Co. is refusing to honor their signed, firm quote to replace our gutters. They returned our down payment in 10 days and will not do the work.
On August 8, 2014, the company provided a written quote to replace our gutters for a total of $6,216. The document was signed by their "authorized signature" ************. "Sales Manager/Owner". We accepted the quote by signing the document and provided a check for $1,000 down payment (which the company has cashed). We received a letter dated August 18 from the company signed by *************, President, informing us that the work "could not be completed through their company." The reason given was "our company is not equipped to safely install at the heights involved and limited access." The letter enclosed a company check for $1,000 which we have not cashed.
We contacted the company twice by phone trying to understand the basis for their refusal to honor their quote/contract since they have quoted this project a total of three times and made no mention of any safety concerns. Neither the height nor the conditions of our property have changed during this time.
In conversations with both ***** and ************* on August 28, they stated that they will not do the work and seem to find it not significant that (a) we have a signed contract (b) two different reps from ABC have quoted this project a total of three times since last summer.
We mentioned the fact that, if we had pulled out of the contract, under its terms we would have owed 20% of the agreement price as liquidated damages. None of this seemed to matter to the company. We noted that their being an Accredited Business was important to us in selecting them for the work and that we intended to file a complaint with the BBB. Again, this did not persuade the company to honor its written contract with us.
Note: we want to note that the first two quotes for this work were done by the company through our roofer, ***************, on September 18, 2013 and again on November 31, 2013. The President argued that ************ who had signed our contract was "a young guy" implying that he did not know what he was doing. Yet the signator is listed as sales manager/owner.
We want the contract performed as we think the company is legally obligated to do. We need our gutters replaced and we believe the company should be held to its commitment. Alternatively, we would settle for 20% of the contract price (or $1,225.20)....which we would have had to pay in the event we had reneged on the contract after the three day cooling off period. This alternate is really not desirable since it will not get our gutters installed and we need that work done this fall.
Documents supporting this complaint are scanned and included to support our claim (we will mail them if this form does not allow upload)
Regarding Ms. *******'s complaint:
We have explained the difficulties of height and access that prohibit us from safely completing the order proposed by our Sales Rep.
The order was received 8/8/14 then processed and given to our Production Department on 8/12/14. A site review was recommended due to photos provided. The site review revealed that our equipment limitations do not match up here. Several explanations have been expressed along with our apologies. We have included two letters also sent to Ms. *******.
The safety of our crews must be considered always. We would certainly prefer to do all work turned in but occasionally a project must be turned down.
Twin City Exteriors / ABC Seamless
Subject: Complaint No.********
***** ******* vs. Twin City Exteriors ABC Seamless
Dear Complaint Department:
Attached are documents in support of the complaint against Twin City Exteriors. Please let me know if further information is needed to process this complaint against your Accredited Business.
Thank you very much,
***See attached corresponding documents.
Final Consumer Response
OUR RESPONSE on 091514 following ABC Seamless' Response to our BBB Complaint
Case#******** Response filed by ***** *******
1. Twin City ABC Seamless categorizing this as a 'proposal' vs. a contract is incorrect. Their proposal became a binding contract when it was signed on August 8, 2014 by their Sales Manager/Owner ************ representing the seller and by me, ***** *******, the buyer. The signed document was accompanied by our down-payment check of $1,000, which was cashed.
The 'Terms and Conditions' on the back of the proposal repeatedly refers to the document as 'the contract' and 'the contract price'--at least six times. Further, it spells out numerous legally binding contractual obligations for both the seller and the buyer and quotes MN law.
This is a contract.
2. Twin City ABC Seamless provided quotes on our gutter project a total of three times, dating back to September, 2013. They never indicated in the two previous situations that they were unable to perform the work safely because of height and access, and yet nothing about our property, the height of our house, our landscaping or access has changed. Nothing was concealed; all sides and surfaces are clearly visible and easily measured and assessed. ABC Seamless has been in business for over 30 years, doing exactly the kind of work they quoted to us. The following is a summary of the three times ABC quoted on our work:
We originally pursued this project through our roofer, *************** with the goal of matching the existing gutter profile and size so that we could replace just the North and West gutters that were crushed in a storm. *************** found the matching gutter at Twin City ABC Seamless and got a quote from them to perform the work on our property.
a. ABC's first quote was in September, 2013 to replace just the West and North gutters that were crushed in a storm. We accepted that proposal from ABC through ***************, and made a down payment.
b. ABC's 2nd quote was on November 31, 2013. At some point after September 18, 2013 and prior to November 31, 2013, ABC contacted *************** and informed them that it would be better not to replace just the damaged West and North gutters because of the need to remove existing crown molding and install a flat filler board, which would then require that all gutters on the main roof be replaced so that the gutters would align correctly at the mitered corners. ABC re-quoted the project with the increased scope of work, per the letter to us from *************** on November 31, 2013. We accepted the increased scope of work, but at that point it was too late in the season to complete the work.
c. ABC's 3rd quote was in August, 2014. Since the entire main roof gutter work was to be performed by ABC Seamless rather than by ***************, I contacted ABC directly this summer to get the work done. A further updated proposal was made by ABC, signed by both ABC Seamless and by me on August 8, 2014 and a down payment was made. At that point the proposal dated August 8, 2014 became the legal contract that ABC Seamless is now refusing to honor. Then we received a letter dated August 18, 2014 sating that Twin City ABC Seamless would not perform the work and purported to return our down-payment by way of a company check (which we have not cashed).
3. Two different authorized representatives from Twin City ABC Seamless have been to our property, done measurements and provided written proposals - one representative for the two 2013 quotes, and ************ for the August 2014 quote. They had ample opportunity to evaluate our property--the height of the gutters and access to all sides of the property. In all three instances with those evaluations performed by two different Twin City ABC Seamless representatives, they determined that they could do the work, and provided proposals that we signed and accepted--the original one in September 2013 and the current one August 8, 2014. Nothing about height or access to our property has changed since their first quote in September 2013.
4. As an accredited business, ABC Seamless has to comply with its contractual undertaking. They made the bid, with all circumstances known. There are no latent issues. When an accredited business makes a proposal which is accepted, it becomes a legally-binding contract - whether or not the business made a good calculation in its bid. We want Twin City ABC Seamless to perform to the contract. Their gutter profile is appropriate to the character of our house. We have lost valuable time to get this work done and risk other damage by not having intact gutters functioning properly. Should such additional damage occur in the meantime, we will be looking to ABC Seamless to pay for it.
Final Business Response
As stated previously, we feel the best course of action is to contact the original installers that are familiar with your home and would have the proper equipment to complete this project.
Refund of your down payment and valid explanation were made to you immediately following the order received in our office (Aug. 8). Many days have passed in which time you may have found a gutter company and have completed the work.
As far as our company "partnering" with another company; we do not know of another company in the area to do this work.
BBB Complaint Case # **********
This is a formal request to reopen our complaint and to be considered for arbitration for the following reasons:
1. Twin City Exteriors ABC Seamless (hereafter referred to as TCE/ABC) has never addressed the fact that this is a legally binding contract. For them to simply say that they cannot do the work safely, by law does not negate the contract. Whether or not this work can be performed with reasonable safety by the company is a question of fact that would seem to be a candidate for arbitration.
2. TCE/ABC has offered no proof that it is unsafe for the company to do the work. It is very hard to believe that a gutter & siding company that has been in business for 30 years has never worked on a two-story house sitting on property that is very level on all sides--with adequate space for ladders, ladder jacks and scaffolding, if necessary. This is all equipment that a gutter & siding company would have or have access to through rental companies. It can be expected that they would know how to use such equipment safely.
What, specifically, about our property makes it unsafe for them to perform the work, as they claim?
Numerous contractors have worked on our home--at the gutter level and above-- with no problems for painting, roofing, gutter cleaning and masonry work.
The photos on TCE/ABC's website suggest that they have worked on residential properties even taller than ours and with significantly slopping yards that put the gutter line higher than ours.
3. What has TCE/ABC done to be proactive to honor the contract?
What are names of the businesses (roofers or other ABC Seamless franchises) they've reached out to to partner with in order to honor their contract?
TCE/ABC is an exclusive ABC Seamless franchise in the Twin Cities for the ABC gutter profile. There are other ABC franchises on the outskirts of Mpls. Has TCE/ABC asked for assistance from any of them to perform on their contract?
4. In their responses to our complaint, TCE/ABC never addressed the fact that two different authorized representatives of their company have been to our property multiple times and quoted on our property three times since last summer. They never once raised the issue that they did not have the equipment or were able to do the work when they presented quotes and signed contracts.
5. What is the height of the highest gutter installation that TCE/ABC has performed in their 30 years in business?
6. It is hard to believe that a gutter company that has been in business for 30 years has never installed gutters at the height of ours, or that they their representatives who sign legally binding contracts cannot recognize if they cannot do the work before they execute a legal contract.
7. The TCE/ABC response to this complaint on 9/24/14 suggested that we go back to the original company that installed the gutters. 1.) it is irrelevant since this is a total gutter replacement; 2.) it was TCE/ABC's representative who told me that the company who previously had the same profile gutter was out of business.
We are respectfully asking the BBB to reopen this complaint and consider it for a fact finding arbitration. This company is accredited by the BBB and we believe the BBB should help this company honor its legally enforceable contracts.
Ms. ******* continues to insist that we can and should do the work or find someone to do it. We have promptly, honestly, and politely responded to these repeated requests and offered a $300.00 cash apology for inconvenience caused. It seems Ms. ******* is determined that our BBB standing is blemished.
Our 32 years in business and 28,000 happy customers is proof of our good intentions and excellent customer relations. Over the 32 years we have rejected few orders that our sales people have written, but it does occasionally happen and almost always is due to the sales person not being certain of limitations.
We respectfully request that this case be closed and our good standing with the BBB be upheld.
To answer Ms. *******'s question:
Regarding Height: The north elevation proximity to the adjacent property does not allow us to position ladders to stand out far enough from the wall to safely ascend. The south elevation drops sharply to a public sidewalk making it out of reach for proper positioning. We do not have the scaffolding required to do the work safely. The height of this home is equal to 3 story due to the elevated first floor, the ceiling heights in the home and floor thickness all being extra-ordinary.
Regarding us Finding Another Company: There are no longer any ABC Dealers in the Twin City Metro Area other than ourselves and we do not have such relationship as to partner with a competitor.
We have promptly, honestly, and politely responded to Ms. *******'s repeated requests and offered a $300.00 cash apology for inconvenience caused. Our 32 years in business and 28,000 happy customers is proof of our good intentions and excellent customer relations. We respectfully request that this case be closed and our good standing with the BBB be upheld.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We reject and refute Twin City Exterior/ABC Seamless' October 13, 2014 response to our complaint. As an accredited business, we expected that they would perform on their contract.
1. Our gutter sits at 22.5 to 24.5 feet from grade on all sides of the property.
2. There is more than ample room on all sides of the property to position ladders at the recommended ratio of distance from the surface in relationship to the working height: 1' out for every 4' of height. That is the common industry standard.
2.1 ABC specifically cited clearances on the north side of our property as a reason that they could not perform on their contract. The majority of the wall on that side has 12 feet of clearance from the wall to our property line. There is one section with a minimum of nine feet from our wall to a fence, a jut-out with a first story flat roof. The gutter above could be easily reached using ladder jacks if the nine feet of clearance on the ground is deemed inadequate. Ladder jacks are supports installed on ladders to create a platform bridge between two ladders if a ladder cannot be positioned directly in line with a work area and to create the ability to move from side to side. Also, our neighbors to the north are willing to have ABC ladders on their property if ABC feels they need additional clearance beyond our property line, giving ABC a total of 18 feet from our wall. Our neighbors are willing to sign an affidavit stating that. This entire area--our property and the neighbor's-- is level ground. Ladders can be positioned for safe ascent on the entire north side.
2.2 ABC also specifically cited the south side as an issue as a reason they could not perform to the contract. The south wall is a total of approximately 45 linear feet. The south side gutter is accessible from a combination of: a large first floor rooftop deck, a hard surface patio, and flat ground that extends nine feet from the wall. Of the total of 45 linear feet on the south wall, there is a single story jut-out for 10 linear feet that reduces the flat ground area to eight feet before the ground starts to slope to the public sidewalk. The gutter above could easily be reached using ladder jacks.
3. This is photo # 9 of 18 in the company's website gutter photo gallery of a gutter installation on a true three story house over very uneven terrain with a very large drop off, indicating that ABC Seamless can install gutters at heights greater than our gutter and on extremely challenging sites. Our property is neither.
4. We are essentially a flat lot with good level clearance for ladders. Our house and our property are actually very similar to the first picture after the intro slide on the gutter video on their website. http://www.goabcseamless.com/gutters/gutter video/ Their website photo and video clearly imply that they can do this work. To now claim that they cannot makes those representations false advertising.
5. It is extremely hard to accept that a siding and gutter company that has been in business for over 30 years and having served 28,000 customers does not own or use ladder jacks, platforms, or scaffolding and has never installed gutters at a height of 24' on essentially level ground with a minimum 9 to 12 feet of clearance on all sides. Even if they do not own such equipment, it is all easily rented so that they could perform to their contract commitment. We have owned this house for 17 years and have had painters, roofing and gutter cleaning companies perform work at and above the gutter height and not one has ever had any trouble using ordinary ladders to reach the working height necessary.
6. The company has never responded to the question about how it is possible that at least two different representatives from their company who are authorized to provide quotes and sign contracts have been to our property multiple times, had every opportunity to fully assess our project and provided three quotes from 2013 to 2014 to do the work, but now claim that they cannot do the work. Yet they signed a contract and cashed our down payment check. The fact that they sent us a refund check for our down payment and, only after we filed a BBB complain, offered $300 as compensation for "our trouble" is wholly inadequate and does not respond to the fact that we have a contract with them to perform the work at the agreed upon price. For a BBB accredited business to simply walk away from a legal commitment is unexpected, irresponsible and unethical.
7. There are reasonable ways in which the company could have performed the contract safely, yet they have pursued none of them, choosing instead to simply deny that they have a legally binding contract. We find it unfair that the contract would have been legally binding on us, and yet they are walking away from it.
8. Our remedy now is to contract directly with another gutter company for the identical work and specifications at additional cost and with significant delay. We expect Twin City Exterior to either perform to their contract and complete the work yet this Fall, or if they continue to refuse to do the work, to pay us the difference between our contract with them and the cost to have the identical work performed by another company, plus the $300 for "our trouble" and the delay we will experience in getting the work done.
Clearly there is a dispute as to the facts of this case, and in particular the measurement of our property and ladder positions. We believe this makes it a perfect case for arbitration were these facts can be determined independently. And if not arbitration, then we should be a candidate for mediation to the address the difference between their offer of $300 for reneging on the contract and the added costs we will incur to have the identical work performed by another company, and the delay and risk of damage to our property because of the delay.