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Unread 08-14-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
Ivy G
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Sacramento, Ang**list/ wanna do a shower stall?

Long story short! I had purchased one of those An***slist groupon things, to get a shower stall done. Here I was thinking it would be faster than my pokey-slow DIY speed. 6 weeks later, I can barely pin the guy down, so I canned him. This was a preventative strike- get rid of him before he can bail on me, mid-construction. Last thing I need is a hole in my house for 6 weeks. Straight A's on An***slist, natch.

So I told An***slist forget it, give me my money back, I'm a perfectly capable DIY'er and I'll build it my ownself. Now, An***slist won't give my money back because it's beyond their 30-day limit. BUT, they will "try to connect me" with another "top-rated" contractor to perform the work.

Any reliable, communicative Sacramento tile outfits who would like to jump into this? I can give you more details than you ever wanted on the scope of work, just let me know. I am a reasonable and realistic client- I do want a good installation, so I'm not el cheapo.

Y'all feel free to jump in and bash An***slist with me. They had the nerve to ask me to continue with this contractor, because "everyone else" gave him a good rating. And then they asked me to "reconsider" my rating of him. I guess I see which side their bread is buttered on!

Oh, and yeah, learned my lesson about buying those big deal things...
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Unread 08-14-2014, 10:50 PM   #2
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Hi Ivy,

Your frustration is evident and sorry for that. We see that here too frequently. We don't jump on any bashing band wagons, but we would like to help you, if we can, find a way to resolve your current concerns.

As you offered, sharing here the details of your project will help us in helping you. Please provide some details. Until then we can't offer much help.
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Unread 08-15-2014, 04:38 AM   #3
tilejoe
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Keep going up the ladder. They will give you a refund. I ran a deal and had to give a refund 6 months after the fact. (Customer decided not to do the work). Stay on them.
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Unread 08-15-2014, 04:50 AM   #4
tilemanct
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A-List is doing whatever it can do to survive. Last financials for them were not good. They will either be bought out or go under. I say the latter. Nothing is better than word of mouth for finding a good contractor. Groupons are best left to simple small dollar items, not expensive tilework!
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Unread 08-15-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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AL can cut both ways. I had a customer slander me on there and when I called AL they said all I can do is write a rebuttal. Yay, can play he said she said. Personally, I'm really tired of all these "go between" outfits that keep popping up...

I wholeheartedly agree that word of mouth is king...

Sorry about your woes, Ivy and I know my AL rant doesn't help you. I know we've had some pros from your area post from time to time, so hopefully one will reach out to you soon.
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Unread 08-15-2014, 09:44 AM   #6
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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I'm not sure why you are blaming Angie's List? Just because a contractor has good reviews on Angie's List doesn't guarantee that your experience will be a good experience. I would think that you would be upset with the contractor that was hired?
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Unread 08-15-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
Ivy G
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Thanks!

Interesting insights, all, much appreciated. Thanks for the moral support. Sorry for my crankiness- it comes and goes. LOL

Jim, just to be clear, I'm not blaming A'list for the poor experience with the contractor. I *am* ticked that they (edit: "they" means A'list, not the contractor) don't want to give back my $$$$. And I think it is not so honorable of them to ask me to change my review. As Dave suggests I may have a pretty good reason to want to pursue getting the money back!

Joe, thanks for the encouragement, and glad to know others have had success with this. I am usually successful with this kind of thing, but I have a lot of work demands on my time right now, so I can't spend hours on hold... Hmmm, that's why I opted to hire someone in the first place.

Yep, am hoping that I can find someone who will be willing to step in and take my $$$$ that A'list is holding. It still would be nice to get the work done.
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Unread 08-15-2014, 12:41 PM   #8
Ivy G
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Scope of work

So, here's the scope of work.
Existing 30" square shower stall in home built 1961. 4" standard tile over unknown substrate, assume drywall. Existing pan is solid terrazzo. Existing plumbing is original two-handle fixture with galvanized pipe.

Demolish all of the above. Any decay repair work would be a change order.

The original scope of work in the AL deal included a $350 allowance for tile, (which I bought out of pocket instead). All labor and other materials to demolish and install a tiled shower stall up to 100 SF of 12" tile, with acrylic or FG pan & drain. The deal was $1500. The installer was planning to use CBU over poly, which isn't my favorite assembly, but, gotta let go of the details if I'm not DIY'ing it, right?

My changes to that scope are:

4" Fireclay brand handmade tile provided by owner in two colors, installed in random mix to 76" above pan. (I laid it out on the floor so we don't have to negotiate the meaning of "random". Given that it is handmade I suggest a grout line of 1/8" or more. No bullnoses or other trim, just 1/4 rounds at the niche.

The return of the $350 tile allowance to be subtracted from the cost of these adds:
Install new mixing valve & showerhead provided by owner. (Moen Level with the shallow rough-in valve)
Provide all copper pipe down to crawl space, connect to galvanized with dielectric fitting. This is only applicable to the HW pipe, because the CW was already replaced.
Reinstall existing grab bar in same location.
Install niche in side wall between studs (solid ceramic or tiled, your option, propose one)
Epoxy grout.
While I would love to have a tiled pan, it may not be in budget for this project. However, if a proposal can be made that brings it within budget, I would select & provide the tile, probably a Dal matte 2" mosaic.

Detailed enough?
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Unread 08-15-2014, 01:21 PM   #9
tilejoe
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All that for $1500?

I'd be close to that on the demo alone.
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Unread 08-15-2014, 01:23 PM   #10
Ivy G
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Yep

And why d'ya think I jumped on it?
Yeah, I know, common sense, all that. BUT I figured a string of A-ratings would get me there.

And reality is setting in... I'd probably rather put my money back in my pocket and do it my way on my time. But AL wants to keep my money and give it to a different installer instead. Which doesn't make a bit of sense to me, but, whatever.
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Unread 08-15-2014, 11:23 PM   #11
Higher Standard Tile
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Angie's List makes most of their money from company's advertising. Not from fees from members searching for a service provider.

I imagine the contractor you were dealing with advertises with them.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-angi...f-bad-reviews/

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2...ices/index.htm

I do have a listing on their site and a few reviews but I refuse to pay Angie's List for advertising since they claim to provide unbiased reviews. They keep calling and emailing me to get me to pay them.

They are the reason phone calls from the 317 area code go to voicemail.
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Unread 08-16-2014, 10:21 AM   #12
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Ivy, I realize now that the money that you want refunded is for the deal that you paid for. I didn't catch that the first time.

To look for a qualified installer I usually point people to the NTCA list and the CTEF directory.
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Unread 08-17-2014, 01:50 AM   #13
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Hmmm. Sacramento! My neck of the woods. I might have time to do it if you can wait a month or so. Just finished my sister's place in Oceanside and headed home tomorrow
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Unread 08-19-2014, 02:27 PM   #14
Ivy G
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Thanks!

Jim,
Thanks for the reference, I'll take a look.
Travis- I PM'ed you.
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Unread 09-11-2014, 11:06 AM   #15
Ivy G
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Smile Thanks!

Thanks all for the moral support. After a bunch of poking the guys at Angieslist they sent my money back. Yay, victory! I got it back just in time to pay a plumber to clean out my backed-up sewer on Labor Day (yeah, triple time) and install a cleanout. Easy come, easy go, right!

Brad, you are so right about the he said she said thing. This guy turned around and wrote a really lengthy rebuttal on my review. Apparently, he didn't show up because his 98 year old father had a medical emergency, I had asked him to work without getting a permit, his wife called me twice, his wife said my voicemail didn't work, he had already told me that the install date was "tentative", and best of all, "I think you don't understand construction, so this is for the best."
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