I got Owen to restore two small marble table tops and they certainly look better. We moved them into the garage and he wet-sanded them there. But you should be careful – dealing with him left a bitter taste.
First, he was late. He said he would arrive at about 8:30 so I called him at 10:30 to find out where he was, and he said he had only just seen my address in an email I had sent a few days before. But he had already responded to my email several days ago! He finally arrived at about 11.
Second, I had agreed with him to restore the bigger of the two tables for less than his “minimum charge” because I thought it would not take very long. But I felt bad so I offered to pay an additional $100 if he did the smaller table (which is only 18 inches in diameter) so he could at least make a bit more money since he was going to be here anyway. He didn’t comment at all on this in his next email so I thought he wasn’t interested – I understand that this would still involve quite a bit of sanding. But when he arrived he said ok but he asked for more money!
Third, as we chatted I observed him with the sander on the larger table. I left him for a few minutes, and when I returned he said he had finished. I asked him if he was going to put on a sealer and he said he had already done that. A silicone sealant. I thought that was a bit strange that he had sealed it so quickly so I asked him if I could see what he had used. He said “later”. I thought – hmm, again strange – but whatever. I then watched him do the smaller table. Instead of putting sealer, he asked me if I had any “ArmorAll”. I said no, but I did have some Pledge furniture polish (oil-based). He said ok – that will do – and he proceeded to cover the smaller table with Pledge! It was slathered all over. And he then pronounced the smaller table “sealed”. I then pressed him on his promise to show me the silicone sealer he had used on the larger table and he refused saying this was a “trade secret”. Finally after I insisted he showed me a couple of small bottles of stuff – strangely he had to dig them out of a box in his truck. And he liked the furniture polish so much he put some on the larger table. I guess he put it on over the sealer!!
Oh my. You would think he could bring his own materials. At least the tables look better. But they are obviously really oily and I must remember not to eat off of them. (Pledge is full of petroleum distillates and can be harmful if swallowed.)
- Company Response
I can't remember scheduling this client for 8.30am. our schedule is usually between 10am - 11am. he must be confusing us with another contractor he must have spoke with in the past while shopping around.
first of all client was arguing about pricing and asking to pay below our minimum charge for service. at first i though he is a senior on pension so i ask how much is your budget sir, he said $300 i said i'll come and help you with the table top polishing just as a complimentary service. he later added a black marble top on the day of the job.
During the job. Client was very nosy, inquisitive and curious which is not a problem as i love educating my clients about what stone restoration entails. however i noticed his behavior was becoming intrusive as the client was physically going through my materials and equipment looking at the labels and all sort of uncomfortable behavior which made me ask him if he wants to learn the trade he should simply send his application for apprenticeship.
Marble Restoration process
100 grits--- during this stage we removed the scratches on the stone table by grinding.
600 grits------after this stage is when sealing is recommended before polishing
6000 grits ----at this stage the stone surface looks brand new , restored and shiny.
Job was completed and sealed properly as supposed. When i asked the client to help move the table into the house he asked if i have sealed the stones and i explained that the stone were sealed before the polishing stage. The client did not believe me and asked to see the sealer that i used. i told him that is our trade secrets and i won't be showing him the product used but assured him that the stones were properly sealed. the client got mad.
however after polishing of the black table top due to the nature of the stone. the surface looks grayish when dry ( before images will show you what i mean as some surface was already grayish even before the restoration) and dark black when wet so with my experience i need to color enhance the stone with an oil base color enhancer to bring back the color not to seal the black stone like the client have insinuated.The client didn't pay for this particular service as he was arguing over price a lot and still very ungrateful.
as you can see from the before and After images that i did a fantastic job. The client is simply ungrateful for a job well done below our minimum charge. I will not be accepting jobs from such clients in the future.