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Home Depot - Home Depot & KraftMaid Buyer Beware!
Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 1:19pm CDT by f40a3be3
Company: Home Depot
Category: Building, Construction
I wanted to personally share my experience with KraftMaid and Home Depot as I feel that I have been grossly mistreated and would like to present my experience before other potential consumers make the same mistake I did. I have been trying to resolve issues with my kitchen for the past 6 months and its like talking to a brick wall.
At the time I purchased my cabinets, Home Depot was running a buy more save more program which gave an elevated discount for each price tier reached. Being a savvy consumer, I took the estimate Home Depot provided me and took it straight to Lowes to ensure I was getting the best deal available. The Home Depot kitchen designer assured me that they would match the price of Lowes (should the price be less expensive). That same day, I was given an estimate from Lowes that was not only cheaper, they were running a no tax promotion for custom cabinet orders if Lowes performed the installation.
I presented the quote to Home Depot where they mentioned they would honor the tax savings if I used Home Depot installers and they would also price match the Lowes cabinets. Keep in mind, they were just matching the price, thus giving me absolutely no incentive to use Home Depot over Lowes as they were exactly the same price. I decided to proceed with the purchase through Home Depot primarily due to its proximity to my home.
In order for Home Depot to match the install promotion Lowes was offering, they needed to set up a measure by their 3rd party installers (New Life Construction). The measure is also intended to be a security blanket to ensure all the measurements are correct, otherwise Home Depot would charge a restocking fee for items needing replacement for size, height adjustments etc. At the time of the measure the installer had a copy of the design so he knew exactly how items were intended to be laid out, modified and the over all placement of each item. A few days later I was provided with an estimate from New LIfe Construction that was almost double the amount Lowes had provided me on my initial price quote. Home Depot later mentioned they would honor the no tax portion of the promotion, but there was no way they could match the installation price I was given. This was exactly what I was afraid of, having just placed the order for the cabinets and now they are reneging on what was communicated to me at the onset of the order.
The Kitchen Designer, then asked me to get an estimate from a licensed contractor to perform the work where I was later told by Home Depot, "there is no way we can even come close to that bid".
Four weeks lapsed and my cabinets were scheduled to arrive. I received the first box via UPS to find what I was told was going to be a glass door with pewter detail to be a door with a pewter insert and no glass. I contacted the Home Depot Kitchen Designer and mentioned I received one of the "glass doors," however it arrived without any glass. She mentioned, it would probably ship with the rest of the order, It may just come like that in transit. I was a little skeptical as there didn't appear to be a place for the glass should it arrive in the mail at a later date. None the less, I decided to do some digging on my own. Sure enough, the door is classified under the glass door section however it does NOT come with glass, this was yet another design faux pas.
The remaining items arrived a few days later. The installation began shortly after and was going fairly smoothly, a few questions came up here and there due to unclear instructions, but that's to be expected in my opinion. None the less we were in the home stretch, only a few cabinets remained, which could not be completed until the counters went in, so the installers decided to proceed with the crown molding. Surprise, surprise, the molding as per the design did not fit appropriately. In order for the molding to reach the ceiling the design needed to be stretched an additional inch and a quarter. You wouldn't think it would make that big of a deal, but aesthetically, the library detail in turn was too large, not to mention it wasn't the design I signed off on nor was it the design I paid for. I asked the installers to stop dead in their tracks and begin with other aspects of the kitchen such as installing the drawers and doors to the cabinets. We uncover yet another problem. Several of the drawer fronts and doors arrived damaged from the factory. Missing paint in the corners of the drawers, some with the wrong color all together, paint bubbles, cracks, rough edges, dings, you name it I had it. At that time we also discovered that none of the deluxe roll-out shelving were delivered and neither did my peg and peg boards.
I contacted the Home Depot Kitchen Designer, regarding the damaged items, the missing shelving, along with the molding issue. She gave me the standard canned statement, I have never run into this issue before. This is the first time I have had a customer run into so many issues surrounding damaged product. She later mentioned that the KraftMaid representative, Mike Bath would like to make a house call to verify the damage and determine if its a quality assurance issue or if the product was damaged in transit.
The Home Depot Kitchen Designer, along with the KraftMaid representative, Mike Bath arrived at my house where I began pointing out the defects in the product. At first the KraftMaid representative, Mike Bath agreed regarding some replacements and then began to get defensive. Stating, "cracks are a part of the natural beauty of wood." I had to stop him in his tracks and inform him that having just spent north of $27k for these cabinets, I would not accept cracks in the front face of the door as natural beauty as it is a manufacturer defect and a quality assurance issue. His response was, "well I'm not sure your ever going to be happy with the product as it seems you are going to find fault in everything." Obviously when your paying such elevated prices you expect a certain caliber of service. None the less, the KraftMaid representative, Mike Bath, said that he would replace the doors that were clearly defective and would send a cabinet medic out to re-spray doors that were missing paint or had minor blemishes.
My next order of business was to address the crown molding. The KraftMaid representative, Mike Bath, agreed to return the existing crown and replace it with a similar design that was slightly taller to accomplish the look I was going for. So at the end of the meeting I felt like I was getting exactly what I wanted, replacement drawer fronts and doors as well as the crown molding that should have arrived at the onset of the project.
A week goes by and I have not received any of the replacement items we discussed during the site visit however a few missing items began to trickle in. All of the deluxe roll-outs arrived along with the pegs, however no peg boards. So I decided to follow-up with the Kitchen Designer, said she would look into it and get back to me. A few days lapsed and still nothing, so I asked again, where are the replacements, whats the eta? She replied, "they're on the way." She also mentioned, " I seem to have forgotten to order your peg boards, it turns out you only paid for the pegs." To be clear, I was charged for pegs that I cannot use because the peg boards were never ordered and at this point, I don't know that I want to wait any longer nor do I want to pay anymore based on the horrendous experience I have had thus far.
At this point, my Kitchen is on stand by as nothing else can be done until these replacement items arrive and the correct molding is delivered. In the meantime my countertops were installed and appliances were delivered and installed, the only items I am waiting on at this point are the replacement/missing items.
My general contractor moved onto other obligations as I was given absolutely no estimate as far as the delivery of the remaining items. I decided to contact the Kitchen Designer and potentially set up an install with New Life Construction to complete the job given the error in the crown molding and the delay with the replacements. The Kitchen Designer, went ahead and scheduled a site visit for the main installer to review the project and provide me with an estimate. The install bid was yet again extremely high, but I figured if they honored the tax savings as before it would offset some of the cost. I was willing to pay a premium to get the Kitchen in working order sooner rather than waiting the additional 4 weeks my general contractor quoted me.
I was told that New Life Construction was going to need a few days to talk amongst themselves to determine how they were going to tackle some hiccups regarding my installation. I asked for more clarification regarding what they considered to be hiccups. Well, as it turns out, the molding wasn't the only issue with my kitchen. The hutch that was comprised of three stacked cabinets would not fit in the allocated space as the ceiling was too low. Keep in mind, the measurements used to order the cabinets within the kitchen were from New Life Construction. So either the Kitchen Designer used the wrong dimension or the measurements were taken incorrectly at the onset of the project. Either way, I now have three cabinets that will no longer fit in my kitchen, missing crown molding and we haven't even finished identifying potential problems.
The other item that was addressed as being a major concern was the crown molding. According to the installer, the crown molding detail as presented in the design violates the policy of New Life Construction requiring a 0 to 7inch radius. According to New Life Construction, this is a known policy that has been in effect for several years and the Kitchen Designer, should have known this prior to submitting the design. What I find disturbing is the fact that the representative from New Life Construction who took the initial measurements prior to the cabinet order being placed was made aware of all design specifications and I was never made aware of any policy violations. This is yet another oddity where neither Home Depot nor New Life Construction would take ownership of their mistake and offered no form of solution to me.
So lets back track, I had been waiting for a response for almost 3 weeks and I was given absolutely no update to later receive a voicemail simply put, that Home Depot would not be able to complete the install. This whole correspondence is a bit off-putting to be frank.
I contacted the Home Depot Kitchen designer, again to find out where the crown molding was and why it hadn't been delivered. Apparently, the molding was delivered to the Home Depot and no one bothered to call me. Finally the Kitchen designer, arranged a time to personally come to my house to deliver the correct crown molding as well as pick up the 3 cabinets in the hutch area that wouldn't fit due to an error in measurement or error in design. At that time I expressed my complete frustration with the whole situation and how I have had a non functioning kitchen for several months out of sheer incompetence. She mentioned that her supervisor, told her not to bring up the install with me at all, which is yet another red flag showing that Home Depot was once again trying to skirt responsibility and leave me the consumer fending for myself.
My general contractor was finally able to complete the install and we are presented with yet another problem. There wasn't enough Dove white crown molding sent and too much Sage crown molding sent. The sage toe kicks were never ordered and two valance pieces that were intended to be kick plate details were ordered in the wrong color. Here we are having to wait for Home Depot yet again for replacement items preventing the installation from nearing completion.
The contractor decides to proceed with installing the molding detail around the columns on the island along with the hutch area. We are presented with yet another problem. The molding ordered as detail around the Sage Hutch will not fit as the molding is too wide. So let me re-cap what has gone on thus far. The crown molding was ordered incorrectly, 3 cabinets were too large to accommodate the space, 2 valance pieces were ordered in the wrong color, an additional cabinet was ordered in error, the "glass doors," don't have glass, nor is it even an option. Not enough crown molding was shipped in one color, too much crown molding was shipped in another color, peg boards were never ordered, measuring error/design error required light rail to be ordered all of which has yet to be remedied.
I contacted the Home Depot kitchen designer, yet again to find out the status of these missing items. It turns out the drawer/door replacements that I have been waiting almost two months for were never ordered. I am beyond frustrated at this point, so I began announcing my intentions to contact the Home Depot corporate office as well as the KraftMaid corporate office as my correspondence is clearly not getting me anywhere. The Home Depot Kitchen designer, asked me to send over a final list of drawer/door replacements so that she could forward it over to the KraftMaid representative and resolve the situation. I graciously sent over an e-mail detailing the list I previously sent over. In addition to the previous list, I noticed the "pewter doors," were rusting. This was the icing on the cake of what a terrible experience this has been thus far, in addition to the poor craftsmanship. Rather than KraftMaid addressing the situation, I was told, Pewter isn't a metal that is capable of rusting, we need to look into this further.
I later received the following text message from the KraftMaid representative, Mike Bath, "I was just told that our vendor has resolved the rust issue with the grills now and they should not rust." It sounds to me like this was a known defect on behalf of KraftMaid and they continued to sell the defective products regardless of the known rust issue.
Several months into the project, I am still missing the crown molding as well as the light rail that was ordered. I have still not received the drawer/door replacements that were supposedly ordered over two months ago and have been presented with an issue surrounding the pewter grills and the suggested solution is to simply supply me with replacement grills.
Several weeks later the replacement doors/drawers arrived as well as four of the six pewter grill inserts. One of the pewter grills arrived damaged, however in one short week all four replacements began showing visible rust. Could things get any worse? Absolutely. The cabinet repair person that I was promised several months ago, finally calls to schedule an appointment to bring the cabinets back to factory standards. Well between you and I, the factory standards appear to be pretty low considering these passed the initial quality assurance check. None the less, I was glad to hear from the repair person.
He arrived on time and asked me to place blue painters tape on the areas of the kitchen that were of concern to me. I noted all the areas and I was assured he would be able to address everything without a problem. The material he came equipped with to complete the job was the same wax pen and paint pen that were sent with the initial order. This is KraftMaids idea of bringing the cabinets back to factory standards by using a crayon for all intensive purposes and using a paint pen? Why am I not surprised. As the repair person continued working on the kitchen, he notified me that he was only sent a wax stick and paint pen for the white cabinets, he was never sent anything to address areas with the sage hutch, despite having specifically mentioned the imperfections with both the Kitchen and Bath Designer as well as the KraftMaid rep Mike Bath. On September 24th, roughly 5 weeks later, the cabinet repair company came to touch up the remaining Sage cabinets. Several of the imperfections are still noticeable, however at this point, I am not interested in having anyone else attempt to remedy the cabinets as it only prolongs the inevitable. At the end of the day, the quality craftsmanship is lacking and the customer service at Home Depot and KraftMaid is atrocious.
I have personally paid my general contractor above and beyond our contracted install bid in order to replace doors and drawers that were defective. I am left with rusted doors, as KraftMaid isn?t capable of producing a product that is free of deformities. I have noticeable blemishes that the cabinet medic was unsuccessful at repairing with the provided wax pen. Lastly, I have returned several items to Home Depot requiring a refund none of which have been processed. It has been 4 weeks that Home Depot has had the merchandise and I have not seen a single credit. Last time I checked, customers are normally credited the day an item is returned. I have followed up several times and am told a manager will be calling me to follow-up. No one has called me to date, nor has a credit been processed to date.
I have lost all trust in quality control with KraftMaid, and am extremely perturbed with the way Home Depot management has handled my account thus far and find New Life Construction to be just as deceptive. I now have to decide how I should proceed legally as I have been left with a product that is of extremely poor craftsmanship, in addition to being sold a product with known defects. Home Depot has not upheld measurement and install guarantees in addition to being promised a promotion that was never honored, a clear bait and switch. Not to mention, I have been seriously inconvenienced by the incompetence and lack of leadership on behalf of KraftMaid, Home Depot and New Life Construction.
I have since sent a similar letter to the Home Depot corporate office and no one has contacted me to date.