I am writing this as a warning to other consumers so they won't end up in the same sinking boat as I am in. It maybe too late for me but I want to make sure these two businesses are exposed for the disreputable companies that they are.
At the end of May 2011, I was hired into another position within the company I work for and the driving distance with the gas prices was too far from where I lived in West Monroe, LA to where the new job was in Arcadia, LA. Since I have animals, the best housing for me has been mobile homes. The mobile home I lived in at West Monroe had been brought down from Ohio when I moved to Louisiana in a job transfer in 2008. Unfortunately it was a couple of years before the signs of damage showed up from the move. Since the home was over 12 years old, I did not have the money to fix it up the way it needed to be fixed up. I decided to buy a smaller size trailer (a 16 X 64 versus a 14 X 80) and for it to be new so any repairs etc would be minimal at best. Here is where my nightmare begins.
When I went online to look at different mobile home sales websites, I only found one that sold 16 X 64 trailers which was the West Monroe Mobile Home Sales (AKA B-Jo's Enterprises Inc 117 Jerry Street West Monroe, LA 71292 Ph#318-324-8185 fax# 318-325-6053). One of the sales ladies took me inside and showed me a trailer which was the size and color I was looking for but I noticed gouges in the wood cabinets in the kitchen (later I would find out it was plastic covering over wood to make it look like the plastic was wood) the walls in several spots had glue and stain marks that looked like water stains. She assured me that Cappaert Homes (the manufacturer of the home) would take care of any problems that came up in the house during the first year whether they were visible from the beginning or something that came up after the move. With the assurance that Cappaert Homes would do repairs and fix-ups and aware that I was to start my new job on June 13th, I sold my old trailer to the owers of the West Monroe Mobile Home Sales on 5/26/11 and on 6/2/11 took out a loan at the local credit union and purchased the 16 X 64 Big Foot mobile home.
Once they received the check and handed me the keys, it all went downhill from there. The owners always had "health issues" they were dealing with and it would take 4 or 5 phone calls on every issue before I would ever hear back from them. They were supposed to have moved the home from their facility over to the lot I would be living at on Monday 6/5/11 but they were still working on another job and finally after I pitched a fit that I had already rented a U-Haul truck for Saturday 6/11/11 to bring all my stuff from the old trailer over that they finally moved the trailer over on Thursday 6/9/11.
Unbeknownst to me, due to Homeland Security regulations, the electric on my lot could not be turned on until inspections were done and fees paid. When that was finally done, the electric was turned on 6/17/11 and in the Louisiana heat, no one lives anywhere in the summer without air conditioning so I had to continue to live in my old trailer in West Monroe and commute to my new job (luckily I had not moved any furniture just boxes of personal and household items. West Monroe Mobile Home Sales finally came on 6/23/11 to hook up the air conditioner. I was suppose to get the warranty information for the air conditioner which I did 11 months later. In reading the material, it stated that if you did not fill out the warranty card or go online within 90 days of the installation of the air conditioner, the warranty went from 10 years to 5 years so I got screwed there. When the house was set on the lot the front door was so crooked you could see the outside from both sides of the door. They kept telling me when the trailer settled the door would be fine. Since it was put in crooked it stayed crooked. At first they wanted Cappaert to fix the door and after a dozen or so phone calls that this needed to be fixed immediately, they finally agreed to come out and fix the door even though they made sure I understood that they were not obligated to fix the door.
This is what my entire experience with this company was. Once they got your money, they wanted you to disappear and never bother them again. And if they were going to do anything for you, it was going to be on their schedule and not yours. But working with West Monroe Mobile Home Sales would end up being a piece of cake in comparison to what it would be to deal with Cappaert Homes.
I filled out the to-do repair list on 7/7/11 which listed all the places in each room that needed repaired or replaced. I wrote down about the gouges, stains, spots on the walls in every area of the kitchen which also appear on most of the panels in the other rooms. When I was first looking at the trailer at the West Monroe Mobile Home Sales, I commented how nice it would be to have walls with washable wallpaper and they let me believe that is what I was looking at rather than telling me it was panels of sheet rock (which I had never heard of before) and that if it gets stained or dirty you can't clean it. It has to be painted preferably with washable paint in order to have clean walls. The flooring in the house was way worse than that. Not only was it put down uneven (which you could not have seen until after the home was moved to the lot) once any kind of dirt get on the floor, you have to scrape it off with a knife to try and get it clean and I have yet to find any type of cleaner or cleanser that will work on this type of flooring so in a trailer only a year old, the flooring looks over 10 years old and it is the same in the bathrooms too.
The dishwasher was installed into the home with a dead motor in it so GE Appliances came out in August to fix it under the warranty (which unbeknownst to me would expire the next month even though my paperwork stated the appliances had a one year warranty on them from the time of my purchase of the home) and when the refrigerator stopped working right in April 2012, I called GE Appliances and gave them my warranty information and that I needed the refrigerator fixed since it would not keep anything in the freezer part cold. She told me "sorry the warranty expired months ago since the warranty was only good for one year from the original purchase date by Cappaert Homes in September 2010. So Cappaert Homes did bring another refrigerator to replace the one I had but left the new refrigerator outside the back door of the trailer after they had taken the other one away and then the workers never came back to put the refigerator inside the house and I ended up having to ask my landlord to send a couple of their guys over and the refrigerator finally got put into the house 5 days later. The refrigerator is configured a little differently inside but basically it was the same refrigerator and if I don't keep the setting at the coldest level it won't keep ice and ice cream etc cold in the freezer part but now the water, milk, eggs and casseroles are all freezing up in the refrigerator part. Most likely, this new refrigerator 's warranty has expired too and I would have to pay out of pocket for any repairs to this "new" refrigerator.
The kitchen sink got stained and I don't know how. I tried all kinds of cleaners and cleansers and the stains are permanent. The faucets in that kitchen sink and the master bathroom sink spews water in all directions and all of this needs replaced. The finish was coming off the "wood" cabinets in the kitchen which turned out to be some kind of plastic covering and not real wood paneling at all.
These along with several other complaints were faxed to West Monroe Mobile Home SAles who in turn sent it to Cappaert Homes to schedule a time to come and make repairs. Cappaert was booked until September so then we would set up a time for them to come. Not once in our conversations did the woman who handles the work order repairs indicate they had any objections to the complaints in the house I had written down. On Sept 9th, I was told by our HR dept at work that my leave time had been used up for the rest of the calendar year and any hours missed would have to be made up in order to receive my full salary. I had been told by the lady at Cappaert that their techs only worked M-F and the owner would have to be on premises while they were working. So it left me no choice of having to have the repairs done after the first of the year when all my leave time would start again. A few days into the New Year I called to get a time set up and the lady I would need to do that with was on medical leave and I would have to call back in a month. So I called back again in early February and told her I was taking a week's vacation the week of Feb 20th and I wanted to set aside Thursday and Friday of that week to have the repairs done. I asked her if she still had the list from July and she said yes and it would be given to the tech for his work order.
On Feb 23rd, the tech and two others show up around 8:30 a.m. (on Feb 20th I had adopted a puppy that had been abandoned on the side of a road and he was 8 weeks old and was in a crate. This will become important later on.) I told them what I had written on the report of what needed to be fixed or replaced and I showed them what I was talking about. He looked around and agreed with me. I left shortly after that for a doctor's appointment and expected them to be there when I returned around 11:30 a.m. They were gone never to return. But I did find out from this tech on the phone when I called him later that he and several other techs worked weekends because they have several customers that could never be home during the week so that was my first real proof they had lied to me for months. The repairs could have been done months earlier if they had told me they did work weekends.
When I called Cappaert on Monday to find out why the techs had come and stayed 2 1/2 hours instead of 2 days and had done virtually none of the repairs listed on the report, she claimed she had no idea they have not done the repairs. I then wrote Cappaert a long letter on 2/28/12 on what was to have been done in the house and then faxed that letter to her (Cappaert has no e-mail address that I was ever able to find, there is none listed anywhere on the Internet for their company). She said she would go over all this again and we rescheduled the repairs for March 31st/April 1st. (The week before I had adopted another puppy about 8 weeks old that had been abandoned at the dumpster where we take our trash. Both puppies were in cages.) March 31st came and went with no one coming to do repairs or calling me about not showing up. I called Cappaert on Monday again to find out what happened and again she claimed she had no idea the men had not shown up. It was tentatively rescheduled for April 14th and 15th but the cat I was fostering ended up giving birth to 5 kittens on April 3rd so it was postponed until April 27th/28th.
In the meantime, the tech who had been there in February and was the one who was suppose to have come on March 31st quit his job so I faxed Cappaert all the letters I had written to them on what needed to be repaired. But by then she was beginning to balk about the amount of repairs being requested; that there was no way it could be that bad when it was a new trailer (gee ya think, isn't that what I had been saying for almost a year??!!) Well April 27th comes around and 3 men from Cappaert who work in their manufacturing area came and guess what supplies they brought with them?.......one toilet seat (instead of two) once faucet for the bathtub (instead of the kitchen and bathroom sinks) and 5 or 6 panels of sheet rock (along with the refrigerator that they left outside.) No flooring of any kind, no kitchen sink and nothing to take care of the scratches and gouges in the kitchen cabinets. They planned on staying 3-4 hours . I just lost it and started screaming that I had been assured on the phone that the repairs were all going to be taken care of that weekend. The men told me what they had brought is all that was on the work order they were given.
They had a camera phone and went from room to room taking pictures and agreed wholeheartedly with everything I had said and why I wanted it fixed. I asked them if they thought the inside of the trailer looked new and was worth the $27,900 that I paid for it? They replaced the one toilet seat and then told me they were leaving to go get supplies and would come back on Sunday morning and start doing the repairs and after the new flooring was put down would bring in the refrigerator and set it in its spot. They said they would come back the next weekend to finish what did not get done on Sunday. They told me before they left that they totally understood how I felt and they would feel the same way if it were them. Well can you guess what happened on Sunday April 28th? They never came back and they never called. So the refrigerator would sit outside for 5 days until my landlord had it brought into the house. When I contacted Cappaert on Monday to find out what had happened this time is when she laid the bombshell on me that the pictures their employees took clearly and definitively showed animal abuse even though all my cats are declawed and the two dogs are in a cage. So after I made my point that I what I had asked to be fixed or replaced was in print months before I ever had any dogs and anything they might have done was not asked by me for them to repair, she backed off. Then she said she never kept copies of anything sent to them by a customer, that those papers are given to the techs for their work orders. So on May 1st I refaxed all the paperwork to her again and we rescheduled the repairs for May 12th and 13th. When I called a couple of days before May 12th to make sure everything was going to be handled and they would be there the whole weekend (even though it was Mother's Day weekend) to get it all done....she said yes.
So May 12th comes around and 3 new techs from Texas show up and all the supplies they have are flooring for the kitchen and the new trim after they laid the flooring. No sink or faucets or toilet seat or sheet rock or fixing the kitchen cabinets or putting flooring in the bathrooms which was no better than the kitchen floor had been; just the flooring in the kitchen. They told me that is all that was on their work order and they would be there roughly a half a day. I told them this was not acceptable. I was promised the repairs would be made and there was no use to have the flooring done and leave the cabinets and walls in the condition they were in. So the bundled up flooring was taken outside to be stored and they left after I told them I would be in contact with Cappaert.
On May 14th, a certified letter was mailed to me from Cappaert stating that they had repeatedly attempted to come to my home and service warranty items. Due to their service reps being told by me to leave the house prior to completion upon our mutually agreed on work order (even though I was never faxed or e-mailed a work order to agree on in the entire year of the warranty) Cappaert contacted the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Commission who would do an inspection and then render their findings on what needed repaired by Cappaert. The gentleman was to contact me within 2 weeks of the date of the certified letter. I had my suspicions as to how partial someone would be from the LMHC to a company that was part of a manufactured housing association. The first clue was when I had not heard from anyone in the commission in the 2 weeks so on May 29th I called there and they gave me the man's cell phone number which I called and he said "oh yes, I was going to get around to calling you." He scheduled the inspection for Tuesday June 5th at 9:00 a.m.. Let's just say after he arrived my suspicions were 100% realized. The man was an assistant state fire marshal and he only dealt with fire hazards or gross negligence of materials. The owner of Cappaert Homes was there also and from the momen he walked into the house had this smug look on his face.
Even though I can't prove it, there is no doubt in my mind Cappaert already knew what was going to come out of the inspector's mouth. When the man started to talk, it was almost word for word what Cappaert's had said to me on the phone that everything I wanted done was cosmetic and a result of animal abuse which is what the inspector said. (That is why I have in here about the dogs because once they knew I had dogs that was the out they had been looking for and why they took the pictures with the camera phone on April 27th in order to use these puppies as the reason they were never going to do any repairs in my house. Irregardless of the fact the dogs did not exist when I wrote all the problems on the repair list in JUly 2011, they had their perfect out and took full advantage of it along with the help from the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Commission.)When I asked the inspector if Cappaert's were never going to replace any sheet rock why did they bring all those pieces of sheet rock that has been sitting outside since April 27th? When he and Cappaert looked outside and saw the sheet rock laying there the inspector asked Cappaert about it and he denied any knowledge of how that sheet rock got there and knew nothing about it as he never approved any tech bringing it although the techs would not have brought it if it had not been on a work order. But his denial was good enough for the inspector and in one last dig he said to me "as far as the floor being dirty and stained, maybe if you would get down on your hands and knees and scrub it, it might look clean." ( I am 58 years old and have arthritis in both knees; I can barely get up off the floor.)
Well I didn't need to hear anything more from this farce. I can assure you unlike May 12th, I did say "take your crap and get the hell out of my house...NOW. I'm done with both of you." Their legs practically tangled together running out of the house. A few days later I got the official letter which stated all the complaints were cosmetic and obviously brought on my animal abuse and Cappaert owed me nothing and any repairs would be my responsibility.
So over the course of the next year, I will have to fork over depending on the labor costs a couple thousand dollars to get the trailer looking like the new house I was suppose to have purchased a year ago. It is ludicrous to believe that after buying this 14 X 64 trailer for almost $28,000 at 8.9% interest for 10 years and paying $474.00 a month in a mortgage payment, I would destroy the place myself and leave it unsellable if I would ever need to do that.
It may be too late for me but this is a warning to any potential consumers or customers to NOT buy anything form West Monroe Mobile Home Sales and if you see the home you might be looking at is a Cappaert Home and the states that sell Cappaert Homes are Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida........don't walk..........RUN as fast as you can in the opposite direction. No matter what the home may look like on a showroom lot, it won't stay that way once you are moved in.
There is no way I will ever believe the way I was treated over all those months by Cappaert was an isolated incident. If they screwed with me the way they did and played all of those mind games and semantics all those months they have done it to other people too. That kind of customer service is NOT random. They will not stand behind their workmanship and they will do whatever it takes to make sure they do as little repairs as possible regardless of the condition of the product they have used in the home. Judging from the condition of the flooring, sheet rock etc it has to be the cheapest material they could have found and that includes the appliances also.
I'm sure Cappaert left my house believing he had won the battle but I can only hope by telling my experience with both of these companies a lot less people will have to go through the hell I have been put through. I have made a point to not mention anyone specific by name and just refer to the company name because I am now going to move on with my life and put this ugly, horrible incident behind me but I felt an obligation to share all of this so other consumers can avoid all the mistakes I made, albeit unintentional, and hope that these companies will in the end lose the war.
Thank you for reading this and allowing me to say what I needed to say and what small justice which might come out of this for me will be that someone else will not have to go through this too. It is a sad day when no company in America seems to have to show accountability for the product they put on the market. If you purchase a product that turns out to be a lemon you are screwed and unless you want a long protracted court fight which would cost you as much as the house itself did, you end up redoing the place yourself. And that is what it will be for me.