Report: #893089

Complaint Review: Mr. Sandless LLC

  • Submitted: Tue, June 05, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, June 18, 2012
  • Reported By: Tom — Middletown Delaware United States of America
  • Mr. Sandless LLC
    2970 Concord Road
    Aston, Pennsylvania
    United States of America

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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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/05/2012 06:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Botton Line - Poor workmanship and unsatisfied customer

AUTHOR: Tom - (United States of America)

Unfortunately, you are once again exposing the fact that you are disconnected with the work your own company is performing. Additionally, while I can only expect you to be able to comment on the pictures provided by your staff as well as the ones I have posted, you have yet to personally inspect (nor has anyone else from your company) the final results that we are complaining about. You are simply not qualified to evaluate the floors until you have felt the grainy finish and seen, in person and in the correct lighting, the poor sanding job performed by your staff.

1. Only the first 13 pictures are the results of the first visit (the sandless process). The remainder (15 pictures) are what was left as the final result (after two rounds of sanding and staining). These show a gap between the floor and quarter round. Sanding down to the nails and uneven sanding resulting in a rippled effect in the wood throughout. None of the these pictures are repeated.

2. Nothing shown in the second set of 15 pictures has been corrected. Nails are still visible, the floor is still grainy and uneven and there is a gap between the floor and the quarter round. How are you claiming that any of this was corrected? This is not arguable, as I have evaluations by your own insurance adjustor as well as two more independent flooring contractors. All have confirmed the floors were done poorly and require replacing (certainly not "spectacular"). Again, I invite you to evaluate on your own in person.

3. Bottom line, your staff have performed poor quality work and you are left with an unsatisfied customer. You can espouse the beauty of your work in this situation, but you are the only one that is preaching it... all while I continue to gather documentation that the work performed here was unsatisfactory.

I would agree that nothing further needs to be said on this forum. Any of your potential customers who wish to make en educated decision on what type of work you performed at my home can contact me directly via email and I will provide feedback, pictures and documentation supporting the truth.

I will continue to attempt resolution through the BBB (which you continue to ignore), the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office, Consumer Affairs, other Consumer Advocacy sites and any media outlet that I can share my experience with. We will also seek legal counsel if necessary.


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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Your floors are spectacular!

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

 I appreciate you publishing photographs of the work done for you.  While sets 1 and 2 are not the final product, they are the bulk of the pictures (24 out of 28) and you repeat the same shots over and over again, everything in those pictures has been corrected. So then the only true pictures are the final four.  I am sending you a photographic release so that you can give me permission to showcase your floors.  I will publish your picture in our very next national advertisement, with the caption "Get a spectacular showroom look to your floors, just like this!" as proof that not only is there nothing wrong with your floors, but they are absolutely gorgeous!  While any of the final four would be acceptable, I would prefer to use the long view one which shows the most floor and would fit in the advertisement perfectly.  Thank you for displaying the incredible outcome you achieved so that no further words need to be spoken over this.  
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#3 Author of original report

My update and response to Mr. Praz

AUTHOR: Tom - (United States of America)

I am posting both an update as well as a response to Mr.Praz rebuttal.

As of last week (June 8th) I was again contacted by Mr. Sandless insurance carrier now offering a settlement for the damages done to the floors by Mr. Sandless. Unfortunately the amount offered is less than half of what their adjustor estimated for replacement. I am in the process of securing an additional two estimates (for a total of three) to ensure the
initial estimate is accurate and fair. As of today I have two estimates (original adjustor and an additional flooring contractor) that are within a ~$100 or each other. Both estimates confirm that the floors are damaged and
require replacement to restore them to pre-work condition.

I now have open formal complaints with the BBB, The Pennsylvania State Attorney Generals Office and now the state Consumer Affairs organization. I have not yet contacted small claims court or an attorney pending the outcome of these organizations actions.

I find it both disappointing and frustrating that Mr. Praz has chosen to respond here while ignoring at least two letters from the BBB as well as my calls seeking resolution after the initial insurance decision.

I do not challenge the A+ rating with the BBB which is based on other customers experience, although issues with Mr. Sandless franchises are readily available not only on this website but on other consumer advocacy sites. The purpose of my posting here was to share OUR experience with not only the quality of workmanship but also the manner in which Mr. Sandless chose to handle our complaint. Everything I stated in my submission here and to the other organizations is 100% true and provides an accurate chronology of events. If I did not have a leg to stand on, as Mr. Praz claims, then I would not have felt confident in filing formal complaints with the above referenced organizations nor would I be willing to continue to pursue this to closure.

I will attempt to respond to each of Mr. Praz comments in his rebuttal by once again providing the facts and avoiding any kind of personal attacks. What I will not do is dignify any of Mr. Praz derogatory comments aimed at neither my wife nor myself with a response, other than to say we have dealt with many, many contractors and have never encountered anything like this before.

In response to Mr. Praz claiming that I falsely posted my complaint since this company, Mr. Sandless LLC, does not own any flooring equipment or technicians. The company that I contracted to do the work on my floors is Mr. Sandless LLC, 2970 Concord Road, Aston, Pennsylvania  19014. This is evidenced on the images attached by Mr. Praz. According to their website, this location is owned and operated by the founder, Daniel Praz. When I searched on this site to file my
complaint I simply matched the owner and address. My complaint has never been an attempt to hurt him personally. That would not make any sense. My complaint was a record of the issues I had with Mr. Sandless quality of service, the
fact that I was left with damaged floors, and the fact that after multiple attempts to resolve the issue, each time making the results worse, they chose to walk away from the situation.

In regards to the satisfaction sign-off. Please refer to my original submittal that shows the second service call was as a result of the crew lead saying that he was not satisfied with the job done and that they would need to return to completely re-do the floors. This was NOT at our request since we were told that the job was not complete due to the issues they were seeing in the study. We do take responsibility for the sign-off after this second job where the significant amount of damage was done. As explained, the job was completed after dark and my wife was told that she was unable to walk onto the floors to inspect anything. We assumed, incorrectly, that the job was completed correctly and signed-off. It was only after we had a chance to enter the area did we see the amount of damage done. This damage was confirmed by Mr. Sandless office staff and crew and is documented in the linked pictures (which were also emailed Mr. Sandless offices). This started the next round of service calls which further damaged our floors. So, we do acknowledge that we
should have refused to sign-off until a thorough inspection could be done.

Mr. Praz next comments regarding our multiple color change requests and the fact that our issue was with the color is just flat out incorrect. I will choose to believe that this is because the communication within this Mr. Sandless franchises main office, work crews and corporate office was the worst I have ever seen in any industry I have ever dealt. We
were constantly given conflicting statements depending on whom we spoke with, on occasion being told that one individual did not have the authority to make the commitments he had made. The truth in this matter is documented in my
original submittal. After the second failed sandless process left the floors in very poor shape (documented in the linked photos) they recommended their dustless sanding process. At this time we were told that we could pick any color since we would be starting with bare wood and chose to go to a darker shade. Upon completion of this job we had NO ISSUE with the color but rather with the fact that the sanding left swirl marks and ripples in the wood, as if the
sander was skipping. THIS was the cause of our dissatisfaction, not the color. This was acknowledged and confirmed by Mr. Sandless Vice President, Len, and Bruno (crew lead) who were dispatched to our home to survey the damage. The
offer to sand down to bare wood again was to try to smooth out the ripples and swirl marks not to correct our unhappiness with the color. We did choose to go back to the original on the final service call. Since the floors were being
brought down to bare wood for a second time, the choice of color at that stage should have been irrelevant to the work being performed.

Regarding my signature on the final refinishing (where they brought it down to bare wood for the second time): what Mr. Praz fails to call out in his attached picture is the note next to my signature that clearly states that I am satisfied that this team sanded and applied the correct color, not that the job was complete. For the two days that this job was in progress, Bruno, the crew lead, stated that the wet sanding crew would return to complete the job by evening out the color and ensuring a smooth finish. I specifically state that full satisfaction is pending completion of this process. As
documented in my original submittal, Mr. Sandless, despite the commitment by Len and Bruno, refused to complete this last process, stating that they considered the work complete. During the drying process the same rippling affect in the wood became apparent and I once again escalated to Mr. Sandless office. The rest is documented in my original submittal.

Mr. Praz continues to state that there is nothing wrong with the floors and provides a wide shot picture to try to support his comments. My linked pictures document the opposite. I have included the results of the original job as well as the results of the final work performed that Mr. Praz claims is representative of the quality of work performed by his company. Please judge for yourself. These are NOT before pictures but show what I now have in my home due to the work performed by Mr. Sandless. Additionally, while Mr. Praz claims that there is nothing wrong with the floors, I have two reports (both of which can be made available upon request), one from his own insurance carrier, that state that the floors are in a damaged state and require replacement in order to restore them to pre-work condition.

While I am empathetic to the expenditure that Mr. Sandless has had to deal with in regards to this issue, the bottom line is that it was the quality of the work performed by his employees that caused the repeated visits and the final damaged state of our floors. Im not sure what sensationalism he is referring to in my original submittal but if you take the
time to re-read it I dont think you will find any there nor here. Again, I have simply provided the facts in regards to my interactions and experience with Mr. Sandless.

I will continue to update this posting as things progress with the BBB, the Attorney General, Consumer Affairs and any other avenue I may be forced to take until resolution to our satisfaction is reached.

You can view the pictures referenced here: (remove any spaces)
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Customer signed satisfaction THREE TIMES

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

With a long standing record of A+ rating on the BBB and nearly perfect customer satisfaction of 99.9%, which is unheard of in a service business, it is extremely rare that Mr. Sandless has a problem with any customer.  This site compiles customer issues in one place which when seen, can make the company appear to have less than the stellar record it prides its self on having.  Given any negative posting against us combined for the YEARS we have been in business, compared to the tens of thousands of satisfied customers we have serviced, we have a 99.96% customer satisfaction rating.  Since that is an undisputed fact, what makes a customer post like this?  The simple fact is they know for certain that they do not have a leg to stand on.   
First, Mr. Sandless LLC is the franchisor of the system, and did not service Mr. and Mrs. Tom Goonan of Middletown Delawares floors.  This company owns no flooring equipment or technicians.  So Mr. Goonan is posting this falsely in an obvious attempt to hurt me personally.  That should tell you everything you need to know.  I do take full responsibility for this, as I allowed Mrs. Maggie Goonan to talk her way out of the very first customer satisfaction form she signed.  I should have never done that.
Mr. Sandless has the BEST guarantee in the service industry.  At the end of service, you inspect your floors.  If there is an area you are not satisfied with, we will fix that area and if we cant, you dont pay.  If you are 100% satisfied with the service, you must sign off stating you are satisfied, and only then do you pay.  Mrs. Goonan signed off on the original service and paid.  Can you ever imagine signing that you are satisfied and paying, when you are not?  Sometime later, she decided she wasnt happy.  In order to attempt to make her happy, I ordered the service to be re-done.  My mistake as I had a fully executed contract.  But I thought I could make her happy.  Do you know there are some people in the world you cannot satisfy no matter what you do? 
The Goonans are very difficult people.  They changed their mind on color over and over again.  That is one of the reasons we had to re-service the floor, but they dont tell you that. They didn't like the color THEY picked.  They changed their mind whether they were happy over and over again.  After the third refinishing, we have a form personally signed by Mr. Tom Goonan on Feb 3, stating he was satisfied with the work done, and we believed this was closed.  Then we heard that Mrs. Goonan still wasnt happy.  We did the service yet again.  You will note on this third satisfaction certificate that we had Mr. Goonan sign for the color; positive proof of what I am saying is the truth of their changing their mind.  It is clear we are only trying to protect ourselves from excessively difficult customers.  You will also see Mr. Goonans signature that he was satisfied with the work performed.  Then again we hear that Mrs. Goonan still was not satisfied.  There is nothing wrong with the floors.  Mrs. Goonan just doesnt like them.  
Attached are ALL THREE signed forms stating satisfaction of the Goonans.  There is nothing more I can do for them, and for $800 they paid they got a very nice floor at the cost of over $7,000 to the company.  I have attached a picture of that as well.  I cannot make unhappy people happy no matter how hard I try.  It should be obvious to anyone reading this that if you subtract the sensationalism from Mr. Goonan's post, you see a very responsive company that bent over backwards to please them.   
I suggest any and all contractors to NOT EVER work for Tom and Maggie Goonan of Middletown Delaware.  CONTRACTORS BEWARE! 
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