Warning re Walker Zanger Gramercy Park Tiles!

AJinNHMarch 27, 2014

We are completing the finishing touches on our kitchen remodel. Our backsplash is one of the last things to be installed. We picked out some beautiful Gramercy Park crackle glaze field tiles in Wedgwood Blue (they're really grey) as well as filagree tiles for behind the range from a different manufacturer.

We received 5 boxes of 100 tiles/box of the field tiles. EVERY tile in every box was covered in a black soot-like material. Thank goodness we opened the boxes before installation. That stuff was difficult to come off and got all over everything. It took us an entire weekend to clean up all of those tiles washing, drying and cleaning out the boxes so that we could store them again until installation. What a mess! I brought a box to the tile store in Greenland, NH where we purchased them and was thanked for my patience and handed a bottle of tile cleaner. They took a picture and were going to complain to Walker Zanger, but I've haven't heard a word.

If you decide to order from this company anyway you might want to make sure to give yourself plenty of time to clean up the mess on the tiles. Really, no exaggeration, it took us a whole weekend to clean them up. Time we really couldn't afford to waste like that. Needless to say, we were very disappointed.

**UPDATE** We were contacted by the Technical Supervisor from Walker Zanger. He was very apologetic for the condition of the tiles that we received and couldn't do enough to resolve the issue. He updated me daily throughout the process and was very attentive to the issue. They reimbursed us a considerable portion of the purchase price. They are also sending us the MSDS information on the stain/ink that was on the tiles so that we know what we were handling for 2 days. In addition we were offered a discount on a future project. Most importantly I felt that they really cared, understood the effort on our part to clean the tiles and felt very badly about the whole thing. I also feel that they will do everything that they can to make sure that this doesn't happen to someone else. I feel much better about this company now and would do business with them again.

This post was edited by AJinNH on Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 11:55

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AJinNH

Here are some more pictures of the tiles that were shipped to us.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:03PM
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AJinNH

Here is what happened when I picked up one tile. Do you believe that they shipped them to us like this and expected them to be installed this way?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:04PM
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Juno_barks

Outrageous.

I'd be tempted to send them a bill for your time (not that you'd see any $$, but to make a point).

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:12PM
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AJinNH

We even put a few tiles in the dishwasher to see if that would speed up the cleaning process, but they came out looking exactly the same way. The only way to get this off of the tiles was to scrub each one of the 500 tiles, plus the rail tiles.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:14PM
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robynstamps

I'm sorry but that seems unacceptable to me. Did you call the company at all? I definitely will not be ordering my crackle backsplash from them. Thanks for the head's up.

Robyn

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:17PM
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AJinNH

No Robyn, I haven't called them yet. I trusted that the salesperson where I purchased them would call, but since I've received no feedback, I'm not sure that he did. I thought that he'd know exactly who to call, but I'm wondering now if I shouldn't give them a call myself.

Even the installer said he'd never seen anything as bad as these. I hadn't realized that the rail tiles were covered also because the few on top of the box looked okay. When he took them out to install them his hands were covered. Fortunately there weren't many of those and I was able to clean them up quickly.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:27PM
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isabel98

I have heard that walker zanger is notorious for sending out boxes of tiles that were not up to par with their pricing. not necessarily covered in soot but it's been reported that packing is insufficient resulting breakage and just generally no care taken to ensure a top quality. I found them difficult to deal with and went with another tile company.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Iowacommute

Woah that is super disappointing. I love all of the WZ tiles, and I have seriously thought that would be one of the few decorative splurges I would take when we build our little house. This turns me off because I can't believe a company that charges two prices for their tile would have this sort of oversight. Thanks for the heads up, and I'll look elsewhere if I want to splurge on tile.

I would at least follow up with the tile store to see if they have heard anything. If they say 'we haven't heard anything yet' then I would call WZ.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Kitten1313

I notice they have a social media presence. I've had friends who have gotten great results with other companies by posting their complaints directly on the company's Facebook page or twitter feed. May be worth a shot.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:29PM
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lcskaisgir

Wow! That is unbelievable and completely unacceptable. I would be calling Walker Zanger directly, even if the tile salesperson calls them too, and email them the pics.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:31PM
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kompy

I wonder what would cause that??? Very weird! Hopefully just a fluke. You have more patience that me. I would have returned them or made the salespeople wash them for me.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Iowacommute

You could always post your pictures on their FB page. That would get their attention. :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:54PM
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AJinNH

Thanks Kitten for the idea. I just posted on their FB page. I doubt it will remain there long. I've also posted these images on my Pinterest board as well.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:01PM
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AJinNH

Kompy, I would have sent them back if there had been time. We were already delayed getting all of the tiles in and the installation setup. I'm sure you know how that goes, you just want to get it done and over with by that point in the project.

Plus, these tiles are shipped from Mexico. I didn't want to start that process all over again.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:11PM
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AJinNH

I emailed some of my posts to the dealer and he said that he's going to forward them along and follow up with me.

In addition I left an email on their website from the 'contact us' page. Plus posted on their FB page. And Pinterest.

Hopefully they'll respond and I'll let you know what the outcome is, if any.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:15PM
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AJinNH

Well that didn't take long. My Facebook posts have been removed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Gigi_4321

I just saw it on fb, so it is still there. I would think they would respond to your posting, but if not, I would call them directly.
Or, you could get all of us Gardenwebbers to post comments on your fb post.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:32PM
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AJinNH

Gigi, that might work ;)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:49PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Geeze, did they buy them at a fire sale and then sell them to you? I can't believe it. Something is just not right.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 3:36PM
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chiefy

Wow, unbelievable. Your post is still up on their FB page. Hopefully they respond quickly! I'll be watching the outcome, as I love their tile and are a company I would consider. But shipping this quality at their prices is outrageous!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 3:59PM
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sunsoleil

I guess this is not what you want to hear, but I would never have touched them. You don't even know what the stuff is. I would have dropped the boxes off at the dealer and gotten them out of the house. That might have sparked the dealer's desire to help out.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:08PM
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AJinNH

Annalyn you are so right! I'm so upset that I hadn't considered that until after I handled them for two days. Who knows if it was toxic material or not? Ugh. Even when I brought a box to the dealer they had no idea what it was and said that they had never seen anything like it.

I also don't know if it will cause a problem with the tile down the road.

I'll post responses from the company, if any.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:24PM
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EAM44

My guess is they had a fire in one of their warehouses and this is one of the boxes that didn't burn. I too would have sent them back, but it's done now. I hope they go in nicely.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:38PM
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AJinNH

EAM44, there were 5 boxes of 100 tiles each box, plus stick tiles that were all covered in black soot-like material. The really odd part is that there wasn't any black material on the outside of the boxes. I don't know how they managed to pack up all of those boxes without getting it all over the outside. Unless they cleaned it off with a wet cloth, which is what I think they would have had to do. Intentionally and knowing what was inside those boxes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:47PM
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rococogurl

I have 2 words to say: big refund. WZ should refund the dealer and dealer should refund you. Full amount.

They are a top tile house by reputation and by their own advertising. I would never have accepted the tiles, as Kompy said.

That done, they should make it right.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:32PM
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AJinNH

Rococogurl, we paid over $1500 for the Walker Zanger tiles, not including almost $200 more for shipping and handling. And they shipped them like that!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:41PM
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chicagoans

That's outrageous.

I just checked FB too and your post is still there. I posted a comment too; I'm hoping more comments on your post will inspire some action on their part.

Do you have a Twitter account? If so I'd do a mention of them (include @WalkerZanger in your Tweet) and add your photo. I'd do a Tweet for each of your photos. They will get a notification of the mentions. (Whether they do anything about it is another story.) They can remove your post from their FB wall, but they can't delete your Tweets.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:23PM
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nosoccermom

This is completely unacceptable and must be very disappointing.
However, I would call the company right now to see what they suggest. Second, I would send a letter to the CEO of the company, Leon Zanger. I feel that you should give them a chance to address this.

13190 Telfair Avenue
Sylmar, CA 91342
Phone:
Each location is open 8:00 am �" 4:30 pm in their respective time zones.
Eastern: Perth Amboy, NJ 732.697.7700
Central: Houston, TX 713.880.9292
Pacific: Sun Valley, CA 818.252.4000

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:28PM
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rubyclaire

Seriously? I'm just stunned. Others have said it best - unacceptable, disappointing and they need to make this right. Very right and very fast.

Good luck - deep breath.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:51PM
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ILoveRed

We had a house fire 10 yrs ago while finishing our basement. The fire originated in the basement. We had several boxes of ceramic tile in the basement that we were planning to use in the bath.

After the fire the tiles looked just like your tiles. We tried to clean the tiles. It was a greasy soot and was practically impossible to remove.

Your tiles look like they have been in a fire. Very weird. No wonder you are upset.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:56PM
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nhbaskets

Pictures and comments are still on FB. I've added my two cents there. Hope you get some type of restitution. Maybe they could bring a tiler to your house with 5 new boxes and install them for free. Don't settle for just an apology.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 7:00PM
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EAM44

AJ, that's the thing, if the boxes were in a fire but not burned, the soot would be on the inside of the box.

Red, sounds about right.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 7:19PM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Kinda looks like ink from copy machine or something.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:47PM
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AJinNH

RedLover and EAM44, I can understand why you'd think that they'd been in a fire. However, the tiles were so tightly packed in the boxes and the backs of the tiles were pressed together, I doubt that they could have been coated with the black material as much as they were. The finished, 'face' of the tiles weren't coated that much, just the sides and backs. You'd have to have seen how the tiles came out of the box to understand. I'm pretty sure that they were packed that way. Plus, there's no way that all of those boxes could have been in a fire that left that much soot behind and not have a lingering tell-tale smell.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:26PM
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fouramblues

Fire burns cardboard more effectively than tile. If your tiles were in a fire, they could have been repackaged. I looked for your FB post so I could comment, but it's now gone. I really hope WZ makes this right.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:26PM
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AJinNH

Thanks nosoccermom, if I don't hear back from the merchant where I purchased them tomorrow, I'm making that call.

I was waiting for the merchant to follow through, I brought a box of tiles to the store to show them. Either they didn't make the call or WZ didn't respond. I did exchange emails with the merchant today and they promised to give me feedback tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have something positive to post by then.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:31PM
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smallhouse

Did they smell?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:41PM
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AJinNH

fouramblues (LOVE that handle, I can relate), my facebook post is still there, I was just on the sight. Take another look, it's on 'recent posts by othersâ¦' I had missed it too the first time I went back.

I can't imagine that they were in a fire and NOT been repackaged, they were packed so tightly and there was so much packing material in there. Plus, there wasn't any smokey smell, not a bit.

I hope that they make it right also.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:45PM
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AJinNH

Smallhouse, no, they didn't smell at all. And I have one of those noses that doesn't miss a thing.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:48PM
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smallhouse

Maybe it is copier toner then. So weird. The idea that it's all the boxes in the shipment is even more mysterious. I hope you can strike an agreement you are happy with.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:01PM
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writersblock

>Maybe it is copier toner then

Maybe, but that much toner would usually have a noticeable odor of its own.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:05PM
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rococogurl

It's not up to the buyer to say (or care) what was on the tiles. Their condition was unacceptable, the buyer could not bear the expense of the delaying the job. Plus, she had to expend a large amount of energy and time cleaning the tiles.

The dealer and the company should stand behind the product. This isn't budget stuff or seconds. A full refund is the right thing and the least they should do.

The FB post is a warning. I would not go social-media nuclear. Give them a chance to make the offer. But I wouldn't be shy about asking for a full refund in exchange for all the photos you took of the tile.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 23:54

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:19PM
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CEFreeman

Just a note from someone who experienced a fire.
The soot, if it were such, carries all kinds of chemicals from synthetics and things that burn. Bad stuff.

Restoration companies have something they clean with that neutralizes all that junk.

If it were copy toner, be aware that it is extremely flammable. Explosively flammable, actually. That and white-out. Go figure.

Do tell. How do they look on your wall?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 2:02AM
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ILoveRed

I'm embarrassed to say that we had items that had been "cleaned" by the restoration company from our fire 11 yrs ago in a storage unit for the past 10 yrs. Example: my 33 yr old dds Jenny Lind high chair, 2 pack and plays that my 11 yr old twins used that I thought I might be able to donate, etc., my 25 yr. yr old dds crib,

Anyway to make a long story short...we thought that after this many years the odor would finally be gone. We just cleaned out the storage unit and all of these items still had the odor and had to be trashed.

So, if your tile has zero odor...it has not been in a fire. Those tiles would reek.

What in the world could it be?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:44AM
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Texas_Gem

Wow, I would be really concerned with what exactly that substance was. I hope they not only make this right but hopefully they can tell you what that substance was.

Also, I just saw your FB post. Is your profile pic your baby? What a cutie!!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:50AM
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sas95

That is awful about the tiles. But I wouldn't go all ballistic against Walker Zanger unless they decline to make it right. Mistakes happen even in the best of companies, but it is how mistakes are handled that separate the reputable ones from the slime. Actually, the place you bought from should be making things right by you, and dealing with WZ themselves.

For what it's worth, we ordered a significant amount of tile from Walker Zanger for our reno, and found them to be honorable and responsive to deal with.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:54AM
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AJinNH

Texas Gem, I'm getting more concerned about what the substance is and feel really annoyed with myself for not considering that more seriously before I plunged my hands into the stuff for 2 days. The ironic part is that the dealer gave me a bottle of tile cleaner and told me to use it in a well ventilated area because it stinks. I didn't end up using it because I was concerned about the chemicals.

Thanks for the compliment, the baby in the photo is my grandson. First grandchild and enjoying every second!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:16AM
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AJinNH

Sas95, that's good to know that you had a good experience with Walker Zanger. I had hoped that the dealer would follow through and get back to me. I brought one of the boxes by and they took a picture and said that they'd contact the company. They thanked me for my patience and handed me a bottle of tile cleaner. Then nothing. No feedback, email or phone call. I contacted them again yesterday and was promised that they'd call the company (again?) today. I'm hoping to find out something today.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:20AM
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mudhouse_gw

Wow, I spent several hours on their website last night, and was so surprised to find your post this morning!

These are beautiful tiles, and I probably would have charged ahead into cleaning them too, just as you did, to salvage my project.

I don't know how companies make tiles like this in quantity, but the beautiful crackle detail looks similar to the crazing that results from the Raku pottery process. In that process, the fine ash from the firing process coats the ceramic pieces, and settles into the fine crazing in the glaze. This highlights the texture.

So, my guess is, the tiles were fired and then some clueless person packed them before cleaning them. I would be horrified too, after paying these prices, but I'm betting the substance is indeed some kind of ash/soot from the firing process, and probably not a harmful chemical.

The company should make this right for you, and/or respond to you, because they never should have shipped this way (of course!) I hope your installation is as beautiful as you had expected (I love the tiles.)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:00AM
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AJinNH

Mudhouse, thanks for the info. Your guess is as good as mine.

The merchant that I purchased these from never saw anything like this before, and they sell a lot of tile. Also, his wife makes her own line of tiles, so I'd assume that they'd be familiar with the process. Yet they were stumped. I asked if it was soot from the process and his answer was that it shouldn't be and was very doubtful that was the answer.

Still no answers, but I'll update once I learn anything.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:22AM
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mudhouse_gw

Well, I still think you're on the right track, thinking the soot is from the crafting process. The merchant has probably never seen this before I think it's really rare for this kind of manufacturing/shipping snafu to get by the company (really, you should go buy a lottery ticket, with your luck!) :-)

Also, I think only a small percentage of the tiles on the market use a firing process designed to expose the glaze to ash, to darken the crackle. There are also many crackle tiles that don't have this "darkened" effect (meaning, the glaze is still crystal clear, afterward, with no antiquing of the tiny crazed lines.) It's just a different firing process depending on the desired end effect.

Congratulations on your first grandchild!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:15PM
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eve72

Why didn't the tile store inspect the shipment upon deliver? Isn't that the normal protocol?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:01PM
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AJinNH

Eve72, you're right, they should have. That's the other thing that I'm kicking myself for in this matter. I was so happy that the tiles were finally in, and it was late in the day when I picked them up. Normally I would have opened the boxes before I left.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:18PM
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AJinNH

So, according to Walker Zanger, it wasn't soot or smoke damage.

Smallhouse, you win the prize as you were the closest to guess correctly. They're saying that it was a stain, that's like an ink and is rubbed on for the crackle glaze.

I received both an email and phone call from WZ, almost simultaneously this afternoon. The person I spoke with offered me a $200 gift card. Then, when I wasn't thrilled with that, he offered to discount a future tile project. When I asked for more info about the 'stain' he laughed and said not to worry, that it washes off.

I responded back to the email, a marketing associate, and I've asked them to provide me with the MSDS sheet for the stain.

I've learned a very valuable lesson here. Inspect purchases before leaving the store and don't accept something in such deplorable condition simply because it's going to cost more time to send it back and start over. The man on the phone kept 'admiring my patience,' yet it was impatience that put me in this situation. I could have screamed. Almost did.

I really left myself in a vulnerable position with not a lot that I can do about this. My fault. Live and learn.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:00PM
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sunsoleil

I am glad you are following up with finding out what the material was that you were handling all weekend. I think you may want to move this further up the chain. I don't think this is merely a "200.00 gift card or credit to spend more money on their product" type of problem they created. I would expect to hear that they were going to follow up to find out how and what happened and get back to you after that.

This post was edited by annalyn123 on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 17:04

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:35PM
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threegraces

No, no. That doesn't sound legit at all. No customer should buy a brand new product and have to spend days cleaning it before use. That is ridiculous and I would go further up the chain for sure. You didn't get what you paid a pretty penny for, the end. You wouldn't accept a new car that had been driven through mud with the all the windows, trunk and hood open. Even if all the mud washed off, no one would think that was an acceptable business practice.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 5:25PM
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deedles

Late to the party but yowzers, don't that kind of stuff make you mad? Customer service went bye bye a while ago for most people, apparently.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 5:40PM
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ILoveRed

You should figure out how many hours you spent cleaning the tile, multiply that times X and submit the amount to them. That is the amount I would expect to be discounted.

Unreal.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:19PM
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Gooster

They seemed to have failed customer service 101, especially for a premium priced product. While mistakes do happen, and the tile store (and you) should have checked the shipment upon arrival, the situation does not seem to be handled very well at all.

I hope the dye used proves to be harmless -- I can't imagine it can be toxic if it was simply rubbed in.

BTW, keep the email; they acknowledged fault for the issue.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:25PM
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SparklingWater

I'm truly sorry for your miseries. This is definitely one for the books here on GW.

Looking at the WZ example crackle tile a couple posts up, as well as you initial photos, it makes me wonder if the black could be dried "India Ink". India Ink is a fine soot (lampblack) mixed with water, to which a binding agent such as gelatin is added to make the ink more durable once dried. It is relatively inexpensive and is a stain (more commonly used in black and white pictures but other uses too). Just wondering...

I hope the mystery of your misery will be soon resolved by WZ who hopefully will make you whole for such Herculean effort to undo their manufacturing mistake.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:43PM
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carree

You should post this link to walker zanger twitter and Facebook page, etc so the entire thread serves as caveat emptor to others. I am tempted to do the same though that may be violation of privacy of others here. I will wait a bit to see if others weigh in.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:18PM
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gnancy

AJinNH, I just read through the whole thread kinda quickly so I may have missed this, but did you ever write to the head of the company?

I ask because I once emailed the head of a company on a much smaller matter, about a product that broke right away and I was disappointed in, and that I had taken back to the merchant who basically said "too bad". The reply I got was he asked for my address because he wanted to send a replacement and apologize, and wanted to know the store so their rep could address the issue. Although this was a smaller company, and a product from a luggage store, I was surprised and impressed.

Articles about effective complaining tell you to go to the top, and provide a solution that will satisfy you, i.e., don't beat around the bush.

And, as far as items in a fire smelling or not smelling--I think restoration companies also use some kind of ozone smoke/odor eaters to remove the smell. After my basement flooded, one of these was used to remove the lingering smells.

Anyway, I agree--they owe you more than $200.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Linelle

So, are they saying, oh that black stuff? It's a stain for the crackle glaze. WTF?!! That black stuff that got all over your hands after you picked up one of their nasty tiles? Oh, hahahaha. Okay, here's $200 to make you forget all about it.

I would want all of my money back, including shipping/handling. Then I would give serious thought to the time you spent cleaning the tiles. Think about the amount that would make you feel not like an idiot.

Were you supposed to just install the tiles with all that stain on them? I'll bet it makes the grout look real good. Not!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:09PM
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rubyclaire

I agree with others who have suggested that you might want to take this further up the chain. As a CEO or director, I would want to know about these types of issues with my product and service. Also, there is an old saying "don't take no from someone who doesn't have the power to say yes". You need someone who can authorize a serious win-win solution.

Good luck and thanks for sharing - we all learn from these types of experiences.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:29AM
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gr8daygw

I'm on the board of directors for a large corporation for a subsidiary of theirs. You would not believe how thin margins are these days, $200 is probably all they can do. It boggles the mind how anyone is in business anymore. Many companies that we thought were wealthy beyond imagination are going bankrupt. Imported products are a nightmare and especially into the US market. I have felt for a long time what has been the upside of this? I am so sorry this happened to you. If it's any comfort, we are a trusting people and really we shouldn't have to keep checking and checking to be sure everything is ok before we leave the store. But sadly this is the world we live in post USA manufacturing era.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 8:13AM
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rococogurl

So what colors the crackle wouldn't have bled into the grout and colored that and messed up the install since it was all over the tiles?

Their offer is arrogant and not very smart business-wise. There is a right thing and they need to do it.

If companies don't understand that when they have a product fail, offering a discount for a consumer to purchase from them again is not a viable option. Unless a consumer is really dumb, which you aren't.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 10:41AM
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firstmmo

Have you tried calling another Walker Zanger distributor and innocently asking whether this is normal practice for these tiles? If you find that is not, then this is a product problem. If this is the way that ALL their crackle tile comes, then they should have a disclaimer!

Walker Zanger San Francisco
101 Henry Adams St #412, San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 487-2130

I too am a great believer that social media may help you with this......it can create a lot of pressure on companies. You might think about leveraging that.

P.S. Gr8day: I do not believe that WZ tile has such a slim margin that the markup could barely allow for a $200 margin. Their tile is quite expensive and they have plenty of tile, like Ann Sachs, that is marked up well beyond most tile on the market. Not only that, but these days, if margins are that slim, then customer satisfaction should be of huge importance to them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:22PM
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weissman

Okay, so I'm going to take a slightly different position here. If I understand it correctly, they sent you filthy tiles which you then proceeded to accept and clean. Now that you've gone through all the effort, are you content with the result - i.e. the tiles now look as you expected them to. If that's the case, then I agree that they owe you some kind of cash discount on your purchase - not a discount on a future purchase - but beyond that I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect any more. Clearly they could do more for you for goodwill but I'm not sure they're obligated to.

Had it happened to me, I would have rejected the tiles and demanded replacements or a full refund. I would not have wasted my time and effort cleaning them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:06PM
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AJinNH

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

Those of you who suggested that I take this further up the ladder have a good point. If I were the head of this company I'd want to know. I will do that on Monday.

I'm really not looking for something for nothing, or to be unduly harsh towards the people involved. But I have to admit that their responses so far have left me with my mouth open. The gentleman who called from WZ laughed through the entire conversation, and was making jokes. I'm sure he was just trying to lighten up the situation, but it had the opposite effect and I felt that he was minimizing the whole thing and it just ticked me off.

The tiles were installed yesterday. They look lovely. But, right now, every time I look at them I think of scrubbing that black stain off of all of them and how much time and effort it took both me and my husband to deal with the situation. And that someone had to KNOWINGLY put them like that into several boxes. Mistakes happen, but PLEASE, this didn't feel like an oops. Either someone was lazy or they left a job to someone who wasn't trained properly. It's really difficult for me to enjoy finally having the backsplash installed at the moment.

I'm not sure what would make me feel better about this company, but it hasn't happened yet. And, as I said before, I do own some responsibility in this for not sending them back right away. However, I paid for that with all of that scrubbing.

I have a feeling that a lot of people who might otherwise have done what I did, and left the store without opening the boxes, will not make the same mistake. Some comfort there.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 5:15PM
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nosoccermom

"It boggles the mind how anyone is in business anymore. Many companies that we thought were wealthy beyond imagination are going bankrupt. Imported products are a nightmare and especially into the US market."

OK, in that case, even more reason that one should expect better customer service from US companies.

Ask to talk to someone higher up. Companies hire consultants for good money to tell them how they are doing and how they can improve. While you are not telling them how to run their company, you expect that they take your complaint seriously and compensate you for the time you spent scrubbing the tiles. So, laughing is hardly the right response.

200.00 for future tile work isn't going to cut it, especially since 200.00 at those prices doesn't get you very far. You'd have to add 1K to that for a future project. As an aside: Do you have any future tile work planned?

What do you think would be proper compensation, in addition to a proper apology?

The other question is whether you could sue in small claims court for the time it took you to clean the tiles. Call your local court and ask them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 5:35PM
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bosma

AJ-

I'm so sorry for the run around that you are getting. They should discount this purchase not a future purchase--how much tile does one person need? (though maybe you could sell the credit to someone on this board who is going to order from them)

I'd love to see an installed picture! We have cygnus as well and are considering something over the range with pratt and larsen filigree tiles. Is that the filigree you were talking about? They are beautiful and I'm sure everything looks amazing!!!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:04AM
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AJinNH

ISSUE RESOLVED: I was contacted by the technical supervisor of Walker Zanger. This gentleman was sincerely apologetic about our experience with the tiles. He went out of his way to resolve the issue, including making sure that we get the MSDS information on the stain/ink. The information has to be translated into english, so it requires a lot of effort on his part to follow through with getting that to us, and I appreciate that effort. I feel that the company took this issue seriously and bent over backwards to make sure that we were happy with the resolution. They also reimbursed us a considerable portion of the purchase price as well as offered a discount on a future project. I feel much better about Walker Zanger as a company and will do business with them again. Mistakes happen and I feel that they handled this properly and that customer satisfaction was very important to them.

I'll post pictures soon of our beautiful new backsplash.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 12:06PM
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nosoccermom

Great news! I'd post this to the FB page, too.
Looking forward to seeing your BS.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Texas_Gem

So happy to hear they made it right!

Can't wait to see pics!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 12:11PM
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crl_

Glad they took your concerns seriously and made things right!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 4:29PM
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firstmmo

That is such heartwarming news. Love that a company responded to your concerns and gave you such a satisfactory resolution. Did they ever give you an answer about what actually happened with that tile? Was it just an oops on their part and a few batches went out with the ink on them?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 4:39PM
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gr8daygw

Well done.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 4:52PM
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rubyclaire

Now this is how it's done! Very happy they have made you feel that you've been heard and they have responded properly.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 6:24PM
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chiefy

I'm so happy to hear that things were resolved well!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 8:29PM
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bicyclegirl1

Excellent news. Glad to hear that they took this serious. I wonder if your FB post encouraged them step up to the plate? I would like to think they would have followed through, even with out it. I look forward to your pics.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:25PM
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laurencp

Glad to WZ made good. How did your backsplash turn out? Photos?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:44AM
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AJinNH

Here are a few photos of my backsplash. The filigree tiles behind the range top are from a different tile manufacturer. Our perimeter counters are Silestone in Cygnus. The lighting isn't great and they're not quite as blue as the photo suggests. I'm going to have more pictures once I post in the finished kitchen blog and will post a link in this thread.

This post was edited by AJinNH on Thu, May 1, 14 at 14:00

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:54PM
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AJinNH

Here's a close up of the tile and counter.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:56PM
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AJinNH

The lighting is awful in this one.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:59PM
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AJinNH

One more view. I'm just waiting on a couple of final touches before taking better pictures.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:05PM
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chicagoans

Beautiful! Your whole kitchen is very pretty. What is the stone on your island? Love it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:10PM
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AJinNH

Here's a close up of the filagree tile. You can't really see it well in the other photos.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:10PM
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AJinNH

The island granite is called River Bordeaux, FWIW, they call stones different names everywhere. Picking out the island and perimeter materials were the hardest part of the whole design. We're happy with our final selections, but honestly, it was awful getting there.
And thank you for the compliment. We love it!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:20PM
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