Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flooring Nightmare!

Warning:  this blog post is long and mentions Case Cleaning a lot.   I want to make it clear up front that they did not do a good job on replacing my carpet and were not easy to work with.  I do not recommend them and encourage you to spread the word to your friends who may need similar work done...do not use them!

You learn a lot of lessons in the first year of home ownership.  I've had my fair share of lessons learned, but non have been quite so costly or time consuming than my 'floor situation'. The whole thing, quite frankly makes me sick.  Sick because I settled for imperfection, sick because I wasted money on a job half done, sick because I didn't do my homework and check other companies, sick because my floor still isn't right.

As you know the whole thing started on February 18th...because of this:
A cracked supply line from the bathroom sink...this small problem turned into flooding in two bedrooms and the hall
The floors were soaked...which is usually what happens in a flood!
So, late that night I called Case Cleaning (because the plumber recommended them...I will speak with the plumber soon about that referral!) to start the clean up process.  They were prompt and polite that night as they came in and started to remove all of the carpet padding that was damaged, removed doors and baseboards in order to get everything dry.  They brought in many large dehumidifiers and commercial dryers to start the drying process. 
I thought it questionable that it took 5 days to thoroughly dry the concrete slab, carpet, cabinets, and drywall.  But I would rather be safe than sorry.  I met with my Insurance Adjuster on February 23rd to survey the damage.  He gave me an estimate to replace all of the padding, pay for the dryers and dehumidifiers for 5 days, move all of the furniture, and lay down the same carpet.  He said since the carpet was only 6-8 months old it would dry and could be re-laid "just like new"...famous last words. 

The workers from Case Cleaning, who came in to check the drying equipment agreed that you could stretch new carpet to make it look just as good as before.  So I wasn't too worried about the end result.  The technician even showed me where he could lift up some carpet in the middle of the room showing "give" that could be used to re-stretch it later.

Since I had already missed two days of work because of this, I waited to have all of the repairs done on my Spring Break, March 15th.  This meant that I was living in a bit of a disaster for several weeks, but it was livable while not enjoyable.

My insurance adjuster sent the estimate he gave me to Case Cleaning so they automatically knew exactly how much it was for...mistake #1.   (I think if a company knows how much you are getting, then they know how much to charge you.  They are going to take as much as possible in this situation)  I called Case Cleaning to have a copy of their estimate for the work sent to me.  I gave them my email address and they said they would send it, but never did.  Poor business etiquette.  While I was on the phone with the guy he wanted to know if I would be able to pay them in full for the job on the scheduled day.  (Didn't know that was an option, but I should have thought about it!)  I was going to ask around and get a few other estimates to make sure I was getting the best quote, but I never did...mistake #2.  The week before they came to do the final work I called to confirm the time (March 15th at 8:30 a.m.) and to ask if they could send a copy of the exact estimate with their technicians in order to look through it before the work began.  Just to make sure everything was covered.  (I didn't want them to leave something out that was supposed to be covered)

On Monday morning, March 15th the workers called to say they would be late because "they didn't realize the work required all new carpet padding" and they had to wait for the store to open that sold them the materials?  Apparently 3 weeks isn't enough time to prepare for a job.  They arrived over an hour late, apologized and were very courteous.  They did not have a copy of the estimate from the company...therefore they seemed not to know what needed to be done beyond the obvious (carpet).  I took them in the bathroom and bedrooms and walked them through what the estimate included. (to re-skin toe kick under the bathroom cabinets where they drilled holes to allow it to dry thoroughly, repaint and install baseboard, move and replace all furniture, replace all padding, clean all bathroom tile, lay carpet, clean and deodorize carpet, replace metal transition strip under closet, and replace door).  They didn't have the proper supplies for these jobs and therefore had to go to the store to purchase paint and supplies for the toe kick, go back to the shop to get the cleaning supplies for the tile.  So they left and returned around noon and began moving all of the furniture out of the bedrooms.  I had already done a large amount of this (removing all of the drawers from the furniture, clearing off the bookshelves, etc.) so they only had the big items to move.  By this time they asked if they could come back the next morning to finish the job.  (Half the day was spent gathering supplies they should have already had prepared)

Tuesday morning, March 16th they returned early around 8:00 a.m. and began working.  They worked throughout the morning taking out old padding, replacing it, doing all the minor jobs, and then laying the existing carpet back down.  They began resetting the furniture around 12:00 and I noticed the carpet looked terrible.  The seams are so obvious in the hallway and doorway.  The technicians tell me they worked hard to get the seams to look the best and this is the best that can be done.  I could get a "carpet or transition strip" and place over it...because you would have a strip of something in the middle of the hallway???  I didn't know what else to do and just continued telling them where to place furniture...mistake #3  I should have called the company immediately and asked for someone else to come out and try to do it better.  I'm too nice.

I paid the guys the remaining ($2500+ 500 from the first visit) and they were on their way.  Later that night mom came over to help me get things arranged.  We noticed the foot board of my bed did not look right.  I noticed it when the guys were here but it just didn't register...what was wrong.  They had put the foot board on my bed upside down.  It was so obvious after I had a minute to think about it, but when they were in the house we were busy putting things back in place.  So, mom and I had to take the bed apart and repair it.  We moved into the guest bedroom and I notice the bed is very wobbly and unstable.  We take the mattresses off and notice they had not tightened the screws that were holding the bed together and had put some in the wrong places.  Again, we had to take the bed apart and redo it.  Mistake #4...I had not gone in there to check that bed when the technicians were here.  It was up and I just never thought to check for stability.  It had never been that way before. 

So, now after we have realized the two beds were put together wrong I started to really question the ability of these two young technicians.  They were nice and polite guys, but let's face it...they were late, unprepared, and young.  They could not have been too experienced.  I called the company and asked to speak with a manager or someone in charge.  They connected me with a man who I believe was named Eric.  I told him I was not pleased with the work done on my house and asked if someone else could come take a look at it to see if it was in fact done properly.  He said he had to talk with his technicians and get back with me and he did.  He said, "I spoke with the two technicians who did the work on your floors and they gave a different story"....uuuhhhh really?  That is funny because there is only one story to share....this should be interesting. 

He continued, "They said you "admitted" that your carpet was in fact two years old.  With carpet that old it cannot be stretched back out properly".   Ok, by this point I'm completely appalled and furious that he has changed the whole point of the conversation aaaannnddddd has accused me of lying!!  This immediately shows me what kind of person he is, what kind of company Case Cleaning is, and what kind of work they do.  It's really besides the point that I NEVER had a conversation with the young men about the age of my carpet, and they never seemed to think it was a problem before. 

What I had called to discuss was the fact that my carpet seams look terrible and the two men assembled my beds incorrectly which could have broken them and/or been dangerous.  He said since I was in the rooms with them when the beds were up I should have said something then.  I agreed that I was in the rooms at that point but I just didn't realize what was wrong.  

I will "admit" (to use his guilt ridden word) that the carpet in my home is cheap, builder grade carpet; however it is only 6-8 months old.  (It was installed at some point before my closing date in July...you do the math)  Everyone (insurance adjuster and all the technicians I worked with through this company) was so assured that it would be back to normal after the work was done.  That they in fact had several inches of carpet to work with, even!  But to say that I lied about a conversation just absolutely rips me to the core.  This is a sign not only of a weak man with no character, but a terrible company.  What happened to customer satisfactions?  What happened to customer service? 

What I was simply asking was for someone with more experience than the two workers I had in my home to come and look at things again.  After that point, if they had said it was unrepairable I would have been more prone to believing what they said.  But to be so rude and disrespectful as to as to question my character and who I am as a person was down right despicable!  The man on the phone refused to have anybody else come and check the work and said it was done.

The bottom line is Case Cleaning did a horrible job and has horrible customer service.  They were only in it to get the $3,000 they knew I had from the insurance claim.  Once they had the money, there is no way they were going to put forth any effort into making the situation right.  The technicians who worked in my home on all occasions were nice, polite, and courteous.  However, especially the last two, were young and obviously inexperienced carpet layers.

What I wish I had done...I wish I had asked around, got more estimates, and only used experienced carpet installers to do the carpet repair.  Maybe they are the experts in drying wet things but they are no experts in installing carpet or any of the other small home improvement projects that typically come with this type of situation.

  Cleaning and Restoration...funny, how my home still isn't restored properly!
Do not use this company!!!

Here is exactly how the carpet looked when they left...it's not even fully tucked in under the doorway.  I let the guys leave knowing I was going to call the company to complain.  I thought they would send in more experienced people to look at it if that is what I requested.  (high hopes)
See those tack strips...yeah they hurt when you step on them!  Do you think that is childproof?
Carpet Seam #1
  My bedroom doorway
Carpet Seam #2 
Nursery Doorway
 Carpet Seam #3
The worst one of all is right in the middle of the hallway
So tacky!

So why have I gone through the agony to write this whole ordeal up?  Well, first of all I wanted it documented accurately for my records.  Second of all I wanted to put as much negative publicity on my blog and facebook about this company as possible, because I think they are just the worst!  And, lastly I'm still working with my insurance adjuster to get the problems fixed!  If you are still reading this, God Bless You!  And, BTW...do you know of any good and TRUSTWORTHY carpet installers in Middle Tennessee?
To be continued....


5 comments:

Emily Doss said...

So sorry you are having to deal w/ this. You should report them on www.ripoffreport.com

Angie said...

OH NO! I am appalled right along with you! I can't believe this! All your other improvements look so great...and then this! UGH! Praying you get some resolution!

Carey Horton said...

You should report them to the Better Business Bureau. Although, if I know you - you'll write a letter to the editor of some newspaper OR you could call news 2 and report it with "that's messed up"

Stephanie said...

Oh, what a headache! Hang in there! I hope all is resolved soon and at no cost! Grrrr!!
Stephanie

Emily Doss said...

I just tagged you in a blog to help raise money for a good cause. Check it out. :)

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