Three Towers supplied and installed pre-finished hardwood flooring in my home in fall 2011. Shortly after the installation, my hardwood floor began making noises when walked on. Initially the noises seemed to be isolated to high-traffic areas (i.e., the kitchen, hallways, etc.), but gradually they have spread throughout most areas of my home. I would describe the noises as "crunching" or "crackling" noises; they are not floor squeaks. The noises certainly are not normal.
At first, upon notifying Three Towers of the problem with my hardwood floor, it was receptive to my concerns, and eventually its operations manager, John, met with me in my home on February 23, 2012. I wanted him to experience the problem with my hardwood flooring personally. During his visit John admitted that, while he did not know what was causing the problem, something was wrong with my hardwood floor. He and I discussed options for addressing the problem and ultimately we agreed that we would wait until spring 2013 before taking any action to allow more time to pass for “climitization” of the hardwood floor. In the meantime, however, John would send back the installer to repair or replace any hardwood floor pieces that required immediate rectification (and so the installer returned on one occasion and replaced three to five pieces in March/April 2012). I requested a letter, confirming in writing Three Towers’ intentions and plan to address this issue, and John agreed to provide it to me. Although John and I had been in contact since that time, curiously, the letter never arrived. To his credit, however, on March 30, 2012 (in an email to me) John apologized for not having provided me the letter but confirmed that Three Towers would “...stand behind our product...and...come back in June to monitor it, and again next spring after first full season of climitization...”
On November 5, 2012, I reached out to John (by email) to let him know that the behaviour of my hardwood floor had not improved, and asked him how he would like to proceed, and if he wanted to wait until spring 2013 before returning to my home or having an inspector complete a formal inspection. John responded the next day, suggesting that we could proceed how I felt best, but added that, if we were to wait until April (2013), the hardwood would be completely climatized by then. Having had no reason to mistrust him, I went along and confirmed that I was fine with waiting until April 2013 before taking any other action.
Up until this point in time I had no problem with the manner in which Three Towers was addressing my concern. However, the situation changed on March 23, 2013.
As April 2013 was approaching, on March 23, 2013, I contacted John by email to pick up on this problem, and asked him how he would like to proceed. But I received no response. I emailed him again on March 26, 2013, but again, received no response. I had also left him voice mails on his cell phone. I was surprised – up to that point John had been responsive, and he and I had agreed that we would pick up on this issue in spring 2013. I began to fear that I was being ignored, and could not understand why.
On April 11, 2013 I emailed John again, pointed out that I had been trying to reach him for approximately three weeks, that I had left him repeated voice mails, and that I had no other choice but to conclude that he was ignoring me and the hardwood problem. I warned him that if he was no longer interested in addressing this problem and standing behind his product I would file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt (he may have been away on vacation or exceptionally busy at the time), I even apologized in advance if he had not been ignoring me but simply had not had the time to respond to me, but I asked him to please get back to me soon.
On April 12, 2013 John finally responded (by email), advising that he would set up an inspection, but that I would need to bear the cost of the inspection (approximately $500) if the report indicated that the material was not the cause of my “squeaks”. I was shocked at his response! During his visit at my home on February 23, 2012 he allayed my concerns and reinforced my trust in him and Three Towers; he led me to believe that we would handle it and that he would do what he needed to do to make the situation right. In my response to him I argued that, because of the understanding and patience that I had shown up to that point, I felt that Three Towers should be responsible for any costs associated with fixing the issue, including an inspection. After all, I certainly did not create the issue! John did not respond.
I followed up with John by email on April 18, 2013, but received no response.
In early May 2013 I called Three Towers’ office and spoke to Quasie, Three Towers’ customer service representative, about my matter. He said that he would look into the matter and follow up with me. I waited a week before following up with Quasie by email (on which I copied John) on May 8, 2013. John responded the following day, directing Quasie to set up the inspection as soon as I confirm that I would bear the cost of the report if it determined that the issue is not associated with the hardwood or installation. John went on to write that that was fair, that Three Towers could do nothing else, and pointed out that I was free to set up my own inspection and that “...there are only about 5 or 6 inspectors in the city, they don’t work for us. Each one is independently certified...” I was baffled – during his visit to my home on February 23, 2012, John had assured me that he would deal with this problem, yet in his response to me on May 9, 2013, his tone had changed. John was being unresponsive and distant.
In an effort to move the issue forward, I proceeded by researching certified hardwood flooring inspectors, and on June 1, 2013, suggested (by email) three different inspectors to John and Quasie, all of whom were/are certified with the National Wood Flooring Association, and asked them to proceed with scheduling the inspection. I received no response. I again emailed John and Quasie on June 6, 2013, asking them to advise on the status of the inspection. I received no response. I again emailed John and Quasie on June 12, 2013, asking them to advise on the status of the inspection. Again, I received no response.
On June 18, 2013, I called Three Towers’ office and again spoke to Quasie, who, strangely, seemed unfamiliar with my issue. When I asked him for a status on the inspection, he said that they had not booked one and that they use their own inspector. I was furious!
Upon my request, Quasie emailed me the inspector’s name. It was the owner of a different hardwood flooring contractor. Three Towers did not observe any of the three certified hardwood flooring inspectors that I had put forward, and instead chose to use “one of their own”. John had noted in an email to me that “...there are only 5 or 6 inspectors in the city, they don’t work for us. Each one is independently certified...” Surely he meant the Greater Toronto Area, so naturally I found it strange that Three Towers wanted to use an inspector who, a quick Google search showed, was based out of Tweed, Ontario, a town which is approximately two hours away from my home! While I do not know the nature of the relationship between Three Towers and the other hardwood flooring contractor, I was concerned about a potential conflict of interest, and so on June 24, 2013, in an email to Quasie, I asked him to confirm that he was referring to the person to whom I thought he was referring, and if so, if he could explain why Three Towers would use a hardwood flooring inspector who is based approximately two hours away from my home. I received no response. I followed up with Quasie by email on July 2, 2013, but received no response. I again followed up with Quasie by email on July 5, 2013, but received no response. I again followed up with Quasie by email on July 17, 2013 (and copied John), reminding him that he still had not responded, pointed out that this was “...absolutely horrible customer service...”, and asked him to respond to my email of June 24, 2013. That was the last time that I attempted to make contact with Three Towers, and to-date, it has not responded.
I believe that I have operated in good faith and have been very patient with Three Towers. I put my trust in and hired Three Towers to supply and install my hardwood floor, but have been unable to enjoy it since shortly after its contractor installed it. I am concerned that the problem with my hardwood will adversely affect my home’s resale value. That there is a problem with the hardwood floor is obvious. Upon walking on my hardwood, visitors often ask me, “What’s wrong with your hardwood?” I am reminded of this problem every day. I paid approximately $6,000 for my hardwood flooring. I feel che(a)ted.
That Three Towers Flooring has been unresponsive to this problem notwithstanding, I find it totally unacceptable that John went back on his word, and ultimately, that Three Towers Flooring is ignoring its own warranty (according to its web site, it provides a 30 year limited warranty on its pre-finished hardwood flooring products). Contrary to John’s claim, Three Towers clearly is not standing behind its product.
I submitted a complaint against Three Towers to the Better Business Bureau, and after several weeks, the BBB has revoked Three Towers' accreditation due to failure to respond to one or more customer complaints filed with the BBB.