Thank you for taking to this forum to give your perspective on events. Sometimes, people wonder if Homestars actually allows negative feedback, owing to the fact that our reputation here is so pristine going back several years, so it is actually nice to see a post like this from time to time to show those browsing here that this is indeed an open, transparent and uncensored forum. I would, however, like to give my perspective on things:
In early May of this year, I met with this individual at a home they planned to purchase. A week later, I met back at their current residence to quote some additional painting to be done there before move-out.
On May 10, we signed a contract for both projects, to be completed on concurrent weeks in June. She gave us an industry standard non-refundable booking deposit of $1100, as mentioned in her review, which, as I explained, would hold her place in our busy summer schedule.
A few weeks later, I received an email saying that because they had elected to do a kitchen renovation before painting, they would not be able to proceed with painting on the dates we had set and would confirm in June when they would be ready. I agreed and put the projects into our "Limbo" schedule, as asked for as much notice as possible to make sure we could accommodate her new dates.
Instead of giving us this courtesy notice, she instead called us in late June asking us to come in the very next week to complete the work. We could not accommodate these dates, so she decided to hire her renovation contractor to do the work instead.
When I spoke with her next, she informed me that she had now hired someone else to complete our contract for the new house, and additionally, that they had decided to do the painting on their old place themselves, so that essentially the entire contract we had agreed to and signed in May had now been completed. I was understandably surprised, because generally people do not sign contracts and then disregard them completely.
I told her then that our booking deposits are non-refundable for exactly this reason, but when she asked if I would look at some other painting work to be done at the new house, I agreed to take a look and quote it, and then apply the existing deposit to the new project.
In early July, I did just that, went back to the home on a Wednesday and spent still more of my time taking new measurements for additional painting to be done. I told her it was extremely busy for us and that I would try to get back with pricing as soon as possible.
When I had not yet had the chance to prepare that quote by Monday of the following week, she sent me an email to say that she had decided to have the renovators complete this new work also, and that if I did not refund her deposit post haste, she would post negative feedback on our Facebook page (which she has done), here on Homestars (which she has now done) and file a claim in Small Claims Court (which I understand she intends to do.)
As much as I prefer not to have negative feedback floating around online about us, because our reputation is extremely good and very hard-earned, I did not feel that it would be right to concede to these bullying threats when we were not the party who did not respect the contract agreement that was signed.
I should point out that we have refunded our 'non-refundable' booking deposits from time to time in the past, when clients have had true changes of circumstances, or legitimate reasons why they needed to cancel a contract. In this particular case, however, I believe that this individual simply decided they did not wish to honour their contract, and could apply maximum pressure to get what they wanted. So I have decided to stand by our policy, and will gladly defend myself in Small Claims court to that end if need be.
NB: We have operated under the trade name Strokes of Genius Painting for 13 years, and that has never changed. In June we dissolved an old corporation in order to merge it with a corp from our sister renovations division. I assume this is the "shady" practice being referenced above.
I apologize for the long response, but we take our reputation and integrity very seriously and simply could not leave these negative public comments on here without thoroughly addressing them.
Thank you for reading,
Strokes of Genius Painting