Richard Kitchen had a problem with the Congoleum Ovations flooring he had installed in his home four years ago. The top layer had begun to wear off, exposing a white base underneath.
“No problem,” he thought. “I have a 20-year warranty.”
It seemed like a simple process to get the flooring replaced. Until it wasn’t.
Kitchen sent the company a letter several months ago and heard back from them reasonably quickly with a fair offer:
Although the report problem was not caused by a manufacturing defect, customer satisfaction with our product and service is important to us. In the interest of maintaining customer goodwill, we are pleased to offer you a one-time replacement of your floor covering with 21 cartons of Congoleum material equal in value to your Ovations floor covering, as well as reasonable labor. Your retailer will need a copy of the labor estimate to us for approval.
Sounds reasonable enough. But since the day Kitchen submitted his request, he says he was met with silence from the company.
Frustrated with Congoleum’s lack of response, Kitchen turned to our forums, which are read by our advocates, other readers, and customer service executives of various companies. Unfortunately, Congoleum is not a company whose contacts we provide on our company executive contacts page. But one of the forum readers came up with the idea of searching LinkedIn for that information. Sure enough, Kitchen was able to find contact information for many executives at Congoleum by searching on “Congoleum Corporation” on the LinkedIn website.
Armed with this new information, Kitchen began to reach out to Congoleum’s executives. At the same time, he also contacted our advocates, who requested that he share copies of his repair estimate with them.
Fortunately for Kitchen, he held on to all of his emails and was able to provide them to us to back up his claim. This is a great reminder to always create a “paper (or digital) trail,” and save the results. In this case, had we not had copies of Kitchen’s support items, this could have turned into a Case Dismissed story.
Surprisingly, when Kitchen checked back with the retailer about copies of the estimate, a representative told him that Congoleum had already approved the repairs. Apparently whichever executive Kitchen contacted last must have gotten the ball rolling.
We wonder if the retailer had had this approval for a while and had overlooked it until Kitchen called. Sometimes it is easy for large companies to misplace correspondence or information. The email from Congoleum is very clear that they had agreed to pay for the new flooring and installation.
However it happened, we wish Kitchen congratulations on the outcome of his claim. We’re floored!