I have included the text of the complaint letter that I submitted to the BBB and the State of Pennsylvania's Attorney General's Office of Consumer Advocacy:
The BBB confirmed that they have communicated my complaint to Mr. Sandless around May 4th. As of June 5th I have not received any confirmation that Mr. Sandless has responded to the BBB.
In January 2012 we contracted Mr. Sandless to remove light surface scratches from pre-finished hardwood floors in the
foyer area of our home. The living room, office and dining room areas are all connected to the foyer so all areas were to be done using their wet sandless process. Ruth, at the Mr. Sandless Philadelphia branch agreed that they could do the job via phone conversation, so pre-inspection of floor was not done. Note: The floors were just under five years old when Mr. Sandless worked on them. Three of the years the home was used as a model home by the builder with little use. We have lived in the house for the past two years so the floors were in excellent condition save for the light surface scratches in the foyer.
The first job was almost complete when the Mr. Sandless crew lead expressed concern that he was not satisfied with a small area in the office. He told us that he would need to return and start the entire process over.
The Mr. Sandless crew returned for the second job and completed it after dark, stating they were complete but that we could not walk on it (and therefore not inspect it) for a few hours until it dried. Upon inspection a few hours later we found significant damage to the quarter round, baseboards, columns and walls throughout the area that they
worked on. Including splashing of stain on walls, baseboards, etc. as well as areas where paint had been pulled off the quarter round and baseboard from where they had left painters tape on for over two days. Additionally, the floors were splotched and unevenly finished.
We called the Mr. Sandless Philadelphia branch (where we contracted the service) and notified them of the issue. They offered their apologies as well as to schedule a time for a crew to come out and survey the damage as well as clean and repaint the baseboards, etc. They also stated that no stain should have been used so the crew apparently did not follow
the proper process. Another crew came out and repainted the damaged areas (using our original builders paint) and notified us that another crew would be scheduled to come out and fix the floors. We re-painted the walls in the office as they had stain all over the lower parts.
According to Mr. Sandless, their wet process could not be used a third time so they would need to use their dustless sanding process to strip the floors down to the bare wood, stain and seal. They also offered to allow us to pick any color, which we did. Upon completion of this job, the crew left, again stating not to walk on the floors for a few hours
to allow for drying. After a few hours of dry time, it became apparent that the sanding was not done correctly as the floors were rippled throughout as well as showing swirl marks, most noticeably in the corners.
We again escalated the issue to Mr. Sandless office and was this time directed to their corporate office where Len (do not know last name), the Vice President, agreed to come out and survey the issue. Len, along with the crew head that did the dustless sanding (Bruno), came to our home to survey the work. Both agreed that something had not gone right
that caused the rippling and swirling and agreed to try again to do a light surface buffing to even out the floors then have the wet sandless process done again to restore the color and shine (they later denied committing to the wet process again).
The dustless sanding process was done again to the floors and was stained and sealed. Throughout the day the crew head (Bruno) confirmed with us that he had spoken to Ruth at the Philadelphia branch and that the wet process crew was scheduled to come out the following day to complete the job. The dustless sanding crew completed the job and left.
Shortly after their departure, Ruth called and left a voicemail stating that she was made aware that we were expecting them to return to do the wet process but as far as Mr. Sandless was concerned, the job was complete and they had no intention of returning. By the time I called her back the floors had dried and it became apparent that once again the
sanding was done incorrectly and the floors were still rippled throughout. In addition the floor was now approximately 1/2 below the quarter round leaving a gap between the floor and walls. The floor was also sanded down to the point where the nails were showing.
I again contact Ruth at Mr. Sandless Philadelphia branch who confirmed that Daniel Praz (Mr. Sandless president) stated that they considered the job complete and were not willing to do anything further. I left two separate message for Mr. Praz over the course of a few days asking him to survey the floors himself to understand the damaged state the floors
were left in. The last message I left stated my intent to escalate to the BBB unless I received a response.
Mr. Praz and Len called me back and stated that they did not feel there was anything further they could do using any of their processes. He continued to state that he felt the floors were left in very good condition; however, he did not accept my invitation to survey the floors himself in person and was only going by pictures taken by his crew while the work was just being completed. He also stated that he felt that the quality of the wood used in the flooring could also be part of
the issue. The pre-finished flooring used by Blenheim (builder) is rated as High Grade per the insurance adjustors claim report.
Mr. Praz and I agreed that Mr. Sandless would submit a claim to their insurance company for replacement of the floors. Mr. Praz advised that he believed the insurance company would probably depreciate the cost to replace enough where it would not be worth it, but agreed to do it anyway. Knowing that the floors were only a few years old I did not
believe that much depreciation would be applied (which was correct based on the insurance adjustors final claim report).
After providing the insurance company (Ohio Casualty) with the specifics of the damage they sent an independent adjustor (Capstone ISG) to assess the damage. The Capstone ISG adjustor confirmed that the damage to the floors was evident (rippling, gap created between floor and walls, nails showing) and that the floors would need to be replaced. He
also confirmed that the damage was a result of the workmanship/use of sanding equipment by the Mr. Sandless crew.
In mid April I was contacted by Mr. Sandless insurance company (Ohio Casualty) representative on the claim decision that they had provided to Mr. Sandless. It was explained to me that the claim was being denied on the grounds that it was the work performed by Mr. Sandless that caused the damage to the floors and that their insurance did not cover that kind of damage. He stated that we would need to engage Mr. Sandless direct to have them return the floors to pre-work condition which would require the replacement of the floors as defined in the insurance adjustors report.
At my request, Ohio Casualty released the adjustors report to me. The report shows a Replacement Cost Value of $11,337.77 and an Actual Cost Value of $11,188.50 (to accommodate for a depreciation of $149.27).
After my discussion with the Ohio Casualty representative I left a voicemail for Mr. Praz requesting he contact me to discuss how Mr. Sandless would rectify the situation. My call was never returned.
I submitted this complaint to the BBB in an attempt to recover the cost to replace the floors damaged by Mr. Sandless. I am able to provide the claim adjustors report as well as photographs documenting the damage. I have also confirmed that I can have statements from both the insurance company and the insurance adjustor subpoenaed if necessary.