Unfinished work, unprofessional & was held hostage to a 57% increase in price mid-way through project
We engaged Hamid based on the positive HomeStars reviews in Oct/18. We made staged payments totaling $2500 to Hamid at various stages. We went back and forth on design drawings and left off with the city sending us comments to revise drawings or go to COA in Nov/18.
Our family then got into a terrible accident that disabled us so were focused on recovery. When better to resume discussions we called Hamid in May/18 (6mos) to continue obtaining building permits, he mentioned 3-4 week timeframe to obtain permits and did not say anything more. We then get an email advising us his quote was going to be 57% higher stating YoY increases and that based on "typical" situations he considers a previous contract "expired" after 3 months. This was never communicated or agreed by us. He made no attempt to advise us this was his practice and says that he's too busy to call clients to tell them that these were his business terms.
We understand increased costs and asked if he could meet in the middle but he wouldn't consider any price negotiation or complete the work unless it was under his price and conditions. We also understand that sometime big renovations get protracted and can get very delayed, but we were never advised that he "unilaterally" expires a contract after 3 months. 3 months for a second storey addition, to design, agree on a plan, and submit in the city for building permits don't even seem very reasonable. We were hostages to his terms. We even told him that we were going to refer our neighbor's business to him as they're doing renos at the same time but he was not open to come to amicable terms. We are now stuck with having trades lined up for construction in 4-5 weeks with no finalized plans and have to start this process again. We tried to reason with Hamid to just complete the job at a middle between the agreed price and his new price, but was stubborn and became angry at us! He then unhung up the phone by advising us to contact his lawyer! We at this point didn't even ask for a refund. If anything, we paid him $2500 for unfinished plans and no permits! We called Hamid back with attempts to resolve this civilly and his partner Ellie speaks on his behalf to resolve the issue but at no point did she offer to talk about settling on a price, all she did was yelled at us claiming that we were not cooperative (we suspect was recording the conversation for legal purposes) and before hanging up demanded that she will not refund us any money to us. At this point we didn't even ask for a refund, we just wanted the work done at a price that was fair.
Long story short I give them 1 star as they finally, probably begrudgingly on the advise of legal advice, return what we had paid. (How does this work I paid & didn't get the job done, but the contractor gets angry and advises us to talk to his lawyers threatening us with legal repercussions??). We are still left with no plans, permits, but stress to find another contractor who is able to deliver before the trades are ready to start. It is extremely unfortunately as our dealings with Hamid leading up to this point as been very pleasant and honorable.
Even with the increased price, we were willing to come to common ground but a 57% unilateral increase without warning while midway through the work is unacceptable professional behavior!
ENGAGE AT YOUR OWN RISK !
- Company Response
We did significant work on your behalf. We contacted you for the next stage and didn’t hear back from you for 6 months, in that time, the mechanical portion excluded from our services, that’s why the mechanical services has been eliminated.
We did negotiate and care about the customer satisfaction.
In order to satisfy you we refunded all your money back, however you benefited from our work as free.
We wish you luck.