Bait and switch Granite? What to do?

butterfly1117October 27, 2013

Hi, I am changing out my granite on my island to a larger piece and adding a ledge to another area.
We decided to go with black galaxy bc the original color is hard to match up.

I went to 7 different warehouses and spoke to one fabricator and in the end went with the company who had the best looking black galaxy with a few slabs in stock. Not the cheapest, but not the most expensive.

So, before signing and leaving a deposit, I picked out my slab. There were a few remnants and one big slab. I asked them to remove the big slab so I could see what was behind it. They had 8 other slabs.
They gave me a hard time about removing it though saying they were all the same.
I didn't like the first one because it had a crack running down one entire length of the slab and the surface had a lot of scratches. Also, there were resin spots that I could see and feel through out. I was uncomfortable bc I felt like I was being a pain asking them to move the other slab and they were giving me a hard time. In fact when I asked them to remove the slab, they ignored me and left. I had to ask my husband to call them to ask and still had to ask them again before they did it.
The guy moving the first slab said if I didn't like the one behind it, I was never going to like any of them. He would move it for me, but that was it.
The one behind it was perfect, so I picked that one. They put a sticker with my name on it.

On Friday, someone came to fabricate. After he left, someone called and asked if they could start cutting the granite so they could install this Wed. I said great.

The next day, my husband said we should go look at the granite before they deliver so if we saw anything wrong, we could let them fix it before they came to our house.

He called them and they said they cut it bc I told them to. He said he knows he just wanted to see the final product.

We went over there ( which is far from us and we have four kids ) and asked to see the granite they cut.
The guy went halfway to the area where they cut the granite without reaching there, stopped, then came back and said, they didn't cut it yet. My husband said, how do you know they didn't cut it if you didn't get there yet.

I was standing in front of the black galaxy slabs and looked at the slabs and the one I picked with the sticker on it was still there, but the other one i didn't want was missing.
They had covered up the sticker with my name, with a green sign that said black galaxy, so I lifted it up to see if my name was still on it, and my name ha been peeled off.

I asked the guy are you sure you're going to use the piece I picked. He said yes. I said why did you tell me you cut it and now you said you didn't. He said he made a mistake. I asked him why the sticker doesn't have my name on it, and he said they must of peeled it off by accident.

I told him when the piece is cut and ready to call me and I would come to see it.

Anyway, annoyed by the whole thing that occurred and wondering what I should do? I gave them half of the payment already.
I understand if they told me they couldn't use the entire slab for
My two pieces, but that's not what they said.
I have a feeling that they used the slab I didn't want but they didn't think I would come by to look at it.

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Most people don't come by.
There are guys who try to use the worst product up first if they can get a good finished product out of a slab based on the final layout they work out. The customer won't know and the next person sees something easier to sell.
He may have been able to produce your job to acceptable in the trade standards out of that first slab.
On figured slabs you control for this by requesting layout control and approval.
You can do that with this slab if you want.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Wow, too bad you didn't run when the first signs were there at the start. I would cancel and start with someone else, since they "haven't cut it yet". Outside of that, all you can do is look at it in the shop prior to delivery for approval. If they wriggle out of that, then check it at your door and refuse delivery if it is not something you want. I would let them know that you will do that ahead of time, before they make the trek out.

Easiest just to bail now before more trouble arises. What does the contract say about cancelling?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Thanks, The contract says that I lose 50% of my deposit. The total for both pieces was $2300. One piece is 36 x 78 and the other is 17 x 75. About $80 per square foot with the edging.

They initially told me after the templator came out, they would call me to lay out the piece.

But after the templator left on Friday, I got a call about 30 minutes later saying they were going to cut the piece already.

I said okay, thinking that there would be no issues. I guess I could call them again to tell them I want to lay out the pieces before they cut it. It's black galaxy, so I didn't think it would be this complicated.

We decided to go Halloween costume shopping for my kids and since their warehouse is near a mall (Cherry Hill), my husband said lets just stop by to look.

I just don't like the feeling that I am not getting what I asked for.

I did call the company again and told them that I want to make sure they are going to use the piece that I picked and that I would come by to check out the final product before they come out on Wed.

I hate to have to double check on someone else who is supposed to be doing their job. I feel like it makes for such a bad start/ interaction.

I was eventually planning change out my kitchen and perimeter granite and was hoping to use them for that as well.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:49PM
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It doesn't seem that it should be like this, does it? I'd be uncomfortable with the interactions, too. Hope this works out well at the end...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Well, you know, you also contracted with them for that specific stone. The one with your name on it. So they are in breach of contract if they did a bait and switch. That is just so wrong. If they were to keep any money, take it to small claims court. Angies also helps to resolve issues but it might have to be with a company you found through them, not just join now. Not sure how it works.

Hope all is well in the end. Let them know your intentions in writing. Otherwise it will be a he said she said without any proof.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:04PM
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While there are some warning signs here, you're anticipating trouble that hasn't happened yet. The slab you picked out hasn't been cut, and you haven't gotten your counters yet. It definitely could be that one of the shop workers just grabbed the first available BG slab and put your layout onto it and cut it, but mistakes do happen, and that didn't show up at your house. They may have caught that error before they delivered it on their own without your visit. You never know. But, as of right now, you still have the chance to approve the template on the actual granite slabs that you picked out.

You should have been really firm that you wanted that, and NOT given them the go ahead to cut the stone without you having viewed the layout first. You still have time to correct your error there. That's your first call Monday morning. You want to view the template on the actual stone before they cut your slab.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Butterfly, you did nothing wrong. See what tomorrow brings with the templating but do listen to your gut and be cautious dealing with this company.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:47PM
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One lesson I learned along the way, don't let them put a sticker on your granite....write your name on sides and back in permanent marker. Stickers are easily pulled off.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Also, take a picture of your slab. My friend went to the stone yard when her slabs were being templated and they were templating the wrong slabs. She showed them her pictures and she ended up getting the slabs she had originally tagged.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Maybe they'll do what they're supposed to do now that they've been "caught". It's a shame that it happened this way tho. Way too common :( Unless you can get out of losing the deposit, what do you have to lose by letting them complete the job? If they don't use the right slab, you don't pay them and you lose the deposit. If you don't let them complete the job, you lose the deposit (from what I understand). Since they know you're on to them, perhaps they'll do the right thing. Black Galaxy....BIG difference in slabs! 11 years ago when I first started looking a granites, BG was breathtakingly beautiful with big flecks of gold and bronze and a deep black. More recent slabs (that I've seen) have tiny and fewer specks and the black isn't as deep. I was in the market for 24x24 tiles of BG a couple of years ago. I asked my fabricator to get me the BEST BG he could find. Not only did he find top notch tiles, he didn't upcharge me for the better quality. He had originally told me that he might have to pay more for the nicer pieces. If I had to settle for what I've seen recently, I would have made a different choice. So please don't settle!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:12PM
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I did not want any cutting done without seeing the templates on the stone.
I want to be in charge. LOL I lost a piece of Calcutta Marble out of the bone yard because I didn't do due diligence and keep on top of what might happen to it. I stopped by to pay for it and they had cut it for another job even though I had a hold on it that had not expired. They let me use a larger piece of Carrera, but it wasn't the same pretty design. In fact, when I went to see the template on it, it wasn't the same piece either. It was still a nice piece so I didn't argue. The blue pearl was sent over from the stone yard with three consecutive numbered pieces I had chosen, so no problems. Whew.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:08PM
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