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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently ordered 92 door and drawer fronts from Decore-ative Specialties and when they arrived 61 of them were unsatisfactory for stain grade work. My rep came to the shop took photos and told me to document everything and that he would take care of this - “Let me know what I need to do to make it right!”

Due to time constraints, on the project, I decided to repair what I could, stain, finish and install what I could rather than wait for the doors and DFs to be remade and reshipped.

At the conclusion of the project, I sent my rep 84 photographs as documentation and simply asked “Okay what are you (Decore-ative Specialties) willing to do to help me out here?” I explained that I didn’t expect compensation for my labor – That cost exceeded the initial cost of the doors and DFs. I explained that I didn’t expect any compensation for pain and suffering – loss of reputation (project was very late in completion), loss of revenue, loss of sleep, etc. All I want is a reasonable offer to help me out.


Here is the response I got yesterday:

Hey Paul,

Please refer to Page 2 of our Wood Door (orange color) price guide for information on the Decore-ative Specialties warranty. It clearly states that "This warranty covers replacement or repair of doors or drawer fronts in the state they were ordered and in good condition as originally delivered FOB our factory.... There are no other warranties of any kind, expressed or implied."

As a manufacturer of quality products for over 48 years, we understand that things can happen in manufacturing, packing or shipping that require repairs or can even render a product unusable. Our policy is to have all damaged product returned to our facility to complete any necessary repairs. Due to your time constraints on this job, you opted to repair these doors yourself. At no point did we discuss compensation or a specific dollar amount to complete the repairs shown in the images I took personally while at your shop or the images you sent separately. Based on what has been a good working relationship, we are willing to reimburse you for time spent that is commensurate with our estimated time to complete the repairs ourselves. Aside from the doors we remade for you at no charge, we estimate that re-working your product to a satisfactory condition would have required approximately 3 - 5 hours of shop time.

As an act of goodwill we are willing to double our highest estimate which equates to reimbursement for 10 hours of your shop time at a rate of $30/hour rate (this amount should cover employee wages + workman's comp). This $300 credit can be applied to your account, we can discount a future order, or we can cut a check and mail it to you. Please let me know how you would like to receive the funds. Thank you and have a great weekend!

Luke Hostetter
Decore-ative Specialties
(303) 887-0400




I won't try to post all 84 photos but here's a few examples of the kind of the quality we received:







 

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Man, that sucks! I kinda understand their policy, but looking at the pictures, I would never use them again. If it were one or two doors, sure, sh!t happens! That is just ridiculous!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Man, that sucks! I kinda understand their policy, but looking at the pictures, I would never use them again. If it were one or two doors, sure, sh!t happens! That is just ridiculous!
Thanks for the reply. We’ve been using them for a little over three years now. We normally count on having to repair/fix/rework about 8% - 10% of the order when it arrives and I budget for that.

But 66% :eek:

I think if they were being reasonable, they would have thought to themselves: “The guy could have made us remake and ship 61 pieces”. Certainly more than a $300 cost to them – shipping alone would have been over $200.

I just don’t understand the mentality.
 

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I know Gus uses them quite a bit, but I had one hell of a bad experience dealing with them. I wouldn't use them even if they were my only option on the planet.

After I had my bad experience, weeks later I received an email

My name is Laura with Decore-ative Specialties.

I'm writing you today to let you know that as a member of the Eastern Customer Support Team I’m available to assist you in any way I can. If you're interested in placing an order, obtaining a quote or learning more about our many products and services, please feel free to contact us anytime between the hours of 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PST) Monday through Friday.
I explained to the emailer my experience, my questions, and my disgust with their company. Asked them to reply and cover the issues and see where it would go from there. Nothing.

5 days later....

My name is Jose with Decore-ative Specialties.

I'm writing you today to let you know that as a member of the Eastern Customer Support Team I’m
available to assist you in any way I can. If you're interested in placing an order, obtaining a
quote or learning more about our many products and services, please feel free to contact us anytime
between the hours of 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PST) Monday through Friday.
I told them to remove me from their accounts, remove me from their emails, and that they are a real piece of work. They are about the poorest excuse for a door company that I know. And your issue reinforces the negativity of this company.

Your reply should be something along the line of this:

"Thank you for responding to the issue I have with the doors you sent me. I'm glad it would only cost you $300 for your company to fix, remake or do whatever it took to make it right for 61 doors and drawer fronts. That comes out to about $5 per door and I expect that kind of pricing from this point on. $300 should easily cover your materials, labor, overhead, profit, shipping, and commission. Thank you for being such a great, inexpensive company to buy doors from, I'll tell everyone of your great pricing."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know Gus uses them quite a bit, but I had one hell of a bad experience dealing with them. I wouldn't use them even if they were my only option on the planet.

After I had my bad experience, weeks later I received an email



I explained to the emailer my experience, my questions, and my disgust with their company. Asked them to reply and cover the issues and see where it would go from there. Nothing.

5 days later....



I told them to remove me from their accounts, remove me from their emails, and that they are a real piece of work. They are about the poorest excuse for a door company that I know. And your issue reinforces the negativity of this company.

Your reply should be something along the line of this:

"Thank you for responding to the issue I have with the doors you sent me. I'm glad it would only cost you $300 for your company to fix, remake or do whatever it took to make it right for 61 doors and drawer fronts. That comes out to about $5 per door and I expect that kind of pricing from this point on. $300 should easily cover your materials, labor, overhead, profit, shipping, and commission. Thank you for being such a great, inexpensive company to buy doors from, I'll tell everyone of your great pricing."
Thanks Kent – that’s a funny reply. I wish I had had that in my arsenal of responses yesterday.

When all this started going south, I PM’d Gus to get his opinion of their credibility on this project. He indicated that they had always stood tall when problems arose. With his opinion, plus the fact that I had never had a problem before, lead me to accept my reps word at “let me know what we need to do to fix this”.

I guess you and I don’t have the clout that Gus has :laughing:

Now I gotta ask… Who ya using? I’m in need of a door company.
 

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I would not be using them if I had problems like that.

I am fortunate to be within their truck delivery range. I don't have any shipping damage with their truck.

In the rate cases where I need a remake, they have been great. I know that Cal Door is not as easy to get remakes out of. They are the other big boy on the block. They make nice doors but I don't like their attitude. We also have Dutchman Door. They make great doors but there are things that keep me from using them that are not quality of door related.

I have options but Decore just has not fumbled the ball enough to take them off the field. It may be a east coast problem with their North Carolina plant. Not sure. But I don't blame you two for looking elsewhere.
 

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Paul,

Your situation is pretty frustrating and I feel your pain and anger. However it sounds like you took action prior to an agreement with the company and that leaves you in a bad spot. I did a quick search of the company and they are family owned and employ about 1500 people, around 80 are customer service people who according to the company make $24,000. This person likely has very limited authority to do anything, I would suggest that you send an email documenting your story and pics to the president of the company and the director of marketing. These people have the authority to do something and would realize that the amount offered is not a reasonable compensation.
 

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Ouch.

Obviously that's a small sample of a larger problem, but in those few shots the isssues are probably with their shipping.

We make our doors, but at my old shop we ordered. We used a few different companies and each company had very different packing methods and qualities. Walzcraft seemed to take the greatest care in their shipping.

Shop rates and estimated shop times are a lose lose on your end. Gotta have them be all-in or not at all. Unfortunately an issue when schedules are involved.

Sorry to see it happen.

On a side note - dealing with door companies can be frustrating. I went round and round with one of the manufacturers on glue application. I broke open a failing door and sent it back, pointing out lack of glue. They sent me black-light pictures of the glue joint that absolutely SCARED me regarding their glue application; but they acted as if the pictures actually exonerated them. Of course, they said "see, there's glue!" I never used them again. Switched to Walzcraft and had a long discussion with their rep about the issue. Told him point bland every order I placed was going to include an "extra" door that I was going to break apart and inspect. I always made a note of Option: Extra glue. They did ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Paul,

Your situation is pretty frustrating and I feel your pain and anger. However it sounds like you took action prior to an agreement with the company and that leaves you in a bad spot. I did a quick search of the company and they are family owned and employ about 1500 people, around 80 are customer service people who according to the company make $24,000. This person likely has very limited authority to do anything, I would suggest that you send an email documenting your story and pics to the president of the company and the director of marketing. These people have the authority to do something and would realize that the amount offered is not a reasonable compensation.
Hey Keith, thanks for the reply. I fully understand what you’re saying about not having an agreement prior to moving on. But, I’m still an optimist and hope that a man’s word is good.

Beyond that, the company could have saved me as a customer by simply offering what they were liable for – the cost of remaking, packaging and shipping the pieces. Even that amount wouldn’t have me doing cartwheels down the street, but I would have recognized that, per the agreement, that was all they really owed me.

In hind sight, I would have had them remake, package and ship all 61 pieces and when they arrived, I would have made firewood out of them. No gain for me – just out of spite.

The phone conference included my rep, the regional manager (who was originally my rep and he’s come to my site before) and the plant manager. The amount in question is about $5k. Not going to put me out of business – or make any changes to my lifestyle. I think I’m just more disheartened by their attitude – a feeling of betrayal (I considered the rep my friend and part of my team).

I’m spending the time here on this subject, to warn others and a bit of venting – the money is not that important anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ouch.

Obviously that's a small sample of a larger problem, but in those few shots the isssues are probably with their shipping.

We make our doors, but at my old shop we ordered. We used a few different companies and each company had very different packing methods and qualities. Walzcraft seemed to take the greatest care in their shipping.

Shop rates and estimated shop times are a lose lose on your end. Gotta have them be all-in or not at all. Unfortunately an issue when schedules are involved.

Sorry to see it happen.

On a side note - dealing with door companies can be frustrating. I went round and round with one of the manufacturers on glue application. I broke open a failing door and sent it back, pointing out lack of glue. They sent me black-light pictures of the glue joint that absolutely SCARED me regarding their glue application; but they acted as if the pictures actually exonerated them. Of course, they said "see, there's glue!" I never used them again. Switched to Walzcraft and had a long discussion with their rep about the issue. Told him point bland every order I placed was going to include an "extra" door that I was going to break apart and inspect. I always made a note of Option: Extra glue. They did ok.
The problems varied greatly. There was some shipping and packaging damage. But there was much more that was really avoidable.

There were a couple dozen pieces that had significant amounts of filler used (really! In a stain grade product!).

There were probably 10 instances where we said “who the phuck would have chosen that piece of wood for a rail or stile?”

There were instances where it looked like they tried to sand a scratch or defect out and sanded the bead detail right out!

Cross grain sanding… Jitter bug sanding swirls (some we didn’t catch before stain – you know what I was in for once they were stained).

The whole thing was not good from the start.
 

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Thank you for letting folks know of the problems you're having. Although it has been a couple of years since I've dealt with them, I've used Decore-ative Specialties on many occasions in the past. Like Gus said, I've also never had any issue with them making good on any problem I had.

What you've experienced is absolutely unacceptable, which tells me a lot about the company's integrity.

In about a month or so I will be placing an order for several doors, drawer fronts, and drawer boxes. Not too keen, however, on giving this company any more of my business.
 

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Urghh,

Sounds like a real botch job by them, Da Vinci.

Sorry to hear it. What sucks is the perceived craftsmanship gets passed on to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Urghh,

Sounds like a real botch job by them, Da Vinci.

Sorry to hear it. What sucks is the perceived craftsmanship gets passed on to you.
Believe me, while the customer was fully aware of the difficulties we were having (the project missed our Christmas deadline), after we finished the doors and DFs – there is no perception of poor craftsmanship on that project… None! The customers are very happy with the end product :thumbsup:

It's scheduled for photography on Wednesday this week. I'll post some pics.
 

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We have used Decorative Specialties a lot, but, Like Gus, we are on the route for their own trucks. I have yet to have a problem.

Walzcraft has been great for us in the past. They do package everything very well for shipment and are pretty fast. We still use them on occasion.
 
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