Overcharging and bad attitude
On June 10, 2015, we called the company to ask them to install the new kitchen sink we had purchased. We asked about the charges and were told that labor would be $95/hour all inclusive. The appointment was made for Friday June 12 in the afternoon.
*****, one of the employees, arrived around 3 pm. The old sink was already taken off & all he was asked to do was remove the garbage disposal from the old sink, which he did in about 15 mn. Then he found out that the new sink didn't exactly fit in the opening and said the granite had to be cut.
We were expecting him to go, but instead he stayed for another 15 mn and started calling numbers he'd found in our phone book, apparently trying to find a granite cutter for us - which we had not asked him to do.
On Saturday morning, we had found a granite cutter to do the cutting job. We informed **** that they could come back on Monday to finish the plumbing work. The 2nd appointment was for Monday June 15, in the afternoon.
***** arrived at 2:45 pm. All he had to do now was hook up the new sink (already set in place by the granite cutter) with the new faucet and connect the new garbage disposal & new water filter system we had purchased. One hour later, he told us the work was done, but that we had no hot water pressure, presumably because of the new faucet. We said we would get a new one and expected him to leave, but he kept fiddling with it for another hour - to no avail. He got ready to leave at 4:45 pm without having solved the problem.
When we asked him what we owed him, he startled us by answering "$285"... we couldn't believe our ears! We figured that we owed him 1/4 hour for his work on June 12, i.e. $23.75 and one hour for his work on June 15, i.e. $95, total $118.75. Even if, as he claimed, he had worked for a total of 2 1/2 hours, the amount would be $237.50. When we asked about the additional $50, he said it was for labor. We learnt later that actually, the $50 was for some parts already included with the new items.
While we were arguing about this obviously inflated figure (at this point we had told him that we felt cheated as senior citizens), our daughter arrived at our house and paid the bill that we had refused to pay - in spite of our asking her not to do it. She was trying to avoid further worries to her aging parents (we are both well into our seventies.) As ***** was getting ready to go, he became nasty, mumbling and making faces at us.
After he left, we called the office (closed by that time) and left a message asking the owner to call us back as we wanted a refund for the extra time unduly charged to us. ****** **** called us on Tuesday morning June 16th and offered to send an employee to install the second new faucet we had purchased. The "employee" (we learnt later on that it was Mr. **** himself) arrived around 11 am and proceeded to install it - which took him 20 mn(at some point, he said he didn't know why it had taken one full hour for ***** to do the same job). Only now, he said we had no pressure for COLD water and again, he blamed the 2nd new faucet!! He left us with no working faucet and without offering further services.
We called on Friday June 19th to ask about the refund, and ****** **** called us back 15 mn later. He said that no refund was coming. During the ensuing conversation, he became very fresh, even sarcastic and ended up telling us that we were "full of it"!
The new plumber from another company who came afterwards did the work in 10 mn by flushing out the hot water system. He said any plumber worthy of the name should have known that!
We feel ****'s service, competence and attitude unacceptable. We are adamant that we were overcharged for a poor job and we cannot accept either the flippant way we were treated by both the employee and the owner of the company. We are asking for a $166.25 refund, i.e. the difference between what they received, viz. $285 and what was due viz. $118.75.
We are asking for a partial refund of $166.25 - apologies wouldn't come amiss either!
Mr ****** called on 6/9/15 to schedule a service call to install a sink and faucet which they purchased. *****,in our office, told Mr.****** our service rates were $95/hour plus parts. He was informed that there was a minimum one hour charge for the first hour, then time would be per min. after that. We have never used the words "all inclusive" in this office for service calls. The reason is for situations similar to this call. We never know if we will run into an issue/problem or have work added when we arrive. Mr.****** agreed to these terms and their service call was set up for Thurs.,6/11. On the 11th,we called the ******s to inform them that ***** would be at their home between 2:00 and 2:30.***** arrived at their home at 2:26(GPS).When he arrived, the old faucet had already been removed from the sink and the old sink was hanging in the hole still attached to disposal. ***** detached the sink and the disposal. He then attached the faucet to the sink (standard procedure)before installing the sink and then attempted to install the sink in the hole already cut in the granite. The sink was too large for the hole. ***** informed them that they would need to get someone out to cut their granite. Mrs.****** got angry with ***** that he should have known the sink wouldn't fit before trying to put it in and for putting the faucet on the sink ahead of time. Again, this was a sink they provided, we never came out and measured for the sink or had anything to do with the granite,the sink or the faucet prior to that moment. ***** called ***********, to see if he knew of a granite company that might could come and cut the hole. Mr.Dean recommended Wolde and ***** showed them their name in the phone book. He never called any granite companies nor, stood around looking up any numbers in the phone book. He showed them the one number in the phone book and left. He was trying to be helpful at that moment not run their time up on their bill as he has been accused of doing. Again, there was a minimum one hour charge($95), so this didn't cost the ******s anything extra at that point. He also did not give them a bill at that point, which he could have. The GPS from *****' truck shows, he left at 3:14,48 mins. after he had arrived. At 3:30, Mr.****** called and asked if Mr.Dean could call Wolde to make them come out that evening and cut the granite. Mr.****** had already called Wolde and they told him they could not come out on the 11th. Mr.Dean felt uncomfortably calling in a favor with a company that we work with to ask them to change their schedule due to the ******'s lack of planning and/or measuring of their sink. Early Friday morning, 6/12, Mr.****** called and said he had found two companies that could cut the granite. One Friday afternoon and one on Monday. He wanted ***** to come back out Friday afternoon as soon as the granite was cut to get the sink and faucet installed. *****, informed Mr.****** that we were already booked completely for both servicemen that day, but that we could get him on the schedule between 12 and 2 on Monday, which he agreed. ***** ran a little behind, but at 2:00, ***** called and let them know ***** was on his way and he arrived at their home at 2:38(GPS). When he arrived the sink was sitting in the hole, but was not mounted. ***** proceeded to install the sink and faucet. The ******s also purchased a new disposal and a cold water filter, which we had not been told about and was added work. He installed both of those. The dishwasher supply line was never disconnected, he only reconnected the dishwasher drain to the disposal. When he was finished installing everything, he then tested the water from the faucet. There was pressure on the cold side of the faucet, but not the hot water side. He then took apart the faucet to see if there was something wrong with the faucet. There was water pressure to the end of the supply line, which indicated there was something going on with the faucet. He took the faucet apart to check to make sure there weren't issues, but couldn't find anything and still got no pressure. He called Mr. Dean to see if he knew what might be going on since there was pressure to the end of the supply line, Mr.Dean's believed it was the faucet. ***** informed the ******s that problem was the faucet and that they may want to contact Lowe's to see what they wanted him to do as far as replacement of the faucet and that we would be happy to come back to install it. He went ahead and gave them the bill for the two trips he had been to their home. The bill was for $285.This was for the time he was there and for supply lines that we provided that don't come with new sinks, faucets, filters or disposals. ***** had been there for at that point almost 2.5 hours (GPS). He did his bill and included the 48 mins. or minimum charge of 1 hr. or $95. from 6/11. He worked on the 6/11 visit by disconnecting their old sink & disposal and then installing the faucet and attempting to install the sink. His total time at their home both visits was 3hrs 8mins (GPS). He charged them correctly for the time he was there and the supplies he used. He also told them we would come back and install the faucet once they exchanged it. He never got "nasty" with Mrs.******, nor did he treat her with disrespect, even though she treated him awful both times he was in her home. The ******'s daughter ****** arrived right before he left and paid for the service call. ***** explained to her that the bill was for the time he was there on both trips as well as the few supplies he had provided. Mr.****** then followed ***** out and asked him questions about the water filter and said they would let us know what they find out about the faucet. ***** then left. At approx. 5:30, Mrs.****** then called our office and got our answering service. She was extremely belligerent to our answering service and she told the answering service that we had left them with no hot water pressure and or their dishwasher.(Email from answering service) and she wanted *********** to call her asap. She then had her daughter contact Mr.Dean's sister in law around 7:00 to get her to pressure him into calling her back. Mr.Dean was still in a meeting when the call came through and he finally got out of his meeting at 7:00 and got home around 7:30. At that point, Mr.Dean had worked 13 hours did not feel comfortable calling that late and that he told her he would call them back on Monday. Mr. Dean talked to Mr.****** on Monday morning. He offered to have someone to come back out and install another faucet for the ******s for free, even though it was provided by them. He also told Mr.****** that he would be happy to provide them with a better faucet from our stock, but Mr.****** said they would return the faucet and get another one. In the end, he was fine with Mr.Dean and was very nice. On Tuesday at approximately 11:30, we had *****, another plumber, go out to their house to try to install a second faucet. ***** is not an owner but an employee, nor has Dennis Dean ever been to their home as stated in the complaint. They had returned the faucet and had a Moen faucet. ***** got everything installed and this time there was an issue on the cold side of the faucet. This was not done on purpose, we weren't even charging them for this visit (approx 1/2 hr). ***** took apart the faucet and couldn't find anything. There was water pressure to the end of the supply line on hot and cold which indicates there is an issue in the faucet. Had there not been water pressure at the end of the supply line, then we would have flushed the hot and the cold lines. This is not uncommon with faucets. The fact it happened twice to the same people is unfortunate. After dealing with the Mrs.****** up to that point, we wanted to resolve this. ***** offered to get a faucet and bring to put it in and Mr.****** refused. Mrs.****** was again belligerent to our employee. On June 19th, Mrs.****** spoke with ***********. Mrs.****** demanded a refund. Mr.Dean told to her that she was not over charged. Mrs.****** then starting yelling at Mr.Dean so loud it could be heard in the next office. She said she knew others with the same issue as her and that she would see to it that our company folded for this. At that point, Mr.Dean did tell her she was "full of it" and hung up. Probably not the best response, but it felt fitting with her screaming at him. We have never had a customer act this way ever. The ******s went to Mr.Dean's sister-in-law's house on 6/26 to give her a letter about this. She asked them to leave. They have no right to harass her about this and they were out of line both times for involving her. We tried to accommodate them and she treated everyone with disrespect, even non-employees. They agreed to our rates and they are wrong for filing this complaint. We will consider her refund when the complaint is rescinded and an apology is given to Mr. Dean's sister-in-law. She will then get a check $166.25.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We do not wish to spend too much time refuting some inexactitudes in Dean's reply. Suffice it to say, for instance, that since Mrs. ****** wasn't even present on June 16th during the 2nd attempt at installing the faucet, she could hardly have been "belligerent" to Dean's employee; or that Mr. Dean's sister-in-law, an old friend of our daughter's, never considered herself "harassed" after having received but one single text message from her - unbeknown to us - during Dean's installation attempts. When we saw her afterwards to thank her and inform her about our filing a complaint with BBB, she assured us that she wasn't expecting any apologies from us.
Also, we find Dean's mention of our "lack of planning" particularly tasteless after all the care we took to prepare for the work to be done in our kitchen. All the necessary parts & fixtures were ready to be installed from day one; only, since the garbage disposal was still attached to the old sink, we hadn't been able to remove it to try the new one over the granite countertop. Actually, the granite cutter took off less of one inch on one side. If ***** had taken care of trying the new sink over the counter after he disconnected the garbage disposal and BEFORE attaching the new faucet to it, a lot of time would have been saved. Then we had to make several more trips to the store to replace faucets which Dean's employees and Mr. Dean himself, when consulted by them, had mistakenly declared unsuitable.
Our comments will be limited to the 2 salient points that emerge from Dean's reply:
First, given the expensive hourly rate quoted on the phone, we had really not understood that extra costs were involved, or that there were minima to be applied to the time spent to do the work. Mr. ****** has no recollection of any additional charges beyond the $95 hourly rate mentioned by the employee who briefly talked to him the first time he called, but he is not adamant about it. We therefore apologize for the misunderstanding.
Second, from Dean's own admission, two of their employees spent at least 3 hours and 38 minutes in our house. During this time, they were able to disconnect a garbage disposal, attach the new sink to the granite and hook up a garbage disposal & cold water filter which took, say, one hour altogether. The rest of the time was spent attempting in vain to properly install a perfectly fine faucet, which the other plumber we hired afterwards did in less than 1/2 hour.
Dean collected $285 for the unfinished job. As for us, we were left with an unusable kitchen for over a week and the additional trouble & cost of having to hire another plumber to install the faucet. Given the circumstances and the stress that we experienced during the whole operation, we could have done without the unpleasant exchange of words on top of everything else. "At Dean & Son, we focus on both quality and customer service - It's not about how much you can get from a customer, it's about how satisfied you leave a customer". Well, this motto on Dean's website certainly did not apply in our case.
In conclusion, we will agree to pay for the one-hour minimum for each visit on June 12 and 15, 2015, total 2 hours, viz. $190. However, we regret to be unable to accept extra charges for the time spent by Dean to try and solve a non-existent problem with the faucets, and we can't accept either a hefty $50 extra charge for "parts" that we never were told about. We would therefore appreciate receiving a $95 refund in order to allow the case to be closed.
Final Business Response
Need to change the status. They were sent a full refund to settle this complaint instead of the rebuttal saying no offer. Thank you!