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Thursday, August 27, 2009

A thorny experience with Crown Cabinets and Fireplaces

You can hardly go anywhere here in the St. John’s area (or anywhere on the Northeast Avalon, for that matter), without running into new home construction. From the duplex subdivision to the country estate, everyone seems to be spending their money on real estate, home renovations and plain old cosmetic improvements.

I suppose businesses are finding it difficult to meet the great demand for their products, but, as I’ve said again and again, this is no excuse for poor customer service. This email from Janis outlines a few issues that Crown Cabinets and Fireplaces seems to be having in terms of communication, timeliness and commitment to their customers:

“We have a renovation and ordered our cabinets back in mid May of 2009. This is Aug 20 2009 ...still no cabinets. The original installation date was July 15th, and since that date we have been told every excuse in the book: from people being on holidays to overbooking to humidity to their ventilation system being broken for 6 days (which ended up delaying us for over 2 weeks, which doesn’t add up at all!)

So, every week I call at least every second day and I am told they will be ready in two to three days time. When that day reaches I receive no call, therefore I call in to see if they are showing and I hear that we are delayed again. I have been hearing the same lame excuses and the line “I 'm not going to lie to you they won’t be ready until…" Every time I speak with the guy in charge, I get this same line and it’s getting very old.

Tomorrow was supposed to be the new install date and again I received no call and had to call in and hound people to get a straight answer. I was told maybe Tuesday, August 25.... WOW, I am so upset with this company! I really think at this point that I will not receive them on August 25. To go through and pick out cabinets, countertop and hardware again and get another business to come in and complete a site measure will take at least 4-6 weeks which will be longer (we hope) than waiting for Crown to get ours built!”

An email update that I received from Janis today states that the installers did not show on the 25th, either. The new date is August 28th, and I look forward to hearing whether or not they fulfill their commitment this time!

I bet that if Crown had simply set a reasonable expectation for Janis in the beginning, she likely would not be as frustrated as she is at this point. I’m sure that any customer would prefer a proactive communication of anticipated issues and delays over having to “hound” a company for answers after the fact. It’s too bad that Crown either does not understand this or does not care, but I’m also willing to bet that they’re not the only home-improvement-related business in town that is doing the same thing.

If you have a story about customer service in the home reno or construction industry, please share it via email (, at, or by commenting on this post.



    My feelings are pretty much sumed up in the following email. The GM always has a poor excuse for everything and changes his story everytime you speak to him. I still have not recieved what i paid for in early June, almost three months ago.

    From: Hart, Chris R. [Sent: August-26-11 9:28 AM
    To: Don Escott
    Subject: Fireplace


    It has been a tangle dealing with you to say the least. I have been very patient and am now royally pissed off. You guys had the fireplace delivered in early June (11th or 12th I believe) without the faceplate. On July 4th I emailed you asking if the part was in and you said you sent SBI an email and if you didn't hear back from them you would call and get back to me the following day. You never got back to me and on July 13, a month after the delivery, I again emailed asking if the parts arrived and you indicated that they SHOULD BE. I sent you another email on July 19 asking if the parts were in and then you indicated they were out of stock and that you just got off the phone with SBI and they will be sent out from Quebec that day. You also indicated that you would call me when they arrived. Then more than a month later, on August 15, I asked again for the parts and you indicated that they arrived. I then sent someone to get them on August 25 and they were not there. Then you forward me an email you sent JOE today August 26 (I am assuming from your warehouse) asking him if the parts are in. You are so full of shit I think I can smell you from here. You're service was great until you received my money and then you could care less. I will make sure to warn as many people as I can of your terrible service.


  2. I have done business with Crown several times and always found them to be professional, prompt in responding and realistic with delivery dates.

    -Cliff Stamp