Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Cabinet Nightmare

I drove out the house this morning, thinking I'd do a bit of quick cleaning, take some photos, and get the place ready to go on the market. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the cabinets were still not installed. In fact, the old cabinets were still there. They have been removed from the wall, but they are just sitting on the floor. I got on the phone and this was my conversation with the guy I bought them from:

"Hi Joe, this is Shaun. I was wondering if you could give me the address of your office, so I can come down today and pick up my refund check."

"..... What's wrong?"

"Well, my contract states the cabinets would be installed within 10 days. We're now starting the third week and they still aren't in. Therefore, I'd like my money back."

" They still aren't in? Damn.. Let me call you right back."

About 15 minutes later he calls and explains what's going on. I guess he subcontracted the installation to another company and they said they could not get into the house. Joe says he gave them the lockbox code. I guess they had a little discussion between them about who was to blame, but the bottom line is this: Joe's crew will be back today after 3 PM to fully remove the old cabinets. The subcontractor will swing by tomorrow to verify the place is ready for installation. Then, they will start the installation Thursday after 3 PM. They are having to fit me in after other jobs, which is why everything is being done in the afternoon. If need be, they will work through the weekend to complete the job. Joe will call me each day with a status report.

One positive from all this is that I have seen the value of comps rise during the two months I've had the place. I may be able to sell it for more than I thought. Always assuming, of course, it ever gets on the market...


Trisha#1 said...

Man, I'm sorry, Shaun. That's awful. Any chance you can get a partial refund even though the cabinets will still be done? If it's in the contract you signed, you could pursue it. You could explain that you're out the additional 3 weeks (possibly 4 by the time it gets done) in holding costs due to this mix-up.

Steve said...

I agree with Trisha. It may be worth pursuing just to get some compensation no matter how small it may be. I guess you could always forgo getting reimbursed for the lost time and treat it as another learning lesson, too, but too many of these may start adding up. Bottom line is to go forward with a business mentality and get the requested compensation - you have a binding contract as proof. The contractor should have been on top of things, but dropped the ball, so saying "oops - sorry" doesn't hold water. If he balks, maybe threaten legal action and/or to call the BBB.

Shaun said...

It's all a question of what type of businessman I want to be. I could be a hard-nosed guy and insist on some kind of refund, but I don't want to. This guy offers a lot of services that I may want to utilize in the future, so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt initially. If I use him again and it becomes a pattern, I'll do things differently. Besides, there's enough anger in the world already.

Andviv said...

I agree with you Shaun. Next time you use his services just tell him "I hope this time you can do it on time, I'd hate to have to look for other company to work with". That should be enough for them to perform better. If not, there are many other companies looking for your business.

Congrats!!! you are almost done.

Steve said...

Best of luck, Shaun! It's a tough call really. I seem to recall the word 'leverage' with respects to REI, and by having this incident happen, perhaps you'll now have some leverage in the future with these guys.

Anonymous said...

It's not worth the time and effort to make an issue out of it. He probably has more business than he can handle anyway, so if you give him a hard time he will just say f*ck off.

Steve said...

anon - I agree, he could very well blow Shaun off if he makes an issue. But I've learned in this business, reputation means a lot. Shaun could easily tell him that he'll definately make sure if anyone asks, he'll not recommend this guy. Word can quickly spread, and when the market cools in the area - which it will eventually - the guy will wonder why his business is so slow. Besides, just like the cainet owner can say 'screw you', Shaun could do the same. I'm sure there are more than enough cabinet makers, who would like his business. Of course, we can only speculate and give our opinion - it's something else to actually be there and go thru it.

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