This review is being written 7 1/2 month after we started working with Mario, Louis and the rest of the team at Vinca Landscaping, and over 6 months after we've paid a $35,000 deposit up front for a job that was supposed to take 15-20 business days. We are also in the process of filing a claim with the Better Business Bureau.
After a few meetings with Mario and Louis and figuring out the details of the project we settled on a $35,000 price point which included a discount if we paid the whole amount up front. The project included replacing a fence in the back yard, building a ground level deck, planting a small hedge, and putting up a metal fence up in the front yard. We paid the deposit in May and the project was supposed to have started in July. In June Louis dropped off some sample for the deck material for us to choose from and we had made our selection known to them a few weeks after. This is when our troubles began. The more time has passed since they have cashed our cheque the harder it became getting a hold of Mario and his team. The first project manager that was assigned to us (Paulina) was responsive saying that work will begin "the next week or two" for over two months until she eventually stopped replying. There has been quite a bit of turnover of employees while we have worked with Vinca and Ive heard from multiple employees so far that they have not actually been getting paid. I, of course, havent been able to verify this but I hope this isnt true as they all seem quite nice when I have interacted with them.
Paulina was eventually replaced by a different project manager named Leslie who was also making promises every week and failing to deliver on them every single week. Intermittently Mario would answer his calls and occasionally would show up to the work site apologizing for delays and seeming quite genuine in his concerns making promises that the work will go on according to schedule from this point on. So far, we have been given multiple schedules with deadlines and the team had failed to deliver on every single one. For the past two weeks Mario had stopped picking up my calls and for the past week he had blocked my number. I know this because the calls go through if I call from a number I hadn't called him on yet.
Last week he had sent in an email asking for more money claiming I had filed a "work change order" with a previous project manager for more expensive materials. When I had replied with copies of the email chain where we had selected the materials offered to us by Louis during our initial meeting in June he had stopped replying, blocked my number again and we had not heard or seem from him or his team since until an e-mail today saying that my multiple calls are a nuisance. I havent been able to speak to Mario since Oct 24. I was told by Leslie that he was up north with bad reception, tending to a family emergency, and actively working at a different site, all with promises to have him call me back which he had not yet done.
Out of the work we had pre-paid for which included the backyard fence, front fence, ground level deck and hedge, the only part that is partially done is the backyard fence which is still incompletely painted with smudges and doesnt quite follow a straight line. Currently we are left with a crooked partially painted fence, a mud pit in our backyard, a headache and an uncomfortable feeling of being swindled by someone who seemed so personable during our first meeting, with a business that at least initially only had good reviews on here.
Ive just written Vinca an email letting them know I will be willing to give them yet another last chance at completing this project if they agree on giving me a schedule with a firm deadline and sticking to. I sincerely hope they are interested in completing the project to the originally agreed upon specifications and materials and that they are capable of actually getting it done. Im hoping the next review I post on here is more positive but I somehow have my doubts.