SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I recently referred a friend to Lumber Liquidators because I had purchased some bamboo from them years ago and had a good experience. My friend purchased thousands of square feet of the Bellawood 3/4" Maple flooring in advance of her remodel so that it was in home and had time to acclimatize before being installed. Her home is perfectly dry without any water intrusion whatsoever. The boxes were unopened and in perfect condition. She purchased the flooring well enough in advance to ensure the flooring was in pocket for installation.
Of course, more than 30 days passes before she has a very reputable San Francisco flooring company begin installing her new flooring. After installing only 70 square feet, it becomes glaringly visible that the flooring is warped, scratched and not milled to 5" widths thus leaving gaps between the planks. To add insult to injury the Lumber Liquidators personnel advised her that she needed an acoustical underlay for her nail down 3/4" floor. The professional installer informed her that this was not prudent advice and it wasn't needed.
As per most of your experience, Lumber Liquidators abhorrent customer service hit her on the head like a ton of garbage wood flooring. "You're outside of the 30-day refund/warranty period". "We'll get back to you". "Bring it back to the store for review". "We'll send you a warranty form to fill out and we might exchange the flooring". "Let's lay the flooring out on the sidewalk to look at because I cannot bring it inside the store". Her entire home renovation is now on hold with no bedroom, kitchen or living room for herself or her young child.
How do you think Lumber Liquidators will resolve this clear issue of defective merchandise? Do you think that Lumber Liquidators will do the right thing and refund her money and compensate her for the installers labor for the 70 square feet installed? Tune in for "the rest of the story" on how an ethical company does business.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Buyer beware about Bellawood and Schon. We bought some solid Bellawood and it need to ship in, some of the box still sticker Odd Lot and discounted price. How ignorant for those employee and can't even cover their dirty track. That label said 'Odd Lot' didn't even removed. Our installer have difficulty problem putting this floor together, because the size of the wood is different.
My friends also bought flooring from LL, they bought the Schon product. It only been down for 6 months, and their complaint this floor is easy to scratch and finish wear off quickly. They have Bruce oak flooring before they replace this the Schon Brazilian Cherry (supposed to be harder floor), but this new floor now look like 10 years old.
VIRGINIA -- We purchased Bellawood Brazilian Cherry flooring in January 2010. In 2011 the floor started hazing really bad. After cleaning the floor it didn't look like it had ever been touched because of the hazing. You can see every footprint where you walked. We notified the store where we purchased it, and they told us to deal directly with the corporate office in Virginia. We have done that and they have been fighting us for two years now. They are aware of the problem but all they want to do is send in a professional floor cleaner which will cost them only $100.
After it is cleaned, they say they are done with us even if the floor still has hazing. My wife has two types of cancer and it is a shame we have to fight them plus fight for her life. This situation will probably take her sooner because of all the stress they keep her under. They do not care about you after you purchase their product. the warranty means NOTHING!! If you people out there care about how you spend your money wisely, RUN, RUN, RUN!! I am hoping to reach every person out there that I possibly can to save them from all the agony they put you through. Please be wise and LISTEN!!
LL Response to Haze issue
The warranty covers the finish, however the cleaners being used have left the haze and the problem is improper floor care, not a warrantable event. We advise customers of proper floor care technique and cleaners, but when you stray outside the line and use something that can haze the finish this is a choice and we've provided advice as to how to correct the floor. We do not "fight" with customers, however the financial responsibility for correcting the floor is on the consumer when you use products that damage the finish. The best advice for buyers - Follow the care instructions and avoid products that haze the finish to keep the original lustre of the floor as its for this reason we're specific as to what should be used on a Bellawood floor. We never to tell a customer we're "done with them" so this is not how Customer Service works, but each situation is handled professionally and in some situations goodwill may be a consideration, and others it may not based on the evidence gathered to understand the root cause of the problem. Sorry this happened, but floor care is the responsibility of the buyer and this case highlights the need to follow floor care instructions to protect your investment.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- In 2008 we made an addition to our house. We had seen the ads for Lumber Liquidators on your network and chose the Bellawood Brazilian mesquite. The installer did a superb job and the floor looked beautiful until we began moving in. Every piece of furniture we placed on the floor scratched the surface and the scratches could not be polished out. Dents and scratches began showing up in places where there was no traffic. After two years the beautiful cherry wood red stain began turning honey gold everywhere the sun hit the floor. Now we have a two-tone floor.
When I contacted Lumber Liquidators they forwarded we to Bellawood. The Bellawood representative informed me that I had to send in pictures. Apparently they do not do on-site inspections. They denied any and all claims for warranty resolution. They said they were not responsible for fading or scratches. What good is a 100-year warranty if it does not cover anything?
I tell all my friends to stay away from Lumber Liquidators and Bellawood products. Since our problems I have researched other reviews and found that our experience is not exceptional rather it seems to be rather normal. In addition when the flooring was installed we had better than 15% waste. That added significantly to the cost.
TOANO, VIRGINIA -- My husband and I purchased over 1400sq. ft. of Bellawood Brazilian Walnut hardwood flooring from LL, which totaled over $9100, at the Martinsburg, WV store. The salesman persuaded us to "take advantage of this great 6mo. same as cash" program. Sounded good. We had saved up for the flooring in advance and planned on paying it off before the deadline. As the statements arrived, we made our payments. Oddly enough, we received the last statement the day before the deadline, but we paid it that very same day to avoid a penalty.
That was July of '09 and they've been harassing us ever since, claiming we owe them over $300 in late charges. My husband has called and asked if anyone could show us that we honestly owe that, but their customer service is terrible, and they won't make any effort to help. As a last resort, I emailed Tom Sullivan, explained the situation, and asked for help. Sure. His assistant replied that I should call the collection agency. That's it. Seems like LL has an extra way to make money.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We installed Lumber Liquidators, Bellawood Bolivian Rosewood over a concrete floor using Lumber Liquidators instructions and products, in 2 mos. the floor buckled and warped badly. They not only would not stand behind it, they denied telling us we could install it over concrete. I called back and have them on tape telling us we could over concrete using their products, unfortunately, we cannot use that tape in court, we ended up removing the wood, having a $8000.00 fire to dispose of it and installed Anderson pre-finished flooring. This was 4 years ago and the Anderson floor has held up wonderful. I suggest to stay far away from Lumber Liquidators, they lie.
It's very unfortunate to have a customer suffer from a flooring problem, but clearly our flooring does not come out of the box buckled and warped, so this is an installation related problem. Stating you followed directions and this happened is very questionable as a properly installed floor would not buckle or warp. Moisture protection from between the concrete and the bottom of the boards failed and the buckling occurs when the boards expand from moisture and there's not enough expansion space between the walls and the flooring. Both are actually examples of not following the directions, so you may want to look at how the Armstrong floor was installed because it sounds like it was done right. Flooring is flooring and while you may pay more somewhere else, if you don't install it right it can suffer from missed steps. LL is not an outlet for substandard flooring. We sell brand new top of the line products and offer some close out items as well, so you can buy products with a great warranty, or go the less expensive route and get an odd lot at a really discounted price you may not find anywhere else. Again, we're sorry to hear you had a bad flooring experience.
We decided to lay Bellawood Koa wood in our bedroom, as we'd put it in the rest of the house 5 years ago and have been very happy with it. So, we purchased the wood and the LL website (and we called both a store and customer service to confirm this) stated that the "odd lots" were perfectly usable wood, but to expect "up to" 30% waste. Okay, so just in case we allowed for 50% waste and ordered about 110% more wood than we needed, hoping to use it for another project.
Well the wood we got was total crap! It was almost totally unusable! The contractors were at their wits' end - the wood was about 85% crap, totally useless, and the wood that was usable was all in 12" lengths! This wood was all uneven, wasn't finished, wasn't coated with acrylic, was not suitable to be used for anything!!
Several hours into installation of first purchased floor contractor noticed lines were not lining up. Turns out widths of boards varied as much as 1/3 inch on same board. Other individual boards were out of sync with rest of flooring at a rate of more than a third of the pieces. Many phone calls, and a week later (delaying whole project schedule), and $1000 to contractor- replacement floor showed up (partial shipment) and the ends of the flooring (had to settle for different style) in this shipment were so chipped the contractor wouldn't install without a signed release of responsibility from us.
At this point L. Liquidators refused to pick up floor and issue a refund because we refused delivery of second portion of 2nd defective floor. We bought a beautiful Mercier floor from a local co. and 2 days later it was in $4000 more for this floor and more wasted time fees for contractor. LUMBER LIQUIDATOR stopped talking to us at that point and we filed a complaint with credit card company to withhold payment.
2-3 months later credit card co. notified us that LUMBER LIQUIDATORS maintained we had the floor for so long they could not be sure of its condition. Final answer. Out of credit card company hands so we had to pay to protect our credit. $4000 floor now in original boxes in my barn. Entire construction project ended up delayed. Maybe I can redo the barn floor with it. It was an internet purchase or I would've parked in front of LUMBER LIQUIDATOR STORE. NEVER originally wanted anything but what I paid for.
I'm appalled by the alleged company representative's lack of compassion, off-base accusations, and reality-defying vomit in regards to his replies to consumer complaints. 1st quality hardwood should NEVER vary in plank width, thickness etc., to the point where 15-20% additional material is necessary to complete a job. Culling (picking and choosing of boards by installer) should ONLY be necessary when addressing color variance in planks, NOT defective, poorly milled product passed off as 1st quality goods.
This confirms mine, and other reputable dealers suspicions that LL promotes an inferior product, fails to stand behind said product, cares not a lick about consumer satisfaction, yet somehow manages to sleep well at night despite the ongoing scam that their "50 year warranty" products blatantly represent.
LL Formal Response:
We're very passionate about the business and the products we offer, and we never make accusations, but often make assumptions if the complaint lacks details needed to make an educated decision as to what went wrong. If you make a statement stating wood planks should NEVER vary in width, you need to take a moment and visit the National Wood Flooring Assoc website and take a crash course on wood products, because the claim you make is not realistic. The need for 15%-20% more material is not tied to minor variances in board width that can come from moisture changes, but culling is a natural part of any wood flooring installation. You cull away part of your lettuce when you buy it from the grocery store as a natural product and this is considered acceptable waste. If a wood product has a milling issue, the warranty (as all do) state you should not install the boards and the company should be notified right away. We stand behind our products, but we do not cover actions taken outside the warranty out of our direct control such as installing wood that does not meet the expectations as outlined on the warranty, and the installation instructions. This happens to be the root of these types of concerns when you fully install product that should be returned, while rare, it happens to be a problem for all wood sellers especially with the high volumes we produce. We immediately rectify any milling concerns by swapping out material with absolutely no hesitation in support of the warranty. We regret to hear you had an issue with a purchase and it's for this very reason we provide customers with a detailed invoice, warranty instructions found on our website, and support through the local stores and Customer Care. We even have flooring install pros available by phone to help customers, so if something went wrong, you may need to understand the documentation provided and utilize the resources we offer to make sure your project goes well by tapping into these valuable resources.
After spending close to $10k on our floors, they quickly deteriorated to 'cupping' and actually splitting in half!! After numerous attempts to Lumber Liquidators' customer service, I was totally brushed off and they even accused me that I caused the problem!! Not the case, I used an installer that the local Austin shop recommended. Their final communication to me was so tasteless. We need to ensure that this company no longer does business. This company must own up to their responsibilities and represent themselves with some dignity. Is there a class action lawsuit we all can participate?
Cupping issues are noted on our Customer Care website under FAQ number 4 as follows:
Why does my floor look wavy / why is it buckling?
A wavy or washboard looking floor indicates a condition called cupping. Cupping is caused by a moisture imbalance between the bottom and top of the boards. Even modest amounts of moisture intrusion will cause board edges to swell, which will be seen as cupping. Buckling is caused by the boards gaining moisture and expanding without a proper expansion space thereby causing the boards to "tent." Both conditions are site related or evidence of improper installation
Our processes do not allow customers to be "brushed off". Whether you spent $10 or $10,000 on flooring does not matter when it comes to cupping issues and the fact that you hired a professional installer would suggest this posting should be directed to the installer, not LL. The product was not at fault and the recommendations provided are never presented in a "tasteless" manner. If the products defective in any way we'll never hesitate to hold a manufacturer accountable, but you can bet we're not going to fork over $10,000 in flooring for installation errors, or site related errors outside our direct control and no seller should be expected to incur costs unrelated to an actual defect. We certainly regret to hear this happened as we want every purchase to end up installed properly to showcase your home, and our flooring products. There are some ways to help settle the floor and we provide this information to you and it would when a floor has been determined to be "cupped", but it would be best to hire an independent inspection company to determine fault. LL does not commission such inspections for cupped floors because we know they are not tied to the manufacture of the product, which is why we do our best to educate the customer with the information we sent to you explaining this condition using National Wood Flooring Association information and other information provided to educate consumers on this condition.
We certainly understand your frustration and wish the outcome was a perfect floor like it should be when hiring a professional, or properly maintaining temperature and relative humidity for a sound floor.