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restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Posted by julesl (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 6, 13 at 17:49

I met with a subcontractor to decide on backsplash tile. To make a long story short__that was 3 months ago and I still have no backsplash. On the day of installation, I returned home to find that the backsplash was not the polished marble we had decided on (samples and pictures) but a chalky limestone. She is trying to stick me with a restocking fee? Does this sound right to anyone? I told her I won't pay it and now she wants me to pay her for having met with her for that hour when we decided on the backsplash that I never received. Is this right?

The GC has been so uninvolved and seems to not care if we get a backsplash or not. He wants his money but I'm not paying until we get a backsplash as planned in the contract. Any advice would be appreciated.

I would turn to someone different however, the GC told the electrician and me that his people knew how to pull out the outlets,for the backsplash and he also promised me they would not scratch the floor.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Julesl, I did not have a GC for my kitchen, but I did for an addition that was built and some of the work overlapped into the kitchen. The GC is in charge of all of his sub-contractors. You tell him--he tells them. It sounds like it is time to have a serious conversation with him or terminate your relationship with him. ANY electrician can pull out the outlets and certainly you can tell any installer that you are very protective of your lovely new floors and be cautious of them. I covered my floors with old moving blankets before the painters put down their tarps so there would be more protection from the ladders. Outlets and floors are not a reason to keep a GC that is not working in your best interest.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Hi, julesl,

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this--it sounds like you're almost to the finish line.

I believe in a situation like this, you refer to what's in writing. In my experiences with these situations, there is some give-and-take by all sides at times. GCs and subs seem to build this into their pricing (to a degree), and customers build it into their expectations. ;-) However, if a particular situation cannot be resolved, then you refer to what's in the contract.

Good luck. I hope this works out for you.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Thanks for the response. I feel as if the GC would like nothing better than to get his money and leave us because he has very little control over this sub-contractor who has been so difficult to work with. However, I feel he needs to see to it that our job is finished, he has received very good compensation and he'll receive the rest of his money when the backsplash is completed. I feel I need that leverage.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Are the correct tiles already ordered and paid for?


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Your contractor gave you a price to get the job done. If he messed up ordering, and there is a restocking fee involved, then that is on him to take care of within the agreed price he quoted you for the job.

As far as the tile store charging you after the fact, for a consult three months ago even?, no that doesn't make sense and it's unethical to recoup the restock fee that way if that's the point. What was the story at the time you went into the store and spoke with her? Did she mention a design fee? Did you sign anything? Do you see anything around the store indicating this? I wouldn't pay it if it wasn't discussed or in the agreement. I'd expect they would have hit you with at least a deposit before beginning, or billed for it at the time of purchase.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

What I don't understand is that if she is really a subcontractor, you should be dealing with the GC and have him resolve the issue of either sticking with that sub or hiring a new one. Otherwise she's not really a subcontractor.

I wouldn't pay subcontractors directly in any event -- too many issues with multiple liens and risk of poor coordination among everyone involved.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

My understanding is that she is sub contractor and she was the one the GC told me to go to for granite selection and then she told me she could help me pick out backsplash too. Communication was a problem with her from the first month but I tried to not judge and just move forward in order to get my kitchen finished. The man she hired to do the installing of the backsplash and granite was very good and he told me he taught her everything she knows.
However, when I came home and saw him working with this limestone he too, said he didn't think this is the stone he'd be working with. Fortunately, I had specified in the contract that the backsplash was the one in the picture from Kato and I had samples of the tile.
We've gone almost 3 weeks since hearing from her and now the contractor thinks he should be paid for the rest of the kitchen and he says he'll take the backsplash off. What the Heck? Could the consumer ever get out of a contract that easily? My husband just wants them out of our lives and says we should hire someone else for backsplash.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

Your husband is right.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

I agree with your husband and digginginthedirt! You don't have a backsplash and you were being overcharged for installation.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

It is amazing how quickly you can be released from the contract when it's the contractor's idea. My question, and maybe I glossed over it - but who paid for the tiles (and are they paid for?).

Having gone through more than my fair share of contractor nightmares, I think it's best to cut your losses - but it *more* that just a backsplash you'll be losing - he isn't going to warranty anything or finish the punch list. So the job is more than the backsplash at this point. Because he's annoyed now, he'll likely do a poor job on the backsplash (and risk your *correct* tiles in the process). I'd let him go, but realize you're on your own for a lot of little things you've probably not even discovered yet.


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

I hope the remaining work is itemized. If you have an outstanding punch list, as well, withhold enough to cover an estimate (or wait until it's done) of the remaining work to be done by someone else so you can then deduct what it costs to complete the job. I hope you have been able to pay by credit card so you have some recourse to dispute anything if necessary. Maybe this is why so many do not take cc's.

So true. Maybe you can charge him for his delays and breach of contract. Were there any penalties for you in the contract?

This post was edited by snookums2 on Thu, Aug 8, 13 at 11:23


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RE: restocking fee for a mistake made by contractor??

The GC took out the backsplash when he submitted the invoice. He spoke to me on the phone and I asked him if he could find someone else to do our backsplash, he said he would but then never followed through with that. He dropped off the invoice when he knew I wasn't home. And there were no penalties on our invoice.

There have been no more tiles ordered, even though I wanted the backsplash at Kato she doesn't seem to want to order it. I've since been working with a tile shop and they've been very helpful. And, I never signed any contracts or was told about a design fee, in fact when I went to Kato for the tiles she had called me and asked me if she could meet me there. She also came to our house one time with granite selection and a few backsplash ideas__again, I didn't ask her or expect her to come to our house. She now thinks I should pay her$250 for these two times. LOL I am a fair person but I'm not a fool! I'm on a teacher's salary and I think it's ludicrous for someone to think they're worth $80 an hour when they botch the job and order the wrong tiles!


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