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Countertops from Costco

Posted by sue_ct (My Page) on
Mon, May 5, 08 at 23:25

Anyone who has used Costco for your counters, can you tell me how it worked? I am about to officially give up on granite, since I went to another granite place late last week, saw 3 granites I liked and none were "doable" and no more was expected in.

My problem with the Costco Quartz counters, is that now that I am almost ready to go ahead, the new company that is doing it for my Costco (the previous one went out of business) wants me to give THEM my check or credit card number and then the rep will take it to my local Costco for me. My understanding was that I would pay Costco in advance and when the job was done and I was satisfied, Costco would pay them. So why do THEY need my credit card information at all?

Did you give your payment to Costco or to the guy from the company that does the counters? Were you pressured to sign some kind of release as soon as the counters were installed saying you were fully satisfied, or did you have a few days to determine if everything was OK first?

I am concerned because of the number of people who seem to notice problems and issues after the installers left, the next day, etc., when they had a chance to inspect them at thier leisure, without being rushed or feeling pressured.

I want time to review the paper work and what I am signing agreeing to in detail, and to determine if I am satisfied with the job afterwards before Costco pays them.

The new company is called NBC solid surfaces out of Springfield, VT. I don't know of anyone who has used them before.

Am I being unreasonably cautious?

Sue


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Countertops from Costco

You are being prudent, not unreasonably cautious. There is no way I would want to pay them more than half upfront before the job is completed and you are satisfied. Otherwise you have no real leverage if something goes wrong. Keep doing research - I would also look them up with the Better Business Bureau and ask them for references from satisfied customers. Best wishes!


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RE: Countertops from Costco

We didn't use Costco for our countertops, but did use them for the cabinets. The cabinet company also took our credit card and then ran the sales slip (the full amount) through Costco. And, we're very sorry we did that. If you have any problems, you will have to deal directly with the vendor. It was difficult to resolve the issues - in fact, some never were resolved. Costco didn't come through, either. My phone calls and e-mails (with pictures of the problems) were ignored. Costco was in the process of terminating Baywood Cabinets (the vendor) contract, so I think that added to the problem. Yet, we were never told that during the order process. After this experience, I will never use a Costco vendor again. For us, dealing directly with the merchant and having control over how much to pay down affords more protection from shoddy workmanship.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

I don't know anything about Costco, but I do know about NBC from Springfield, VT. They did my $12,000 worth of Cambria quartz kitchen countertops, as well as my Caesarstone vanity countertop. They initially had a problem with drilling the hole for my Mockett outlet in the kitchen too large (despite having brought the outlet to the fabrication shop so they wouldn't do just that), and my KD made them redo the whole piece, rather than just try to fill it. Since then I have had a problem with a knick in my bathroom quartz, which they wanted $250 to fill. I have an area of hazy surface on the kitchen countertop which they have been reluctant to address. To their credit, they finally came up to look at it, and the only suggestion they had was to try to use some acetone to clean it. They are coming on Friday (the kitchen was finished in December of 2006). My KD said that she is sorry that she used them--she also uses a Canadian company which, she says, would have fixed the Caesarstone for nothing, and she feels they would have had a solution for the kitchen as well. They won't touch either now because they didn't install them. So, I would continue to look around. Cambria might also be part of the problem though, because although there is something like a 20 year warranty on the quartz, they weren't forthcoming with any solutions either. Also, my situation encompasses both NBC and the fabricator, so there was a combination of problems. I don't know if this helps, but that was my experience with NBC.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

We were going to use Costco for our granite but when we went to the warehouse they only had a few "Costco choices". We ended up finding a better, higher level granite with ogee edging included in the price for only $100.00 more than Costco, which would only have given us the level one and we would have had to pay quite a bit extra for the ogee edge. Originally I thought we would get a better deal because it was Costco but then found out that they make a percentage of the deal (of course, why else would they do it) and there really is no savings to the consumer. The installer that works through them even said that if we had gone to them directly they have more flexibility on price because they don't have to pay Costco.
I don't remember who we would have had to pay but I don't think you're being unreasonable asking questions. I'm very protective over my personal info.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

These questions about paying upfront got me to thinking about paying any granite dealer or fabricator the total amount before the finish of the install. I was thinking about using pre-fab countertops (because I don't have too much) and I've gotten quotes from a couple of dealers who have their own fabricators/installers. They've given me a total price, which they expect to be paid when you select the countertop slabs. My question is if you have used pre-fab, how have you paid? Upfront or have you found dealers willing to let you hold some back until the whole job is done?


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RE: Countertops from Costco

Have you tried to contact Costco corporate to see if this is the correct protocol for them? I have had incredible success with corporate when I've had questions about products from costco.com, etc. About 8 years ago, I called the furniture buyer and asked him when they might be bringing back a baker's rack of the same quality that I had seen a year previous--he was very helpful and told me what I needed to know.

If Costco expects you to pay the dealer directly, then you lose any advantage you might have. I buy almost everything from them if they have it, mainly because of their unparalleled return policy. If this purchase doesn't fall under that category, then I'd skip it.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

Lowes expects to be paid the full amt up front, but you can use any major credit card, and that affords some, although limited, recourse with problems. Generally, I don't think the CC comapnies will help with poor workmanship, just if the services paid for are not received. Although my platinum cards do double any guarantee up to 1 year. That may or may not include workmanship.

Costco is supposed to back you if you are not satisfied, and not pay the vender until you are satisified. That is supposed to be the most important advantage to my mind. They only allow AmEx for a credit card, which I don't believe has much in the way of customer protection benefits. I do not currently have one, but planned to get Costco's which carries a rebate on purchases, including the countertops (3%, not a huge deal).

I wanted granite, but the economy and timing has defeated me. I am apparently very picky when it comes to granite, and I have been without a kitchen since last Oct. I have had it, and decided to just have the quartz installed and move on with my life. I was going to local installers for the granite, but none carry the Zodiac. One is able to "special order" it for me, but the price is 700.00 higher than Lowes or Costco for the same counter because they only "stock" Cambria. Lowes won't guarantee the price until the template is done, and if it is much higher than the estimate you have to pay the larger amt, or at least loose what ever the cost of the templating was. The person who did my quote at Lowes already had to increase it because she "forgot" to include the extras for the sink bumpout and the slide in range. I am afraid of what else she may have forgotten to add, and how much higher the actual cost could end up being.

I just want to blow up this kitchen, file an insurance claim, and go buy a new house with an intact kitchen. Is bomb damage covered by the standard home owners insurance policy?

I was at a granite fabricator/warehouse late last week and found 3 granites I liked. One, a lighter slab of sage green with nice white veining, they only had remnants in, enough to do my kitchen but they did not recommend using them because they couldn't match the seams. Other slabs of it were way too dark with my cabinets. The Costa Esmeralda was not what I wanted and they said the CS I have been looking for is what they used to get, and I would have loved it, but they have not seen it in that quality for several years. The Taupe granite I REALLY liked, it was lovely, but the 3 slabs were reserved and they have no more on order. They don't know when they will find any more that meets their standards, they buy from photos and only buy slabs they think are nice enough. The last one I was not given the name of, but she warned me "don't even go there" when I started towards it. We had already discussed that the 300-400.00 per sq foot and up granites were out of my budget. Her only comment was "you DO have champagne taste, don't you"? I have been told by several places, including this one, that there is a significant slow down due to the economy, there is very little building going on. The remodels must be keeping them going. But many places seem reluctant to place new orders as quickly, I am only guessing that they are trying to sell more of what they already have in stock and may be reducing the number of granites they keep on hand until things pick up. I tried 3 other granite yards/warehouses in CT and none stock the Taupe, much less the pretty slabs I saw last week. I was told this is another granite that can vary in color tremendously, and even if a place has it, it might not at all like what I liked.

I give up.

Sue


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RE: Countertops from Costco

saskiasmom, I have found granite fabricators willing to hold back some money until the job is done. Solid Surface, including quartz, dealers seem less willing to do so for some reason. Going through a 3rd party makes it more likely something will be held back. My kitchen installer, for example, appeared to structure payments so that enough money to cover the granite material costs was due before templating, but about 1000.00 plus any taxes and last minute add ons were not due until the job is complete. I don't know, but think he probably does not pay the granite installer in full until he is satisified, and I still have enough left that I owe him for him to want to make sure I am satisfied. Other fabricators have said 50% before templating and the remainder the day of installation.

Nuccia, the salesperson for the company, NBC, has since clarified that he usually takes the payment information "as a convenience for the customer" to Costco but that the payment does not go to them, it does go to Costco until the job is complete. If I have a problem with that, we can go together or I can go and then mail him the PO from Costco showing payment, but he will not schedule templating until he has the orginal copy he needs "for the folder". I do plan to contact Costco about this process. The salesperson did give me the name of a person in charge of the Kiosk business at Costco to contact, but I haven't decided if that is the person I will go to first or I want to see what my local Costco manager has to say first.

Sue


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RE: Countertops from Costco

sue ct,

If you decide to use Costco, you should ask to see the form that you sign okaying all the vendor's work. Is it a Costco form or a vendor form? We were not given any paperwork upon completion, so I wonder if the "you must be satisfied" ploy is only on the vendor part. Or it might be a new policy from Costco. Either way, we were not satisfied, and we paid as if we were. Once Costco processes your American Express card, it's a done deal. They don't hold the charge until the work is completed. So you will owe Costco, no matter what the circumstances, and Costco will pay the vendor because of their contract. No one will take responsibility for poor work because they are obligated to each other, not to you. And you're right, American Express doesn't have any consumer protection, no matter what their advertisements claim. I don't use their card anymore.

I feel your pain! Our kitchen is lacking a backsplash because I just don't have the energy to deal with more broken promises.

Hope yours turns out better.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

OK, I actually went with Costco, just because there didn't seem to be any difference in the process with HD or Lowes, and local Solid Surface shops were 700-1500.00 more for the same material. That will buy a number of 250.00 chip repairs. The paperwork you sign that lets them get paid says they can go after you if you don't, but it also says paid 100% in advance to Costco, so prior to signing the final OK, I don't really know what would happen. The sales guy told me that they get paid after they submitt the signed form to Costco saying the work is complete. There actually is no language stating you find the work satisfactory. So I asked, does that mean if I am not satisified I need to refuse to sign or they will get paid anyway, and he said yes. Of coarse then you will need to sort out who they need to go to in order to resolve the issue, you or Costco. This gets into legal and contract stuff I can't offer an opinion on. It does say they can put a lean on your house, and in the state of CT, even if you pay the contractor (Costco), the contractor can still put a lean on your house if he does not pay them. So I think, really, you are just getting the benefit of Costco's leverage and pricing. But the contractor and house lien thing goes no matter who you get to do the install.

By the way, I went to Costco with the guy and Costco processed my credit card and I did not give the number to him. I am really surprised Costco allows them to jot down credit card numbers on paperwork going to people with no need to have it in this day age of ID theft. But apparently they do it all the time.

I am going to try to approve the slab but I have already been told this is not standard for them or quartz products in general. Not sure if they will let me or not.

Sue


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RE: Countertops from Costco

We got our granite through Home Depot, and we are glad we did, for several reasons.

We got 10% off for opening "instant credit," - that was pretty significant with the granite purchase

The work was guaranteed through Home Depot. Since we also paid through the Home Depot credit card (see above), we were further protected.

The granite yard let us choose anything we wanted but we were limited to Costco's category pricing (A, B, C, D, etc)., which wasn' unreasonable at all.

We got Santa Cecilia for $39.99 a foot installed. This was a "Category B" granite.

BTW, we did pay everything up front, but to Home Depot. We did not pay a dime directly tot the granite yard.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

I would like to know if anyone has had dealings with Costco countertops in the Santa Clara, California area?......There are so many things to look for, it is hard to know who to trust with such a huge $$$$ purchase.....I am looking at Home Depot, Lowes and Costco......My husband is starting to go a little crazy with my problem of making a decision about our kitchen counters......Can anyone help?


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RE: Countertops from Costco

I just got off the phone with costco.com after two days of trying to get ahold of someone at customer service to help explain why the countertop installers did not have to leave my sink in the same position as it was with the old countertop? First off, the countertop is very nice and although there is a seam you really have to look to see it so..that was all good. Problems started when the installers said they were done and wanted me to sign off. I saw out my front door that my garbage disposal was no longer attached, they said it no longer fit with the new cut. I was not present when the counter was taken out and this being my first countertop I believed them when they said it is not their responsibility to leave the new counter where the old one was. Well it turns out they WERE telling the truth and costco.com confirmed that they do not gaurantee that any of the old plumbing and sinks would align and very freindly told me to pound sand. I would think twice about using them and I would use Home Depot. I do not know if what I expected was reasonable but i at least should have been told about the potential added costs. AVOID COSTCO.COM Countertops


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RE: Countertops from Costco

DO NOT USE COSTCO FOR COUNTERTOPS!!

I did and it has been a HORRIBLE and STRESSFUL experience. I ordered my countertops in July and they are still not all installed! In the meantime, I am being charged.

I am currently seeking other means for a resolution.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

We went with Costco...and it was the worst decition I had ever made.The countertop guy accidentally broke one of the water pipe while drilling a hole for the countertop, and he told me it's no biggie since he turned off the main water volve. Then we left my new bought condo. Then the water remained in the pipe flooded my bsathroom and downstair neighbor in the midnight. Our condo HOA sent emergency service to break into my condo, tear down my vanity and contertop, and did the emergency service. My door, wall, and vanity were broken. However, Costco ignored my complain and think the countertop contractor's insurance company would take care of it. But the adjuster of countertop contractor's insurance company procrastinated the process and cutted down repairment budget to a rediculous small amount....We can not find any contractor to do the repair for this rediculous small budget...After more than one month, no repairment was made, and we are looking for a attorney to solve this problem in legal option. Judge it yourself and see if you would like to go with Costco.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

We contacted Costco and we had a guy name Gene showed up. First he was pushing Cambria as a countertop while we said many times we are looking granite only. He quoted the price for granite which was 30% higher than what we got locally. I am big fan of costco however when it comes to their installation service and people avoid it all cost...


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RE: Countertops from Costco

I am a fabricator so I am biased but ...

the kind of problems cited above are typical of a situation where the counter people at a big box store don't know or don't want to spend the time to educate the consumer on all the issues and variables associated with a typical install. surprising the homeowner with the sink location is something that should NEVER happen.

additionally, as a fabricator I have looked at fabbing for a big box store but found I'd have to take too many short cuts to make any money at the price they wanted to pay me. as a smaller business we don't offer the financing that a big box store does but in virtually every other way we are superior (remember, I admitted I was biased) and on pricing we are competitive.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

It might depend on the market you're in as to whether you have reasonable alternatives. Here in Los Angeles, I looked into Costco vendors not for countertops but for cabinets and windows and they were not the usual good-Costco-deal. Their prices were low-ish, not the lowest, but the quality was lower than what you'd get on the open market for that price-point. The vendors they sent out for the window shades were overworked, underpaid, and basically the whole transaction was pathetic. I spent most of my time feeling sorry for the salesman. They were being paid next to nothing for the estimate. It seemed a very exploitative arrangement.

If you can find someone to do the job skillfully and honorably, you'd be far better off dealing with them directly -- that's MHO. =0.02, etc, etc. Personally, I feel there's just one too many middlemen in that arrangement. And I don't think costco is at all as on-the-ball about sticking up for their customers in that situation. I had a *lot* of troubles with one of the vendors and Costco helped basically not at all. It just wasn't the sort of Costco-like trading experience I'm used to. I will return to completely ignoring those sorts of services they proffer.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

I am disappointed to learn of all the bad experiences with Costco. I am very disappointed that they simply take a cut, but the rest of the process is unchanged. I expected Costco would disrupt the market in a manner beneficial to both consumers and installers. Costco should import the stone, own the stone yards, self-insure for damaged materials and homeowner property, and employ the fabricators.
We had a problem with an independent fabricator who messed up cutting some stone, which he should have replaced. But to buy another slab would have wiped out his profit and put him in debt. So we bought another slab. It's the same with any independent "handyman" who works with expensive materials that he doesn't supply. A marketer who can overcome these problems could have a very good profitable business, while benefiting consumers and workers. It seems to be a perfect match with Costco's business model. Why aren't they doing it?

Here is a link that might be useful: The Contrary Consumer


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RE: Countertops from Costco

jrh0:

Costco isn't doing it because they witnessed the mess Home Depot created when it decided to become a fabricator in its failed "Expo" store concept.

Home Depot tried exactly what you described and failed miserably. Apparently being a profitable and reputable fabricator isn't as easy as a retailer thinks.

The first order of business in any business is to know your limitations. Everyone thinks the other guy is making a ton of money and that his business is simple and easy. Costco is wise to stick to retailing and leave fabrication and installation to subs.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

jrh0:

Costco isn't doing it because they witnessed the mess Home Depot created when it decided to become a fabricator in its failed "Expo" store concept.

Home Depot tried exactly what you described and failed miserably. Apparently being a profitable and reputable fabricator isn't as easy as a retailer thinks.

The first order of business in any business is to know your limitations. Everyone thinks the other guy is making a ton of money and that his business is simple and easy. Costco is wise to stick to retailing and leave fabrication and installation to subs.


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Too bad. Now, it seems importers and showrooms are doing great, fabricators are barely making it, and consumers are getting shafted.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

jrho:

None, absolutely none, of my customers has ever been shafted.


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RE: Countertops from Costco

I am a fabricator.

"None, absolutely none, of my customers has ever been shafted."

Ditto!


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RE: Countertops from Costco

OK, its been a few years and I thought I would give you the end of this story. I used NBC solid surface through Costco. I was greatly impressed with the job they did! They installed the counter top on a 90 degree day, and even did some additional edge work on the slab out in that heat to make sure I was completely satisfied. I ended up sending a letter to the company thanking all the people that went out of their way during the process, including sending me photos of my actual slabs. Several years later, I am totally satisfied with the quality of the countertop and the fabrication. I suppose every company has customers that are satisfied and a few that could not be. Based only on my one experience with them, I would not hesitate to recommend them. They worked very hard and went out of their way to make sure I was satisfied. The workmanship was excellent.


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