Complaint Category: None of the Above - Product Quality Complaint Issue
Complaint: **** was scheduled to spackle, where needed, and paint my entire condo Jan. 6-10, 2014. Due to the cold weather they began Jan. 7. They rushed the job to be done by Jan. 10 resulting in poor quality, deficient, & incomplete work. On Jan. 9, **** **** asked for full payment stating they would give me time to look over the work when done and return to correct any issues I found. I had used **** to paint a previous home & was satisfied with the work. Given the promise to return & correct any issues & my previous experience with them, I made the payment of $6,775. The agreement that they would return to correct any issues was confirmed in a text from **** on 1/10 stating "Take the weekend to look things over and I'll be in touch with you on Monday. Thank you for the payment." On Jan. 10, they also "spilled" a liquid in my bed & on clothes that were in the bed because the closets were being painted. I promptly emailed pictures of the wet, stained items to **** on Jan. 10. Other problems include a worker spitting & leaving tobacco in my sink, spilling black material in my carpet, paint stains on an oak chair, cabinets, counters. and mirrors. On Sunday, Jan. 12, I texted "****, I note a number of areas of painting that have to be fixed. In addition to the damage we need to discuss when the painting can be corrected." On Jan. 13, I spoke to **** via telephone. On Jan. 14, I texted **** "further to our conversation yesterday, I would like the corrections/fixes to the painting to be done on Friday 1/24 beginning at 8:30 am." On Jan. 24, **** and a painter arrived at my condo well past the scheduled time. (The painters were also late arriving Jan. 7-10). I had made lists and began walking them through the condo pointing out the poor quality, deficient, and incomplete work. Initially, **** made statements such as "it is not that bad" & "that is not bad for free hand." As I continued to point out the problems, **** became mad and started talking over me and eventually refusing to acknowledge what I was pointing out. The poor quality, deficient, and incomplete work that I pointed out included: (1) the paint lines in every room are crooked. By that I mean the edges where the white ceiling meets the colored walls, the lines are crooked and sloppy so that on a given single wall there are areas where the white paint comes down into the colored wall and then a few inches later the color goes onto the white ceiling and then a few inches later the white paint comes down into the colored wall, etc. (2) In the guest bathroom, (a) the wall behind the toilet was not painted completely, (b) the areas around both mirrors were painted with a different brush & there is a distinct border that does not blend with the rest of the walls, (c) the mirror has paint on it, & (d) the areas where the stone in the shower meets the wall, some of the grout lines were painted. (3) In the kitchen, the areas where the walls meets the cabinets, the walls were not completely painted. There are white spaces and gaps. (4) A hole in the ceiling from where a light fixture was changed was not spackled and painted. (5) The paint lines on window seats through-out the condo were crooked and sloppy. (6) In the entry way & living room, the edges where the white accent walls meet the blue walls, the paint lines are crooked and sloppy so that there are areas where the white paint comes into the colored wall and then a few inches later the color goes onto the white wall. I have evidence of these problems. When I returned home the night of Jan. 24, the painter had NOT corrected, 1, 2a.b.c., 3 -6. The painter did make the paint lines on window seats look better, but still not adequate. Before I left I saw him working on 3 but that was not sufficiently corrected. The hole in 4 was smaller. On Jan. 25, I sent an email outlining the work that was not corrected & completed & asked for a refund of a portion of my payment. I have not received a refund, so I submit this complaint.
Initial Business Response
On November 12, 2013, Kwak Brothers Painting Inc. estimate #INXXXXX and dated May 15th, 2013 was accepted by Ms. ******** ****** for the sum of $6775.00($5400 labor, $1375 material). A 33% deposit is required upon acceptance of proposal as stated in our estimate. Work was scheduled for 120 man hours and began on Tuesday, January 7th at 8:30am.
On January 7th, **** **** called the client at 7:48am to inform her we were running 20 minutes late due to carpooling and the severe January weather. At 8:40am, after walking around the clients residence with four full time painters discussing color placement, ****** ****) asked the client for a deposit.
The four painters working at this residence averaged 8 years tenure of full time employment in **** Brothers Painting Inc.. **** ****, the supervisor, inspected the work on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon.
Friday morning, my painters informed me that the client had left a check with them. It was for payment in full.
We finished work at this clients residence at 5:30pm on Friday, January 10th. We had worked 125.5 man hours up to that point. The project was bid for 120 man hours. I told the client to take the weekend to look things over.
At 11:18pm Friday night, January 10th, I received email from the client that someone had spilled liquid in her bed which still had clothes on it from painting the closet. During my inspections, the master bedroom bed was covered in two layers of high density plastic. I interviewed each of my employees individually over the phone that weekend and as a group at a 7:30am meeting Monday morning, January 13th. Kwak Brothers Painting Inc. has a zero tolerance policy for any accident immediately going unreported to the client and company supervisor. After a thorough investigation of my employees, I am confident that they did not knowingly spill liquid in the clients bed. It is important to note that there was a pet animal in the master bedroom during the entire painting of this residence. The animal was not in a cage. Its potty box was down the hall in the guest bathtub, an area we also painted. My painter had to pick the animal up a couple times to paint around it. It is possible we disrupted its routine. In good faith on January 27th I informed the client that we would pick up her dry cleaning bill of $64.50 regardless of who or what spilled liquid in the bed. I sent check #XXXXX for $64.50 on Feb. 1st.
Tuesday January 14th the client and I agreed to address touch ups. She scheduled Friday, January 24th at 8:30am as her earliest time. I arrived with my painter who has been employed in my company for 14 years. At that time the area missed behind the toilet, the paint on the mirror, and the cut line around the mirror in the guest bath room were corrected. We attempted to patch and paint over an exposed electrical box on the dining room ceiling the client asked us to hide. In addition, my painter used two rolls(120 linear yards) of yellow Frog tape to achieve straighter lines on vertical corners and horizontal ceiling lines as well as on window sills with old paint on them. We do not bid, and we did not bid the client's project to use tape on these areas. My painter worked 7.5 additional hours on January 24th spending most of his time taping and repainting vertical and horizontal drywall seams. The total time now worked at this residence was 132.5 man hours or 12.5 hours over our budgeted time at 45 dollars per man hour (rates we have not increased in 9 years). My painters are not subcontracted.
Saturday, January 25th, the client informed me she still was not happy with our work. On Monday, January 27th I offered to return to this clients residence for a couple hours to try to address any other issues. The client refused to have us back and demanded we return "a portion" of her payment. Although we did not agree that touch ups remained which were not rectified, in good faith I sent the client check #XXXXX for the sum of $200.00 on February 1, 2014.
In conclusion, the work performed at Ms. ******** ******'s residence was timely and in line with Kwak Brothers Painting, Inc. quality standards and the work description in our written estimate. Our work is displayed on our website at www.kwakbros.com and our face book page. We immediately apologized for an employee who admitted leaving her sink dirty. We returned to address legitimate touch up issues and offered to come back again to address any other issues. There are many accusations in this complaint. It is very important to note, and I feel very strong to go on record that I did not ask this client, nor have I asked any other client in 30 years for payment in full before services were rendered. We service over 200 satisfied clients annually. This client also stated in an email to us that she wanted "a portion of the payment" returned without stating what a portion was until this complaint. Now she is asking for unsubstantiated $1500.00 to be returned. We disagree. We have tried to satisfy this client in the same way we have satisfied thousands of clients over the last 30 years.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I will very reluctantly accept the $750 offered by **** plus $64.50 for dry cleaning as it is still insufficient to correct and finish the work. At least, I will be saved the time , money, and disruption of having to file a lawsuit against **** Bros. The payment in full must be made by no later than March 13. If it is not, I will seek to reopen the complaint and commence litigation if necessary. **** ****'s March 3 response unfortunately repeats the same false, inaccurate, and disingenuous statements from his initial response. The work does not meet ****'s 3 year guarantee on their "craftsmanship." The bottom line is that they rushed a 5 day job into a 4 day job to move on to other work and in the process cut corners and did an inadequate, incomplete, poor quality job. The workers spilled material on my carpet and in my bed and spit tobacco in my sink. **** did not request a deposit on Jan. 7. If he did, and I refused: Why did they start work? The answer is obvious: a deposit was not requested. Likewise, a deposit was not requested on Jan. 9 when he called me at 7:25 a.m. Rather, he demanded payment in full when the work was only 2/5 complete and he had not informed me that they would be cutting a full day off of the work. To be clear he demanded payment in full after 2 days of work. I was afraid that if I did not acquiesce they would leave the work uncompleted & I would have to find another painter that met the building's requirements and wait until I could get on that painter's schedule and I did not know if that painter would have to start over costing me additional money. Of course, **** does not explain why I would voluntarily make payment in full rather than just a deposit. His "story" is not logical, which further proves that he demanded payment in full before the job was complete. Their return on 1/24 was not to address "touch-ups" but to deal with a long list of incomplete, inaccurate, and poor quality work. One painter for a few hours was not enough to complete and correct the work. **** did not ask about the spill of black material on my carpet on 1/24 as he claims. He even proves that he is being duplicitous about asking when he states "On Friday, January 24th, while inside the homeowners residence addressing touch ups, I asked the homeowner about the black mark on the rug." And then later states "The paint spilled on the counter, cabinet, and oak chair and the spot on the rug were not pointed out by the homeowner on Friday, January 24th when we returned to complete touch ups." Both of these statements by **** cannot be true. In one of his versions I told him, and in his other version I did not. Bottom line is that his painters spilled and left black material in my carpet. **** admits in his statement that he did not arrive until 8:40, 40 minutes late, on 1/7. They were late every day including on Jan. 24 when he returned to fix and complete the work. This is unprofessional and completely disrespectful of their customer and my other commitments. ****'s initial offer of 2 hours of work was woefully insufficient as it will take much more than that to complete and fix their poor quality, inadequate work. Lastly, **** states that I did not attach additional photos. That is because the BBD imposes a size limitation on what can be uploaded. I have a lot of photos of the bad work and damage.
Final Business Response
**** Brothers Painting, Inc. work at ***************************** was timely and in line with **** Brothers Painting. Inc. quality standards. We were scheduled to start work the week of January 6th at 8am. This was the first week of the Polar Vortex with -15 degree temperatures and even colder wind chills. The homeowner suggested we wait until Tuesday to start and I agreed(email is attached). The weather never let up that week. Tuesday, January 7th, I called the homeowner at 7:48am to inform them that we were running 20 minutes late due to carpooling and the severe weather. At 8:40am, after walking around the residence with the home owner and four full time employees, I asked the homeowner for a deposit(Attached is our estimate requiring a deposit at time of acceptance.). Again, on Thursday morning, January 9th, I requested a deposit by phone call to the Homeowner. We had bought most of the supplies and worked about 60hrs into a 120 hour project. I have not asked anyone in 31 years for payment in full before services were rendered and I did not ask this homeowner for payment in full on either or any occasion. My painters informed me that the homeowner had left a check with them Friday morning, January 10th. We were 3/4's finished with the project. The check was for payment in full. Up to this point,the homeowner was inspecting the work based on texts. We continued to work until 5:30pm that Friday, bringing the total hours clocked to 125.5. We bid the project for 120 hours. I left the homeowner a text at 3:11pm on Friday, January 10th, that the guys would finish around 4:30pm. They finished at 5:30pm that day. In that text at 3:11pm on Friday, January 10th I told the homeowner to take the weekend to look things over as I do with all projects and all clients.
The homeowner states that they "feared" that they would "be left with 2/5's of the work done and have to find other painters to complete the project." **** Brothers Painting, Inc. worked "in good faith" for three days(3/4 of the work complete) incurring expenses without the required deposit. We would have continued to work to finish the project with or without the deposit or payment in full for one more day. Attached are emails from other clients from 2012 and February 25th, 2014 to attest to my character and the integrity of my company. The same employees worked on the email from February 25th, 2014, a project completed in stages. On January, 24th, we returned to address touch ups. We clocked another 7.5 hours bringing the total hours clocked to 133 hours(not 132.5 stated earlier).
The homeowners project could have been finished in five days with three painter, four days with four painters, or three days with five painters. We chose to complete her project in four days with four painters.
On Friday, January 24th, while inside the homeowners residence addressing touch ups, I asked the homeowner about the black mark on the rug. The homeowner replied they had cleaned it up already. The picture the homeowner attached appears to be while work was still in progress with the tarp pulled back as evidenced by the blue tape on the baseboard and the white tape on the rug. The other attachment may have been taken while work was still in progress. We make no claim that 100% of cut lines will be perfect, but we try by free hand. The homeowner asserts that I made comments about cut lines in the residence. I did ask my painter of 14 years if he could cut a straighter line in some areas. My painter on Friday, January 24th, used two rolls of yellow Frog tape to achieve straighter lines on vertical and horizontal drywall seams. I attached a picture of the homeowners finished living room depicting some of our cut lines. The homeowner states that the areas behind the toilet and around the mirror in the guest bathroom were not touched up on Friday, January 24th. The homeowner also states that we did not address the white line along the kitchen cabinets. The homeowner did not attach a picture of these areas. The paint spilled on the counter, cabinet, and oak chair and the spot on the rug were not pointed out by the homeowner on Friday, January 24th when we returned to complete touch ups.
An employee did admit to spit in a bathroom sink and was placed on written probation. I immediately apologized to the homeowner and later informed my actions with the employee to the homeowner.
During my inspections on Thursday and Friday, the master bedroom bed had clothes from the closet on it and was covered in two layers of high density plastic. At 11:18pm Friday night the homeowner sent emails showing what has been called a "liquid" spilled on her clothes. I interviewed each of my employees individually over the phone that weekend and at a group meeting at 7:30am the following Monday. After a thorough investigation of my employees, I am confident that they did not knowingly spill liquid in the bed. In the opening complaint, there is no mention of an 8 year old cat in the residence that spent most of it's time in the master bedroom during the painting of the unit. It is possible we disrupted it's routine. It is also possible we or someone unknowingly spilled liquid in the bed. Because the clothes were out of the closet and on the bed due to the painting, "in good faith" I offered to pay the dry cleaning bill for $64:50. I sent check #XXXXX. It is unclear what the liquid was.
The homeowner did not let us return to the residence to address additional concerns after Friday, January 24th. I did not agree that touch ups remained. I sent "in good faith" check #XXXXX by US ground mail and for the sum of $200.00 on February 1st, honoring the homeowners request that "a portion" of her payment be returned. The homeowner did not specify what a portion was until this complaint. Now the homeowner is asking for an unsubstantiated $1500 to be returned. We disagree. The homeowner did not produce an independent, non partial critique of our work by a painting professional affiliated with a professional painting association or a written estimate by a non partisan painter or paint representative. The homeowner acknowledge receipt of check #XXXXX for $200.00. We have tried and cannot satisfy this homeowner. At this time we will work with the Better Business Bureau to resolve this case ID#XXXXXXXX. We reluctantly propose meeting this claim half way. Examples of our work are on our website at www.kwakbros.com and our face book page.
Kwak Bros has failed to pay the amount they offered to resolve this complaint; therefore, I am requesting that the complaint be reopened. Thanks
Due to a severe fall down icy stairs, I, **** Kwak, have been confined to my home and doctor visits and have temporarily overlooked the prompt payment of this agreement. Check #10158 in the sum of $550.00 is placed in the mail today March 14th. We have already paid the claimant $200.00(ck#10151 on Feb 1st, 2014). Proof of doctor visits will be supplied upon request.
NOTE FROM THE BBB:
Please hold off on your response pending receipt of the check. Pleas confirm receipt.
Assistant Manager-Home Services
BBB-Chicago & Northern Illinois
Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.