Dear Mr. *******:
This complaint is regarding the installation of a wheelchair accessible shower installed at my residence:
*** ** ****** ******** *****
Tucson, AZ XXXXX
The installation of the shower was defective: MATERIAL USED FOR BACKING WAS NOT THE PROPER MATERIAL. The material you used is called OSB Oriented Strand Board and is cheaper than plywood.
As part of this complaint it is important to point out aspects of the pricing. The OSB material at retail pricing in Tucson is much cheaper than is the proper material i.e., plywood, which should have been used in my bathroom installation. Probably a commercial company like yours would receive a large discounted price for OSB material, thus making a greater profit to ReBath than using plywood. However the pricing matter is not the primary reason for this complaint.
To repeat: The main reason for this complaint is that the bathroom installation was defective.
To have the installation with its improper material removed and plywood used as backing is a possible solution. This, though, for many reasons would not be a good procedure.
I must point out that if my friends who knew I planned the bath modification ask me if I was "satisfied", I will simply reply "No comment".
A copy of this letter is being sent to the Better Business Bureau for their assistance in settling this complaint in whatever way they can.
Because of my considerable service as an expert witness in assisting attorneys for plaintiffs, and my lectures and consulting on the topic of falls prevention, I hope that your company and other companies like yours will do all that is possible to make bathrooms safe. In the bathroom at *** E. ****** ******** ***** I plan to install proper grabbars for safety purposes. I hope that I will be able to find studs in the wall for long crews to obtain a safe situation.
****** ** ******* (see hard copy online)
At this time I believe that it is best that I settle by accepting the job on an "as is" basis and be paid what might be considered a "refund". I have paid Re-Bath over $6,000.00. I will accept a refund $1,700.00 which I believe you will agree is fair.
To Whom It May Concern:
On November 19, 2014 Re-Bath contracted with claimant to remodel his bathroom. At that time Re-Bath schedule the remodel to start on or between, December 20, 2014 and be completed by December 24, 2014. The installation went smoothly. In fact, the install actually started on December 22, 2-014 and was completed on December 23, 2014 and be completed by December 22, 2014 and was completed on December 23, 2014. The claimant did ask the installer during the installation process about the OSB, but the installer ensured him that OSB (Oriented Strand Board) was a comparable product to plywood and that it was what we used in the installation behind the moisture resistant board. The claimant signed off on the job after going over the completion checklist and made no notes or comment on the paperwork.
It is Re-Bath's common practice to use OSB on all of the jobs that they install when replacing the wall surrounds in a remodel. OSB is widely used and accepted in the industry. It is similar to plywood but more uniform and less expensive. (1) The OSB product Re- Bath uses is purchased from Home Depot. Home Depot carries Trubord manufactured by (2) Norbord. (3) Industry voices from panel manufacturers or their main trade group (APA-The Engineered Wood Association) say that there's no real difference between the two panels: OSB's and plywood's structural characteristic are equivalent, and they can be used interchangeably. (http://www.prosalesmagazine.com/products/lumber/plywood-vs-osb-which-is-better_o)
(4) Environmental factors are another consideration when comparing OSB to plywood. "OSB can be made from small diameter trees such as Polar that can be framed but plywood requires larger diameter trees from old-growth forests." (http://www.diffen.com/difference/osb_vs_plywood)
(5) On March 5, 2015 Re-Bath received a letter from the claimant, a Human Factors Expert Witness (Behavior; Falls; Warnings; Pedestrians) stating the installation was defective. His claim stated that the materials used for backing were "improper materials and/ or pay me for the damage. If your offer is reasonable, I believe we can avoid inconvenient and expensive legal involvement." The information that the claimant provided to back up his claim, is actually unsubstantiated.
Another statement that was made by the claimant made about the Design Consultant states, "Plywood backing will allow you to put grab bars anywhere you wish." Unfortunately, the claimant may have misunderstood, because after speaking to the Design Consultant, this is what the Design Consultant states': (6) Please see Design Consultant's letter attached.
This Design Consultant was a former General Contractor who also used OSB in his business and had for the past 20 years. Again, this OSB is widely used product in the industry. As written in (Pros Sales Online Magazine) (http://prosalesmagazine.com/products/lumber/plywood-vs-osb-which-is-better_o) "Plywood long ago lost its market leadership to oriented strand board (OSB), which is now most-used sheathing and subflooring material. Estimates put its market share as high as 75%, with much of that dominance thanks to cost-conscious production builders."
(7) On April 23, 2015 Re-Bath received another letter from the claimant requesting the "company make a reasonable payment to me for damages." No damages were stated in the letter and Re-Bath is not interested in settling with a claimant who is making unsubstantiated claims (please see enclosure that claimant provided). Re-Bath follows installation standards and actually goes above and beyond what is expected in the industry.
It is important to note that the owner of Re-Bath on more than one occasion spoke with the claimant by phone regarding the letters that Re-Bath received. Each conversation the owner explained to the claimant that Re-Bath follows industry standards and that the OSB product that was used in his shower is widely used in the industry. It is unfortunate that the claimant would not let Re-Bath install grab bars. However, because Re-Bath installed the OSB around the entire shower surround it would allow the claimant to put grab bars up any where in the shower enclosure that the claimant wanted.
(8) After the last phone conversation ended with no resolve Re-Bath sent a letter to the claimant on June 22, 2015 explaining that OSB is safe and provides the necessary strength to attach accessories such as grab bars to it. In addition, the letter included that the OSB contains no "added Urea Formaldehyde" and is used in nearly every single newly constructed home. Included in this letter was documentation that supports OSB in its use of construction.
(9) On July 11, 2015, another letter was received by the claimant stating much of the same that the first two letters did. However, this letter requested the following: "At this time I believe that it is best that I settle by accepting the job on an "as is" basis and be paid what might be considered a "refund." I have paid Re-Bath over $6,000.00. I will accept a refund $1,700.00, which I believe you will agree is fair."
(10) This complaint is the first Tucson Re-Bath has ever received to the BBB. Re-Bath prides itself in adhering to the strict guidelines BBB enforces to their Accredited Businesses and what those businesses have committed to. Integrity and excellence is of highest importance to Re-Bath.
Re-Bath regrets that the claimant does not understand that all products used in his bathroom were industry standard or superior to what the industry codes call for. It is Re-Bath's goal to do everything right. Unfortunately, Re-Bath is not perfect and on occasion over the past six years mistakes have been made. However, all of the mistakes that are known are made right.
All of the enclosures that have been sent to both the claimant and to Re-Bath are enclosed with this letter. Re-Bath looks forward to BBB understanding that the products used in the claimant's bathroom were in no way inferior or caused damage to the claimant. For further documentation, please see attachment #11.
If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
**** and **** *******, Owners of Tucson Re-Bath(see hard copy online)
August 11, 2015
A reasonable payment now will obviate a lawsuit.
****** *******, PHD (see hard copu online)