Do I owe them a templeting fee for cancelled order?

chrissyb2411September 3, 2013

Ok I will try to make this fairly brief. We ordered lg solid surface counters from lowes. When originally ordering our reasons for this choice were budget, and we wed really drawn to the seamless aspect of solid surface. When I placed my order there was a "free" sink promotion, but you paid the $260 fee for sink installation.

So I sat down with the kitchen person, went over what I wanted. Largest sink possible, single bowl. Now that I am sitting here signing on the dotted line "oh that sink is not part of the promotion, it would be $250 ish more". Ok then, biggest free sink is 24", lets go with that. I told her I didn't know if I wanted the backsplash or not at this point. No problem she says. You can change your mind, if you do it's about $250 more. Great no problem.

Fast forward. We get our cabinets in, guy comes to template. I had called prior to templeting to let them know that I was going to do a 4" backsplash, and after researching the sinks more and realizing that the inside dimensions was only 21" I was going to need the bigger one. The guy templeting asks do I want the seamless backsplash? Um, I thought that was the only option, what's the difference? He says its 3x as expensive. I say price it out both ways.

Now I'm back at lowes. My original counter top quote was $2000. Now in order to get all the seamless stuff that drew me to silolid surface I need to pay an additional $1500. Ouch! The sink upgrade is $375 on top of the $260 instaltiin fee. I told her I needed to think about it. If solid surface is no longer budget friendly it doesn't have much going for it. I thought about it for a few days, and asked her to cancel the order. I can get quartz at that price. She says fine, but I owe a templeting fee of $172. I feel like I was duped a bit. It was not really made clear to me how many up charges came with what I wanted.

So, in your humble opinions, do I owe the templeting fee or do I fight it? We had multiple issues with our cabinets through lowes that are still unsolved as well, so I'm feeling inclined to tell the to take there fee and stick it up their nose.

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When I looked at Lowes and also looked at solid surface, it was the same deal as you with the free sink. However, we would have had to pay for the whole thing up front. We changed our minds and went with a different counter top. If I were you and they did NOT collect your money up front, I would NOT pay the template fee. I would speak to the store manager about how the details of the solid surface installation, prices, and upgrades were not made clear to you and you still have unresolved issues with your cabinets. If kind of feels like a bait and switch to me with the counters. They've already gotten a bunch of your money with the cabinets and you simply cannot afford the solid surface. I would be kind yet direct. They can certainly afford to absorb the $172.00 fee, especially given the mark-up fees. A contractor friend told me Lowes gets a 20% profit of the cost of their granite, quartz, and solid surface countertops that are contracted out.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Yes, you owe the tradesmen the fee for the time he came to your home and did the template. It's always in the fine print for everyone.

As a clarification, 99% of all solid surface counters that I've done are done with a set on backsplash, not a coved backsplash. Coved backsplashes read "old fashioned laminate" to most people. Set on would be a perfectly acceptable choice, if you did a backsplash at all. Free sink promoa usually has a double equal or a small single only, and no matter where you are, the sink cutout, polish, and install, is always a separate fee. The $375 for the large single sink is a pretty good bargain! If if fits in your sink base. If the kitchen were designed with a 25" single sink in mind, then that's what you're imprisoned to. If you have a 36" sink base, then you can get the 33" sink.

If I were you, I'd re-think the solid surface counter without any backsplash at all. Plan a tile one instead. That will save you quite a bit of money, especially since you were thinking of a coved backsplash. A flat deck top with tile is the most current look, and it's fairly easy to DIY, which would save you even more money.

Really, laminate isn't likely to be significantly less money if you choose one of the newer finishes and colors. I've done plenty of quotes in laminate that were maybe a couple of hundred dollars apart from a basic granite or solid surface.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 1:25PM
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If you can in good conscience say that they led you to believe they were quoting a seamless product, then I would fight the charge. (For $172 and a big company like Lowes I doubt it would be a tough fight.) If seamless is the "impression" you got and you weren't specifically told, then I'd suck it up and do the right thing.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 1:40PM
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If you told them you wanted seamless, then I would take it up with the store manager that it wasn't priced in and the cost is significantly higher that way, not something you would choose.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Folks, "seamless" isn't even an option with solid surface. It's not magic. It all has seams if it's over a certain length. The seams are just "inconspicuous", and not "invisible" or non-existant. When you do a backsplash, you get a standard set on backsplash in every material that is sold, unless you specifically request the upgrade. of a coved backsplash. Even then, it's NOT "seamless". There's a seam there. It's just a solvent welded seam. You have to understand the material that you are purchasing, and it's limitations.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:05PM
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You have to understand the material that you are purchasing, and it's limitations.

I don't disagree. And if in the course of educating the customer the saleswoman misrepresented what she was selling then I would not pay for the templating.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Whether it is an invisible welded seam or not doesn't matter, if it appears seamless to the layperson. If there is an upcharge for (what a customer sees as) seamless, then the KD should advise that is an option which would be additional.

The designer's responsibility is to inform the customer what the product options and terms of the sale are, in laymen's terms. What is standard, what is not. Not that the customer should somehow automatically know all the ins and outs of counter fabrication, pricing structures and what are options that will result in an upcharge.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 14:40

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:29PM
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I don't think the person who templated has anything to do with the problem though, and they did the work they were sent out to do. You decided after templating not to proceed, I think if you hadn't said "price it out both ways" , and told the templater, during the conversation--okay I am not going to do this, it might be a bit different.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:39PM
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"The designer's responsibility is to inform the customer what the product options and terms of the sale are, in laymen's terms. What is standard, what is not. "

"The guy templeting asks do I want the seamless backsplash? Um, I thought that was the only option, what's the difference? He says its 3x as expensive. I say price it out both ways"
kinda sounds like informed.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:45PM
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But she was informed of the upcharge after the fact, not by the KD during selection and invoicing, but by counter company staff that had already came out to the house to template. Totally reasonable and logical request on her part to ask him what the difference would be.

Take it up with the store, if you discussed seamless and the backsplash with the KD and they did not advise of pricing changes up front. The fee is their problem, not the counter company.

If you could use the template for another counter, it would be a moot point. But the next fabricator is going to want to use his own measurement for any kind of guarantee. When my counter was templated, they screwed it up twice (caught before fabrication though). Wild and crazy errors at that.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 15:15

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:52PM
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You don't have to buy the counter. And you don't even have to have a reason. But you DO have to pay for the templater's time. That's a completely separate issue from whether or not the product is seamless. You're paying for a service which you DID receive. You just chose to not move forward after receiving that service. The service isn't free. It has costs. Pay those costs.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Yes, you owe them for the templating. No custom top's price is final until the laser template is done or dimensions taken.

No one does set on splashes anymore with solid surface, granite or quartz. Mostly due with the gain in popularity to full tile backsplashes. And tile backsplashes are more common due to gain in popularity to granite. Granite and Quartz BS's cannot be scribed to fit uneven walls....which is why tile is now hide those imperfections in the wall.

I agree with everything LWO said. Drop the splashes althogether and go pick out a nice tile backsplash. The cost of the backsplash COULD pay for your tile splash....even a basic "set-on" BS.

COVED backsplashes are extremely labor intensive and cost a lot of money....and NO ONE does them anymore. They are outdated and not cost effective. You've now priced yourself in to quartz. To be honest with you, most designers don't even bring up the coved splashes anymore because they ARE so outdated and no one does them anymore. So, in my opinion, the fact that they didn't not bring up this UPGRADE until later, is not a total deal breaker. You owe them for the measure. Go ahead and use them for your tops. They did nothing wrong.


Ps. Trust me, as a KD that competes with the box stores everyday, if they WERE at fault, I would completely call them out on this.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:58PM
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It kind of sounds like you are saying people need to check with GW or someone else first to confirm product pricing, rather than just going to the store and discussing there.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:17PM
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The process of ordering a countertop should begin with a design layout of the space being presented to a fabricator in order to obtain an estimate or a bid. At this point there are a several things that should be discussed in detail such as material, edge detail, scope of installation, how payment is to be made and dates. If you told the designer at Lowe’s exactly what you wanted including seamless construction, backsplash, edge detail and you were quoted $2000 without any upcharges than no you are not responsible for the template fee. However, if you did not specify these details when the original quote was given and the details were added when the fabricator came to template than yes you are responsible for the template fee.

In this situation I believe the discrepancy is created because Lowes is not the fabricator and they provided the estimate. In essence Lowe’s is the general contractor and subbed the work out. Templates are generally made by the fabricator so typically fabricators are diligent when creating their templates because if they mess up the company is responsible. It is understandable why a fabricator would want to be paid for services rendered. If Lowe’s gave you the consumer and incorrect estimate they as the general contractor so to speak are responsible for taking care of the subcontractor or countertop fabricator. If you as the consumer changed the order once the subcontractor or countertop fabricator arrived it is your responsibility to pay services rendered.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:31PM
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Fori is not pleased

It's a shame that the coved solid surface backsplashes are "out". I loved that feature in my pink Corian (along with the pink pink pink integrated sink)!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I don't think it matters one iota whether the seamless ones are in or out of style. Besides, I'm sure a lot of people still like them and many who are out of touch and indifferent about current trends. They like what they like. They still do them on laminates and sell the one piece prefabs at the store.

"I told her I didn't know if I wanted the backsplash or not at this point. No problem she says. You can change your mind, if you do it's about $250 more. Great no problem. "

Far cry from $1500. So you did get a quote and I would take this up with the store, who is essentially the GC, as noted.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 15:47

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:44PM
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Ok thanks for all the feedback. Just to clarify a couple of points:

Yes I was very specific about wanting a seamless look to my countertops, including If chose a backsplash. Although, I did not realized that a "loose" backsplash was even an option until the guy came out to template. So I though that the price she had quoted me prior to templeting for backsplash was for what I know now is called coved.

When the guy came out to template and asked what I wanted for backsplash and I told him I didn't realize there were choices and asked him what the difference was I asked for an actual price, his response was he didn't know, I would have to ask lowes. So no, I was not "informed" at that point as to the cost. I suppose I could have sent h packing at that point without tempelating, but based on what the girl at lowes quoted me I thought I knew what I was getting.

I do fully understand that the company tempelating is a contractor and deserves to be paid. But in all honesty I would not have had them come template had I known that coved backsplash was that Expensive, and the sink was more than the quoted price. Based on the information I was given at our prior meeting with lowes I expected roughly $500 in additional charges for the backsplash and bigger sink, not $1500! And when I had gone back to lowes after templeting and asked for an exact price breakdown of the charges they would not give them to me. She said all she had for a price breakdown was the wholesale cost and she obviously couldn't give me that.

As to the comments that coved back splashes, and anything but tile being outdated its a moot point. I'm doing my kitchen for me, not for what's "in". I don't really care that what I wanted is outdated, and it doesn't matter in context to mu situation.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Talk to the Lowes store manager. Explain that you were given (what you felt) was confusing/incomplete info. Don't ask for anything. Just let him/her know you are not happy in how it was handled. See if anything is offered. If so, take it. If not pay it yourself and remember this the next time you deal with Lowes.

Recently I had two incidents with Lowes where their employees made mistakes and were careless with the transactions. I called the store manager and just let him know how unhappy I was but didn't ask for or expected anything. I was surprised in what he offered me to make up for what he agreed was their mistakes. I happily accepted.

In general the big box stores are not always the best place for counter tops unless you get the ready made in stock laminates.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Based on the clarification, I say the templater should be paid. By Lowes.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:31PM
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If you get quartz or granite, you don't get seamless splashes, you still get "set on" why do you care so much if the acrylic material has a set on splash. I think you are being a tad unreasonable with them.

My point about being "out" was that it is no longer the norm. I do hundreds of thousands of dollars in acrylic, stone and quartz sales. Do you know when the last time I did a coved splash? Probably about 6 or 7 years ago. I wasn't trying to demean your choice....just that it's not the norm anymore. Swanstone and cultured marble tops could also be made for your kitchen, but no one will suggest it's just not cost effective. The fact that the one guy DID mention was quite unusual. So now you want to bail out on him for going a step further?

If you really think you deserve some $ back....suggest to them.

1. I'll get the Corian top, but please discount the coved splashes at cost. See what they say.

2. I prefer now to get quartz...can we still use the same template? If yes....then move on. If no, then ask if your new template $ can be discounted at cost. This is a reasonable request and I'm sure they'd honor it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Fori is not pleased

You should take it up with Lowe's management--it does sound like you were poorly informed in the first place. My limited experience with Lowe's customer service is that while they don't always know what they're doing, they do try. If the salesperson told you something would be affordable and you hired the templater based on that misinformation, they ought to be accommodating.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Krompy, I understand that quartz or granite would not be a coved style backsplash. But when tallying my pros and cons of solid surface, the pros were seamless look, and budget price. Take those 2 out of the equation (because when you go seamless you can't be budget friendly) and I'm not left with much to love about solid surface. The negatives (scratching being the biggest) take over. I don't know why it's being unreasonable?

And I don't think that I'm not at fault at all. I thought I knew what I was getting. I made some assumptions based on what I thought I knew. But I also think if I had been given a the information accurately before hand that I would never have had them come out to template. I do think the fabricator deserves to be paid, but I'm honestly having a hard time de using if I'm the one who should be paying them.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:53PM
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You do not come off to me as an unreasonable person or as somebody who is trying to bail on the subcontractor. This is one of the unfortunate situations that can happen when dealing with big box stores for the purchase and installation of certain products. As others have suggested speak to the Lowes manager and go from there. Even if you had completely understood the material you were purchasing it sounds as if you were grossly misinformed via a Lowes representative as to what the fee for those options would be. Also I would disagree with the statement that no custom top's price is final until the template is done or dimensions are taken. It is routine practice in many locations to obtain an estimate, sign a contract for a fixed amount, leave a deposit, template, install and upon completion the fabricator receives payment in full.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Sorry if I sounded harsh. I don't think you are an unreasonable person. I think this is a case of pure miscommunication. The salesperson probably had never heard of coved splashes (I know, not your fault) when you asked for seamless....she probably thought you meant the seams were invisible on the decking. If they had the coved on display, I'd say 100% you were in the right. If they had set-on on their display, I'd argue that was what they were selling. But in the long run, who cares....the strore needs to make you happy!

If you were my customer, I wouldn't force you to pay for the fee twice....I would try to work out an agreement that would be fair to everyone. I would probably throw in the coved splashes at cost. Or offer you a quartz or granite top and not charge you for the second laser template (if it required another company to do it). If you still wanted to do business elsewhere, I'd probably buck it up and give you your money back. :-)

I think HD will work with you let us know what happens.

As far as tops being estimates until final template, is true. If the square footage is exactly spot on what the estimate was, then yes, it will remain the same. However if you add in square footage or subtract, the final price will adjust up or down. Many times people bring in drawings with pretty rough dimensions.....that is was an estimate is based on. But once the template is done AT THE HOME, the estimate is confirmed and that price will not change. It is signed off on by both parties.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:47PM
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If you were clear with the KD that you wanted seamless everything, then you were misinformed when she told you that the backsplash would only be an additional $250. She should have told you that most people these days do a set on backsplash and that coved would be significantly more.

If she didn't think you meant seamless backsplash when you said seamless everything or she's never done a seamless backsplash and didn't know to tell you or any other excuse she comes up with, that's not your problem. Sure the templater should get paid. Let Lowe's pay him. If Lowes had fully informed you up front, you would never have gotten to the point of templating.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Kompy- Your original statement was "No custom top's price is final until the laser template is done or dimensions taken" and that is incorrect. As I said it is possible and common practice in many locations to have a final price as outlined by a fixed contract, a significant down payment made with both parties signing off on the contract before templating occurs. Now to your point yes that final price is for a given set of parameters and dimensions, adding or subtracting square footage would be changing the contract and thus possibly changing the price.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 6:28PM
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IMO I would thank my lucky stars that these circumstance gave you the chance to change your selection about a solid surface counter top. This is a gift, maybe even a sign you should take note of.

Don't know if you ever plan to sell your home, but for resale, granite, quartz or some other type of stone is preferred by buyers over solid surfacing.

Also, you mentioned budget in your first posting. It's been my experience that natural stones are often priced lower than Corian and other solid surface materials. That may not be the case at a big box store, but with independent contractors, you'll find stone very competitive in this current market.

If I were buying a kitchen counter top, I'd purchase a quartz product.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corian now more expensive than granite

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Thanks again for all the feedback.

Beverly27, no, we don't plan on selling this house. We are remodeling a forclosure we bought with plans to stay here at least 20 years. (Kids both done with school). I don't like granite, dh doesn't like laminate, and quartz is stretching the budget. Solid surface was a slight compromise, but we liked the seamless aspect so that tipped the scales.

I'm going to speak to the manager and go from there. I suppose a compromise might be to order another countertop through lowes, but I'm so fed up with all the issues with the cabinets and this that I don't know if I can handle it.

Krompy, thank you for your feedback. I'm sure if I was your customer I wouldn't be in this pickle in the first place. I wish I could afford to use an independent fabricator, I would love to buy local. But after getting 2 quotes at about 50% more than the big box stores I just can't.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 8:34PM
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In all fairness to Kompy I have never received a counter quote that did not indicate it was subject to final template, never. Maybe you have but to argue that changing the dimensions changes the contract is the same thing and just quibbling.
In this case the client did change the parameters after signing. And was informed of the cost difference being 3X's unless you can argue they thought that meant $80 instead.

It is also perfectly understandable that there was a miscommunication. To the salesperson what the client wants is called a "coved backsplash" but the OP calls it seamless- not. The same thing. Was it on display? did they point to it? Changes were made on the phone based on both poor information re the sink and a poor assumption about the splash. I'm not one for box stores but this could have happened anywhere. Coved splashes are so uncommon I never would have understood that was what was being asked for without having looked at it with the client.

There is a shared responsibility here.

A small place like mine or Kompy's would look for an answer as she stated. Lowes can easily eat it as has been suggested and likely will without too much effort. And then write up the salesperson so they can keep her next raise down.

As sales people we are responsible to see that people understand what they are buying. Even if we have to deal with them making assumptions based on HGTV, contractors, GW, SIL's and astrrology.
As consumers we are also responsible, at least in some minor way for our purchases. In many cases both sides, in our society, are failing too often and falling back on blaming somebody, anybody else. At least the ancients only blamed the stars. .

The one take away from this to me is that changes after the fact are trouble, inviting mistakes. And don't use the phone when visual aids or samples are needed.

In any case I have no doubt you can get them to waive the fees.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 8:40PM
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I think that's a fair assessment, jakuvall, and exactly why I inserted the "in good conscience" clause into my original post. Only Chrissy knows the exact words exchanged. Even so it's somewhat subjective. If I were her the cabinet fiasco (whatever that might be) could influence the way I would pursue this situation.

I find it interesting to read the differing viewpoints on these types of threads, strongly influenced by which side of the table we're accustomed to being on. Hopefully they're a learning experience for both sides.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Some of these arguments just do not make sense to me, other than trying to put blame/responsibility on the customer to fully understand the kitchen business before making any purchases. I can't see what is so confusing about what a seamless backsplash is. So the technical term is coved. I think for laminate they call them integrated? They are still a part of order options and are sold off the shelf that way right in the store. To say that someone in the business, and at that store, probably would not even know what a one piece counter is does not sound reasonable to me and is their problem.

As for making changes, she was making her final decisions based on pricing quotes from the store. She had their approval for that as she was told that was alright. So there's nothing invalid about that course. That the KD doesn't know her products and pricing, resulting in a cancellation, should be on the store's dime for costs incurred, not the customer's. An additional $1250 over the quote would be a fork in the road for most people (shopping big boxes, anyway, likely with a smaller budget).

If the KD did not even know what a customer meant by something, like a seamless backsplash, why wouldn't they ask? That there is actually an invisible seam that is welded has no context here. That's just tech talk that has no place with the customer and I can't believe they would only think of it as a seamed countertop because of its construction technique, never a seamless one based on its appearance (the whole reason behind it to begin with). If she can't make the jump from invisible seam to seamless, well ...

In stock at big box stores:

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 22:59

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:23PM
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My intention was not to quibble and if that is how it came off I apologize. Jakuvall you bring up some key points mainly that changes after the fact are trouble, inviting mistakes and don't use the phone when visual aids or samples are needed. This is why I was stressing the importance of neither party changing the contract whether it be for dimensions or any other reason such as edge detail. Depending upon experience and perspective people's views may differ. When we order custom tops the final price is as agreed upon in the contract because neither party makes changes and when changes are made we are given accurate pricing for those changes and amended contract is drawn up. Budget is a key element when deciding vendors. It is a vendors responsibility to give accurate pricing. In this case there were a couple of pricing issues not just the backsplash, i.e. the sink. I feel as though there is a shared responsibility in this particular situation. I wish the OP and everyone else for that matter well!

The issue is not necessarily with the price changing it is with the amount of the price change vs. what the consumer was told by the vendor before agreeing to have a template done. Had the process and the pricing been adequately explained to the customer it is reasonable to think they would not have gone forward with the template. For the purpose of understanding I could present three recently executed countertop contracts where a final price was agreed upon before a template was ever created. The only reason the OP allowed the template to take place was because she was told by a Lowe's representative that even if the price were to increase that the increase would be significantly less than what it actually came back at. While I do believe this situation was a breakdown in communication it is entirely plausible and understandable to see how someone could construe this as a bait and switch type of behavior.

This post was edited by SaltLife631 on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 0:50

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Blue Store employee here, so I do know what's expected from a KD there---or Cabinet Specialists as they term the position. They don't use the term designer, because they don't expect actual true design responsibilities from the employee. They just never tell their customers that. Unfortunately, Lowes employs many kitchen Customer Service Associates who are not designers at all, and are not there to do any type of design work at all, but that may not be clear to a consumer. They're there to dust, and to escort people around the showroom, and make appointments for the KD's etc. They aren't supposed to create quotes or do designs, but some do.

When they quit paying commissions to the KD's, Lowes lost most of the experienced KD's, and had to replace them with poorly trained transfers from other departments. The person you talk to today may have been in paint two weeks ago, and then watched a bunch of computer videos to get transferred to kitchens. You don't get a lot of competence for $12 an hour and no incentive to work harder or better. So, even if you do get a "Cabinet Specialist", they may not have the knowledge to do the job they're supposed to do. It's just too complicated a job to think that a few weeks of computer training will be sufficient. But they insist on doing it that way anyway. If I hadn't already had a background, there's no way that I could do the job based on the training that they offer.

And, at least Lowes offers the computer training. According to a local source, HD is getting out of the kitchen design business in store all together in the next year. Within the next few months, you wouldn't have had anyone to talk to at all about your project had you gone into Orange instead of Blue.

We give "free estimates" for counters, but those estimates are based on the customer's measurements that they bring in, which aren't usually accurate at all. We have few solid surface counters on display, because it's so out of fashion, but we do display a set on backsplash and a coved backsplash. I do personally discuss the costs of the coved backsplash when we're having a general show and tell, but at $40 a foot, I can't tell you the last time someone actually wanted that. Nor can I even tell you the last time someone even asked about it before I showed it to them. It's been literally years. We might do a solid surface top about once a month, and it's never for someone looking for a budget top. Budget people do a cheap granite. We don't even do a set on backsplash for 95% of the counters we sell of whatever kind, even laminate. It's flat deck everything with people doing tile backsplashes.

An estimate is required before a template can happen. A template isn't free of charge. The templater's time has to be paid for. It requires a deposit, which either a set measuring fee in some markets, or, in most markets, the entire counter amount paid for up front based on the customer's probably not so accurate measurements. (Which is why no one does a final contract on an estimate.) After the template, when the real measurements are ascertained, and all costs for all of the options being chosen are known, that's when the final costs are determined. That is explained to every customer, at least by me. If you back out of the sale after the template, you are refunded all but the template fee. That's in the small print. And that's why I say you owe the fee.

As far as the miscommunication goes, even with an experienced KD, that sometimes happens when a customer has assumptions that they aren't fully sharing or explaining because they are assuming that something is one way or standard when it's not. It's up to the Specialist to ask enough questions to be able to educate the consumer and correct those assumptions. However, had you asked me about a "seamless counter" I wouldn't have assumed you were talking about the backsplash at all. Just the butt seams or corner seams in the counter. The big takeaway though from any interaction would be that the process should have been explained to you enough to know that your total wasn't final until after the template.

And this is one of the reasons that I always over estimate a counter. People don't mind getting a bit of refund, but they hate coming up with more money for the job.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 12:05AM
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