Our new kitchen is finally done ……
Unfortunately, ours was not the perfect experience.
Planning the new kitchen went well. The kitchen planner seemed trustworthy and professional. The problems began on the day of installation. One side of our kitchen counter (“L” form) was cut too short. A temporary adjustment made it usable until another was to be delivered six weeks later. The ceramic stove top was installed at a “noticeable” slant and not aligned parallel with the wall. The splash walls could not be mounted until the new counter top was delivered. The kitchen planner didn’t consider the fact that the cupboard door under the sink would slam into the drawers when opened because of the “L” form in the corner. Our new refrigerator door hit the door frame when opened and the inside fridge light died after just one day.
We directed our complaints to the company’s customer service department and the original kitchen planner came out personally to assess the problems which were later put into writing. She promised us that they would do everything possible to complete the kitchen in a timely manner and to our satisfaction. Apparently, they were not responsible for the defective light inside the new fridge, so three weeks later we got a letter from the appliance manufacturer. An appointment was made to replace the light bulb in two weeks time.
The second counter top was delivered nine weeks later with only a single craftsman to install it. He informed us that he could not do the work alone. Apparently, there was a mix up in route planning. He also assessed the problems mentioned and agreed that in his opinion the kitchen installation was not done professionally.
After waiting another four weeks, another work crew arrived. They insisted that the stove was put in correctly. Apparently, our wall is “crooked.” (?) They took down the original improvised counter top, only then to discover that the new one that had been sitting in storage all those weeks was also the wrong size. We phoned them and complained to customer service again. Why hadn’t it been inspected upon its arrival at their store, or before it was brought out to be installed? The splash walls were still not mounted, the stove still crooked, the sink only taped into the counter and a third new counter top was ordered.
Then we got a letter nine weeks later that our order had arrived at their store. The same routine again; phone them for an installation date and add another four weeks to get an appointment for the installation crew to come out and do the job. When that was finally done, the other imperfections were still there. By the time the counter was finally put in, the black ceramic coated sink had turned spotted, gray and faded. We were told that the manufacturer had forgotten to apply the required protective finishing coat. So, a new sink was ordered. Of course, all this time the sink hadn’t even been mounted or glued in because the counter had to be replaced. Believe it or not, it had been taped in with packing tape! The glue on the tape stuck to the counter surface and had been exposed to direct sunlight for months. When they removed the tape to install the new sink nine weeks later, the counter top had faded under the taped area. While putting in the counter they had also broken the cabinet lighting above the wash basin. So another complaint was made and we waited another eight weeks before that was taken care of. At this point we were convinced that we were either cursed or this new kitchen was just not meant to be.
We insisted someone from installation management personally look at our kitchen. The manager came and inspected the kitchen. He wrote a report which we signed off. Weeks later we got a letter stating that they would not reinstall the stove and would not replace the counter on the other side which had faded stripes from being taped for so long. According to their statement, they could not see any damage or faded stripes on the photos they had taken and insisted that the kitchen stove and everything else had been professionally installed. Huh? As for the cupboard doors slamming into the other doors? We had to find a solution to this ourselves.
In our opinion, this kitchen company’s customer service and management did not provide satisfactory service. They were disorganised and lacked the qualified professionals required for fitted kitchen installation. We were definitely NOT satisfied with the quality of their service. Our new kitchen was to have been installed and completed in June 2016. It took ten more installation appointments, numerous complaints and reorders in over a period of almost one year to be completed. Our new kitchen was finally finished in May 2017.
What did we learn from this experience? When purchasing such an expensive product that you haven’t seen in finished form yet…..
- Don’t finance it even if at 0% ! At least then you can refuse payment until the job is done right.
- Be sure you have insurance for legal action if necessary. As an average consumer, fighting something like this alone can be tedious, expensive and exhausting.
We had also been promised a substantial gift certificate as compensation for our inconvenience, but never received one.
Are we completely satisfied now? Well, let’s just say we have learned to ignore the little imperfections that are still there and are glad the drama is over and done with.
We sincerely hope you have better luck with your new kitchen.