“The customer is always right!” We hear that expression with such frequency that many of us accept it without question.
When it comes to purely cosmetic choices it is true enough, but when it comes to technical questions most customers expect businesses to share their knowledge, experience and expertise. “But that’s what you asked for” is a pathetic comeback from any firm that did not take the time to explain why whatever the customer asked for was unlikely to meet that customer’s needs. For the 999 customers who expect us to share our expertise we will not cease offering it just because this 1 customer lamented us having done so. Our job is to educate; our customers’ job is to decide.
This customer feels they paid too much. Based on the materials and labor provided our price is very competitive, but I sympathize in that if the end product doesn’t do what it is supposed to do then any price paid is arguably too much.
But the leakage that forms the primary basis of this customer’s complaint is not due to any deficiency of the shower enclosure. Allow me to explain.
The advice we offered this DIY home owner actually started in the framing stage with a trip to their home for which we did not charge. They had already made several framing mistakes and we explained how to correct them, why this was so necessary, and where they should go from there.This is one of the primary reasons why we encourage customers to visit us during the planning stages. Bathroom renovations are expensive and because we are dealing with water it is so important to do everything correctly. We have seen far too many horror stories caused by “shortcuts”, that is, failure to use best practices.
One of our most important pieces of advice was to incorporate a design detail in their curb that would act as a threshold against leakage from under their door. It was clearly explained that if they failed to do this that leakage would come with a guarantee. We display several means of accomplishing this in our showroom which we showed and explained when they visited it.
This advice they chose to ignore, and now we pay the price through a negative review.
If this were my home I would not change the shower enclosure at all. It is every bit as nice as the one in our showroom. It is exactly what they ordered. I would however fix the curb in short order.
Another bit of advice they failed to heed was to level the curb from end to end and plumb the walls while it was still easy to correct those deficiencies. Had they done that we could have reversed the enclosure and would have gladly done so without charge despite the considerable work involved. This was not an option however as we had cut the glass to perfectly fit surfaces that were significantly out of plumb and level.
Based on this customer’s observation that little water reaches the fixed panel, reversing the enclosure would have admittedly lessened the problem, but it would hardly have solved it. The goal is surely to prevent any leakage, and to achieve that goal requires correcting their curb.
We have already attempted to modify their curb with a piece of extruded aluminum which we provided and installed for free, but apparently it did not do the job. I therefore offered to come take a look at the shower personally (again for free) and that they should make an appointment with our scheduler with whom they had made the earlier appointments all of which were kept as promised. There must have been miscommunication as they never made an appointment and are now complaining that I never came. The promise remains however, and as I understand this reply will be communicated back to the customer I urge them to pick up the phone and schedule a mutually convenient appointment. Better yet, they should return to our showroom where I can again show them what their curb should look like and walk them through how to fix theirs. They should phone first to make sure I am there. This is not the first defective curb we have seen and we have plenty of ideas on how to rectify the situation which I would love to share with them.
A second issue this customer apparently has concerns with is the distance between their towel bar and the door. That is a perfect example of why the configuration decisions must ultimately rest with the customer. We can and should offer our advice, but it is the customer that has to live with their decisions. I am fairly confident however that we can offer solutions to that concern as well.
I confess to considerable surprise at this negative review. I honestly cannot think of anything we would do any differently tomorrow. We gave our best advice, far too much of which was ignored. We gave a competitive price on the enclosure they chose and provided exactly what was ordered. We attempted to fix a problem that we warned them about and had nothing to do with our work, and we offered to give further advice when that did not solve their problem.
Anyone reading this review is equally encouraged to visit us during the planning stages. We have several excellent contractors that we are happy to refer you to as this is a perfect example of why bathroom renovations are generally best left to the pros.