did not receive a phone call from the store. Meanwhile I had my contractor in my house waiting for these tile to be delivered so he can install them. It was getting close to the holidays and I expected to be finished with my bathroom renovation project, but I did not even have my tiles yet.
On 12/20/03 I called the store again and was told that the tiles were once again on the truck and were to be at the store on 12/22/03. Well 12/22/03 came and went and still no tiles. I was so fed up with this, I wanted to cancel the order. I had called the store once again and they had told me that I cannot cancel the order, and if I did they would charge me a 20% re-stocking fee!
It is now 1/6/04 and I still have no tiles and my contractor is still charging me $300 a day to be at my house because of Home Depot’s Stupidity. To top it all off I was in the store this past weekend and the salesman who sold me the tiles said that the cap molding that I had ordered did not come in the color that I wanted. After 6 weeks you are going to tell me that? This was a nightmare dealing with Home Depot. I will never ever shop in a Home Depot store ever again. Dealing with Expo was like a dog-and-pony show. Nobody knew what was going on and nobody even cared. I have made a call to the customer service line to file a complaint, and they said someone would call me back and I have not heard from anyone.
I now have my garage loaded with 3 toilets, 3 sinks, a bathtub, and all of the fixtures that were for my 3 bathrooms that I was remodeling all purchased at HOME DEPOT EXPO which I am going to return.
Mark of Ridgewood NJ (9/19/03):
I have been experiencing numerous delays and poorly set and missed expectations primarily driven by one of Expo’s suppliers, Hoboken Floors. Specifically I have placed an order for bathroom tiles and in first week of August. Initial date I got for tiles was August 21. A few days before this ship date I checked with store and was told that tiles were back ordered to Sept 12. I called again on Sept 10 to verify and was given Sept 19. I called on Sept 17 and now have been told Sept 23. To say that I am annoyed and extremely dissatisfied with my experience with Expo is a major understatement.
The one-stop-shopping idea for remodeling sounds good but it often doesn’t work out too well. Besides the complaints below, we have a warehouse full of complaints about:
Anthony of Englewood NJ (10/25/02):
We purchased and paid for a floor installation from Home Depot Expo, and paid an additional sum to have the floor leveled. After installation we realized it was not level, and to rectify the problem now means removing the entire floor. This dispute has been going on for some time, and not once has anyone from Expo contacted me, I had to call time and again to the store, and even corporate office.
The total monetary cost was about $8500.00, but we also have not been able to use the room, as we haven’t completed the rest of the decoration etc in the room, as we want to see what happens in regards to the floor
Catherine of Washington, DC (10/19/02):
- 4/5/02 Floor purchased with $1.00 per sq. ft. subfloor installation fee recommended by sales associate because wood floor was to be installed over concrete Total cost $4,813
- 5/21/02 Floor installed by International Floor Services contractor of Home Depot Expo Center without preparation to the subfloor.
- 6/17/02 Floor buckled in hallway and main room. Buckle was length of hallway and 8 ft in length in main room. Other small raised areas in main room.
- 6/26/02 Customer contacts International Floor Services and IFS attempts to repair buckles by removing hallway wood and 1ft into main area. No wood was left from the initial installation and several pieces of the wood were damaged during removal. These pieces were used to reinstall the hallway with excessive use of wood putty. No thresholds or T-molding was used between the hallway and bathroom adjacent to hallway. Instead International Floor Services places wood putty between floor and marble threshold of the bathroom.
- 7/5/02 Floor buckles in same locations as 6/17/02. Customer contact International Floor Services to report floor is buckling for second time.
- 7/20/02 Customer returns from vacation to find water damage from condo air conditioning condensate pipe. Floor damaged areas are bedroom carpet and hallway. 7/23/02 Customers insurance company comes to condo and assesses damage. Insurance sets up 2 fans and 2 dehumidifiers. Insurance tells customer to report damage to installer. Customer reports flood damage to International Floor Services
- 7/25/02 International Floor Services inspects damage to floor. At this time IFS does not inform customer that he no longer works for the Home Depot Expo Center. IFS does not inform customer that warranty is voided after water damage unless the entire floor is replaced. IFS tell customer that floor should be removed in hallway area and 5ft from hallway in the main area. IFS says they will order materials and set up install date at a later time when the concrete subfloor is dry.
- 7/26/02 International Floor Services contacts customer and tells customer to order 10cases of floor and 60 ft. of molding. Customer orders these items. Order Number 177217. Total cost $1240
- 8/2/02 International Floor Services removes wood from hallway and 3 ft from hallway in main living area. Customer pays IFS $600 for removal of damaged wood. IFS does not inform customer that by paying IFS directly customer no longer has a warranty from Home Depot Expo Center.
- 9/11/02 International Floor Services installs floor. Customer pays IFS $850.
- 9/20/02 Floor buckles in same locations as 7/5/02 and 6/17/02.
- 9/25/02 Select Floors, a contractor of Home Depot Merrifield, inspects floor. Tells customer that floor needs to be completely reinstalled with preparation to subfloor. Select Floor tells customer that there are various flaws in the installation which include not leaving space under shoe molding for expansion and contraction of the wood and no preparation of the subfloor. Select Floors estimated cost of repair and reinstallation. Total cost estimated by Select Floors $1350 to level subfloor, $1611 to install wood, $192 to install base moldings, and $ 1533 to take up existing wood. Total cost estimated by select floor $4686 not including cost of new materials.
- 9/28/02 International Floor Services inspects buckles. Asks customer if any wood is left over from installation. Customer tells IFS that no materials are left. IFS tells customer that wood does not need to be pull up. IFS tells customer to run a dehumidifier.
10/1/02 Customer contacts Home Depot Expo Center and is notified that the warranty of the floor was invalidated by paying International Floor Services directly and by not removing all of the wood after water damage. Problems: No preparation of subfloor prior to initial installation Deception of International Floor Services to customer after water damage
Total cost of repair $7000 emotional damage and stress at least another $7000!
Keith of Wheaton IL (7/6/02):
My wife and I wanted to put slate tile in our kids’ bedrooms of new house we bought. We went to Expo center in Downers Grove and picked out 2 different styles of slate for the 2 rooms. We were informed that a contractor would contact us in a couple of days to take measurements. I informed them that we were on a tight schedule and was told not a problem. Two weeks passed and not a word, I called the Expo center and after many transfers I got hold of the manager who told me that they apparently had the wrong phone number for the contractor and have been unable to reach them. Nobody thought to call me.
The contractor was contacted and he came out within two days to take measurements. When he was done I was told that the measurements I gave Expo center were “right-on” and that he would be able to get to work in the first week of July (barely making my time schedule). Again another two weeks pass and I received a call from Expo center saying they just got the measurements in and that the order had to be increased by 28% due to my mis-measurements (the same ones that the contractor said were “right-on”) and that it wouldn’t be until the end of July before they could even get the tile. Now luckily Expo hadn’t ordered the tile yet so I was able to back out of the deal, but they dropped the ball twice and raised the price of the job from $5800 to $6400.