Warning to All, Don't Use Cooper Installation for Any Installation Services
Posted by Kathryn on 2013-10-23
CARROLLTON, TEXAS -- I purchased flooring from Home Depot on September 28, 2013. We had a leak and had to have the flooring replaced in our kitchen, dining room, breakfast nook and office. Home Depot sent out a representative to take measurement and assess what needed to be done to replace the flooring. Most of the flooring, due to the leak was gone, so the Home Depot representative should have been able to make an accurate assessment of what the job entailed. Several weeks later we had Cooper Installation Services, the subcontractor for Home Depot, come to install our floors.
On Monday, October 21, 2013. They arrived late, brought tile that had two different dye lots, walked around the site and talked to each other in Spanish, so I could not understand what they were saying. By the way the two work men they sent never identified themselves nor introduced themselves. The then stood around in the garage for over an hour, not starting the job and not informing me of what was going on.
Finally I received a call from Cooper Flooring, and this is where the add on's started. They informed me that the floor had to be ground. Home Depot who had seen the floor and given the estimate had never mentioned any grinding. Then they told me the charge to grind the floor. $155.00 an hour and they appx it would take 3 hours, I heard later that Home depot had agreed to cover the other 2 hours at a cost to them of $310.00 (I hope they get that back since it took 30 min.). My husband had done previous construction work and his father was a contractor for 50 years so I called both of them. Each one in turn said that the small strip in front of the kitchen cabinets, a galley kitchen, and the breakfast nook should not take him anywhere close to three hours.
Then Home Depot called to collect the extra money before they could proceed. I refused to pay for 3 hours and asked to speak to a manager. The manager, Dennis, was as helpful as he could be at that particular time and I agreed to pay for 1 hour and that if it took longer I would make up the difference and if less I expected a refund. I also told Home Depot and Cooper flooring that I would be using a stop watch and would only pay for the exact length of time it took to grind the floor and vacuum it up, but not the in between time spent on the phone, talking to the other worker or just standing around waiting for the other worker to return, who was gone for 55 minutes.
They finally started moving my furniture after being here 1 and 1/2 hours and while moving my refrigerator and freezer they did not take care, dragging them across the cement floor and damaged the bottom guard and underneath of both appliances. I don't know if they will ever sit level again. It took appx 30 minutes to grind the areas, but with all of his delays it took him 2 hours and 40 minutes. 35 minutes on phone, 17 minutes here and there talking etc. Actual work time 30 minutes. At this point, needless to say I was getting a little frustrated.
After they finished grinding they still had not started any tile laying. What was going on. Again with the talk, phone calls, they had been here almost 4 hours with only 30 minutes of work being complete. When I asked the worker if I could talk to his boss whom he was talking on the phone with, at this point the workers that were present had not spoken to me too much at all. They knew they were being timed and this supposedly disturbed them, however, I had not told them and they would not have known, but Cooper Installation had told them. I was extremely discreet and it looked like I was texting on my phone when I used the stop watch app. While talking with their boss Robert in between the grinding they were again asking for another add on adding more work and money to this job. This time a membrane for the cracks, which by the way have been stable and the crack had not opened since the house was piered in 1992. At this point I felt Robert was threatening and bullying me to do this extra work by telling me my warranty would be voided unless they used the Red Gard membrane.
I was so frustrated with Robert at this point that I used some foul language with Robert on the phone, as he never came out to the site, as their lead, to see if this work was necessary, I did apologize, after that fact, for my language but felt they needed to understand that I was talking out of tremendous frustration. At this point I called my husband and father in law again and both felt the Red Gard was not necessary, my husband called Robert and he also threatened him and bullied him telling him the same thing he told me that are warranty would be voided if we didn't use the membrane. At this point, with a three way discussion with Home Depot, cooper and my husband they finally agreed on a price. The cost of the Red Gard and labor was going to be $450. We paid half $225.00 and Home Depot paid the other half. So at this point the add ons had so far totaled $915.00, for a job that had been quoted at around $2,300 for the cost of the tile, installation, moving furniture and appliances.
At this point they were adding over 1/3 the total cost of everything, which by the way we had totally already paid for, and close to 1/2. It was unbelievable. Then the Red Gard was put down. It was applied just with a simple roller, sloppily splashed on my door frames, they applied it around furniture that I guess they were too lazy to move, around tile they had set on the floor and never got close to any edge or wall. They didn't use a trowel or go over anything in another direction even at the cracks and they did not clean the floors before they laid the membrane. So after they were done it was peeling up in areas, didn't cover all areas, was sloshed around, and applied incorrectly. We read the container that it came out of and it was supposed to be applied to a clean, dust free floor with no contaminants, applied to the crack with and trowel and worked into the crack and then rolled over them in the opposite direction, none of which was done. I was told at this point by the two workers present, remember no supervisor had even been to my house at this point, that the floor was ready for tile installation and that would began tomorrow. Cooper installation also told me they would be sending out two new workers and a representative to address my concerns and complaints.
The two previous workers supposedly felt intimidated by me, even though they came back and worked the last hour in the evening without even talking to me again, only to tell me tile would began tomorrow. They left my garage door open, the door from the garage to the house open and two windows in the kitchen, that we could not get to for closing due to wet Red Gard on the floor. We had to remove the screens from the outside, which is bad for the screens and may have caused damage. They left without informing us they were leaving and anyone could have walked into my garage and my house. It is laughable that those two men felt intimidated by me. I am 5'2" tall maybe 5'3" small and almost didn't talk to them at all. I only asked them why they were taking pictures and was told they were taking pictures of the cracks, but never informed why. And I spoke to the other one when he started grinding the bedroom, that didn't need to be ground as it had never had any tile, only carpet and after that a click and lock laminate floor. I also asked him why he was taking pictures in that room, he didn't answer and I asked him to stop taking pictures in my house as no one had asked me if they could take pictures and I felt I should be asked before this is done.
The next morning cooper flooring showed up on time with two new workers and a representative named Sherrie. I had asked my father in law to be present since he has had 50 years dealing with subcontractors and I had felt bullied and intimidated by Cooper personnel the day before. Sherrie came in with an aggressive attitude to start. Talking continuously and when I did interrupt, to get a question in, she told me not to interrupt her. My father and I agreed to let her talk and she proceeded to talk for around 15 minutes, we listened dutifully. In the meantime the two new workers were in the small bedroom and called her in to tell her that room had to be floated before they could lay tile and that one section in the dinging room needed to be floated also. Another add on, surprise, surprise. I was once again not to thrilled, especially since the night before I had been told tile would be laid that morning and floating meant pulling up the Red Gard, as it is to be installed over the float, floating the floor, waiting for it to dry and reapplying the membrane after which meant another day out and more money and waiting. Since the rest of the float was applied wrong that I had already spent $225.00 on this was just another sign of how inept Cooper Installation is, since two of their installers stated the floor was ready now two others say no.
My father in law and I are trying to get a question in edge wise with the rep, who was to listen to our concerns and complaints and see how she could help us, but would listen to nothing and was sent out to be a pit bull. She kept threatening to leave any time we questioned what they were doing things for. She stepped outside for a minute and came back in and stated that she had spoken with the manufacturer and that the float could be applied over the Red Gard? Interesting as she had not had time to make that phone call and had spent most of that short time outside talking to the workers. But, what would life be without giving us more false information? At this point she threatened again to leave and take her crew or did I want them to start the float. Since I felt, once again bullied and needed to get my flooring done as I had already waiting over 3 weeks for Cooper flooring, I told her yes and the men went outside to gather their supplies.
At this point my father in law asked if he could ask a question, mind you we had to ask if we could ask a question since were weren't given that opportunity, she told him yes and when he tried to ask and didn't even get half his question our she interrupted and he reminded her that she didn't like interrupting for herself and he didn't want to be interrupted either. She then proceeded to tell him to shut up. He stepped aside, but was visible upset. He is 72 year old, kind, calm and gentle man, I am the one who is a pistol and I had been nothing but polite. This supposed representative for us, was not for us at all. Just here to bulldoze what we were going to do and how she was going to tell us what we were going to do with threats and bullying techniques. She continued to talk and my father in law again asked if he could ask a question which she interrupted, at this point she reminded him that hew was interrupted and he reminded her that she had told him to shut up just a few minutes before. She seemed outraged and denied saying that, even though we both heard it and she seemed so worked up she probably doesn't even realize what was coming out of her month. She called her crew and said we are leaving and my father in law said good leave.
I contacted them later in the day to come and clean up their mess that they had left. They left a freezer, table and chair from the kitchen area and all of my office furniture, dining room chairs and kitchen furniture (breakfast nook) all in the garage knowing that I had a work crew coming the next day to start laying bamboo floors in my great room (living room, family room, entry way and hall) and they needed the garage for furniture and could not take up or put down the floor with the freezer and such in the way. They also when grinding did not cover any of my furniture, appliances, counters, nothing and my cook top is glass and will scratch if I just dust it off so now I can also not cook. Home Depot of Cooper Flooring will need to pay for dinners out until this clean up is done. I should get a refund for my overage of time on grinding and a total refund for the application of the Red Gard that did not need to be applied and was applied incorrectly. I hope that Home Depot gets a refund for their portion also, but that is up to them.
They have contacted another flooring installer, but they could not come until next Monday so I am stuck without a stove to use for a week, (unless I can talk them into sending out someone to clean in the meantime before that) and the hopes that this installer is better. They have been nice on the phone so maybe it will be a better experience. I have worked with Home Depot to have all of my windows replaced, the counter tops in my kitchen from them and kitchen cabinets also. I have never had any problem with any other subcontractor until Cooper Installation. I would love to use Home Depot again as I plan to get three bedrooms carpeted in January or February and then to start on two total bathroom remodels. I have used Home Depot for remodels in two house now and no problems what so ever, but if I have to use Cooper Installation through Home Depot and have no other option I will buy elsewhere and tell everyone else to do the same. Cooper Installation makes up add ons to add pure profit to their orders, they don't know how to do the add ons that they add perform bad service for large prices, they damage furniture, they leave everything not done and don't dome back to fix their own mess. They are not worth the money or time or extra time that they cost customers. Customer do not come first with Cooper Installation.
Just to give a little insight. I have had Lumber Liquidators in today, a day after their fiasco, I have had a wonderful morning, when one problem came up they had a supervisor come out to see how it could be fixed, and not a problem I said anything about one that one of the workers had. (Cooper, never sent anyone to check on the work to see if it was being done properly, and to address concerns). Lumber Liquidators got here a half hour early, which promotes good will and good feelings. Got right to work removing the old floor and prepping the floor for the new bamboo. They have only been here a few hours and they are ready to lay floor. It is amazing the difference a great contractor can make and what a joy to work with!!
Thank you lumber liquidator, and to anyone reading this don't use Cooper Installation!!