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2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!!!!!

Posted by davidindc (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 4, 12 at 21:22

It has been a long time since I said much on here. I figured I have said all that needs to be in past. I get emails a few times a month asking me random things from here. I changed my screen name from daveinorlado

I thought it might be helpful to post my expierences this year from 2 companies that I have been working with who in the last month refuse to sell to me over my complaints of their poor service.....

Gepetto kitchens now Touchstone Fine Cabinetry account to be closed as of today !!!!!!

The National Sales manager told me today they will not sell to me in the future because I am upset that cabinets i orderd Aug 16 still are not finished properly.

The customer paid a little of 20,000 for completely custom Lyptus wood frameless cabinets. I placed to order Aug 18 of this year. Touchstone called me, 6 weeks later, the day before scheduled delivery to tell me they did not like the finish on the doors and wanted to do them over. The customer asked I have the cabinets sent without the doors on them so the contractors schedule would not change. The door style was flat slab ultra modern with solid lyptus wood requiring wood strips on the back of the doors to help keep them straight. That is common for solid wood slab doors. Touchstone and I agreed to have the cabinets delivered less the doors. The cabinet boxes were installed and the doors were delivered the following week. The contractor went to put them on to realize the wood strips on the back of the doors facing the contents of the cabinets interfered with the accessories in the custom order and would not shut. I worked out with Touchstone I would send them sketches of where to place the strips on the back to not interfere with things and they agreed to make them again. The normal lead time for a rushed order is 3 weeks. 4 weeks transpired and I was given notice to pay for one item I needed to finish the kitchen I did not have on the original order. A pantry cabinet when level was not against the wall so I orderd a plywood end panel to cover the cabinet to maintain the ultra modern look without trim. A truck delivered my most recent order 4 weeks later and the needed replacement doors were not there. I called and asked to speak to the president of the company. We had spoken before over my concerns they do not follow up well on things they do wrong that need to be replaced. I asked him why the materials were not on the truck stating it had been 1 week longer then the normal rush lead time.

Conestoga makes their doors drawers etc which dictates the 3 week time. They can order from conestoga faster if they need to. I learned that conestoga had not sent all the items they were supposed and their customer service dept had re ordered them under the program that would take another 3 weeks to get. The president of Touchstone had conestoga make and overnight the missing item so they could finish it. The doors were put on the next truck and delivered to me less the missing item. They arrived almost 5 weeks from when they were ordered which normally takes 3 if I order it as something I need. Mind you they can get it faster if they chose to do so which they did not..... I install all the items I recieve and 4 lower pantry doors are multiple shades darker then the rest of the kitchen. I take pictures and email them to the plant manager saying they will not work and I need help. I am told the driver is on his way back to the plant and can not come back to pick them up. I had to take the doors to him in a hotel room in Richmond Va to give them back to the driver. It is 4 hours round trip to meet the driver to return they doors they will not come pick up.

I finally learned today the doors I gave the driver will arrive this thursday which is 1 day short of 3 weeks later from giving them back to their driver. All they had to do was sand and restain 4 doors and deliver them again. This will be the 4th time they have delivered items trying to get the original order correct.

I told the national sales manager that this has been a night mare I have never been paid for the cabinets after delivery because they are not done. I paid the factory in full by the time the original doors were sent to me in end of Sept. I said I like their products when things go well but when they make mistakes they take way to long to fix them. How long does it take to sand an re stain 4 doors? 3 weeks????? He politely asked me my background and how many kitchens I do in a year I told him 30 - 40 he then said I am not a good fit for his company being frustrated and that when I get the doors we will then be going in different directions. I asked him does that mean he will not be willing to sell to me and he said yes my company and his need to go our seperate ways..... I said that attitude is unbeliveable to me, I am upset that you have entirely to long delays twice on the same project and the delay would be 3 weeks more if I had not already complained once before.

If anyone reads this message and considers buying Touchstone Fine Cabinetry products I would caution you to think twice. They have no regard for the end user and their perception of the expeirence.

I have spent about 35,000 with them this year. I had another kitchen I did with them last year I ordered in July which was not completed until day before thanksgiving the cabinets were painted 2 different shades of off white in a paper work mix up. We had custom color blocks made while the cabinets were being made. The owner decided against the custom color and chose last minute standard colors offered. The kitchen had inset and frameless cabinets. The custom color was applied to one and the standard color was applied to the other cabinet type. It took 3 times of sending the doors and drawers back to them before they got it right. Tuesday before thanksgiving last year they were supposed to deliver all the doors and drawers so I could put the kitchen back together. I got a call saying their plans had changed and they would deliver the following week because they did not have someone to drive the truck going to my area. I ended up meeting another truck 4 hours away at midnight that night to get all the items so I could put everything back together before the holiday which was 4 months after ordering them.

I have also posted many times on here about River Run which sells cabinets made from China. I used to feel ok about them as a business. This year I have done 4 or 5 orders with them. Not once have I been able to ever speak to someone on the phone when I call the number for dealers. Usually cabinet companies will have a customer service center that you can get thru to some one on in a few minutes wait worst case. They are the only cabinet company I have ever tried to work with where in the entire year I have to leave a voice mail and wait till the next day to get a call or email back.

I have an account that requires payment before orders are released for assembly or pick up un assembled. This year the lead time to send an order to them and have it faxed back to you after entered into their system has been 3-5 days. Most companies do it in 24 hours or once a week if they do it weekly. River Run does not send you notice that payment is accepted or received so you have official notice that your order is in the works. An appointment is required to pick up your order with them. In august I let a the owner of a granite company order cabinets directly at my cost for his own house. I called every day for 1.5 weeks asking if they had charged the card to release the order. I never got a call back saying yes. I finally got a call from them asking if someone would be at the delivery address in an hour from the call to accept delivery. That same morning the card holders account did not show his card had ever been charged. I told them I furious for being left in the dark as this was my first order I had done where they assemble and deliver them instead of picking and doing it myself. All previous orders I knew when to pick up and the the order was released.

I ordered another kitchen with them in Oct. I had the same thing happen no one answers the phone no one sends me notice payment was accepeted. Never told the cabinets are being assembled. Never given an appointment for pick up as that was what I wanted. I finally got a call back day before the cabinets should have been ready and got an appointment scheduled after being told it should have been done the week before on the part of the River Run. I told them I was trying to fax in a form to return molding they gave me that was the wrong color from the order before that I needed to switch and the fax machines were not working. I said I would bring it to them and we could work it out when I pick up. The molding is in stock in the warehouse mind you. I was told they will not be able to switch the molding if I do not fax the paperwork 24 hours before so management can approve the switch. I said again fax machines are not working for poor line condition. I brought the molding and the paperwork and the guy there agreed to switch it as it was a no brainer which took him less then 5 minutes to do. When you arrive at their national building you are not allowed in it. All doors are locked. You have to call a number from your cell phone to ask them to open the door. Probably 50 people work there.

While loading the order on to my truck I learn there was supposed to be a cabinet missing that was out of stock. This can take weeks if the next one is on a boat some where. I later said in an email that made it to the presidents desk I was not happy they did not tell me the order was orignially to be incomplete.

With all the frustration of the transaction I was not the most cheerful person when I picked up the cabinets. I learned that my experience and subsequent email to the sales rep who is a friend of mine made it to the presidents desk and they were considering closing my account. I told the sales rep who is in the process of starting his own brand of cabinets to compete with River Run I did not mind if they close the account since I would switch to his new thing anyways.

Well 4 weeks goes by and the contractor finally starts installing the kitchen. I get a call they need more scribe molding and they want a panel to cover a cabinet not close to wall after leveling it. I called River Run to ask how long the process would take to get the order approved so I can tell the contractor what to expect and had to leave a voice mail. 24 hours later I get an email back saying to send in the order and they will process it. Of course this never answers my original question. I email what is needed and later in the day I get another email saying a supervisor would not process the order as my account is closed. It is ironic to me I had my account closed for complaining they do not communicate........ They said to call my sales rep to see what can be done. I have been calling since last thursday asking them to let me have the molding and panel so I can finish the job. I finally got a call back saying they will order it for me and if they are not busy with other orders I may get something tomorrow if not it will be the next day. Mind you this is just to get the order in the system. I still have to wait to send the money and then wait to get permission to go pick it up. It has taken 1 week to just get and reply to pay for on a kitchen they have already sold to me and closed my account before the project is done.

River Run service is beyond awfull at this point. Their quality is middle of the road for Chinese cabinets to begin with. I would strongly suggest you think twice before considering them if you are. I have been selling their cabinets for about 4 years now by the way.

I am absolutely amazed at the attitude of several cabinet companies I have worked with. All of them seem to feel they are God and you should worship them if they chose to sell you their products. That has been true of the low mid and high end companies I have tried to design and sell.

I have been trying to stick with national names for the supposed branding and backing big companies are suppposed to give you. I have all but given up on that idea. I now am trying to go with a mom and pop shop that is local with all the equipement of the national brands to see what that is like since you do not have good websites and literature. So far the response from people I have suggested them to has been mixed. We will see how it goes.

As a side note for those on the quest for low priced products .... JSI has introduced 2 new cabinet series the Craftsman and Craftsman premier. The dealer cost for their cabinets which have North American maple or Alder woods all plywood construction with UV coating not a laminate over plywood solid wood dove tail drawers and available soft close drawers is the lowest price of any company I have ever had the prices on to date.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Your frustration screams out of this post.
I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time just doing business!
I wish you the best of luck resolving these existing situations and far better, smoother luck in the future!


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

That sonds super frustrating, I'm sorry.

I hope you are able to get these situations resolved and find a company you feel good about working with!!


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

When your expectations do not match what is being done, then it's time to change your expectations or move on. That goes for both directions. They have decided to move on. Nothing you can do about it. Find another line. With your expectations, perhaps you should be looking higher up the food chain.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Maybe I gave to many details.....

Touchston Fine Cabinetry has not given service for their mistakes and closed my account for customer and I being upset!!!!!

Cabinets that supposed to take 6 weeks are still not complete 4 months. This has happened twice in 1 year. The point of the post was for anyone considering Touchstone Fine Cabinetry to be aware of that the reponse of the national sales manager was to say to me they will replace me with another company instead of saying they should have finished the order faster...... It has been 2.5 months since original delivery and the customer rightly so has never paid the remaining balance on the order. I as a dealer have no cash flow the customer has no finished cabinets and the manufacturers response was we will find someone else to sell our products to in your area.....

River Run does not communicate with dealers their service has become awful this year and they have closed my account for asking for a more professionalism........

Be careful of buying River Run cabinets if you want a profesional timely expeirence.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Maybe you should have chosen better vendors for your suppliers. I never had any issues like you describe with Masterbrand or Kraftmaid or..... Yes, the price is higher than a bargain basement line, but yeah, in many ways, you are getting what you paid for.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Why should a monetary value be placed on good service? Should those of us not able to pay top dollar be treated like @#$%~?


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

I think the cabinet company was fine in saying it was time to part ways. If they knew they weren't changing their service model anytime soon, continuing a business relationship was a recipe for disaster.

I'm not saying that they are right, I'm just saying that it doesn't sound like you like what they have to offer (nor would I). I'm surprised you are so mad about it though, since they were obviously below your standards. I can't imagine you would want to order from them again. Would you really, or are you just annoyed that they fired you before you fired them?


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Sounds like the frustrating part is there are still partially installed orders to be delt with. And they don't want to make things right, which can affect his business.

I think this will save a lot of frustration. These companies don't seem willing to provide reasonable service, and how frustrating would it be to stay with them always hearing they are working on improving yet going through this circus every single time?

It sounds like this guy is trying to do right by his customers and needs to find companies with normal customer service practices. Even $0.99 purchases with online merchants get a confirmation, I don't think that's at all unreasonable for a cabinet order. Crap happens, but there is a world of difference between calling to let your customer know what to expect and letting it be a surprise with poor follow up.

Seems like a good reason to be upset, and good riddance to those merchants!


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

I'm not at all surprised that David is upset. He says he paid Touchstone 'in full' for the cabinets the last of September. David sums up this experience with Touchstone: It has been 2.5 months since original delivery and the customer rightly so has never paid the remaining balance on the order. I as a dealer have no cash flow the customer has no finished cabinets and the manufacturers response was we will find someone else to sell our products to in your area..

So, the situ is that all or most of Dave's profit is still tied up because the job isn't complete while his expense meter is still running...four hour round trip to Richmond...and his reputation as a dealer is being seriously damaged because of all the snafus and delays getting the job completed. And Touchstone has no cash incentive to expedite resolving the problems because they already collected in full for the order.

Imagine if a dealer for Touchstone is having these kinds of problems with the company, what problems a homeowner would have with them trying to get Touchstone to make good on a warranty claim!



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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Dave - it's time to contact an attorney and have him or her make a call/send a letter. Your relationship with these companies has already been severed and they've already been paid, so they have no incentive to successfully complete the orders. An attorney can give them an incentive.

And thanks for the warning.

Best of luck on a satisfactory resolution.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

Two thoughts-

1) It is becoming more and more common for these nightmare scenarios in business dealings. Fewer and fewer firms seem to understand what good customer service entails, and even if they do grasp the concept budgeting issues prevent them from paying enough of the right sorts of people to demonstrate proper service.

2) As a small business owner of many decades, if a client causes me grief that is way out of proportion to any profits I make dealing with them I would absolutely cut them off. Life is too short to deal with constantly annoying clients when I have fifteen nice ones lined up behind them.

Not saying you were annoying- those cabinet people would have driven me batty.
I would NOT be upset that they cut me off, I'd not be going back regardless.

Frustration is a very difficult emotion to deal with.
Breathe some good outside air, go for a walk, and do something you enjoy for a bit.
Again, life's too short.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

I didn't say that I didn't understand why he's upset about the service....I do.

I said I don't understand why he's upset that they won't be doing future business. It seemed obvious to me that he wouldn't want to do future business. Frankly, after what he wrote, I would think one would have to be stupid to order from them again.

Further, I agree that an attorney letter may be a good solution at this point.

If you don't go that route, I would write again. Certified, a one paragraph letter stating what they need to do to make you go away.

Save all the details for court - one paragraph, clear and concise.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

I have been shocked by the responses on this site that in so many ways elude to justifying the manufacturer for not finishing the job. I would have thought if any site would side with the consumer it would be this one.

I have no intentions of doing business with either of them. That is not that point. The point was for others who may be considering them thru other dealers to be aware of the attitudes of River Run And Touchstone. I gave a very long background so the story would be complete with details instead of bad mouthing for spite.

Touchstone products are well made if nothing goes wrong. If something does do not expect it taken care of in a timely manner. I have paid more for the cabinets then I have collected to date. I had to pay in full for them when they were delivered. I did that so the owner could get them installed on time with their contractors schedule. As a result of Touchstone not making them correctly and having to deliver 4 times to the project instead of what should be 1 the owner does not want to pay untill complete so I am motivated to get it finished. Touchstone could care less about that. Suppliers like that will put you out of business for paying for everything. I mine as well have a sign on my door that says looking for cabinets? I will buy them for you!!!!! That only lasts so long before you are out of money.

I will be fine I was just so surprised the companies stated their postitions when they are clearly not professional in their approach to problem solving.

Lastly..... I was in the owners house friday night till 8:30 pm installing the last delivery of doors that showed up 6:00 pm. The national sales manager told me the doors would arrive thursday when he said he was going to replace my business with another one meaning I do not sell enough of his products for him to care.... I called the owners to tell them thursday was the day and to be home if possible to finish. Thursday comes and I get a call from the plant thursday afternoon saying the truck was finally loaded and just left and would arrive to me late friday. I had to call the owners and say false alarm should be tomorrow now. The manager knew that he did not have the courtsey to explain what he meant by thursday was my day.....

The owners said to me friday they never know if I am telling the truth because what ever I say will happen never does. I am always miss lead by the company I immediately let the owners know what the plan is when I get information from Touchstone to find out the day of that I was not told the right thing. I have had 3 drivers deliver the 4 times they have been there. All of them have said they hate working their and are looking for other jobs as what happens to me all happens to them and the other employees.

I do what ever is possible to give the best service I am able to. It amazes me there are so many companies who have enough people to work with they do not have to do the same. This business is awfull everyone wants you to give them the world for service value and quality and always beat you down to get it. It is a struggle every day to justify your products and services are worth the purchase. Reputation is everything and easy to lose when you have a finite number of repeat clients. Most of my business is repeat with various types of professionals in the Remodeling industry. I do all I can to make what I do professional and acurate the first time. The longer I am in this business I learn that a national company does not need to do the same thing as there are many fish in the sea for them to switch to.


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RE: 2 National cabinet makers close my accounts for complaining!!

David, I already commented briefly, but let me reiterate that I fully understand your frustration.

I think (perhaps??) people mean more that they would be amazed if you wanted to work with these companies again and perhaps missed the point that you are going through nightmares to try and finish your existing projects while maintaining your reputation, all while you've taken a huge loss to date.

The many multiple exclamation points did make it a little tricky to work out which points were the most important ones, but I can definitely understand your frustration at the position these companies have put you in and how it affects your relationship with your end customer.

The only tip I have ( which you've probably already done) is to agree to let them pay at the end. It's concerning that they think they can't trust your word. I think you need to try and think of some ideas to get your relationship with your customer back on track.

Maybe a small token that acknowledges things haven't gone as you hoped, but that you are fully committed to getting their kitchen looking perfect!
Flowers? A beautiful cutting board? I don't know - maybe a good idea, maybe a bad idea - have a think about it and maybe others can weigh in with ideas on how to repair the relationship with your customer.... if that would be helpful for you?

Ultimately you have done your best and have been let down by a vendor. This is a tough situation as to the client it's all your fault, however unfair.

I hope you can get finished up and they love your work so much that they recommend you despite the issues!


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