We were referred to Aura by our realtor, who had nothing but nice things to say. Unfortunately, our experience was much different.
Things started out smoothly and we felt taken care of but after the initial install, things started to go downhill. We were not happy with many things. Some pieces were already damaged prior to install and others just weren’t installed correctly. We had multiple detailed conversations with Happy & Preet after which we felt reassured things would get fixed. But in the end, only a portion did.
Installers came by 3 times to “fix” things. They were rarely on time and we were left waiting with no communication that they were running late. Every time they came we had to re-explain what needed to be done although this was previously discussed in detail.
After the first initial install, we were told not to worry as any adjustments and changes could be made. The installer came back, fixed a couple of small things but not much else. He also pointed out that some of the issues were with manufacturing defects of how the cabinetry was joined and therefore there was nothing he could do to fix. We then proceeded to call Happy (sales guy) back to visit himself to find a solution. Initially, we had noted over 100 defects, big and small, across the whole kitchen cabinetry. These included defects in the wood/finishing, paint chips, drawers cracked where the screws were over-tightened or completely misaligned. Identical drawers that had completely different spacing in between them and were not equal in measurement. The list went on. If there were only a few small issues we would be happy to let it go, but when there are this many, all of them add up to a kitchen install that is simply put, amateur. We were not looking for 100% perfection, but something at least that is not distinctly noticeable to the eye, of which many of these defects were. Upon the visit, here were some of the responses we received;
"if you're looking for 100% perfect, you wont find it anywhere" (when showing the collection of drawers that every single spacing was of a different size)
"you have kids, it's going to get damaged anyway" (when pointing out all the issues and paint chips left by the installation)
"when is it that you will be satisfied?" (when saying we will be glad to pay the remaining portion of the money but not all the issues discussed have been resolved)
"it's melamine so this is normal" (when pointing out each cabinet door on the inside back edge displays chips across the whole edge - this occurs when machine cutting uses a cheap/blunt blade to cut material)
Upon trying to give an example of buying a new small car (of which is the cost of this kitchen) and claiming it is new to find the doors don't quite close properly, paintwork is chipped, the window is cracked, you would hardly be happy to drive off with such a purchase. Yet for a kitchen, this is supposedly "normal because these things happen".
At the last site visit, we were instructed to give the installers the remainder of the payment. I advised that we will gladly pay the remaining balance once things were fixed as agreed. We sent pictures to show the issues still outstanding. We didn’t hear back. My husband called and asked to to speak to the owner twice. First time, Happy returned our call and said he would get back to us which he never did. Second time, there was no call back at all. We never actually heard back from the owner at all.
Overall the kitchen is functional but the finishing touches just aren’t there. Touch ups are blotchy, cabinets are misaligned and uneven. We were made to feel like our job was a small one and we got what we paid for. Clearly some clients are not as important as others. Perhaps if you spend more you’ll be treated better.
Please note that the counter top company they work with isn't any better. They didn’t show up on time. We expressed many times that we had a pop up electrical bar that needed to be installed. Again we were assured that wouldn’t be an issue. Come the day of installation, I was told "why do you want to put that? Just leave it". When I expressed that it was an important part of the kitchen for us and we wanted it done, I was told “draw a circle where you want the counter top cut and we’ll do it”. What is the point of hiring professionals if you are doing half the job yourself? Countertop came with stains already in it and you can clearly see the lines where it was glued together. The counters feel smooth in some small areas, rough in others. Please bare in mind the counter top company was chosen by Aura, we only chose the type (quartz) and the design. They are a separate company but we did not deal with them directly. Aura is the company that collected all our money and arranged for the install.
Words are one thing, but you cannot deny facts in pictures, so please do have a look at some of the pictures posted to truly see the "quality" we received. Be warned!
Right now, it's been 2 weeks after waiting to hear back from the owner after leaving 2 messages along with contact details to the main reception, after Happy said "i'll call you first thing tomorrow" and after sending all the photos to Preet after his request but then not receiving a single reply. We owe 10% of the final balance of which Aura does not seem to care about at all and are more than happy to wash their hands off this and move on. For which now, we'll be staring at these defects for the next 10+ years. Thanks Aura.