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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Cowboys (& it's not 'yee harhh')

Bad week last week. I decided after 3 days of hell with the kitchen fitters, that I wouldn't have them back on site. The fitter was subcontracted by Magnet to fit our new kitchen and from day 1 it has been a fiasco. Every (and I mean 'every') space had been mis-measured (by him) at the survey stage, and as a result our builder had to drill into every newly plastered and painted wall to try and squeeze in the various units. Some doors / plinths were missing and when I told him theywere available for pick up at the store, the fitter told me that '(he's) not a driver' and that it was for me to source them and ring him when they were delivered.
Having turned up at 3pm on Thursday, he told me at 5pm as he was packing to go home that he wouldn't be back on Friday, and 'would only do 1 more day', once I'd sourced the missing bits from Magnet. Seeing him leaving, I asked him to ensure he had moved all the packaging (piled high across the width of my garden) out to the front, to which he refused, despite my pleas that I had 2 children & the weekend was looming. Given he wasn't coming back to finish on Friday I would need to use the garden over the coming days. Still telling me he wasn't moving it to the front, he only relented when I said if he didn't move it out, I would have no option but to sue Magnet in the event of any harm coming to my small children in the event of accident.
He left me with a messy, unfinished kitchen, holes gauged out of walls, a cooker hood that bowed in the middle where it had been badly fitted, a back-to-front wall unit light, missing units, and doors that wouldn't open due to being poorly fitted. And more than that he left me feeling sick to my guts that someone could be so rude, surly, and downright maverick, while in my own home, providing a service I had paid for, and which was ultimately paying their wage.
I decided this couldn't go on, and on Friday, I rang the store, cataloguing the issues and said I wasn't prepared to have him back on site again. To their absolute credit the manager from Magnet took it all on board, he visited the site today, apologised profusely and appears to be taking steps to rectify all the issues including getting us another fitter that he has worked with previously. He told us that all the staff have changed, and he as the manager is new to this store, that he has no relationship with this fitter and did not know he had been allocated to us. And that this fitter has made mistakes previously and they were not using him anymore. Hopefully he will now rectify the problems, deal with it swiftly and get our kitchen finished, perhaps better than ever before.
I really appreciated his honesty today at any rate. It was a big decision for me to make the call not to have the fitter back again, I'd found myself thinking that perhaps the chaos and the rudeness was normal, and it was me being a difficult client. So, I hope to put the experience of the last few days down to a maverick fitter, not the store. If they can remedy it quickly and correctly with no further issues, then it will undo all the pain of the last week and I will feel positive about this kitchen again rather than ground down by the whole thing.
The fitter we had was 'Jopar's kitchens', a rogue trader if ever there was, in my book (blog!) at least.

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