Communication Log regarding the Magnolia Tree:
When we left for our Italy trip in the beginning of June 2005 we noticed that our magnolia tree was looking a little stressed and thought it might be going through shock due to the recent landscaping project.
When we returned a few weeks later at the end of June 2005 it was clear there was something serious going on because the leaves were turning from green to brown, it was dropping leaves and the tree had stopped flowering.
In the beginning of July I called Eliseo Sanchez to inform him that something was wrong with the tree, that we were having problems with the sod in the back yard and to ask him when we were going to get our BBQ pad stones replaced in addition to the other items completed that were on the items to be replaced/and or fixed list. I also asked him for the sod and irrigation warranty information.
He came out and said he couldn't see anything wrong with the tree and said to have a tree specialist look at it. He had his son replace sod areas in the back yard which was not done properly and resulted in a larger loss of grass. In addition he noticed a leak in our irrigation line over by the magnolia tree. He said that we had vandals in the area and that they came into our yard, jumped up and down in the corner of the yard and broke the irrigation line in the ground. I simply asked him if he fixed it and he stated that he had. I still did not receive the sod warranty info or irrigation warranty info. I ended up calling Southland Farms for the sod info.
On the morning of 7-29-05 we had Mr. Kowalski, a landscape consultant with a degree in horticulture examine the tree. Please see his hand written letter.
On the afternoon of 7-29-05 I phoned Mr. Sanchez and read him the letter. He said he wanted to have another person come look at the tree and I said no problem but I wanted it done within a week. He gave me a hard time about it and said he'd do his best to get to it. I indicated that would not be acceptable based on my past experience with him not following through and insisted he do it by Friday of the following week and that he notify me before he came to my home.
On the afternoon of 8-5-05 I received a message from Mr. Sanchez stating that he was waiting for me to send him the letter from the Mr. Kowalski. I called him back within a few minutes and he did not pick up my call. I left him a message and stated that he was suppose to have come by with a tree specialist by now and I wanted to know what he planned to do to resolve this issue. He did not return my call.
On Monday AM on 8-8-05 I left Mr. Sanchez another message regarding the tree issue and asked for him to call me back. He did not return my call.
On Wednesday PM of 8-10-05 I called Mr. Sanchez again this time he answered and when I asked him once again about the tree he stated that he had been advised not to talk to me because I was slandering him. When I asked what he was talking about he hung up on me. I called back and left a message indicating that I was done dealing with him and that I would be using another landscaper to remedy the situation and that I expected him to reimburse us for the damage he caused to our property. He did not return my call.
On 8-11-05 I mailed Mr. Sanchez a certified letter requesting reimbursement and included the letter from Mr. Kowalski and 2 landscapers. I asked for him to resolve this issue by sending his reimbursement by 8-26-05.
On 8-20-05 I received a letter from Mr. Sanchez regarding his websites. There was no mention of resolving the tree situation.
On 8-20-05 I responded and mailed him a letter once again requesting a resolution and a response by 8-26-05 and if I did not receive reimbursement we would be filing a claim against him. He never responded.
On 8-26-05 After no response from Mr. Sanchez I made a call to his cell phone and left a message giving him until Sunday to send his reimbursement and if we did not receive a check or money order from him we would file a small claims suit for the maximum amount and that I would not be contacting him again.
On 8-29-05 Tania and I decided to sue Mr. Sanchez and I filed a small claims suit against him.
Other issues with Image X-Acta Landscape:
1. On several occasions Mr. Sanchez had engaged in arguments with us when approached about completing the project. He stated that we had made changes on him when we had not made any changes since the first week of the project and we had negotiated to pay him more money for the additions plus build him 2 websites.
2. Mr. Sanchez had requested a phase payment from me and when I was out of town on a business trip he went to Tania and asked for more money stating that he had not been paid. He ended up with over $11,000 of our money and the only work he had completed was concrete removal. We did not have new concrete forms or concrete, irrigation lines, sod, etc. We had a yard full of dirt.
3. After trying to charge us more money because he said he changed his mind about installing pavers in our parkway I told him we needed to put everything in writing and he gave me a bid instructing me to pay everything to him except the websites before he completed the project. I told him absolutely not and he threatened to stop work on our project. I told him I would give him his final cash payment when all the work was completed except the list of items he had broken and/or damaged. I would then release his websites to him when he had taken care of the items on the list. I created a project contract and he signed it.
4. Mr. Sanchez did not install the sod properly nor did he kill back the existing crab grass in our back yard which has resulted in dead patches and weed infestation. In addition he was suppose to use amended top soil and he used compost/mulch instead thereby introducing bacteria into our yard.
5. Mr. Sanchez was reluctant to tell us how to adjust the irrigation system and purposefully did not set up some zones so the plants in the beds were not getting water. He told us that he would come over and adjust the sprinklers for the first several weeks and he never did. I had to call him back out when we noticed one of the valves was squirting water everywhere.
6. Mr. Sanchez routinely used our landscaping tools to perform work on our project and we have noticed that some were never returned. (our long handled shovel, sledge hammer and a rake are still missing)
7. Mr. Sanchez would pull his 2 guys off our project to work on other projects and not inform us that he would not be working at our home. He would remove our back fence panel and leave our property unattended all day and we would have to call him (almost regularly) to come and secure our fence. Plus he knew we had a dog that could not be in the yard. This was a regular thing throughout the entire project.
8. Mr. Sanchez did not have skilled staff working on our project and often had his 2 children (one in high school and one in elementary school) working on the project during school hours. Many times he would drop them off and leave.
9. When we paid Mr. Sanchez the last payment, he deposited it and his bank placed the check on hold. He came to us to see if we would pay him in cash or give him smaller checks. We helped him out by canceling the check we wrote to him and then wrote him 2 checks which he still had an issue with his bank so we called a few check cashing places for him to go to.
In addition, Mr. Sanchez was given a list of items to fix and/or replace the following items are still not completed:
1. Large patio stones have finally been replaced but they were never reinstalled. We had to complete this after months of waiting for him to do it.
2. Solar lights needed to be located, broken ones replaced and then reinstalled. This was never done and we have 2 broken lights.
3. Agapanthas in the front yard were suppose to be replanted or replaced. Some were replanted but the damaged plants were never replaced.
We have already completed the work on the websites sites, which cannot be reused for or resold to another client. So now we have lost the time for creating the websites that was valued at $2400, the magnolia tree (valued over $5000 for cost and installation), sod damage, missing landscaping tools, damaged solar lighting and plants.
DO NOT USE THIS CONTRACTOR!
San Diego, California