Unethical Business Practices - Do Not Buy A Roof From Home Depot
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- On March 16, 2009 we had purchased jobs for roofing and insulation for our home at the address above by R (cannot use his real name on this website), a Sales Consultant at the THD At-Home Services from Bittlerlake/Seattle address, among other Home Depots around town. He’s described as a weird old man with a mustache from the 1900s that curled up at the ends who proclaims he worked with the government in the past and that he was a former home inspector. He said he spoke several languages, but his Cantonese was pretty awful.
Because of Home Depots reputation for good service at their stores, we decided to trust him and hire Home Depot for our home improvement project. They presented themselves above all roofing companies, promising a lot for a fair price. However, our decision directed us toward the wrong path. Unethical practices from the sales department and billing/accounting by Home Depot revealed the truth.
My brother and I spoke to sales consultant during the estimation on March 16th about the work that we are hiring the Home Depot to do. We stated that we were concerned about our roof, which is 20 years old. Recently a leaking from the flashing near the range hood area in the kitchen has occurred, creating a water stain on the wall. There was also a mold problem in the attic space, but after inspection during the estimation, R concluded it was mildew.
During the estimation/consultation, the sales consultant had promised things that were basically lies. For one, R said that the Home Depots hiring process goes through a rigorous process, background check and drug test. This made me believe that the roof workers were employees of Home Depot. This is further from the truth; the company hired an outside source, Golden Seal Roofing, probably the highest bidder for this project. This wasn’t revealed until the roofing company came knocking on my door to start reroofing.
The sales consultant lead us to believe there was a law made in 2006 which is illegal for King County homeowners to place new roofing material on top of old material. He also persuaded me to tell my father, who doesn’t understand English very well, that it was completely illegal. After things started to unravel, I further researched this so called fact; I discovered there is no such law that states this. The King County law says that if it is over three layers, it’s restricted; however layering new shingles on top of old is fine as long as it abides to this rule. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK THE INFORMATION ANY SALES PERSON TELLS YOU BEFORE SIGNING A CHECK, EVEN IF THEY ARE FROM A COMPANY YOU THINK IS RELIABLE.
The sales consultant then continued to talk about ventilation during the consultation. My brother and I were concerned about proper ventilation, especially since there is a mildew problem in the attic. Also, we explained that our ventilation holes on the front and back of the house were blocked with wood because of the birds around our neighborhood nesting inside. He said that those would be taken out for better ventilation and small screen netting would be needed to keep the birds out. None of this was done. I have yet to get a response from the sales consultant regarding this issue after emailing him.
We asked if the wood under the shingles would be replaced due to the dampness and mildew from the Northwest weather and also deterioration because of the age. Among the many lies during our consultation, he said they would replace the OSB with plywood. This was not done either.
After the roof was installed, during our own inspection, to our shock, many of the promises made were not completed. When I spoke to him over the phone on March 23, 3009 in the evening (the same day the roof was installed), he said that replacing the OSB with plywood was what we agreed on. I assumed this would be corrected immediately.
The next day on March 24, 2009, he came by the house two hours late and started retracting what was said. He basically backtracked what we agreed upon during our initial consultation and finally gave me the warranty information. The warranty on the paper says the first 12 years are non-prorated, but he tells me this is actually 20 years. After reading many complaints against Home Depot roofing, I’m beginning to believe how Home Depot does not honor this contract.
During our conversation, the sales consultant said he spoke with the project manager the night I called. The project manager said that only the area where the ventilation shaft for the kitchen’s stove top hood needed the plywood. The sales consultant started to say that they had to keep the cost down by not replacing the old OSB for plywood. Again, this is all new information after the fact the roof was done.
The sales consultant finally showed me our itemization – approx $ 6,500.00 which was bundled into Timberline roofing material and cost of labor, this never included the cost of plywood. He further continued to say that the OSB wood we have on the roof did not have a problem and it was strong enough to hold in the nails. None of this was revealed during the consultation.
He then proceeded to rant on how mold and mildew will fall off the OSB board in the attic once there is proper ventilation. Again this was new information never presented prior to me signing a check. He also backtracked and said that if the roof did need new plywood, he would have come out and checked out the roof himself and would have given me a higher estimate. This guy was unbelievably deceitful.
I naively assumed this was all included in the materials and labor cost, since the total cost was so high. When he finally showed me his paperwork, the material and labor costs was bundled up together under the category Timberline. They still have yet to give me a proper itemization with the breakdown in actual cost, including materials, labor, material removal, and many other fees.
The sales consultant also recounted that the itemization could have been made if the customer asked. The lame itemization that bundled everything together under the name Timberline would not have given me what I wanted. When I asked by email for the itemization on March 18, 2009, he called me at home, asked me why I was even asking and told me he couldn’t give me one and said that the estimate is 60% for materials and 40% in labor.
If you broke it down, it cost approx. $3900.00 for the Timberline roofing materials and $2,600.00 for labor cost. Additionally, he charged $1,100.00 for exhaust ridge vent and flashings for chimney and drip edge. Truthfully, Home Depot had charged me over 100%+ the amount it would have cost me to have the roof professionally done.
Home Depot has continues to give me wrong information and is completely unprofessional during the roofing process. On March 18, 2009, Wednesday, Home Depot Services called and spoke to my brother. The person said that the project manager will meet with me in the next morning to re-measure and they will start Monday to reroof.
When the project manager came the next day to re-measure, he said that the roofing company will call to schedule when a good time to reroof would be when I tried to confirm if it was Monday. He didn’t know when they would come. No one called to confirm.
Monday morning comes along and I hear a knock at 9 am and roofing company showed up. I spoke to the owner of Golden Seal Roofing asked why they didn’t call to confirm. His answer was “Why?” They started at 9 am and finally ended work at 2 pm, which totaled 5 hours of work for $2,600.00 for labor cost.
Lies after lies, the sale consultant’s presentation included how Home Depot purchases large amounts to keep the cost low for consumers, but in all honesty they over price everything and outsource the work. We have decided to cancel the insulation job, calling the THD At-Home Services in Renton to do this. They charged us a 25% cancellation fee because they have already purchased the insulation material. The cancellation fee totaled approximately $400.00, outrageous! After realizing how deceitful and money hungry Home Depot is, they have lost our family as long time customers.
Had we known how unethical Home Depot is with their business practices, we would have never contracted Home Depot for any of the services. Always cross check information and never ever buy a roof from Home Depot or any other services they provide.