The contractor walked off the job when I told him that he was building an unsafe concrete pad. The pad was being constructed over 30" above grade.
The contract has in small print: "The information contained in this estimate is privileged and confidential and intended for Customer. You are hereby notified not to distribute or copy this material in any way, shape or form without the prior written consent of Woodlands Outdoor Living." I don't know if this is legal, so I have not included a copy of the contract. Also, the first line item in the contract has an extra $1000 added to it as a mistake, so xxxxx has offered to refund only $530 instead of the $1530 he owes me.
Here is a timetable of the project:
Jan 30, 2016 (Saturday): Met xxxxx & xxxxx of Woodlands Outdoor Living at a xxxxx County Spring Show.
Feb 5, 2016 (Friday): xxxxx came to house and bid on project.
Feb 8, 2016 (Monday): xxxxx (my wife) & I met xxxxx at Woodlands office, picked out materials (xxxxx approved by phone) & I signed a contract.
March 7, 2016 (Monday): Construction began.
March 9, 2016 (Wednesday): xxxxx called me by phone and yelled at me for yelling at his employees the day earlier (for a misunderstanding when they wouldn't respond to me about what wall blocks they were using, which I apologized for 3 times that day) & I hung up on him.
March 17, 2016 (Thursday): I came home about 1:30 pm & found workers placing concrete forms at a dangerous height above the grade. I told xxxxx (lead man who speaks English) that was dangerous & discussed a solution to solve it. xxxxx agreed to the solution but didn't have a saw to cut down a step he built. I asked him to call his boss (xxxxx) to approve the change and he said he didn't want to talk to xxxxx, so I called xxxxx and when I asked xxxxx for a solution he called me ugly names and it ended with him quitting and hanging up on me. I sent emails to xxxxx with drawings and photos showing the problem and my solution. I also asked for solutions from him. He never answered the emails, phone calls or phone messages I left him.
March 21, 2016 (Monday): xxxxx & I went to Woodlands office and found xxxxx there, so we had a meeting with xxxxx, xxxxx (supervisor), xxxxx & myself to discuss the project. xxxxx said I was "FIRED" but after I offered a $590 bonus to finish the job and told him I would be on vacation, out of town for a week, he said he would think about it.
March 22, 2016 (Tuesday): I emailed xxxxx asking him to respond and confirm he was leaving the project and release me from the contract so I could hire another contractor to finish his work. I also asked him to refund the money he was paid in advance and clean up his construction debris he left.
March 31, 2016 (Thursday): xxxxx has not responded by phone or email.
A refund for $1530 for over payment and another $250 to pay the cost to remove construction debris his crew left behind. Also a letter stating he is quitting and breaking the contract so I can hire another contractor to complete the job.
I am writing in response to the complaint filed by xxxxx(xxxxx) xxxxx against Woodlands Outdoor, BBB Case No. xxxxx. For the reasons stated below, we deny Mr. xxxxx allegations.
Facts of the Case
On Saturday, January 30, 2016, we met Mr. xxxxx and his wife, at the xxxxx. At the end of the following week, xxxxx met with xxxxx at his home to review the scope of the proposed project. Mr. xxxxx advised that he had a budget of $12,000.00. Several changes were made to the size and type of materials to meet his budget.
At this meeting, we had concerns about working with Mr. xxxxx. He stated several times that his home's builder had walked off of the job, that he had threatened the builder to get him to return, and had done poor work. He also stated negative views about the companies which had poured his home's driveway and had built his retaining walls. Mr. xxxxx also asked for changes to the standard terms and conditions related to a one-third down payment at signing and a draw of one-third at start of the job. Nonetheless, we proceeded with the agreement.
On Monday, February 8, 2016, Mr. xxxxx tried to force Woodlands to use a more expensive product, Country Manor block wall. He had already decided against this material due to the higher cost. Eventually, Mr. xxxxx kept complaining until xxxxx provided the higher price stone despite the fact that Mr. xxxxx did not pay for it.
Similarly, Mr. xxxxx, on March 7, 2016, hounded project manager xxxxx about providing free steps in the walkway. He made the crew ask xxxxx for approval. He also told xxxxx that, if he did not like the outcome or finished project, he would refuse to pay. Finally, in an attempt to appease the customer, xxxxx again agreed to cover the costs of the steps. This made the second time when Mr. xxxxx unreasonably insisted on free upgrades.
A few days later, on March 9, 2016, when Country Manor wall block was delivered to the job site, xxxxx began cursing and screaming obscenities at the Woodlands' crew members. Crew members report hearng items being thrown inside the house by Mr. xxxxx in his rage. Crew leader xxxxx called xxxxx to ask for direction. xxxxx tried to call Mr. xxxxx phone but did not get an answer.
Eventually, xxxxx went outside. Woodland's workers showed Mr. xxxxx the label on the pallet of block. Mr. xxxxx noted that the higher priced blocks, which he had forced Woodlands to provide despite not having ordered due to costs, were actually being delivered.
On March 9, 2016, Mr. xxxxx did apologies to the Woodlands' crew and promised he was not act in such a manner in the future.
On March 10, 2016, xxxxx was able to speak with Mr. xxxxx. xxxxx told Mr. xxxxx that he should not speak in such an abusive and foul manner to any of his employees and to bring any concerns to xxxxx directly.
At this point, the patio had been completed and Mr. xxxxx said he loved it. Again, at this point, Woodlands had absorbed additional costs of $1,000.00 for the upgraded stone and $395.00 for the extra steps in repeated attempts to appease an unreasonable client.
The project's next step was the concrete work. On March 17, 2016, Woodlands delivered and spread the gravel base to the home, which is located on a sloped lake lot. In such circumstances, it is industry practice to form and pour the concrete on the same plane as the existing concrete, which was how this project was designed and quoted. Once the concrete has been poured, industry standards and this project called for placing additional dirt on top of the gravel base and to taper to the top of the concrete, to create a smooth, but sloped transition to the original grade.
However, when xxxxx arrived, he began again cursing the Woodlands' crew and claiming that they did not know what they were doing. The crew leader called xxxxx, who called Mr. xxxxx.
xxxxx threated to sue Woodlands and made other threats. He also tried to claim that the plan, which called for a seven (7) inch differential was not up to code, which is simply untrue. Mr. xxxxx did not want to hear about the standard and quoted plan to bring in dirt, as discussed above, in order to taper the slope.
Instead, xxxxx again wanted Woodlands to provide free materials and free labor. He demanded that Woodlands to concave the concrete where it was lower in the middle than on the sides and to remove one (1) of the extra steps he had previously insisted on having installed but not paying for. All of these demands were outside of the scope of what had been quoted and would have further added to Woodland's loss of revenue on the project.
Mr. xxxxx continued to be unreasonably angry and out of control. He would not allow xxxxx to complete his sentences due to his ongoing interruptions. As a result of these ongoing verbal insults, cursing, verbal mistreatment of Woodland's staff, threats of litigation, and attempts to force Woodlands to provide free labor and materials, xxxxx determined that Mr. xxxxx had made it unreasonable, impossible, and impracticable to continue.
Mr. xxxxx left other phone messages on March 17, 2016 and March 18, 2016. His messages were personally and professionally insulting, threatening lawsuit, and the like.
On a subsequent phone message later on March 18, 2016, Mr. xxxxx admitted that he has finally realized that the drop off on the slope would only be seven (7) inches. He also admitted that Woodlands plan, which was part of the original plan, was reasonable and workable. Mr. xxxxx also asked if Woodlands would return to finish this matter.
On March 28, 2016, Mr. xxxxx and his wife showed up at approximately 8:00 am at Woodlands' office. xxxxx and project manager xxxxx were present. Mr. xxxxx was again unreasonably angry and hot tempered. Mr. xxxxx stated that, as a customer, he had the right to verbally abuse and insult Woodlands' ownership and workers.
Given this pattern of verbal abuse, threatened lawsuits, and continued attempts to manipulate the situation to get free upgrades and free additional work, we did not think this course of action would be warranted. Mr. xxxxx conduct made carrying out the work unreasonable, impossible, and impracticable. In point of fact, Mr. xxxxx had actually already received more value that he has paid our company. As such, we respectfully request that his compliant be dismissed.
Additionally, Mr. xxxxx contacted xxxxxx with xxxxx. Upon completion of xxxxx investigation, Mr. xxxxx said he would not be doing a report on this matter due to Mr. xxxxx claim being completely unfounded. Mr. xxxxx said he would put this in writing for us if we need it.
This is a brief reply to Woodlands Outdoor Living's response. I have included a pdf of the full reply labeled: BBB Response BL to xxxxx 4-19-2016.
As stated in my complaint, I want $1780 paid to me by Woodlands Outdoor Living ($1530 returned from overpayments to Woodlands Outdoor Living and $250 to remove the truckload of gravel they placed on my property). Since Woodlands stated they terminated the contract in their response and the time limit of their contract has expired I no longer need a letter stating they quit.
It appears that xxxxx feels that he is not obligated to refund the overpayment he received because he states I (xxxxx) "forced Woodlands to use a more expensive product" block for the walls when my wife and I visited Woodlands showroom to pick out the materials to use. He agreed (by phone thru his wife xxxxx) to the changes before we signed the contract. The extra step was requested (not hounded as xxxxx responded) to keep the walls at 18" to be used as seating as agreed when xxxxx estimated the project (I pointed out the existing 120 feet of 18" seating walls along my driveway Woodlands was to match when xxxxx estimated the job). The area of pavers leading to the seating wall is sloped (as agreed). The other step (where the new concrete would match in grade) was suggested by xxxxx worker xxxxx, who explained this step was needed to do the job right. I told him I was ok with it, but clear it with xxxxx (his boss). Ironically that step has raised the grade of the concrete to about 30" at the end of a sidewalk area and needs to be removed. Thirty inches is too high of a drop if somebody stepped off it, they would definitely be injured. Since I was a licensed North Carolina Building Contractor (General Contractor) and a registered Industrial Designer before I retired, I know North Carolina code requires a 36" handrail or wall if the drop is more than 30" on a walkway. xxxxx is right that an inspection or permit is not required for concrete work, but sneaking it past the code inspectors is not ok with me. xxxxx workers were starting to construct this hazard when I discussed a solution with xxxxx (my design would reduce the drop to about 7"). The solution required less concrete (reducing xxxxx material cost) with a compound slope (not concave as xxxxx stated, which would hold water). The compound slope was required to match the slope of the pavers Woodlands installed earlier (this was easier than removing and reinstalling the pavers to reach a better slope). xxxxx agreed it would work and could do it, but he didn't have his concrete saw to cut out the step he built, but he could place the concrete forms for that, remove the gravel (used to camouflage the steep grade) and bring the saw another day to cut the block. I told him to get xxxxx(his boss) approval. He refused to call xxxxx and said I had to - so I did! I was hesitant because xxxxx yelled at me the last time we spoke on the phone until I hung up on him - but I called him.
This conversation started with me trying to explain my concerns with the hazard being constructed and my solution or a solution he may have. xxxxx reply was name calling and yelling at me. I tried to keep him on track to solve the problem but was yelled at even more, until he said he was quitting and hung up without even discussing a solution. I reported this to xxxxx worker xxxxx, and they left. I tried to reach xxxxx by phone (as the voicemails he submitted prove) and sent emails with drawing and photos, but had no response from him.
xxxxx is now trying to add $650 for tree removal (the tree's logs are still on my property, they haven't been removed). Cutting the tree down was agreed upon when the job was estimated. The deck would have to be built around the tree, removing it was less costly than that. Also xxxxx wants to add $175 for the drainage pipe, which was contracted, but since xxxxx crew placed it in a patch of endangered wildflowers (xxxxx, xxxxx and xxxxx all were warned multiple times not to disturb this area and xxxxx said a mud fence would be put up to protect it, but never did) I told xxxxx in the 'Release from Contract email' I sent him that I would relocate the drainage pipe. Maybe he should pay me $175 to do that. A photo of the pipe in the endangered flowers is included in that email.
xxxxx made a $1000 mistake on the first line item on his contract. If at any time xxxxx walked off the job, he had a $1000 bonus added to his pay thru this deceptive mistake. At the meeting in xxxxx office on March 21, 2016, Scott told me he owed me $530. I told him about his $1000 mistake and said I was willing to eliminate the stone steps he contracted, which was a $590 bonus if he finished the job. He said he would think it over and get back to me the next morning. xxxxx never responded to my offer, so on March 22, 2016, 12:00 pm, I sent an email asking xxxxx to confirm he was quitting and breaking the contract so I could hire a new contractor to finish the job. At this time I took the bonus away. xxxxx never responded. I have included a copy of this email labeled: B L - Release from Contract email 3-22-2016.
I tried numerous times to work with xxxxx to finish the project, even offering a bonus to help him with the cost of the higher priced stone and steps he agreed on. I was unable to get xxxxx to finish the contracted work.
I want $1780 paid to me by Woodlands Outdoor Living ($1530 returned from overpayments to Woodlands Outdoor Living and $250 to remove the truckload of gravel they placed on my property). This and the $4000 remaining on the contract should allow me to finish the project Woodlands Outdoor Living started and walked off from. If xxxxx doesn't think this is fair, we can turn the matter over to his bonding company for mediation. They will find another contractor to finish the job and xxxxx will be responsible for any costs over the $4000 I have left to pay on the contract.
Final Business Response
We are speaking with our attorney as to the amount we will pay to settle.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The out of court settlement amount is still $1780.00. I will accept this amount through May 31, 2016. If not received by May 31, 2016, I will request from you the full amount to complete the project and any other cost associated.