Interesting company responses!!! Thousands of happy customers? Maybe he’s talking about the thousands in Mexico or Florida, since they have pictures of bathrooms on their website with palm trees outside the window? Number one seven years running - in the Flamborough Review – where anyone with an email address can vote, with no real validation process (they would never check to see that Cavallini is an “F” on the BBB. Yes, an “F”). Don’t buy this garbage at all, take these “awards” for what they’re worth. The rock bottom rating on the Better Business Bureau should tell you everything you need to know. Look it up! And, out of these thousands of happy customers, one of the best references the owner could provide to US were his brother’s mother, (he claimed he did her kitchen - when she told me it was the bathroom!). We found this out a little too late..
So getting to OUR “fun” experience… The excuses, poor product, no product, wrong product, (wrong range hood - owner claimed what was delivered was the “48 inch version”, and an arch could not be built – I called the manufacturer and was told they can do anything we imagined – not a problem). Owner didn’t even have the decency to tell us it would be different. Pics attached – you decide. Wrong measurements (didn’t bother to measure ceiling height), and terrible repairs on some doors that were sized incorrectly and were simply hacked on one side and called “fixed” similar to a previous post. Our hutch also had a big bow on the left side, scratches and water stains after being returned from it being “fixed”. We asked for several different cabinet pullouts, a dishwasher panel - all indicated on the approved drawing copy by the owner – and we got ONE pull out. We asked about the missing items and got a perplexed look like it was the first they heard of this! With all the delays and mistakes, there was NOT ONE apology from anyone with the company. Nothing but blame-shifting and zero accountability. Also, if we hadn’t been closely involved with the project from the beginning, we’d have inadequate duct work, and an inadequate gas line for our 48” range. They said they never had to deal with this before (REALLY? Out of THOUSANDS of super happy customers of the multi-award winning Cavallini Kitchens and Baths? Not one customer had a big stove?!?!). We also had a slope in our kitchen floor which should have been rectified prior to flooring going down, but the scratch coat for the tile was already on before we could even discuss it. The company didn’t want to bother fixing it obviously, as in our first conversation about it, the cost was $2,000 to fix. The next time I expressed concern about it, it was $6,000 to fix. I would’ve paid to do it right, however Cavallini was more interested in getting the job over with and leaving it wrong than making it right. I was talked out of it, claiming it would never be “Right” so I agreed figuring he knew what he was doing (boy was I wrong) plus I wanted the project done. Not everything is like on Home and Garden TV, but this was just complete negligence.
Prior to us firing Cavallini, we saw a worker ONCE over the course of a month and a half. While we were waiting for our granite (over a MONTH since templating was done when it’s supposed to be a 4 day turnaround), we were asked for a payment from Cavallini as, in their words “we need to pay for the granite”. (ALARM BELLS ! – this was to be paid for with our initial payments. What happened to those funds???). We were then told we selected a Premium Granite and would have to pay EXTRA (it said Premium granite on the contract and he told us anything over a Level 4 was extra. That magically turned to Level 2 four months later). We eventually found out that the granite company was owed a pile of money and they weren’t releasing anything until they got a cheque from Cavallini. Cavallini tried to hold some materials back until they received a payment (payment that was owing for delivery of all cabinets – which we didn’t receive - and money for extras which was to be paid upon final completion of the job – which of course wasn’t going to happen in any semblance of a reasonable time). They actually demanded this while GUARANTEEING the granite was going to be installed the following day at a specific time --- not knowing we confirmed the granite hadn’t been paid for and wasn’t even in production yet! AN OUT AND OUT FABRICATION just to suck some money out of us! Knowing what we knew, we would have been crazy to give them the balance owing! So, fed up with dealing with this inept and unscrupulous company any longer, we had to purchase granite on our own, purchase a bathroom vanity (that was promised to us, yet all we got were blank stares when asked about it) and purchase all the materials to finish the kitchen and bathroom ourselves by a competent contractor (including replacing the dummy doors they hacked apart).
To top it off, upon paying a visit to the cabinet company, we were told that our kitchen “had not been paid for” and Cavallini was on a cash-only basis. We were four months without a working kitchen – no countertops, no sink. Regarding a previous company response on the J&G Bober post, how can you default on a payment when the company gets 90% up front before they even do one bit of work!! (45% initial deposit and 45% on the first day of work, 5% on delivery of cabinets - always stuff missing - and 5% upon completion (which means when the job is done, over, finished, complete, approved by customer, last day we see their faces). Despite this payment schedule outlined on his contract, the owner seems to think that payment in full needs to be made in order to finish the job. What a joke.
If you’ve signed up with this company recently and have a lump in your throat reading this – we feel for you. Don’t be fooled by the glowing reviews on the net, they are probably family and/or friends or posted by the owner himself. Interestingly, you’ll notice 3 posts below that all were posted on the same day removed for verification. One in particular starting with “First of all id like to say I am ” can be found , word for word, under DIFFERENT NAMES on several other review sites similar to HomeStars. Another post claiming a kitchen was delivered and installed in TWO WEEKS (?!?!!) when all the rest of us took MONTHS and MONTHS! You figure it out… We’ve stumbled across other Cavallini customers (word of mouth travels fast when you’re bad) and each one has either fired Cavallini, or they’ve had their job abandoned. Others, several months in without a finished job. By the way, a HomeStars review is based on the completed work. You get a ZERO for not finishing the job and not supplying the correct product!!! You don’t get an “8” for only doing 80% of the project!
If all this doesn’t sway you, be sure to ask for at least 3 references from the last 6 months and ask to see the work IN PERSON with receipts. Ask for licenses from the “trades” as we had the owner tell us leaving connected wires OUTSIDE of a potlight box is acceptable -which he said he CONFIRMED with an electrician. (I called 3 electricians in town myself to verify, and that’s a BIG no-no. Something else I have to fix…)
In summary, we feel embarrassed we got hooked by this company (they were a “B” on the BBB which we questioned, and of course given some story), embarrassed when others ask why our reno is still not done after six months, and embarrassed about showing the product and/or work.
Can’t stress enough – STAY FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR AWAY from these guys!
UPDATE - March, 2014. His response from the BBB a YEAR later: "The customer had been behind on most payments during the entire contract, while work continued. The customer had full intention to take advantage of payment structure and not uphold their end of the contract. The customer's intention all along was to get the material delivered and have an independent contractor install it. Work and the contract was terminated once Cavallini got wind of the customer's intention."
Recognize a pattern? He gets 90% and claims you didn't pay him?
- Approximate cost of services:
- What could this company do to improve their services?
- Any advice to offer fellow homeowners facing a similar project?