Remodeling: When Trust is in Low Supply

  
     
July 18, 2014

 

Sacramento, Calif. - ‘F’ rated suppliers fail to deliver or finish custom products leaving customers with a hole in their wallet. Whether you’re buying custom cabinets or counter-tops you’ve simply got to trust the supplier. Typically, these businesses charge deposits up-front for materials and fabrication with the promise of delivery. But how do you know who to trust and how can you increase your chances of success?

Remodeling with TrustUsing a trusted supplier will save you money and headache. You can learn from the mistakes of others who did not use a credit card, insurance bond, or escrow service. 

Customers complained about Best of Europe after making deposits ranging from some $175 to $1500 for bricks to granite counter tops but not receiving their product or refunds despite promises to the contrary. The Stockton, Calif. company did not return our telephone calls or emails for comment about this story.

 

Robert Griffith Cabinets, cabinet maker, promises its consumers full refunds for failing to deliver or providing faulty cabinets after accepting deposits ranging from $600 to $7200. However, no customers who complained to BBB report receiving a refund. Further, in response to our requests for comment, Robert Griffith scheduled to meet with us on a day and time that was convenient to him but later cancelled citing a conflict with a customer delivery.

Be careful, some suppliers will contract to perform installation without proper licensing. In California, if anyone attempts install or affix anything to your home they are likely required to be licensed by the Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB) when the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500. One customer paid a $1,500 down payment for fabrication and installation of granite counter tops to Best of Europe. We verified with the CSLB that Best of Europe is not a licensed contractor.

When Searching for Trust in Remodeling:

  • Get 3 Quotes for each Order. Use BBB’s Request a Quote to obtain quotes for product or services. Be sure all work to be performed is in writing. Ensure you thoroughly understand the reasoning behind each estimate - lowest is not always best.

  • Request recent references and be sure to contact them about the work performed and their satisfaction.

  • Protect your Payment. Paying by credit card does not guarantee a return of credit. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have 60 days after the billing period to file a complaint with your Creditor. You can also protect yourself through an escrow service or bond.

  • Verify the credibility the business. Visit www.bbb.org and review their BBB Business Review, if available.

  • Your Right to Cancel. In general, if your project costs more than $25 and is negotiated away from the company’s principal place of business (e.g. your home or trade show), the business must provide you with a three-day right to cancel.

  • Licensing matters. If you have a job that includes installation and costs more than $500 (labor and materials), the “provider” is likely to be required by California Law to have a Contractor’s License. Licensed contractors have demonstrated experience and passed competency tests to obtain the license. Moreover, they’re required to maintain a surety bond which may help should things go wrong. Search California Licensing here: http://go.bbb.org/1mRkpUs

  • Confirm shipping. According to the FTC Mail Order Rule, if the business makes no shipment statement, it must have a reasonable basis for believing that it can ship within 30 days.

  • For more advice on Home Improvement, consult our Essential Tips on Contracting here: http://go.bbb.org/1mRkpUs