Deceiving and unreliable company. The contract was signed early spring with clear price, payment terms, scope of work and materials, with the promise that the work would start early May. After 4 months and repeated phone calls, the owner decided all of a sudden to change the terms of payment despite of no change of scope of work or materials.
The first flag came when we were called with a less than 24hrs notice that they were "ready to start and they will re-quote the job".
The second flag came when the owner asked for more money upfront for the apparent reason that "he didn't have enough money to buy materials", despite the fact a contract was signed. That demand would have amounted to 75% of payment to be at the front end of the job for a job that was estimated to take 5 days to complete. When we asked further questions about why this sudden surge for upfront payment before the shovel hits the ground, the owner's argument was personal and unprofessional (he didn't like the fact that we held him responsible for the 4 months delay or return the significant deposit he had cashed and then no sign).
That said, we were trying to reach an agreement and move things forward and just get the job done. However, the owner insisted he wanted more money at the front end.
Third flag was raised when he wouldn't provide the company's real address. A previous customer's review pointed out that the company only uses a PO Box address or an older mall address (where there's no office).
For a company that charges a fair amount for your project, has your property on its hands, it's fair and reasonable that they provide you with a real street address.
The owner cancelled the job and no deposit has been refunded. Even worse, the owner bullied us saying he'll charge for his time spent negotiating. The owner went further and retaliated when being asked for the deposit back and made up an "inconvenience fee" that is half the value of the contract.
There was absolutely no change of scope. No owner is obliged to provide the contractor with drawings. It's the contractor's job to do the drawings. We only did it for clarity for all parties, thus eliminating any further questions.
Please inform yourself about your rights about the Consumer Protection Act. You have 10 days to change your mind (if you do) after signing a contract ("cool off period") and you are entitled to a full refund. You have 1 year to ask for your full refund if a company's information, services etc. are misleading and misrepresented.
The company did some decent work in the neighbourhood, which is why we signed a contract, however, it seems like the service is unreliable and you are at the mercy of the owner on how you are treated.
- Company Response
It is unfortunate these remarks were made. They are completely untrue and misleading.
As the writer states, we have done (significant) work in this person's area, but she was in fact referred to us which shows that we are in fact professional and reliable. The writer refers to another comment whereby another person played tricks as well (despite our efforts to be clear and transparent). It would be wonderful if even 50% of our completely satisfied clients wrote a review, it would be evident how we have cared about our work, our clients, their neighbours and our reputation for the past 26 years and it would speak to the lengths we go to to please everyone if ever possible.
This client is an architect who contacted us in the fall of 2016 after being highly recommended. We quoted several of her designs and on various materials (last year) and eventually agreed to move forward with the work. The client subsequently instructed us not to start until she presented a “final” design. This spring we requested the final design which only came to us a few weeks ago (late August). Notwithstanding the record rain fall we encountered, we were waiting on the client for this final design to schedule and commence work. We waited since spring for these drawings. Once we received the final design, we reviewed the changes and still stuck to our price. We again organized the work which included locates, more visits to the site and so on. After 88 emails – most as lengthy as the review, countless phone calls, texts and visits to her home she then made numerous requests for information which we provided but had to stop when we were asked for personal information (including the owners home address, OHIP and SIN numbers). This made it clear the client was causing more delays than reasonable and was preventing us from starting the job.
Last year we made our first and only address change in 25 years. There are several internet sites that needed to be updated, most were but a few still had our old address of 25 years. We also had to change our phone number for the first time in 25 years - because Bell Canada refuses to port the old number to a landline (from old technology).
The original terms stated 25% upon signing, 25% upon start & balance upon completion. The client did not provide us the proper deposit and we are still prepared to call it a day even though she has cost us several thousands of dollars more than we received. We were more than reasonable and patient but there comes a time when limitations need to be placed.
This client in fact still owes an outstanding balance which we are prepared to forgive at this time or commence work provided we have a guarantee of being paid in full. Anyone honest person would agree to that.