Friday, June 8, 2007

UPDATE: New Bathroom Counter Tops, Very Bad Service

I am so angry right now I can't even enjoy my new bathroom counter tops. The guy that came out and did the measurement and pre-inspection was awesome! He was friendly, patient with my seemingly endless questions, and thorough.

The guys that just installed my counter tops on the other hand.... Rude, impatient, and awful.

They came in and barely even muttered a hello, grunted directions to their work areas, and got right to work. Ok so they weren't big talkers no big deal, right? Then they continually left the front door standing wide open. I asked politely if they could close the door behind them since it is 90 degrees here today and the one guy actually rolled his eyes at me and just kept going.

So I leave them alone until they had been here about an hour and then go back and ask them if they would like anything to drink. The one guy in my main bathroom just shakes his head no and goes back to work, the other one in my daughter's bathroom grunts "nope" and turns his back on me.

All right, fine so I just go on about my business until they come to me and inform me that they are done. The one really rude guy shoves the sign-off paper in my face says to check everything off so they can go. I ask if I can at least look the work over first and he freaking rolls his eyes again and holds his arm out in the "after you" gesture.

I go back and look over the main bathroom. It looks pretty good. I am really happy with that one and I tell them what a wonderful job they did. The guy that did the work in there actually smiled and said thanks to that.

We go across the hall into my daughter's room and the sink is laying in the middle of the floor. I'm like, whats this? and the really rude guy mumbles something about how he had to take the rim off to make the hole the right size. I say, "Ok no problem but can you put it back in for me?" He sighs heavily and says, "if you want" I say, "Yeah, I would really appreciate it."

So I start filling out the form checking things off and he is just standing there. So I leave the one about all faucets, sinks, ect. have been reinstalled and tell him I will check that one and sign after he puts the sink back in.

He stomps over grabs up the sink, puts the seal back over it and slams it into the counter. At this point I just really want him out of my home so I signed the damn paper and he snatched from my hand, turned around and stalked out of the room. A few seconds later my front door slams.

What the hell? Is this supposed to be service? The guys that came over Tues. to install my daughter's bedroom carpet could barely speak English but they were friendly and courteous and invited me to thoroughly inspect their work before even presenting me with paperwork to sign. I couldn't have been happier with them and that doesn't even include the wonderful job they did.

After the counter top guys left I took a chance to really look things over and once again I was really pleased with my main bathroom. However, my daughter's bathroom counter top is a mess. He didn't caulk the sink back in, he tore several chunks out of the front of her counter and it's pretty beat up looking now, and he didn't even take the time to clean up the counter top from the caulk, glue or what ever it is he used to install it.

I immediately called the number on the work sheet that he gave me and filed a complaint. The woman I talked to said that she would tell her supervisor and get back to me.

After I got off the phone with her I came in and started blogging out my anger, doesn't seem to have helped much though. I am still waiting to hear back. I will fill everyone in once I do.

Am I over-reacting? Is it wrong to expect good customer service from workmen? I am asking because this is only my second experience with it and maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing.

UPDATE: Well, the company that did the install, never did get back to me this afternoon like they promised. Since I never heard back from them I called Home Depot. Unfortunately, I didn't get any satisfaction there either. They said they would check into it and would get back to me by Tues. evening.

I'm sorry but that is just not good enough. I have spent well over $3000 at Home Depot in the last month and had planned on spending a lot more before we get done with our remodel. I have been very pleased with my experience with them until today. It's very frustrating that they are being so cavalier about the way I was treated. I don't really know what to do about it at this point though.

I am not normally one to pitch a fit, but the way I was treated over this is just not acceptable. I guess the only recourse I have is to discontinue my patronage to Home Depot (which I really hate to do) and tell anyone I come across about my poor experience.

It's not as if I am expecting a refund or anything like that, just an honest apology and assurances that the men who behaved this way will at least be talked to about their terrible customer service.

I wonder if my husband had been here if they would have behaved that way?

Anyway I need to go but I just wanted to give a quick update of the situation.


NoVa Sideliner said...

No, you're not overreacting. Some workmen are just sh**heads, and they just need to have their nose rubbed in it.

The only thing you could have done better is to wait even longer before checking off the "OK" boxes, and as he slams the sink in there, write IN INK, FIRMLY something like "Sink installed incorrectly, no caulk, counter damage" and then tell him you'll sign it.

(Something like bathroom countertops, by the way, was a DIY job for me, for reasons you just wrote. I also needed to be rid of the swirly glitter 1970's look! Took me two days for the first one due to a defective sink, then just one evening for the next. But boy was I cursing all throughout.)

I've only had a couple of poor, nah let's say mediocre, experiences with hired workmen. Maybe that's because I'm all over those guys like flies on a cowpie, even if I have to burn a vacation day, and I'll even throw in a hand and help the the nicer ones if they need it, so they do a passable job in the end.

But a very few aren't too happy about the oversight, and my wife and I have even told them they can be sour, it's not their job to be happy, but that stuff better be installed right. And we (nor our neighbors) never hire them again once they get it done right.

It was REAL good that you called the supervisor, by the way. Letting it go days or weeks is no good, and make sure the supervisor knows they kept pressuring you to sign off even without seeing it. Even better if you can find the owner.

If they worked for me, they'd be out on their azzes, unemployed by the afternoon.

NoVa Sideliner said...

Off topic, but:

Tiles. You mentioned tiles. Over on EN, Rob Dawg says that sheet vinyl is the thing to get. I agree. Here's why:

-- Sheet vinyl can look almost exactly like tiles if you get the expensive stuff. We're talking $2.50+ per sqft, not $1 per sqft in-stock rubbish.

-- Dishes, glassware, and other things dropped on sheet vinyl are much more likely to bounce, not break. This is important with kids.

-- Sheet vinyl doesn't need to have the grout sealed to avoid stains from nasty goop spills.

-- Sheet vinyl is normally much easier than tile to replace when/if you decide to change thing in 5 or 10 years.

-- Sheet vinyl is much nicer on bare (or even stocking) feet in mid-winter than hard, cold tiles.

Those are only some of the considerations.

We considered tiles in our kitchen and laundry, but with a kid on the way, we said no. We'd probably be shopping for new dishware by now if we had. Or a new skull for our goofy kid who falls off chairs.

Our quote for installation in kitchen + laundry was $425 labor, I think, and this is not a cheap part of the country. Can't get anywhere near that cheap with tile.

And they installed a total of 140+180 sqft by lunchtime. Nice. (I did have the appliances and stuff moved and subfloor prepped for them in advance.)

The sheet vinyl looks great, and there's no "rise" above the adjacent wood floors like we'd have had with tiles; they are the same level.

We've even had people ask us what kind of tiles they are.. and then they look closer and see it's sheet vinyl! Seriously.

I'd suggest looking at some of the top-end sheet vinyl, noting that installation is usually pretty cheap and fast.

One thing that some salesmen will point to you to, and you should avoid: Snap-together tile-like floor coverings. Some look great, and we were tempted, but they are much more prone to water spills, swelling, and ruination! I'd avoid them at all costs in wet areas.

Also consider one of my friend's advice after he laid his own tile floor: "Never again!!" I took his advice. :-)

Good luck!

Kerriella said...

Thanks Nova, for both of your comments. I wish I had inquired about tile before I purchased. But I just fell in love with the tile I chose and if I can pull off installing it I think am going to love it. I only got it for our main bathroom and my daughter's 3/4 bath. I also plan to start with her bathroom since she and her friends are the only one's that use that one so if I have a learning curve oops it will be in a room few people see. It's also small enough that one regular size bath mat could cover a huge oops. LOL

mojo said...

If it were me, I would not wait to hear back from the owner/manager of the company. I would call back the next day and c-o-m-p-l-a-i-n. Crappy workmanship is just not acceptable. If they get away with it on your job, just think of the next poor person. UGH. How frustrating for you.

lurker said...

Do not use Home Depot for labor. They subcontract to the lowest bidder and you are seeing the result. If you stop at a tile or granite store and ask for a referral you will probably get a better workman and a lower price (e.g. Home Depots price for Granite countertops is around $53 sq ft. At the granite shop I will be charged $29 sq ft or even less, if I want to pay by cut instead of by sq ft.

lurker said...

A previous post had talked about buying new furniture/ replacing appliances. You can get great deals on these at (at least in Sacramento)

NoVa Sideliner said...

Craigslist works well in major metropolitan areas (like DC metero here), but my friends in smaller cities say it hasn't reached critical mass yet. A few glances at some of the less urban Craigslist areas seems to confirm that.

Still, it's always worth a look.

Viola said...

Get Bathroom Countertops for the makeover of your bathroom. Granite is an excellent choice for countertops. Granite is available in polished and matte finishes. While granite may be more expensive than some other materials, its longevity adds immeasurable value. It adds glams to your bathroom decor as well.

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