The product that was sold to me isn't a product that is meant for a kitchen. The owner said that he fix or replace the product, but is unresponsive.
When we purchased the countertops, we asked ***** the owner if they were meant for and hold up to the kitchen. He assured us that they would, said that they were quartzite and that it was one of the best. The countertops were installed in November 2015. Early on we noticed that water spots and rings were all over the place because they weren't properly sealed by the installers. Soon after that, January, an employee came out to fix and seal the product. Soon after we noticed that there was still water spots, dulling, etching and cracks in the countertops. Then another employee of the company came out and said "these countertops are not meant for a kitchen. you will never be happy with this product these issues will keep happening. You need to have ***** replace them with something else." After that I had a different company who fixes countertops come out to look at the countertops to see what they could do. They that the same thing, that the countertops were not meant to be in a kitchen, they even polished up an area and said that they could do this to all the tops, but that you will still see the issues again later, because of the product. In Feburary, we contacted the owner about the countertops and our concerns the findings of his employee and other company. He came out a couple of weeks later, while there he tested the product with water to see if it wasn't sealed properly, looked at the etchings, which were in multiple areas at this point, the cracks, and areas that his employee colored on with a black sharpie that were dull from the last time he came out. While ***** was there, he said that "we","would work on these countertops until we get it right, pay the guy who polished them in that area to do all of them, or replace the whole thing if he has to." Then he talked about how he doesn't understand why it keeps happening and he will go back to the shop and try to figure some thing out that will fix the issues. 3/20, we texted ***** again, with no response. 4/2, I texted him again and he responded saying that Harold would come out to polish and seal the countertops today, which he did. 5/23, we texted ***** again showing him pictures of the countertops. Where they were etching (due to seltzer water) and water from the faucet, rings, dulling due to steam, scuff and polish markings from his employee. He texted back and said "are these old pictures, did you mean to send them to me?" We said yes, these are new and the issues are happening all over again and worse in some spots. After that we texted and called on 6/1, 6/29 with no response. In August, ***** sent a guy over to our house, Bruce, who finishes and repairs countertops, has his own company and does some work for *****. He stated that the countertops are not meant to be in a kitchen. He dropped a drop of lemon juice on the countertops and after a few seconds wiped it away and they etched. He said that was the acid test, and that proves this product isn't meant for a kitchen. And that it was unusual that it etched up so quickly and that he doesn't understand why the product was even sold knowing that it was going to be put in the kitchen. He also said that he could make the countertops look nice again, but that over time, they will look like this again, sorry. On 8/8, I texted ***** letting him know what Bruce said and and found, with no contact from him. My wife and I have contacted him and Harold numerous times (8/8, 8/21, 8/26, 8/26, 8/29) and even in October and November and have not gotten a response from them at all. The frustrating part of the is that the owner said that they were durable and could hold up to anything and is a perfect product for a kitchen. Even after the issues came up and keep coming up and the owner saying that he stands by his product and will make it right, he is unresponsive. Even when other companies and his employees say that the product shouldn't have been put in the kitchen setting, the owner refuses to contact his customers.
Replacement of the product that is meant for the kitchen or a refund of the product so that we can purchase proper countertops from a different company.
As an initial matter, the facts as described are inaccurate. We have responded to all of the customer's complaints and have been out to her home multiple times to attempt to fix the issues. The damage to the surface of the stone appeared to us to be caused by spills and the use of harsh chemical cleaners.
We dealt with this customer through their general contractor, Richardson Residential (Justin McMillan). Mr. McMillan selected the product Quartzite is an appropriate surface for kitchens. It is actually harder and less porous than marble or granite. However, it is still a natural stone that requires care and maintenance. We explained that the stone would need to be treated with a silicon based chemical ager AND then sealed. The Customer declined the chemical ager step, and it was explained to her that without that step, the stone would require very frequent applications of sealant (every 3 to 6 months). We also explained that the use of harsh chemicals present in a lot of household cleaners (like bleach and ammonia) would damage the surface over time and effect the sealant. We have repeatedly gone to the customer's home to repair the stains caused by spills and the loss of polish from the use of inappropriate cleaners, but the customer remains dissatisfied. We have responded to all of the customers requests. The only action that we are willing to take would be for the customer to allow us to apply the silicone based chemical ager and then reseal the stone one last time. The customer must also understand that harsh chemicals CANNOT be used on the stone surface. To complete these steps we will need the kitchen available to us for one full business day and for it not to be used for 24 hours. We can schedule this within 14 business days.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The events that I described in my original complaint are all accurate. When my wife and I first went to the Granite Design Company looking for countertops, we met ***** (the owner) and Aaron (an employee). Originally we were looking at quartz countertops, but didn't really find one that we liked. Then we looked around the showroom (with ***** and Aaron) and came across a slab that were really liked the look and color of (which is the product that we ended up purchasing). When we saw the product we started asking specific questions about it. What type of material is this? Is this product suitable for a kitchen? Will it withstand the environment and a family who cook all the time? Will it hold up to heat? Will it withstand a house with 3 kids? How much is this product? Is it easy to clean and upkeep? ***** answered our questions and said that the product was new, it was Quartzite, it was a natural stone that was harder and less porous than marble or granite. He said that it was extremely hard and would hold up to heat very well and that it would easily hold up to kids and the kitchen environment. He also said that for us he would give us the product at his cost and that it doesn't require much upkeep because it is such a strong stone and not very porous and that all we need to clean it with was a mild cleaner and water. (At NO POINT where we (my wife or I) EVER told about the need or process of applying a silicone based chemical ager before sealing the countertops. I feel that if the product being installed needs something that the professional company recommends, should be done regardless or explained when picking out the stone or purchasing it, so that issues don't arise in the future.) After learning about the quartzite from *****, we continued walking with him around the showroom and looking at other materials that he had to show us or that we picked out. When we got home, we called our contractor (Justin McMillan from Richardson Residential) and told him about the material that we found and for him to go ahead and purchase the slabs for our kitchen. When the countertops were installed I was told to leave them alone for at least 48 hours, which we did. Soon after that the issues started to occur. That is when we started contacting ***** about the issues that we were having. He sent an employee over to the house (who also was one of the installers) to check out the countertops. He said, "look this product is not meant to be in a kitchen. It is meant to go around fire places or on the walls or ground. It shouldn't be in a kitchen, it just won't work." He also told my wife and I that they never sealed the product during installation, they just wiped it down with a penetrating cleaner, which is why we started seeing water spots very early on. I agree that at first ***** did respond to the issues that were having. He did send people out 3-4 times through the year to try and work on the issues or at least look at them. I also want to point out that the only thing that we HAVE EVER used to clean the countertops is water. Partly because we have been so worried about messing them up because, not only did they cost us a lot of money, but from the get go we have had issues with them. Since the installation of the product, 3 separate individuals have stated that this product is not meant to be in the kitchen environment. 1 works for the Granite Supply Company, 1 works for a stone cleaning and polishing company and 1 (Bruce) does work for ***** and owns Bruce's Stone Solutions. Whom I called on 1/6/16 about the countertops and ***** stating that he wants to put a silicone based chemical ager on and then seal them. I specifically asked him if this process would fix our issues or if we would notice them again? He said, "I don't think that it would hurt to have him try it, but to be honest you WILL STILL have issues in the future. That particular material just won't last in the kitchen, it's not meant for it." So to clarify, it is the purity of the slab and the material sold to us was not up to par for the purpose of a kitchen. Even when we asked ***** about the product and told him that it was going into a highly used kitchen, he told us that it would be a perfect product for that environment and would withstand its use, which has not been the case at all. ***** was deceptive in selling us the product and negligent by not testing the purity of the product for the intended purposes and use. Again within 5 seconds of Bruce (from Bruce's Stone Solution) performing the acid test himself, he stated that the product was not suitable for the kitchen. All of the issues have could have been avoided, if ***** would have done the pre-work on the stone prior to selling it to us and even offering it to us. The remedy that he has currently offered has failed to fix the problems and issues (through multiple attempts) that have been occurring since the countertops were installed. Also, to reiterate at NO POINT, was my wife or I EVER told about or did we EVER decline the silicone based chemical ager and sealing process. Nor, have we ever used ANYTHING other than water to clean our countertops, especially not harsh chemicals, we are afraid to even leave cups of water on them because of all of the issues that have occurred since we got them. When ***** came to my home to look at the countertops and the spots, cracks and stains all over the countertops, he told my wife and I, "I don't know why this is happening. We haven't worked with this stone much, but we will keep working on it until we get it right. If I have to replace the whole thing I will, but I want to keep working with it first." Since that conversation, he has had Harold out once to put a bandaid on the situation and then has been unresponsive to any of our attempted contacts or requests, which is unacceptable from a customer stand point, especially when this all could have been avoided from the beginning if ***** would have just been honest about the product in question, not deceptive or negligent. At this point, I am willing to offer 2 solutions. First, the Granite Design Company should install new countertops (crediting us the cost of the old material and fabrication) made of another material (for example granite, soap stone or quartz) that are suitable to withstand the kitchen environment or second, a full refund of $4,450, minus 5%. ($4,227.50).
Final Consumer Response
Per customer's email:
Good morning Rua'a this is T.J. As of right now we are working with ***** and the Granite Design Center on fixing or resolving our counter top dilemma. They are working with us to find new counter tops that would be a better fit for our kitchen and then replace the old ones with the new ones that we are picking out. So as of now we are working on the resolution to the the case together. If anything changes, I will let you know. Thank you for all of your help. It is greatly appreciated.