• Report: #568531
Complaint Review:

The Manitou Group LTD (Lindal Cedar Home dealer)

  • Submitted: Fri, February 12, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, May 17, 2010

  • Reported By: Erin & Suzan — Villa Park Illinois USA
The Manitou Group LTD (Lindal Cedar Home dealer)
23160 M-43 Kalamazoo, Michigan United States of America

The Manitou Group LTD (Lindal Cedar Home dealer) Manitou Group LTD : Neglect and Questionable methods on Lindal Cedar Homes Project Kalamazoo, Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Lindal teams with Manitou to destroy family

*Author of original report: Manitou Group LTD Lindal Cedar Homes RESOLVED

*Consumer Suggestion: Sir Walter's lifelong dream

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To make this narrative more readable, I will just state the pertinent facts of our experience.

1. We went to a Manitou Group LTD (www.manitou.net) seminar to learn more about Lindal Cedar Homes. That was our first mistake.

2. We were up front with the turnkey cost we were looking for and was assured we would be able to do that. After going through several contacts at Manitou (employee's seemed to be regularly terminated) we ended up dealing with the President of the company, Kenneth (Ken) Whipple.

3. For the next few months we made started making changes to the interior of the Greenbriar plan and not the footprint as that would incur more costs.

4. The first set of plans looked exactly like the detailed square foot specific rendition WE sent them without any of the modifications notated in several previous emails. We got an appology and was told to sign the preliminary anyway since the corrections can be made for the next set.

5. We kept asking for updated prices, kept lowering our wants (Asphalt roof instead of a metal one, Hardi-plank instead of Cedar, using cheaper cabinets and floors since they can be later updated, we would paint ourselves, etc.) but we were always told it was still being calculated.

6. At every stage we found other requested changes were not made (a bedroom closet still facing a hallway instead of the bedroom) but we were still asked to sign the plans anyway as he assured us the "next" set of plans would reflect the changes. Each time only some of the changes were actually made.

7. At the final stage when we needed to go for financing did we finally see what the total numbers were! We were thinking $300,000 for the completed house but the actual cost was over $400,000!! The appraisal came in at $375,000 which would reflect the cost we were expecting plus the $75,000 value of the land.

8. We found an independant builder to look at the plans and give us an estimate (no package items...just building costs for the whole house). We did not mention to him what per square footage cost we were looking for nor for the turn-key cost. He asked us "interior finishing" questions and after a couple of weeks, let us know that the turn-key cost would be.....you guessed it.....at the high end would be $300,000. He even apologized that it would be so much but that it was the best he could do.

9. It is the Lindal package that is the culprit in most of the high cost. Read the specification List....you will notice that a lot of items have (NIC) in the column. That means Lindal isn't supplying it! The building cost is what looks amazingly high at first because you get the house from Lindal right? Nope.

10. Trying to get out of the contract is even more frustrating! They employ delay tactics, they "want to work" with you and even apply "discounts" HA! to your order to get it to complete.

All I can say is RUN RUN RUN whenever you hear Lindal Cedar Homes or Manitou Group LTD, Manitou.Net or whatever they are calling themselves lately.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/12/2010 10:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-manitou-group-ltd-lindal-cedar-home-dealer/kalamazoo-michigan-49009/the-manitou-group-ltd-lindal-cedar-home-dealer-manitou-group-ltd-neglect-and-questiona-568531. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Lindal teams with Manitou to destroy family

AUTHOR: Edwin - (U.S.A.)

So Marty and Ken tag team to defraud another unsuspecting customer! Years ago the proverbial Mr. Whipple was known for squeezing the toilet paper, now it looks like he's into squeezing the Lindal customer! All with the help of the Lindal family of course.

So Erin is told permits have been issued and her house is already built at the factory (a blatant, bold faced lie told by Ken and backed up by Marty) so it would be best for her to waste more of her time an money to continue with the total incompetence and  dishonesty of the members of Manitou in an attempt to swindle thousands from an inexperienced custom home customer, with the profits of the dirty little scam to be shared by Manitou and Lindal!

So after Erin decides she is fighting a losing battle, Lindal tag teams with Manitou to ensure that Erin suffers the highest possible loss for abandoning her life's dream at the hands of the "carny con artists" that Lindal calls "experts".

Remember, this could be YOUR Lindal project! Very few actually make it to completion.

NO, Marty and KEN, this dispute was NOT resolved and the attorneys for Lindal have ensured that Erin has spent thousands to pay for Lindal's ineptitude and greed.

Oh, Mr. Whipple!... Please don't squeeze the customer!
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#2 Author of original report

Manitou Group LTD Lindal Cedar Homes RESOLVED

AUTHOR: Erin - (USA)

Lindal Cedar Homes, Manitou Custom Homes and Ken Whipple have taken responsibility for problems related to our attempt to purchase Lindal Cedar Home building materials, and they have resolved the matter to our satisfaction.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Sir Walter's lifelong dream

AUTHOR: Edwin - (U.S.A.)

I'm sorry to see you are yet another victim of a conspiracy between Lindal Cedar Homes in Seattle and an out of state dealer (independent business) to systematically defraud you of your money.

Both the Lindal Corporation and members of the Lindal family directly (Marty Lindal), have worked with Manitou and Ken Whipple and his staff to deceive and mislead you to ensure you have suffered the highest possible financial damages from the very beginning.

Do not expect Lindal to work things out as they probably wrote you off before you got through your first set of plans. The MO is to drive the cost of completing your project up to the point where you are forced to quit. This hands over your deposit, protected by Lindal's legalese and the arbitration clause.

 It's easy to do and they do it over and over. They quote you an attractive price for a "turnkey" house then the cost to complete skyrockets after you sign the contract. Another ploy is to have your Lindal recommended builder handle that for you or disappear altogether!

They only need to deliver a stock set of plans, your changes are rarely incorporated, you jump through the hoops because you're interested in building a house. They string you along, raising the bar and lowering the net worth of the final product.

In the end they pocket 20 - 60K for a useless roll pf paper and you spend more money and time trying to recover it! Lindal rarely completes a home project, they prefer to lure customers in and let the dealer pollute the project so that the deposit is confiscated with no work performed by either Lindal or the dealer! It's a subtle scam and it works!

Make noise and lots of it! You are NOT the only ones having problems with the Lindal pack of Gypsy thieves. Lindal has problems ongoing in Washington, Maryland, Canada and several other states.

Please contact the Attorney General in your state and all the states affected by your problem as well as the AG in Washington! If you can bypass arbitration then file suit against your dealer! They are the soft and often stupid underbelly of Lindal.

They cashed your checks, signed your contract, told all the lies, and failed to perform on your contract! They are often totally incompetent, inept and generally dishonest. You'll never be able to figure out where your money went because Lindal is very experienced in accounting fraud. Besides you need to review your contract, paragraph 18 where it states that Lindal and the dealer are incapable of calculating or estimating anything so you agree to hand over all your deposit with nothing in return!

You can be glad you did not get any further however. Lindal will often not honor their warranty, the final product often has serious design flaws, their materials are low grade with warped, split and cracked beams and their windows leak. The evidence of this is plastered all over the internet.

If you were provided a builder by the dealer they are often unlicensed, incompetent, dishonest, unregistered and only there as a "shill" to gain your confidence to sign the contract! Without the "builder" it's impossible to sell the KIT home! ALL dealers know this and play by Lindals rules. Therefore ALL dealers are basically dishonest and are planning (with Lindal's help and guidance) to take you to the cleaners before you walk through the door!

Ignore the ilovelindal website as that site was put up by marketing and is heavily loaded with lindal employee and dealer comments! It pales in comparison to what you see posted by real victims of the Lindal and their misguided business ethic!

So Sir Walter... Is this the "Lindal Difference" you and your team of "EXPERT" thieves are always talking about?

You should take Marty and Robert out to the cedar woodshed for a lesson in good business ethics.. Oh wait.. I forgot the FTC spanked you too for being a dishonest business man... Oh well.. The rotten apple never falls far from the rotten tree I guess.....

An ex Lindal customer!

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