Bamboozled February 26, 2018: New floor chips away at customer’s patience

Susan Anderson with her damaged newly installed floor in Nutley on February 19, 2018.

When you pay for a service, you expect it to be done right.

If mistakes are made, you expect them to be corrected.

But sometimes it takes an extra push before a business does the right thing.

Susan Anderson hired National Floors Direct to install new wood floors in the living room and dining room of her Nutley home.

The cost was nearly $4,000.

Anderson said the installers didn’t have enough materials to complete the job, and some of the installed boards that were laid down were chipped. Her complaints to National Floors Direct weren’t exactly well-received, she said.

“All you get is double talk from them,” Anderson said.

It all started when a representative from the company came to Anderson’s home to give an estimate in early January.

The rep measured the area, and an install date was set for Jan. 27.

“The installers arrived and asked for the check before installing the floor,” Anderson said.

She paid it, and they started the job.

Before long, the installers realized they didn’t have enough materials to complete the floor. They said the salesperson measured incorrectly and didn’t order enough flooring.

That was annoying, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

Anderson said she asked the installer to return the check because the job wasn’t finished, but the installer refused. An argument ensued, and the installer called someone from National Floors Direct, she said.

Anderson said the company representative said more flooring would be ordered, but insisted the installers leave with the check.

“We felt it was in our best interest to call the police to document the fact that they were leaving with our check and being paid in full for services that were not completed,” Anderson said.

A close-up of one of the chipped boards in Susan Anderson’s home.

After the installers left, Anderson inspected the floor, finding three boards that were chipped and one that was cut too short. She called to tell the company.

“[The rep] assured me she put it in the notes and would call me once the floor was available to be installed,” Anderson said.

In the meantime, Anderson had painters come to re-do those rooms, and that work went without incident on Feb. 3, she said.

The new boards came in and an install date was set for Feb. 10. Anderson said she made sure the company knew she wanted the damaged boards to be replaced.

When the flooring installers returned, Anderson said, she showed them the problem boards. They had to lift up half the boards in the dining room to replace two of them.

“Once they got close to finishing the floor, I noticed they were counting the boards,” Anderson said.

She asked if they had enough flooring to complete the job, and the installers said yes, she said.

When the installers finished and were cleaning up, Anderson inspected the boards.

The chipped board in the living room hadn’t been replaced, and three of the new boards were also damaged.

She said she showed the installers, who she said explained that one of the boxes of flooring was damaged so there were no more pristine boards to put down. The installers left.

So once again Anderson called National Floors Direct. The rep took her information, but no one called her back.

Three days later, she called again.

“[The rep] told me the company did not need to fix it because they fulfilled their contract,” she said. “I asked how did they do that when on the bottom of the contract it states to tell the installers about any problems and they will fix them before they leave? Well, I did that and the boards were not fixed.”

The rep changed tactics, she said.

“[The rep] said that the company’s position was that the boxes were not damaged when they were delivered to my house,” Anderson said. “I interrupted him and said the boxes were never delivered to my house. The installers brought them.”

Then the rep had a different excuse, saying her painters must have chipped the floor.

Impossible, Anderson said. The area with the new chipped boards was still bare when the painters did their work on Feb. 3. She had photos to prove it, and an invoice from the painters to show the painting happened before those boards were installed.

The conversation got heated and Anderson threatened legal action. She said the rep hung up.

She put her complaint in writing on Feb. 13 and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau the next day.

No one responded, so she asked Bamboozled for help.

CORRECTING THE PROBLEM

We examined photos of the damaged boards, the invoice showing the painters came before the new damaged boards were installed and the contract for the floor job.

It said: “Please inspect material and installation for any problem while the installers are at your house. They will be happy to correct any problem before leaving.”

That’s exactly what Anderson said she did.

Anderson said she’s willing to leave the chipped board in the living room because the entire floor would have to be pulled up to correct it. All she wants is for the new chipped boards — the ones she said the installer put down knowing they were imperfect — to be replaced.

We reached out to the company, leaving a phone message and also sending a detailed email, asking it to reevaluate Anderson’s complaint.

Later that same day, Anderson got a call from a new company rep.

“He said he had an update from the installation department and they want to come next Saturday, Feb. 24, to replace the boards,” she said.

She said she asked the rep why the company had a change of heart.

“He said he didn’t know and that he just received the update from installation,” she said.

We reached out to the company several more times to ask it to explain what happened here, but none of our emails and phone messages were returned.

On Saturday, the day of the install, Anderson got a call.

A company rep said they couldn’t come because the box of new flooring was damaged, she said.

That’s ironic — given that the company previously didn’t believe Anderson when she explained the installers brought an already-damaged box, she said.

We have a new install date for next Saturday. We’ll let you know what happens.

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