ED Magedson – Founder
Statewide Remodeling2940 N State Highway 360 Grand Prairie, Texas United States of America
I will preface this report by stating that the customer in this case is a relative of mine who was interested in remodeling their bath. They made a mistake and signed a contract for more than they could ultimately afford. I got involved hoping that I could resolve the situation before materials were delivered and the contracted work was initiated. We spoke to Statewide Remodeling on many occasions, never asking for a full refund, but instead offering solutions to resolve the situation amicably. In the end, Statewide Remodeling used the "legally binding contract terms" to secure an immediate $1200 profit by terminating the contract at will and refusing to offer anything in return. I want to share our experience with Statewide Remodeling (including some embarrassing details) so that others may benefit from the information that I learned during the process of dealing with them. On with the details:
Most likely you will be pressured into signing a contract in some indirect way that is not immediately apparent. For example, you may be presented with a cost estimate that is inflated by 10% - 15% so that they can offer you a discount of a like percentage if you sign at the time the estimate is presented. As embarrassing as it sounds, this customer signed a contract price of $6000 just to replace a standard 60x30 tub and 3-piece shower wall surround (which is simply glued to the walls by the way). This was after the $700 "discount" - LOL. I also read that they sometimes bring food to smooth over the sale. I have since called their competitors and the average quote for this job was in the upper $3000's.
If you purchase a Luxury Bath Systems product from Statewide Remodeling you are purchasing a product with a nebulous value. You will NEVER see an itemized list of the remodeling costs. I urge you to demand it and see for yourself. My guess is that their product prices vary for each job in relation to the projected profit margin, and due to the lack of consistency will never be presented to the customer. After signing contract, Customer spoke to Paul Giokas (817-343-2395) manager at the Statewide Remodeling Grand Prairie office asking to see an itemized list of charges that total up to the contract price and was told that it's "none of your business".
I called Luxury Bath Inc. at 1-800-354-2284 in attempt to get an estimate of the product cost that the end-consumer might expect. I was told repeatedly, "Prices are set by the franchisee and cannot be made available to the public." If the prices are set by the franchisee (Statewide Remodeling), and neither the franchisee nor franchisor (Luxury Bath Inc.) will make them available, then how does one know what these installations are actually worth? The relationship between these companies is such that the consumer is kept in the dark with regard to the genuine product value.
After signing, you are allowed only 3 days to cancel (minimum required by state law). Once that 3rd day has passed you have no recourse. Regardless of circumstance, Statewide Remodeling will use the contract against you. Case in point:
Contract was signed and 20% of the Contract Price was paid in cash at signing (the Contract Price is the only dollar amount that you will see). The 3 days had passed and then due to unforeseeable events Customer was unable to secure funds in order to complete project payment. Customer sincerely attempted to resolve the situation many times before work was initiated, but was unsuccessful due to the "legally binding contract terms" as referenced by Statewide Remodeling.
Since materials were ordered, Customer spoke with Paul Giokas over the phone in an attempt to work out some agreement (offered to pay the current costs incurred in exchange for materials purchased) in order to be released from contract. Customer was told that they would receive nothing in return for their payment and that in fact they owed another 5% in order to be released because it was stated in the contract terms.
Customer met with Paul Giokas in person and was told, "Best case scenario for you is that we choose not to pursue legal action and let you go with only a 20% loss." This indirect act of kindness stems from the fact that 5% of the contract price amounts to $300, which is less than the cost to litigate. I have no idea why, but Paul repeatedly mentioned that they must make a profit on this sale. Why an immediate $1200 profit with absolutely nothing in return for the customer?
Customer insisted upon speaking with a member of the next executive level and was told by Paul Giokas that he was in charge here and that Customer would deal with him directly. Despite several requests, no effort was made by Paul to provide his manager's contact info.
Thanks to Google, I finally acquired Frank Manzare's (co-owner) number (214-677-9000 x201) and left a voicemail summarizing the situation. To my surprise, Frank promptly returned my call. He seemed understanding and willing to help resolve the situation, even inquiring if alternatives had been suggested (which they had not). He said he would discuss the situation with Paul and get back to me. I thought we were on track to an amicable resolution, but after a week my contentment turned to disappointment when I realized that Frank would never get back to me.
I waited for Frank's call; nothing. I sent him an email; no reply. I left him a voicemail; nothing. When I called to follow up on the email, I found that he screens his calls. The receptionist must have a list of people to blow off. This is near verbatim:
Receptionist: "Statewide Remodeling how may I direct your call?"
Me: "Extension 201 please."
Receptionist: "Sure, may I ask who is calling?"
Me: Gave her my first name.
Receptionist: "With what company?"
Me: Gave her my full name.
Receptionist: "Oh, uh, he's actually in a meeting, can I send you to his voicemail?"
Me: "Sure." [I left a message and never heard back]
Statewide Remodeling is very proud of their Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation. Throughout this dispute I was repeatedly told that they have 0 unresolved complaints with the BBB. So what? They pay dues to maintain this affiliation and in reality it protects them more than it protects the consumer. Have you ever tried to see what those complaints were or how they were resolved? Try it. You can gain more insight from a customer's review than you can from a BBB plaque on the wall. I encourage you to read about the criticisms of the BBB on Wikipedia. I pasted the link below for your convenience: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_business_bureau#Criticisms
I encourage you to search for reviews related to Statewide Remodeling on the web. Frank Manzare obviously cares about his company's reputation which is why I was unable to find a complaint that didn't include a follow-up response from him. I had hoped that he would make a reasonable and fair attempt to resolve this situation, but I should have known better. He claims to have performed nearly 20,000 satisfactory jobs, but to date has only 7 positive "Customer Testimonials" on his company website and even less favorable reviews found elsewhere.
BEFORE SIGNING ANY CONTRACT with Statewide Remodeling, please see links below that demonstrate the manner in which Frank responds to his customers' complaints. If any links are broken please contact me and I will send you an archived copy.
In closing, I hope that you do get a free estimate from them and see for yourself. Just do your research beforehand so that you don't fall victim to their sales tactics.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/23/2010 08:29 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/statewide-remodeling/grand-prairie-texas-75050/statewide-remodeling-statewide-marketing-terminated-contract-at-will-and-used-legally-654344. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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