CHOICE membership

Beware of Doors Plus Fyshwick, Canberra

shopping
renovations

#1

In the Doors Plus showroom, the salesman showed me the wooden door frame around the internal bi-fold doors I was considering buying and said I could have it installed along with the doors. The timber would be supplied raw and ready for staining. Great, I thought - there’s no door frame currently in the doorway and by staining it I’ll be able to make it match the others in my home.

Then the ‘carpenter’ came and installed the doors. When he finished he was in a hurry to get to his next job, but the doors worked fine and looked great and there was the timber frame, although twice as wide as the one in the showroom. So I paid him and stood back to admire the installation. Gradually I began to notice some odd details, like the considerable gap between two parts of the frame. And then another gap, and another. Then I noticed on the other side that there was a gap all around the inside edge of the frame wide enough to insert a thick ruler into. Then I noticed large areas of the frame edge consisted of a combination of small pieces of mismatched timber joined with sawtooth joints. If I stained it, it would bring out the discrepancies beautifully.

So I phoned Doors Plus the next day to complain and was told to email them some photos, which I did, complete with ruler inserted into gap. The following day I received an email from the manager which asserted my photos ‘revealed’ my door frame to be of a ‘high standard’ ‘which far exceeds mandated Australian Building Standards’. ‘Please remember that timber is a natural product and no two pieces ever fit together perfectly’ he advised. He told me I needed to fill the nail holes and mitre joins with wax and stain the timber and that ‘finishing the timber correctly will address the issues you raised’! It was like he was answering someone else’s email: he failed to mention the 2-3mm gap at all, or the quality of the timber, both of which I described in words and which showed up clearly in my photos.

Sensing a battle I could never win, I emailed him with a reminder of specific parts of the Australian Consumer Law and thanked him for the links to the four review websites that were sent to me before I complained. I also advised him I was a member of Choice and would be sharing my experience online, but his only response was ‘We regret you feel this way with the frame, unfortunately we can’t help you any further. Your installation is consistent with all work carried out by us.’ And there, I think, lies the truth.

So now metres of gaps are being filled with wood filler and the frame is being painted instead of stained. The doors are great though.


#2

My memory is not what it used to be, but I think I remember a gripe thread on the long defunct notgoodenough.org website about ‘your mob’. It seems [quote=“christyk, post:1, topic:15247”]
Your installation is consistent with all work carried out by us.’
[/quote]
may be the bottom line problem.

If you wish to take it further and before you do any work, you might get photos of the display frame for comparison. If what was installed is a different standard than the display I suggest making everything formal, document how your installed frame does not meet standards and the display, and demand what you want them to do about it. Expecting they will continue to fob you off go to your fair trading body, and if a Choice member Choice help can help you navigate through it.


#3

That’s not good.Probably the only excuse they could give is you paid your money for the job.Then he left.But that’s no excuse for poor workmanship.Good luck with it i’m sure if you complain enough and not go away they will have to look after you either by annoying them or going through the helpful channels.


#4

What did you agree with in relation to the installation…was it just door hanging or did it include all sealing and finishing (except painting/staining) as well?

Sealing and finishing would include sealing around the doors after hanging.

It might be worth looking at the work/purchase agreement to see what has included and excluded.


#5

I have photos of everything, including the completely acceptable and differently shaped display frame, but the manager just ignores my concerns. It makes no sense for me to pursue the matter further as the most they can do is send out the incompetent carpenter to ‘fix’ his own work. I’ve decided to quit while I’m ahead, but I wanted to warn others off the business. If Doors Plus lose business due to my revelations of their skills and attitude, I’ll consider that natural justice.


#6

The doors are internal and the gaps are between parts of the frame, not between the doors and the frame. I know, it’s hard to visualise a frame that bad :smiley:

It clearly doesn’t matter what was in my contract (which includes an extensive warranty of workmanship) as the manager is pretending there’s nothing wrong with the job.


#7

I empathise but if my memory holds it seems they have been doing the same old thing for yonks and get away with it.

If you are not familiar with the ACL a partial extract:

Products must :

  • match descriptions made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising
    
  • match any demonstration model or sample you asked for
    

Services must:

  • be provided with acceptable care and skill or technical knowledge and taking all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage
    
  • be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and the business had agreed to
    

As has been written many times on this forum there is a formal process for engaging recalcitrant businesses and Choice has addressed it.

Since you have opted to move on I hope your final product comes out well.


#8

Okay, think I know where you mean (you can post the photos you sent to them here as well if you want to to show problem - click on add an image button).

If the door has uneven gaps or noticeable inconsistent gaps then it would be a quality issue. Was the insrore display door different?

The post by @TheBBG outlines a course of action you could take to try and resolve.


#9

As the frame has been fitted (so cannot be rejected) & you have already started painting etc you will probably now only be able to seek replacement of the faulty product, seek compensation for the reduced value of the goods, and consequential losses, and/or costs for the repair work you are required to undertake. And as @TheBBG stated if you are a member of Choice use their help service

From the ACL

“When there is a major failure, the consumer can:
• reject the goods and choose a refund or a
replacement; or
• ask for compensation for any drop in value of
the goods.”

"If the supplier refuses or takes more than
a reasonable time to repair the goods, the
customer can:

• take the goods elsewhere to be fixed and
ask the supplier to pay reasonable costs of
this repair

‘Reasonable costs of repair’
If the consumer has no option but to take goods
elsewhere for repair, they do not have to get
the original supplier’s agreement or provide
quotes. However, the supplier only has to pay the
‘reasonable costs’ of repair.

A reasonable cost would be within the normal
range charged by repairers of such goods, and
include:
• the cost of the repair
• any other associated costs incurred by having
the goods fixed elsewhere, such as necessary
transport costs."

and I recommend you read, regarding compensation for consequential loss, page 29 of the following https://cdn.tspace.gov.au/uploads/sites/60/2016/05/0553FT_ACL-guides_Guarantees_web.pdf


#10

Those are the very parts of the ACL I pointed out to the manager in my email, but he has a well-cultivated patter and I have better ways to spend my time than trying to pin him down. I’d rather use his own words against him online. I’ve been writing plenty of reviews.


#11

The last thing I want is their incompetent ‘carpenter’ ripping out the dodgy frame and replacing it with a possibly worse one. And since it doesn’t cost any more to paint the frame than to stain it (except for a small tub of wood filler), I could be spending a lot of time and money to get very little compensation. The manager has clearly thought it all through. I sense he’s quite happy to have me bang my head against his brick wall, so I’m not interested. I want to finish the room, not hold back on painting it while months pass trying to get the matter sorted out (or not, as the case may be).


#12

As he refused to deal with you I wasn’t suggesting you get the dodgy carpenter back (and clearly from the ACL you don’t have to if they have refused to make good) or to stop your painting but rather seek what if any suits you out of what is left of your financial options. You could seek a replacement (probably an unlikely outcome), you could claim the repair costs, you can have someone else do the repairs/replacement and seek reimbursement from the business, you could seek a compensation payment for the faulty frame. If you have chosen not to (obviously a valid choice and one I wasn’t trying to dismiss) and want to just advise others then no problem. Nor do you have to forestall your current actions to take the matter further, just keep detailed records as you are doing and seek redress later if you wish, just if you do decide to don’t delay too long.


#13

As I mentioned, the ‘repair’ costs consist of a tub of wood filler, so claiming them back isn’t worth the effort. And I don’t think I’d get anywhere seeking anything (such as reimbursement) from Doors Plus. They know I’d have to take legal action to get anything out of them, and I can’t imagine I’d get much compensation for a door frame that can be easily repaired by myself and painted instead of stained. This isn’t a situation I see as being satisfactorily solvable by legal means, which is why I’m using the marketplace approach. I feel it’s more important Doors Plus’ revenue reflect their business practices, so I’ve instituted a campaign of awareness-raising. Thanks for your interest and input though.


#14

One of the advantages of consumer forums , especially this one as it carries the much respected name of Choice , is that we , the consumer , can read about the experiences of our fellow forum members . The owner of the property I lease recently asked me to check out the replacement costs of 2 outside doors . Very weathered in appearances , cheaper to replace than to fix . /

Doors Plus , who know doubt would have some excellent point of sale outlets in Melbourne where I live have dropped well down my list , probably dropped right off the list , due to your submission to the forum and your follow up posts . /

It’s a shame there other stores have to suffer because of the shoddy workmanship and customer service of one outlet but that is the way of things in all markets . It can take years to build up a name for quality service and workmanship but only minutes to loose it in this new age of the internet . It’s a shame some retailers do not take this knowledge on board .


#15

I couldn’t say whether the terrible attitude I encountered is a nationwide problem, but one of my online reviews appears to have been noticed by some kind of head office, as I was advised (by No Fuss Gus, the Doors Plus cartoon character!) that my review had been passed on to the manager of my store. Maybe it was an automated response.


#16

Hi @christyk , any chance of seeing the photos you took and sent to Doors Plus? It would give everyone a better idea of the issue at hand.

You can click on the button when making a post to upload photographs.


#17

Sure. The ones I’ve uploaded show the timber quality down the outer sides of the frame, and some of the gaps (one with a nail visible in it).


#18

Whoa. Sorry they’ve uploaded upside down, but a gap is a gap at any angle.


#19

Even upside down those photos show shoddy unacceptable workmanship . One wonders how a company that does such sub standard installations could possibly stay in business . /

Would be interesting if you could , although I doubt this is possible , get some photos of their in store shop display door samples and show them as well . I doubt they would show the degree of slap-dash workmanship you had visited upon you . The biggest shame is that you had to pay for such a garbage installation .


#20

I didn’t get close-ups in the display room, but the photo I took shows a frame completely different from the one that was installed for me, and without any apparent defects.