bronxelf (The NYC Chamber of Commerce in Chucks.) (bronxelf_ag001) wrote in bad_service,
bronxelf (The NYC Chamber of Commerce in Chucks.)

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If there's a "beyond bad service" I think this is it.

This entry is more or less crossposted from my personal lj, with very little in the way of editing. I re-read the community rules and didn't see anything prohibiting a "witnessed" bad service, but if this is against the rules, feel free to delete it, with my apologies.


I am an interior designer. I often work on projects with my ex, who is a contractor. About a month ago, he was contracted to work on the kitchen floor in an apartment in Manhattan, removing and then reinstalling a cork floor which had been been installed improperly by another contracting firm. He told me in no uncertain terms this was the most horrific case of contractor negligence he had ever seen. He insisted I had to see it- that words alone could not do it justice.

Soon after, he was hired by the same clients to repair other things in the apartment, also caused by contractor negligence. He asked me to come down and help him/take a look at what he had been dealing with.

I know that I try to focus on good design. On professional conduct within the industry. I often speak out against how designers and contractors are portrayed in the media, because I think it's damaging to the industry as a whole.

Which is why I want to beat these people's heads in with a fucking brick and then bury them in the dirt and run over their heads with a lawn tractor.

By now, you're wondering what on Earth could have me *quite* this angry. It's just design, right? It's not that bad...

Oh no. It is that bad.

I will state up front that these photos were taken by me. I have the full consent of the homeowner to post them, as well as this story. To be honest, the story is worse than what I'm telling, because I simply don't have all of the information to explain fully what kind of nightmare these people have been through.

OMG, and eleventyone. I thought I'd seen everything...

Mike had been begging me to come and help him on this nightmare job that he's been working on on the upper east side of Manhattan.

Yesterday, I went down there to see what the fuss was about.


The thing is, all these complaints about NYKB? (note: NYKB=New York Kitchen and Bath)

They're not lying. These people ought to be sued back to the Stone Age.

The client seems a very nice, friendly woman from Canada with two small girls (one is barely a toddler, I'd guess the other to be perhaps about four.) She and her husband were relocated to NYC and put up in temporary executive housing in midtown. They bought an upper east side apartment which needed renovations. The price they paid is (amazingly) cheap for the area. Still, it is a very expensive apartment.

They hired New York Kitchen and Bath (NYKB) to do the renovations to the place.

I could now sit here for the next *full hour* and discuss what they did to this place. I don't even have *words*. Fortunately, I don't need words as I have photos.

These poor people whose apartment was supposed to be ready MID OCTOBER are still living in temporary housing in midtown. I'd say *at best*? They'll be there another month. They've now talked to *three* *five* contractors to try to undo all the damage NYKB did- no one wants to take on the nightmare. Hell, *I* will testify on these folks' behalf in court- this is NUTS. I've taken some more photos since this to show some of the other stuff, but I want to show you this bathroom. Bear in mind that my camera has a built in wide-angle lens, so this room looks larger than it is.

Apparently, they passed off an apprentice (and I promise you, shes not even that. Youll see in the photos) as a CID(note: CID=Certified Interior Designer), and then blamed the clients for the result- because they signed off on the design.

As of right now, the only plumbing working in the apartment is the toilet. This is the only bathroom in the apartment.

photo #7069: I was having problems getting an angle where you could see how badly those 4x4 carrera tiles are set (the ones on the top, on the bias.) It's like a preschooler did the tile setting. If you run your hand over them you can feel all the raised edges where the tiles aren't really flush with one another.

But zoom in on the image. Look at it full size. Look at how the small tiles are set. Also, check the seam between those long bar trim tiles above the 1x1's. NOTHING is flush. Wait til I take a photo of the nonexistent miters on the corners. Also note that the black glass tiles are BROKEN. I will tell you damned near *every one* of those black glass tiles is broken. And they installed them anyway. And (I swear to you) told the client that they were too picky and the install was perfection.

Photo #7070: You know why that pole isn't painted? The "designer" neglected to put it on the plans. Let's begin with the fact that that's a steam pipe. I have one in my bathroom also- but mine is behind my bathroom door, where the chances of someone accidentally touching it are near zero. Note the location of *this* one.

Now, they can't move the pipe. But these people have little kids. I can tell you, these pipes get HOT. Hot enough to heat my bathroom to a good 15 degrees F. warmer than the rest of my house when they're on. These folks have small kids. So.. *no* thermal wrap, and no box around the pipe to enclose it and prevent anyone from seriously injuring themselves. It's NOT EVEN ON THE PLANS. Also note the *nonexistant clearance* between the toilet flush button and the pipe. It *might be* half an inch.

But wait, wait... I'm not done....

Photo #7071- Look at this full size.

Notice anything? No, not the horrible tileset. We've covered that. No, not the broken tiles. We've covered that.
Approximately 80% of ALL the small tile in the room- ALL of it- was placed against the wall BACKWARDS, with the score side out.

Photo #7073- Look at the tileset along the side of the tub surround. I should mention, this is the *second* tub that's been put in that room because the first one *didn't fit*. Once installed, the door wouldn't open more than about 10 inches. Again, look at the image full size to get the real effect of this.

Photo #7074- again, full size. Remember, I have a wide angle lens. This room looks bigger than it is. As of now, the door won't close (were it installed) because it clips the corner of the tub surround.

SPEAKING of that tub surround... Notice anything weird about the corner? They didn't put any corner tiles on it. It's all cut-edges in a full 90 degree turn. So you have a sharp, tiled corner... with little kids....I don't even have words here. FFS, the tile came from Artistic Tile! It's a major (major) designer tile house. I know for sure they have the damned things, so who doesn't put the corner bead on the tub surround?

I still don't know what that glass door is about- that's as far as it goes, and so the whole back side of the tub is exposed. It's also a weird design, and Mike says he's just waiting for it to fall off. I'll take a closeup of it.

Also, on the windowsill? No sill tiles. They did the same thing- cut corners in a full 90 degree turn. I had to explain to the client that no real designer would spec this. THEY. MAKE. SILL. TILES. So right now, any rain that comes into the room? falls right down the back of the wc.

Gets better- I will take photos of this. The original vanity/lav as speced *wont fit.* They have to order a new one (and goodness it didn't match the room anyway.) The original *$850* medicine cabinet (are you serious) didn't fit- too big. They put in a smaller one, and there's a hole cut in the wall for a light fixture above the medicine cabinet. Seems normal, right? Except these lazy bastards didn't move the box the 2" it needed to be to be centered over the cabinet (which IS centered on the plans). It's WAY off to the right.

The crown moulding is a fucking travesty. I have to take photos to show you what they think mitered corners are. The. Mind. Reels.

AND! AND!! *I* made the comment that I was concerned for the ceiling, because I have a suspicion they didn't use greenboard (water resistant wallboard) up there- that they used regular 3/8" gypsum which *WILL* mold in a wet condition. Turns out? 85% chance I'm right on that one.

And this is just ONE ROOM. They did this level of fiasco to *the whole house*. Meantime (barring my dislike for residential design aside for a moment), they paid NYKB (ready?)

Almost 90. Thousand. Dollars.
These bozos were paid NINETY. FUCKING. GRAND.

Photo #7085- This was taken in the living room. But see all these cabinets? They're the kitchen cabinets. Because NYKB destroyed the kitchen so thoroughly, the entire floor had to be ripped out and redone, which is why they hired Mike to begin with. They've *begged* Mike to do the kitchen install and offered a lot of money but he just wants out of there. I have to take closeups of this. These are nice cabinets. (they didn't come from NYKB.) when they arrived though, the contractors just threw them in the kitchen, never covered them and just kept working. They're beat to shit, even to the point of one of them cracking (I'll take a photos) because they were just thrown on top of one another.

I'll get more photos today. Im still totally gobsmacked here.

Ninety. Grand.

Mike says he doesn't think that included everything- that the grand total is in fact, higher. NYKB of course is claiming they've done nothing wrong, that it's the client's fault, that there's nothing wrong with the install, and that the clients in fact owe them more money. They've pulled their permits, so now the clients have to refile for their permits to get other contractors in there to break the walls open again.

My mind reels. I gave them the number of a close friend's brother, who is a general contractor, but I don't know what his schedule is so I don't know if he can take it on. I DO know that these folks are required to be out of their temporary housing in four weeks. No. Idea. how that's going to happen without a FULL crew of people.

I've since taken more photos of this, inluding shots of the kitchen. The whole house really is this bad.

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