Kraftmaid Quality and Service has gone way downhill

GW-fanAugust 3, 2012

Two years ago, I purchased Kraftmaid cabinets for a kitchen remodel (solid cherry slabs, all wood construction). The entire order arrived within 2.5 weeks and there was not a single item that was defective.

Now, 2 years later I am remodeling a bathroom and placed a small order for a mirror, a vanity wall cabinet, a drawer w/ hardware and a trim board. It took six weeks to arrive and the vanity wall cabinet was a complete piece of garbage. The nails totally missed the mark and are visible (EVERY nail). There is adhesive slopped all over it, and to top it off, they put fiberboard with what appears to be contact paper on the side and botched the cut horribly. It's torn and looks as if it was cut with a dull steak knife (not kidding)!

I took a picture of it and went into Lowe's where I'd ordered it. She ordered a replacement on Friday, July 27. I called Tuesday of this week and was told that it wouldn't arrive at the store until AUGUST 23.

Both Kraftmaid and Lowe's claim that when a customer receives a damaged or defective product that making the replacement is given priority. This claim is patently FALSE. I just wasted an hour of life explaining to 2 separate customer service and "logistics" people there that if my order was given priority, it would be made LONG before the date it's scheduled to be made (August 21). They didn't seem to grasp that from last Friday (July 27) through August 21, there are 16 business/production days that they are producing orders that were made AFTER I placed mine and paid for it on June 14. But Kraftmaid insists this is their company policy and definition of "priority" and that there is nothing they can do to change that.

Moral of the story: Don't order from Kraftmaid, even if it's a simple, small order, unless you have all the time in the world to wait for a horribly defective, garbage product to arrive so you can be put in line behind people who ordered after you to have a replacement one made. Their definition of the word "priority" is inaccurate and their concern for customer service/ satisfaction couldn't be more disappointing.

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Unless... they have that many corrective orders to make. ;) Your point still stands.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Sophie Wheeler

I've always had good service from KM over the years and had no problems getting replacements for damaged items. I just did a bath and kitchen for a customer with 29 cabinets total, and out of that 29, only 1 had an issue that warranted replacement of the box itself. I did have to have another door replaced on one of the kitchen uppers, but that wasn't an issue either. It took the standard 14 days for us to get the replacement pieces, which isn't at all bad from request to delivery. That's pretty much an industry standard, and it wasn't an issue because I never ever schedule a tearout until all of the parts are on hand that need to be on hand for the project to start. If you ripped everything out and were waiting on parts, that might be a lot more irritating, but that's also not the right way to plan a project. Delays and backorders are common in any remodel process, and you have to accept a certain amount of them as going with the territory and chill out a bit. And never schedule a tearout until all of the major components are in place.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:19PM
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My wife is a designer and does a lot of kitchens, including two with KM in the last year. She says they have been great. Out of the two orders for full kitchens, there were a couple of small items, like a missing drawer front and, I think, a need for some extra matching trim stock to match the finish. Both orders were ready early and the local distributor held them for her until the contractor had the room ready. The missing piece was sent within a few days.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:31AM
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KM has been catering to the big boxes for a few years now. You were expecting better?
You'd do well to align yourself with a reputable cabinet dealer in your area and stay away from L & HD.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Agree with Jump. I've learned over the years that your local (reputable) cabinet maker is not more expensive than the mass market suppliers. Plus, you get a better selection of wood and finished colors.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:38PM
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I work at one of the much maligned box stores and have had zero issues with KM, in the past or now. In fact, for the master bath order for a customer that I just did, KM went above and beyond what was expected. The customer had their own contractor for the remodel, but he wasn't experienced enough with cabinetry. He ruined the crown molding and didn't know how to shim the cabinets to be level on an unlevel floor. This was not at all KM's issue. It was the contractor's issue to correct. However, in the spirit of good customer service, and because this customer was a repeat customer from a previous kitchen remodel, KM replaced the contractor damaged molding and even supplied some additional molding to hide the wonky way the contractor set the base cabinets. They didn't have to do squat in this situation, but they did. That is far more the norm than any horror story, in fact.

How happy you are with anything has to do with what your expectations are to begin with. KM is a middle of the road cabinet company, both pricewise and quality wise. If you want all heartwood cherry and a 38 1/2" cabinet, then you're shopping in the wrong league. You should be looking at a line that can do custom or a custom cabinet maker. Even a custom cabinet maker will have a timeline in regards to replacement pieces. A week to 10 days is about as fast as it gets, even there.

Having incorrect expectations in regards to a timeline will also frustrate you. Average kitchen and bath remodels take 6-8 weeks, not 6-8 days, despite what the idiotic TV shows do. There is a lot of hurry up and wait involved, especially when damages or backorders occur. And delays are inevitable. Even if you have a perfect order and delivery of all of your materials, a sub may have a time overrun at another job that puts your job starting later.

Fast. Cheap. Quality. Pick any two. You cannot have all three. If you want quality work fast, it will never be cheap. If you are willing to curb your impatience, then you can have a good quality job that won't break the bank. Otherwise, you're into fast and cheap with crap off of the shelves rather than ordering anything better.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:01PM
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hollysprings typed " Delays and backorders are common in any remodel process, and you have to accept a certain amount of them as going with the territory and chill out a bit. And never schedule a tearout until all of the major components are in place."

Perhaps you didn't read or understand what I typed in the first post of this discussion. All I ordered from them was some trim, a mirror, a drawer, and a wall vanity (none of which are major components"). The major components were all done, hence the nineteen day replacement time (not the 14 days you claim is "standard") following a SIX WEEK WAIT to begin with was a problem.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:34PM
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GreenDesigns typed: "Having incorrect expectations in regards to a timeline will also frustrate you. Average kitchen and bath remodels take 6-8 weeks, not 6-8 days,"

Umm, duh! I clearly stated that I'd waited six weeks for the order to arrive and that it was the 20-day replacement (not 19 as I typed above) of their defective product that was the issue.

The company claims that such replacement items are prioritized and "put ahead of other orders" when that obviously isn't the case unless they are running 3 weeks behind making replacements for their screw-ups.

And it was a middle-of-the-road application for a kids' bathroom. That doesn't absolve the company from sending what was ordered in the time frame promised. I wouldn't expect a $360 small wall vanity to be of the same or less quality than I could have bought off the shelf at Lowe's, but that's what it was.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Jump and annz, thanks, and I agree. Next time I need something (no matter how small) I will check with local cabinet makers for sure.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:47PM
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