Thank You very much for the review. I appreciate feedback that I get from my clients immensely both the words of praise and harsh criticism, as I strive to be better at what I do every day. As anyone reading reviews on my Homestars profile might have noticed, I rarely leave replies to reviews, mostly because I prefer to call each customer, who left one, and thank them in person.
In this particular case though I would like to leave my response here in plain public sight because, in my opinion, a review, should be based on hard facts and this one clearly isn't.
Here's why(if You want to skip the detailed and frankly quite lengthy explanation - just scroll to the last few paragraphs):
On April 9th, 2016 I was contacted through the Lusso Design website for quotation for the door inserts and two 2nd floor windows, after a brief email exchange we've met with Violetta on April 23rd for the preliminary quote. As part of my regular quotation process I've explained the different types and style of inserts, that we carry, as well as the installation process and left Violetta with access to an extensive insert design library, that we have so that she can choose the style that she likes the best from the selection of over 400 insert design that we have.
On April 30th I have sent an estimate on the design that Violetta confirmed for me. The estimate was 2200$ and was perfectly within the original quote, that I gave. It included two full-size inserts and two 2nd floor windows with matching ironwork, as well as the alignment of the doors to heavier weight, new ballbearing hinges, black frames for door inserts that match ironwork and a peephole(which is our standard package for any of the inserts, that we manufacture ourselves). I also mentioned that the particular design that You've picked is among the more unique and the most expensive ones among the designs that we carry(Here's the picture of the finished job by the way - https://www.facebook.com/LussoDesign/photos/a.531148206926692.1073741826.115466838494833/1160761470632026/?type=1&theater)
On 5th of May I've got the email reply in which Violetta had offered me 1600$ for this job, I respectfully declined the offer and explained that even if she had been actually been offered 1600$ by another company for this project(which is quite below the market cost even for the much cheaper designs), the design that she was offered for this price would probably be rather different since different door inserts would vary in price greatly based on where they were made and on what the actual design is.
Because the design, the I initially quoted her on, was in the top 20 of our most expensive inserts and because the two large second floor windows were positioned on the 2nd floor height which raised the complexity of the project quite a lot, I said that I would either be able to do the whole thing for 2150$ or price match the quote that she has gotten from the other company on the same design that they had offered.
In the same email from the 5th of May Violetta had mentioned that the project has to be done by the end of June, which at that point I agreed posed no problem for us with the average manufacturing time frame of 4-5 weeks.
On the 7th of May I've got another email from Violetta asking if I would be able to do the original design for 1950$ or that she would have to choose another company at which point I had to reply that the 2150$ offer was final and that I would very much like to work with her but to fit within that estimate we either need to use a different design or that she can use another company if she prefers.
On the 16th of May I have had received an email that You wanted to go ahead with the original choice of design, agree on the cost of 2150$ and asked to "Make sure installation should be done latest by July 10th" this is the exact quote from the email (not by 15th-20th of June as Violetta incorrectly states in the review).
Due to mine and Violetta's busy work schedule we've met on May 21st in the office of the company that she owns to go over the details and sign the final contract. I was asked to complete the job by the end of June due to Violetta's family coming to visit her 2nd week of July if I remember correctly, and she stated that she will be too busy during their visit to get the inserts done. The insert installation was scheduled for Saturday June 25th (Yet again, not the 15th-20th of June as Violetta incorrectly states in the review)and I said that "If everything goes as planned the installation would not be an issue"
I also agreed to installs pair of handles for her free of charge in addition to everything else.
The next 4 weeks were a blur with the construction season picking up momentum and the production companies involved in the production of the doors and door inserts, that we manufacture, getting busier and starting to work pretty much at their output capacity.
To understand the properly here's a brief explanation of the production process of the particular kind of insert that we are talking about. It consists of several stages and involves a concentrated effort of 5 separate companies each of which is a rather big name in their particular industry(metal fabrication, metal finishing and glass and sealed unit production to name a few).
Stage 1: Concept and design stage - while the door itself had been produced before the upper windows were odd size and the metal design for them required a creating of complex design and blueprint which I do myself - usually takes up to 2 weeks
Stage 2: Metal fabrication - metal grills are cut with massive industrial lasercutting machines by the CNC and metal fabrication company that we deal with - 1-2 weeks
Stage 3: Metal grill polish/fine finish - metal grills come out of lasercut machine a bit raw and require some polish to take the burrs and imperfections off which we usually do in our shop within a few days after we receive them from lasercutting
Stage 4: Powdercoating - process of applying the durable black finish that is baked on the metal grill - done in batches of 15 grills and more on a conveyor line by a powdercoating supplier - usually takes 3-7 days
Stage 5: Glass tempering and sealed unit production - glass that is used for doors had to be tempered(a special baking/flash cooling process that makes the glass extra hard to break) which is done by only one of 3 companies in GTA that is able to temper the particular types of patterned glass that we use. Such as niagara glass that was to be used on that particular project. and then the powdercoated grills and the tempered glass sheets are assembled into a fully finished insert which is called a sealed unit in technical language by another company that specializes in sealed unit production - that stage that's about 2 weeks.
To fit within the timeframe that I have committed to I had to expedite the production process working on the blueprint at night, asking for a few favors with the lasercutting company and the powdercoating company to make sure that by 20th of June we have the grills finished and ready. The tempered glass was ordered ahead of time and the actual sealed unit can be expedited to be done within 3 days so I didn't expect any delays with this particular project.
Unfortunately as it tends to happen things fell apart at the last moment with the tempered glass for the inserts was not delivered on time even though up until the last moment the updates that I was getting from the sealed glass company stated that we are on track and the latest we'd be getting the glass would be Friday 24th which still allows to pick up dry sealed units Sat 25th.
When Friday 24th I got the final update that the tempered glass isn't there I called Violetta and explained her the situation. I said that as per glass company update the glass was supposed to be delivered but with the current delay the installation would not happen and asked if we could move the installation 7 days forward to Saturday 2nd of July and that would cancel my long weekend plans to make sure that the inserts are installed as soon as it's physically possible. Violetta had reacted rather hostile and I have to say that up to this day I have never had met the client that would treat me with such contempt. I've dealt with clients that were frustrated and upset and I was always able to reach a mutual understanding with anyone, but this was something different and frankly rather unusual to me. We have had agreed to move installation to July 2nd and that's when Violetta had asked me to send her a confirmation email that if the job is not completed by 2nd of July she would be provided with a 500$ discount( Yes, on 24th - the first time the insert was delayed and not the 2nd time as again incorrectly stated in the review). I was a little bit surprised with quite a steep amount but for me keeping my customers happy is more important than anything else and so I agreed. I was then asked to resend the email 3 times(!!!!) when Violetta did not receive it right away and so I did, even sending a text message as well to make sure that it's received.
The next 4 days(Saturday and Sunday the factory were closed) I spend calling to the glass supplier daily to check on the delivery of the tempered glass and I was assured that everything seems under control but alas on Thursday 30th morning when I received another update that the glass isn't there I send Violetta a text notifying that there's a good possibility that the install might need to be pushed back a few days and that I would call her as soon as I have a solid date. I personally went to the sealed glass company, together with their production manager we've called the owner of the tempered company and got the guarantee that the glass would be delivered no later than Tuesday the following week which will put the sealed unit completion and the earliest install date on Thursday, July 7th for me.
At that point I called Violetta and told her that we would need to move installation to Thursday 7th of July (which as far as I remembered was still acceptable from the initial timeframe that was stated in the first agreement) I apologized, explained the situation in great detail, told Violetta that if the delay is causing any other contractors working on or around the door any issues I would be happy to work it out with them and cover any potential costs that may arise and of course confirmed that the 500$ discount that we agreed on will be immediately applied to the balance). At first it seemed that we have an understanding and the 500$ was sufficient to compensate for an 11 calendar day delay(that will be if You count both weekends and holidays - of course, if You go by regular working days it will actually be even less) (11 days, but still not 4 weeks as again stated incorrectly in the review) and confirmed the 7th of July as the final installation date. At which point, I suppose, to drive the point home Violetta decided to personally insult me and threaten me with among other things, the exact words being that "if the job is not done by then this all will end badly for You" and that she has "great influence among some contractors". Not sure what was this meant to achieve since I already told her that I will do everything in my power to get it done but it did upset me quite a lot as I do take every single project that I take on very seriously and had already been already frustrated and stressed out from the whole ordeal.
So the morning of 7th of May the inserts were finished, so my installer and I went to do the installation at the agreed time of 3pm. The inserts and the 2nd-floor windows went in perfectly. We have had also realigned the door and installed the new handles but couldn't do the hinges and the peephole because the handle, that Violetta brought in, was a different finish from the one she earlier confirmed in the email so since the hinges and the new handles were a mismatch we were forced to come back the next day(Friday 8th) to install the hinges in the appropriate color to match the new handle color(because of which I had to cancel 2 appointments scheduled for that evening). By the way in the review Violetta mentioned that all of the trades that she had hired to do renovations were finished way before Us, yet the day I was there, I've seen another company at the house installing a bathroom cabinets, which is why You can see the cabinet standing on the floor in the finished project photo. I also was asked to go up to the second floor to clean the windows better which was done as well.
The next day(Saturday 9th) I went to Violetta's office to pick up the balance. When we went over the details of the order I did realise that I did forget about the peephole(which literally takes about 7 minutes to get installed in the door, costs about 7$ and can be installed into the door at any time completely independently of painting the door or anything else) so after collecting the balance less 500$ discount, I left a 100$ with Violetta as balance for peephole installation and told her that will come back the following week to install the peephole, she replied that I can come any time as long as I give hew a few hours notice. Unfortunately two days of that week I've spent at the mechanic shop dealing with my truck that broke down and the day I picked the truck from the shop my 3-year-old daughter got really sick at which point I sent Violetta a text message saying that I will be taking some time off work to stay with her. I followed up with another text, later on, informing her, that I am working through a schedule setback created by not being able to work properly for a whole week and will let her know as soon as I'm in the area to install the peephole. A few days later I've noticed the review and that's where we currently stand.
So to summarize with hard facts:
As of today the job is currently 99.5% complete(peephole missing) with only an 11 day delay off the initially confirmed date and still within the latest delivery date specified by the client (not later than July 10th) and Violetta received a 600$ discount from the original 2150$ we have had agreed on as compensation.
The review improperly states the completion date agreed on(initially confirmed date of 25th initial completion date, as well as the latest completion date of 9th of July NOT "the 15-20th June") , the amount of time given to complete the job(one month and 4 days is NOT "1.5 month") the time at which the discount was requested(at the first delay, not the second) The amount of delay(Installation happened with a 12 day delay, not "almost 4 weeks"), "many things left behind" is actually only a peephole. as well as fails to mention the additional 100$ that was left with the client.
I do have the screen capture of every single email that I mention in this reply as well as text message exchanges.
After doing all of the fact checking on this review, I have had actually realised, that I can probably report it, since it doesn't meet the paragraph 5 of Homestars review guidelines which among other things states that reviewer must "Ensure your content is as factually accurate as possible according to your knowledge and experience" but I would prefer for the whole thing to stay up since it's 3am as I'm finishing up this reply and I've spent a good couple of hours writing this and I still would prefer for anyone, who's been reading this, to decide who is in the right in this situation for themselves.
In the end of the day, I am truly thankful for this review. This project did teach me yet a few more valuable lessons about working in my industry. It's regrettable, that we didn't seem to find understanding with Violetta, but I do wish her all the best with all of the upcoming projects, that I'm sure from now on would be completed by big reputable companies (and not a small businesses, like the one run by Yours truly) that have secretaries to answer phone calls.
Have a wonderful day, Everyone!!!
PS The offer to install the peephole is still standing and I'd be happy to come by to have it done anytime.