I invited Loganstone Masonry to quote me on three separate jobs. Steps leading the my basement apartment. A mutual walkway and last a 14x14 foot parking pad. This was all concrete work.
He seemed like a nice guy when I first met him and hours later the quote was acceptable. The first job was the steps leading to the basement. They needed to be replaced.
Chris P. Chapman is the owner. Right after sending him the first installment to pay for materials and signing the contract he sends me a rather lengthy text via Facebook (his favorite way to communicate by the way). In this message he indicates (warns me) that he doesn't work standard hours and that I should not be alarmed by not seeing him on site. That's red flag #1.
When he finally appears hours later than what he promised he would be he starts the demo job on the steps and three days later he finally shows to create the forms for the steps. At this point we have only two more days before my father comes home to his brand new steps. Two days goes by and it's arrival time for my father with no concrete poured. I'm legitimately worried so I continue asking when the pour will take place. Wednesday late afternoon and the owner finally arrives and the pour starts. With a few hiccups - broken form and mending it the pour is complete and curing starts.
A few days later he removes the wood forms to reveal an okay job except for the necessary grinding to remove imperfections and water pooling. No big deal. He then texts me to say that he will parge the retaining walls and build end caps to finish the job.
Next up is the parking pad in the back of the garage. Without finishing the stair job he requests that I pay for that job in full and provide a $1000 deposit for materials for the parking pad (which he later indicates was strictly a booking fee or a retainer two weeks after the e-transfer). He agreed to the start date of Saturday (August long weekend 2016) and will commence as soon as we leave for the week and that by the following Friday he will have completed the job. I later learned that he had also posted on his Facebook page that he was indeed working the long weekend BUT at another client's site and not mine as agreed. Red flag #2.
Three days pass and he doesn't show up. My father let's me know that he doesn't show since he lives with us. His texts continue to let me know to "chill and breath" and that the job will get done. The Tuesday text comes in and with "bad news" he has pneumonia but promises me that he only needs a couple of days to complete and once he gets on meds he will get the job done. Red flag #3. More excuses.
The week passes and job not started. Money already transferred into his account for materials a week prior.
The weekend we get back he promises Monday that he will start the job only for me to receive yet another bad news text that his is downtown for another doctors appointment but will show up Monday after work around 5. Five o'clock passes by and so does another text promising the next morning at exactly 7. And with a message that he has banking issues and money problems and is dealing with a separation with his Wife. He asked me to pay for the cement truck when the concrete pours on Thursday August 11th, 2016. Red flag #4.
He doesn't show at 7 saying that he's just getting coffee and will be a few minutes. We've yet to get the contract he promised to procur for me and shows up later in the morning knowing full well that I had to leave for work.
Two o'clock on the same day and I get back home to see how the dig is going in my pad. He barely scratched the surface. He brought only a spade, wheel-barrow and a sledgehammer to do a big dig. No bin in sight to put the dirt either. I ended up helping him as the ground was very compacted. Making no ground I end up going to Home Depot to rent a power tool to break up the ground to make the dig much more easier. It was much easier. I provided beer, water and even dinner at the end of that day. I worked over 5 hours. Had I not the time frame of Friday would have gone well past.
A little perspective here. I was going on a fishing trip the end of the week and needed the parking pad finished so I could bring my 18 foot boat back in the garage. It's impossible to back a boat in an 8 inch deep hole into the garage. Anticipating further delays I took it upon myself to remove the boat on Tuesday so we could dig the pad out.
Wednesday morning comes and goes and no sign of Chris Chapman. I'm getting frustrated and text him to ask when he's coming in to start the dig. The power tool I rented is not being used and daylight is burning. At 1:30 in the afternoon he texts me saying that my last text was the "last straw" and that he won't take my abuse and saying that he's not telling me the truth. So he takes off and runs away with my $1000 deposit that was agreed in writing for the materials. Mr. Chapman then feels that the $1000 materials deposit was a retainer for the hours spent working on my pad that he literally achieved nothing on.
Chris P. Chapman is not a trustworthy tradesman. He took my deposit and called it a retainer to pay for his time onsite and a booking fee. Clearly not the truth since I would never agree to such terms and NOT what we agreed in email.
Warning signs should have been seen much earlier. His very lengthy response to another reviewer and client should speak volumes of not to work and trust this owner.
Red flags were everywhere. The fact that he doesn't have a pick up truck and relies on his wife to drive him in their family mini van was a sign I noticed but didn't think things through. The fact that he doesn't have a credit card to pay for the cement truck that he asked me to pay because of "money and bank problems" was another bad sign.
Too many excuses and concerning behaviour to deal with. Him calling me an abusive client was his excuse to walk away from a job he simply couldn't do. He obviously under quoted the job as he told me later that it should have been twice the price he originally quoted but when you're working on your own on a job that requires more than one individual you're not going to get the job done.
I was left having to shovel for the dirt back into the pad for over 4 hours so we can have some normalcy.
The owner's future response to this review will only explain his unprofessional behaviour.
- Company Response
WE NEVER SHARED PERSONAL INFORMATION DIRECTLY WITH THIS CLIENT REGARDING A SEPARATION. He discovered it inadvertently, while browsing on a community page, and was never told about it, or had this information used as a 'tool' to garner 'sympathy'
This client was WARNED not to abuse us with namecalling and a combative attitude, and continued to engage in that behaviour.
This client INSISTED on a certain timeline, and as such, was require to pay our retaining fee if he in fact wanted us to temporarily move from finishing his stairs to building his parking pad.
This customer has lied over and over again. We walked away from this customer after we'd warned them once to treat us with respect, courtesy, and dignity.
Several times they insisted we work when the owner was battling pneumonia, called the owner a liar, when informed of various circumstances that prevented us from being onsite, such as illness, extreme heat alerts, (which he repeatedly ignored and are Ministry sanctioned as safety concerns for workers, etc...
A) They paid a retainer, and admin fee.
B) We have MULTIPLE references regarding our work, with over 200 clients successfully serviced.
C) We stand by our decision to remove ourselves from this persons property, as we could tell, after numerous times, that he would continue being abusive, and that he little to no concern for realities that dictate some, but not all of the circumstances he alludes to above. Some assertions are just complete fabrications, and have been addressed.
We have encouraged this customer to seek legal advice and to proceed accordingly.
Our company policy is that we will only work in an environment that is respectful, and that we do not tolerate abuse, of any kind for any reason.
Any potential client who would like a full review of the facts as WE have them, in black and white should feel free to contact us at any time...
Moreover, we CLEARLY stated that we were addressing TWO clients at the same time, and his response was "no worries, I won't ride you".... His stairs were poured and reday before his father, blind in one eye, returned... The parging, which he neglected to tell, was a FREE add on, as we felt it would enhance the overall finish. Again, on several occasions, he accused us of lying, and making excueses.... Who wants to work for someone like that.... Lastly, we didn't underbid the job, we merely stated that had he wanted it done in his time, and not the projected time, we could have hired more staff and had it done quicker, but at a higher cost. This customer clearly, had issues, as his neighbor complained to us that he tore up their property without permission and built as they wanted on it.... She was still upset, a signifigent time later and spoke to us about it.... When this customer was informed of the converstation, his response was "shes a bitch".... That is all we should have known to walk away, but we stayed, hoping, that we'd be teated differnetly.... Not the case...