Please Note: After reading that DirectBuy desired to hear member complaints and is committed to 100% member satisfaction, I sent a detailed complaint message concerning an order placed through a DirectBuy merchant to DirectBuyhelp@directbuy.com on November 8, 2011.
Judge their statement for yourself. To date I have not received any acknowledgement of the grievance message.
During our extended and detailed planning process for our kitchen remodel, my husband and I visited Direct Buy in Sunnyvale, TX and purchased a membership based on their access to home improvement and remodeling suppliers. After several months of space planning and ordering numerous door samples in different stains and glazes from Brookwood, we placed our order on August 26, 2011 based on a sample door we received.
Our cabinets were delivered to our home on October 14, 2011 and per the specific instructions from our DirectBuy cabinet specialist, we opened the first box of cabinets that came off the truck. To our extreme disappointment there was a significant color difference in the cabinets being delivered and our sample door that Brookwood provided us. Our order from Brookwood should have been a warm, rich golden-brown and what was delivered was significantly lighter with orange tones. In addition, we ordered hand applied distressing, glazing and spattering to enrich the door design, texture and color and these applications were hardly noticeable even under close inspection. We had been assured that our sample door would be a very close representation of our finished product in quality and color. What we received was in no way representative of our sample - in color or quality application of the special finishes.
I immediately phoned our cabinet specialist at Direct Buy Sunnyvale to notify her of the problem. She phoned her Brookwood representative who encouraged us to accept the delivery and he would get someone to come and add more stain and glaze? Of course, this isnt even possible. One of the features of Brookwoods finishing process is their catalyzed conversion varnish that is baked on and offers a lifetime warranty. Stain added after varnish would have been nonsensical, short lived, and would not correct the problem. We refused to accept the shipment.
The following Monday, the Brookwood representative met my husband at the shipping warehouse and verbally agreed that the cabinets we received did not match our sample. Please note that our DirectBuy cabinet specialist did not go to the warehouse as planned. When a representative from Direct Buy did not go to the warehouse and physically see the color discrepancy firsthand, I was very disappointed. Also note that in our quest for cabinetry, the specialist continually directed us to the Brookwood line over other cabinetry brands. She touted Brookwood's sampling process, their high quality of workmanship, their attention to detail, and the wide variety of stains, glazes and special finish
options available. Later, I discovered that Brookwood is StarMarks brand marketed specifically to
The Brookwood representative cut my sample door in half and sent a piece of my sample and a door from the cabinet shipment via overnight courier to their factory. Based on statements from the representative we were fairly confident that Brookwood would resolve the situation and send us cabinets that matched our sample. He even spoke of putting us at the front of the line and we could have cabinets within a matter of weeks. He assured us he would be in touch within a few days. A week past and I did not hear from the representative. I called and left several voice mail messages with no response. I then tried to contact our cabinet specialist at DirectBuy which is also difficult. The Direct
Buy in Sunnyvale has changed their hours numerous times and is no longer open on Monday or Tuesday so it was several more days before I could reach her. When I did finally reach her, she informed me that Brookwood believed the color shift to be within acceptable limits. Acceptable to them, but not acceptable to us. It's a completely different color!
At this point, I insisted on speaking to the franchise owner of DirectBuy, Sunnyvale. After a conference call between all parties more than three weeks ago, there has been no contact from DirectBuy or Brookwood. Over the many months of meticulously selecting sample colors and refining our cabinet layout, we consistently took a drawer from our kitchen to assist us in our color match because we have a great deal of other stained wood in the same color. We wanted a nicer wood with a smoother grain
and hidden hinges which is the reason we elected to replace as opposed to refinish. The cabinets that were delivered will not match any of our existing interiors. In addition, based on our door sample, we have purchased two granite slabs totaling more than $6,000 which also will not match the cabinets we
On the color chart in Brookwoods catalog, there are 33 different color choices for Cherry and almost ALL of the stains are available with additional special finish options to enhance the colors even further, essentially offering multiple shading possibilities with very subtle differences. ALL of the color swatches shown are visibly unique and different. Why bother to offer so many different stains and glazes with subtle differences if there are wide ranges of acceptable color shifts?
Furthermore, the Brookwood representative's color sample of Butterscotch with Chocolate Glaze did match the Butterscotch with Chocolate Glaze cabinets that were shipped to us;however, it does not match our sample door which is labeled Butterscotch with Chocolate Glaze. After reviewing the color
samples and glazes shown on the StarMark website and in our Brookwood catalog, it is our contention that our sample door color is MISLABELED! Our sample door is labeled Butterscotch with Chocolate Glaze, but it matches StarMarks Butterscotch with Ebony Glaze which is darker and browner.
My kitchen has been completely gutted since October 3rd and this is causing a physical and emotional hardship for our family. My patience has been exhausted and there appears to be no expediency on anyones part to resolve or correct our problem. Our check for $17, 066.81 was made payable to
Direct Buy, Sunnyvale not Brookwood. That check cleared on August 30th. We placed our order through DirectBuy in good faith and as DirectBuy members we are going to hold DirectBuy accountable for the merchants that they represent and the quality of their products. In turn, Direct Buy must hold StarMark/Brookwood accountable to deliver the product in the color according to our approved sample.
I resent that DirectBuy, Sunnyvale has not been more proactive in representing us with this very serious grievance with Brookwood Cabinetry. We cannot be held responsible for Brookwoods poor quality control in their factory, mislabeled samples (if thats even the problem), or the companys inability to provide a product that is representative of their sample. If DirectBuy
will not stand behind their members and assist us in receiving the merchandise as ordered, we will not only seek to be reimbursed for our cabinets, but also our membership fees as doing business there is pointless. I could receive better customer service and courteous attention from a big box store.
Thank you for reading.
Sherry R., Dallas, TX