John Osman’s custom countertops from Home Depot don’t fit his kitchen. The company won’t fix it. What now?
Question: I need help with a countertop installation disaster. There’s been a complete disconnect between Home Depot’s design plan and its subcontractor, Precision Countertops.
The countertop for my sink side was made incorrectly. There was supposed to be a 12-inch overhang. The new countertops didn’t fit. I’ve contacted both Home Depot and Precision Countertops about the mistake, but neither company will fix it. Can you help? — John Osman, Seattle
Answer: Home Depot ought to stand behind its workmanship, even if it’s performed by a subcontractor. Indeed, the company promises to “provide the highest level of service” which certainly suggests it will ensure your countertops fit. It also pledges to offer “excellent customer service” and to do the “right thing.”
Are you sure you were shopping at Home Depot? That doesn’t sound like Home Depot at all.
You forwarded the emails between you, Home Depot and Precision Countertops. The subcontractor insists he didn’t make a mistake, noting that his employee is “very detailed and meticulous.” A representative added, “Overhangs are not decided upon without confirmation with the client and a series of sign offs and illustrations that display the agreed to countertop layout.”
In other words, you had to agree to the changes.
Precision Countertops agreed to redo the counters at a discounted price.
So that left the ball in Home Depot’s court. The correspondence suggest it wanted Precision Countertops to handle this but was unwilling to take responsibility, even though you commissioned the work through Home Depot.
Here’s the thing to remember: Behind the scenes, there’s a financial relationship between Precision Countertops and Home Depot. I’m not privy to the details, but the company is probably paying a referral fee or flat fee to do business from the Home Depot location. So there’s some accountability, and it’s probably enshrined in a contract. The two companies can play “pass the buck” as much as they want to, but at some point, the buck must stop.
As far as you’re concerned, you were doing business with Home Depot — and that’s who should shoulder the responsibility. A brief, polite, appeal to one of the Home Depot executive contacts might have helped.
I contacted Home Depot on your behalf and after some back and forth, it agreed to cover the replacement of your countertops.