These are challenging times in the home improvement industry. As the housing market has crumbled, many good companies have gone the way of the dodo. Luckily, for me the company that built my kitchen cabinets (Omega Cabinetry)is still in business and offers great customer service. Although some of their distributors have downsized, been sold or gone belly up, the manufacturer has stood behind its products. The retailer my defunct remodeler bought the cabinets from was a high end division of a home improvement behemoth. When I had a problem, the retailer told me I would need to go to the manufacturer to get my Lifetime warrantied cabinets repaired, as they no longer carried the line. I went to the manufacturer's website. As the manufacturer does not have local installers, they referred me to their distributors who have people in the field to help customers in need of service. That sounded reasonable. The first distributor on their list did not return my phone calls or emails. The second one said they no longer carry the product in their division and gave me the number to another division of the same company who told me they could not help me as I did not purchase from them. Duh! Finally, I emailed S and W Kitchen's Joe Steenbeke. It was as if I had morphed from being the bad guy into being a valued present and future customer. The company promptly emailed me back, told me they would send out someone to look at my cabinets and quite frankly treated me with respect and courtesy. They did not make any promises regarding the cabinet doors I had an issue with (I have some peeling finish), but said they would have someone contact me regarding the warranty. Within a matter of days their representative from Omega cabinetry, Doug Huertas, was at my house inspecting the cabinets. He took lots of pictures and sent them to the factory and assured me this was something he has seldom seen from Omega Cabinets. He also did not make any promises except that the manufacturer would be getting back to me. The process is still ongoing, but once I found a distributor still in business (no doubt due to their commitment to customer service), I have had my confidence restored in the home improvement industry. My kitchen has been featured in this blog before for its Alternative Counter Top Material. Have you had a bad experience with a cabinet manufacturer that worked out in the end? Post in the comments section below to share your experience.
Good Contractors Are Hard to Find but they are out there!
10/09/2009 03:09 PM
Good Question you asked! It amazes me how many of my competition have closed their doors or are not busy. People tell us we're "luckY' but the recipe is simple and you stated it so clearly above. See every person as a current and future customer no matter how small or how much time you invest. Our reputation was built that way. If I can't help you, I will stay with you until I get you to someone who can. (I wish the phone company would do that!). I hope you refer as many of your friends to the company who helped you. They have your interests at heart and will run their jobs like that. Feel free to Blog new ideas on my website. www.riverstonekitchenandbathdesign.com
I'm a contractor and I have been experiencing some clients getting affordable kitchen cabinets online. While it doesn't work in some cases (especially with high-end clients trying to do things on the cheap), I've found that it works well for some people who want a good design but can't afford to hire a local kitchen cabinet designer. www.kitchenspro.com
It sounds like you had a horrible expereince. Its always sad to hear when a customer doesnt receive great customer service. Im glad it worked out for you. I always try to give great service. Maybe you could write a blg on a good experience, or customer service oriented blog?
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