My husband and I have had many enhancements made to our home since we purchased years ago- bathroom renovation, new screen porch, front door with window, kitchen granite and backsplash, carpet, etc. We have been very pleased with all of them and have gladly recommended to friends and relatives. Unfortunately, our experience with Kitchen TuneUp Greenville, SC has been the complete opposite.
We had our last cabinets and refrigerator side panel installed December 21st. This is 298 days after we signed the agreement and paid 50% deposit in February of 2022. Their facebook page states “We specialize in 1-5 day kitchen updates”.
We were told it would be ~6 weeks before the cabinets were available for install. Over 5 months went by with our follow up calls/texts either being ignored for days, and/or responded to with endless excuses as received throughout the project (at a business conference, on a deep sea fishing boat, family has a stomach bug, cannot get the supplier to provide an update, etc..). We continued to press, and exhaustingly discussed disputing the credit card payment. This seemed to finally get their attention and to take action.
As soon as the inventory was scheduled to be received, we selected the earliest date we could, Monday August 8th. KTU has Monday morning meetings, and only worked in the afternoons on at least 2 Mondays they were in our home. Since so much time has past and I was not working from home on this day, I cannot say with 100% certainty this was the case on the 8th. However, if this was the case, they only worked in the afternoon on Monday and then on Tuesday, primarily removing all the cabinets and drawers as well as prepping for installation of the veneer. There were very few strips of veneer installed on Monday and a little more on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the color after installed did not go well with the rest of the kitchen in our opinion. My husband and I discussed it that evening. We called KTU to get an idea as to how much it would cost to make a color change. We were told less than $1,000. This cost was significantly reduced because KTU stated they had ordered shaker cabinets by mistake. This was good news in that we could change at a low cost, but disconcerting we had not been told about the cabinets. They stated they were just planning to install them temporarily and install the correct ones when they arrived.
They agreed to halt work on our home, and we selected the new color ~48 hours later. We were told it would be 15 days to receive the new inventory. We decided going without cabinets for 3 weeks would be fine. After all, it was completely OUR choice to change the color since KTU said it would be less than $1,000. Had it been more, we were going to go other routes (changing backsplash/paint etc.). This was also good for KTU in terms of labor costs. Removing a few strips of veneer is much less labor intensive than installing incorrectly ordered cabinets and reinstalling the correct ones later.
Once again, weeks went by with our follow up calls/texts being ignored for days and more excuses given. On Sept. 16th we finally had a ship date of Sept. 21st. KTU asked us to choose an install date between estimated arrival and 28th of October. We stated, “We can take the next available start date but need to start on a Tuesday”. This was agreed to be the week of October 10th. By this point, school had started for our 9 year-old son, and I was now working from home on Mondays and Fridays. This would not have been an issue had the install been completed between February when we signed the agreement and mid-August of 2022. KTU later asked if they could start the Friday prior. I had important meetings that day, and we requested to stick to the schedule as previously agreed.
On October 10th we provided KTU with the information to enter our home, and were told in a text from the owner “We are hoping to finish Friday but it will likely take an additional day or two next week!”. This would have the project completed October 19th at the latest.
When we arrive home from work on 13th of October our end panels had been painted the same color as the cabinets. My husband and I were concerned and reached out to KTU. Here is her response: “was going to reach out to you tomorrow to present both options because painting is an option that was not available when you originally planned to install the smolder stained materials. Paint would have been proposed as an option if you had originally gone with painted wood product so we wanted to give you the opportunity to make an informed decision by seeing both options in the real time. We have the materials in hand either way, so we are happy to proceed with your preference.” We thought it strange and a waste of time. We stated we paid for panels so let’s go that route. KTU’s only response: “Sounds good! Yes, that is correct!”
On October 17th at 10:05pm KTU sent an invoice for the color change for $2,894.75. We saw it first thing the next morning. This is $1,894.75 more than the max from the verbal quote. Included in the invoice was the following threat “If you do not intend to remit payment for this invoice today, please let our office know. Unfortunately, if this is the case, we will have to modify our installation plan and will not be able to return to your home on Tuesday. This will, unfortunately, result in a delayed completion date. “ Also included with this invoice was the 40% of the rest of the project. As explained to us, this 40% payment was requested only after KTU had verified all correct materials had been delivered with correct measurements and no defects. We took their word and paid the 40% invoice that morning. Regarding the invoice for the color change, we repeatedly asked for a written response as to why the difference from what we were told verbally. This request was ignored until October 28th. Here is part of the response: “ When you asked about the cost of the factory finished painted wood veneer, I stated that I thought that would cost less than $1,000. We discussed ways to create cost savings, such as by repainting the end panels, moldings, etc that were a part of the original order. The preference I understood was that you all preferred to move forward with the order for new, factory finished refacing materials instead. Thus, the order was placed and the change order was created. The change order, therefore, reflects the cost of all of the refacing materials ordered to complete your project in the new paint finish - color - Antique.” We never discussed using paint. This is just one of many examples of how KTU constantly avoids and covers up mistakes. They include untruths, unrelated facts, and place blame rather than acting like a professional organization. Just prior to sending the above statement, she told my husband verbally she didn’t include the end panels. Now we understand why they wasted time painting the end panels.
Before paying the bill for the color change, I specially asked about the open balance and when it would need to be paid. KTU response “To answer your question, the total remaining balance due for your project is $4880.13. So yes, once you submit your payment of $1992.82, the remaining balance due upon project completion will be $2957.31. “ We promptly paid right after her response. At this point we felt we had no recourse as we had nothing in writing.
The following lists the numerous additional mistakes and remaining open items on October 28th, 7 business days past the maximum estimated completion date in which we have reluctantly given KTU 100% access to our home. On this day one person came to our home for a short time and installed once piece of molding. We were told someone would be out to paint that afternoon. My son and I waited. No one showed and no explanation was given when we inquired.
• Wrong knobs were ordered and installed. We did agree to keep.
• 2 Drawers in desk area incorrectly ordered- Did not disclose until asked many times when project would be complete.
• 2 Drawers in wet bar incorrectly ordered- Did not disclose until asked many times when project would be complete.
• 2 Drawers under stove incorrectly ordered- Did not disclose until asked many times when project would be complete.
• Installed trashcan door with cabinet hole. Owner stated this would be replaced. Hole was patched, reinstalled and did not disclose.
• Painted edge inside many cabinets that should have veneer. Tells us that is their practice while other areas are professionally done.
• Original order states 2 doors to cover desk. Only 1 door was installed and never communicated as to why.
• Needed to apply second coat of paint to corbels in living room.
• Install lazy susan door. The one ordered did not fit/was incorrectly measured.
• Install panel on right side of refrigerator incorrectly cut by installer.
• Installed pillars need at least one more coat of paint
• Install cover over area near oven
• Glue to install glass on 5 cabinets needs to be professional and neat
• Fill in all seams so they appear professional and neat
KTU continues to slowly progress until ~November 3rd to complete the contractually obligated contract along with our color change. We asked for nothing more. At this time, we are once again in a holding pattern waiting on incorrectly ordered materials. Included with this is now a cover for a drawer in the wet bar area. KTU came out to adjust the drawer because 2 drawers were touching when open. A hairline crack was discovered in the drawer cover that evening. I cannot say for certain if it was there prior to the adjustment or not.
Once shipment arrives, we are told all remaining items with the exception of the lazy susan doors would be installed on December 1st. This all of sudden changed to include the refrigerator side panel. We inquired as to why, and no explanation was given. We are then blindsided with an invoice the afternoon of Dec. 1st for $682.45. KTU also stated “We honored our commitment to return to your home today. We request that you honor your obligation to tbe contract you signed by bringing your account current!” I kindly reminded her she stated in writing all remaining payment was due upon completion, and we would disregard this invoice. This is one of many examples of why we gave up on verbal communication with KTU during the course of the project and requested everything be addressed in writing.
Open items after Dec 1st install:
• Missing knob for one of cabinets installed.
• Small indention in trashcan door installed. We agreed to have this patched.
• Lazy susan doors do not fit
• Refrigerator side panel incorrectly cut by installer in the first 2 weeks of the project is still missing.
• Need to fill in a few seams and fix uneven veneer in a few places.
We are once again holding on shipping with an estimated ship date of Dec 7th. We were contacted on December 19th and KTU finally finished on Dec 21st. We received the final invoice on 22nd as I was sent after 10pm the night before. We then received over 10 e-mails and a text a 5am threating to come to our home for a check when we had always paid via credit card. When we tried to pay there was a $103 credit card surcharge fee that we did not pay with our previous payments. Lots of back and forth with the owner to finally get her to reduce. Then when I finally try to pay (4 times) I get an error. We receive a text they will fix and get us a new link to pay later that day or the following week. On Tuesday, they want to come out for a check. We agree to have one available when they arrive Thursday night. When we agreed to pay the 20,000+ project it was understood to be completed in a few months. We still have to pay the total amount while the project took 10+ months.