Wrenn Brothers Inc
Added on October 14, 2016, by Reviewer1930230
ComplaintWrenn Brothers Product sold to me is experiencing product failure. Attempts to resolve directly with company did not work. Company has false claims.Purchased pre-finished pine wood floors with 7 layers of polyurethane and UV protection late 2012. I spoke to ****** ***** whose name is on the company. I paid by check directly to company. The product cost around 5000 dollars and was shipped to upstate NY for over 500 dollars. Advertised as 15 yr warranty and suitability for domicile that product was being placed in. Within 3 years floor finish demonstrating discoloration(whitish milky color, unnatural) that mulitple contractors thought was finish problem or problem with the wood that was used for my batch (bad batch). Contacted company to pursue their warranty on their product. Was told there was a problem in my environment and that there was no way it was their flooring or finish. Subsequent independent research by me on the issue and the company uncovered that the issue most likely was variability in finish or variability in the wood itself (i.e. flaws). Bear in mind this is an organic product. I discovered company advertised they were a member of a national organization ****** that is supposed to add credibility to their company. I discovered they hadn't been a member of the **** since June 2015 and were only members 4 months! Yet it is highlighted prominantly on their web site. Also, they mention their 15 yr warranty on their web site and in discussions with me. I asked for a written copy of warranty which they said they don't have. There is no warranty in writing!!! Instead, I got a copy of a warranty their finishing company has that does not mention this company's name or their commitment to me as a consumer of Wrenn Brothers. Serious deficiencies in this company in their business practices and honoring of their committment to their product. I have spoken to professors from a US Government agency, two individuals from the ***** two professors of wood flooring at Universities, and one **** qualified inspector. Not one individual seems to think that the opinion of Wrenn Brothers holds weight. The representative of this company, ****** ***** has done nothing to stand behind this product to me as a consumer. Instead I get inconsistent responses from him telling me **** proceedures which are not only false (I spoke to representative, he did not), he as a non-member has no claim to the process at all!!! By the way, I only started getting a call back when I put a poor review of their product and lack of support on the ******** page of Wrenn Brothers. I was told by ****** that he had not seen a problem in their product in over 10years. Meanwhile I immediately saw there were 3 of the lowest reviews (1 out of Five) on the page and one women who also had a problem with the finish on her Wrenn Brothers product wrote a comment confirming her bad experience with this company. In fact, the only perfect reviews of the company (5/5) were from two members of the Wrenn family. Otherwise, this comany would have been ranked at a 1/5. As a consumer I demonstrated problems with a warranteed product of this company who advertises they are a member of the most important wood flooring organization in the country: the ***** Both of these items are highlighted on their web site. I discovered there is no written warranty from this company, no membership in the **** in over 15 months, and an attitude that really shows no confidence to me that I will ever get this serious problem resolved. I think they should totally replace my flooring with newer product that is not defective and pay to remove the bad product. This seems reasonable, however, I am getting nothing from this company other than false claims of membership in the **** (after 1 month of being told this, it is still on their web site that they are a member), no written warranty that is advertised also on their website that they have for their product. I tried to work it out with the company for many weeks now and I have exhausted my efforts.Desired SettlementAs I stated above: This product is defective and will continue to deteriorate. I want a replacement and want the company to pay for the removal of it's defective product and the cost of installing new product.Business Response Contact Name and Title: ****** *****, OwnerContact Phone: (XXX)XXX-XXXXContact Email: ********@gmail.comWe received this complaint 6-8 weeks ago with pictures of his flooring and what it was doing. We only received a picture of a few planks, so we don't know how much is involved. I sent these pictures to a ********* ************* Flooring Association Inspector, who said he could definitely see the discoloration was caused by water damage, especially the way it was following the wood grain and other signs as well. Most all flooring claims are water related in some form or the other. Next I checked with the prefinishing plant where this flooring was finished, and there were no reports of any problems from the other customers whose flooring was processed in this batch of flooring. His order was for 1600 sq. ft., and they never have produced a batch for us less than 5,000 sq. ft. Never. We have not received any complaints from any of those customers about this problem of poor adhesion, nor have we ever received a complaint of a defective finish. Therefore we concluded that this problem was confined to his house only and not a bad or defective batch. After numerous conversations with him, he still insisted that we had sold him defective flooring. AT HIS REQUEST, we agreed to turn this matter over to a neutral third party. In the flooring industry the common practice is to turn to the ************* Flooring Manufacturers ****************** They have certified, trained inspectors who go into the home and scientifically do an inspection to see what the problem is. They do moisture content tests to the flooring, subfloor, and atmosphere of the house. They look at the insulation as well as the house wrap and how it was installed. They look for drainage problems on the exterior. There are all sorts of installation criteria that are inspected. They have access to labs, take into account heating and air conditioning systems, moisture barriers and a lot more. There are also hidden culprits that the consumer and even other professionals are unaware of such as the green house effect (a common problem that causes water condensation in vacation homes that are not lived in daily, which is the case with this customer. There are micro atmospheres and sub-microspheres that can be a problem. One of the most common things is damp mopping the floor. There could be changes within the home itself. Now this customer refuses to use the **** Inspectors who are the most qualified professionals available and keeps wanting to use other nonqualified agencies. It would be in his best interest to get a professional in his home to find out what the problem is before further damage occurs. This is my first experience of having someone claim they got a defective product in 10 years of having my flooring prefinished and having to get into a warranty issue. We have done literally hundreds of prefinished flooring orders and have never gotten into anything like this. We have replaced flooring when we have found that our product wasn't suitable or had a problem. We are a responsible company that stands behind it's products. But, it has always been after we have been shown that our product was at fault. We have never gotten into a warranty issue or had an adhesion failure as this customer says. And it has only been after we have inspected the situation and have seen the proof. We cannot just replace his entire flooring based on a few pictures and some telephone conversations. I have found that my warranty may be confusing, and not worded like he wants it to be, but the prefinishing plant warrants to me not the consumer. When I contacted them about this problem, the owner said for him to get the inspection performed by **** Certified Inspectors and if the finish is at fault, they will pay for the inspection and then they will address this customer's issues. But first we have to have scientific data to go on. The professors he refers to have not been in the home. A lab can tell you that a piece of flooring has adhesion problems, but they do not know how the wood got wet. One of his first statements to me was that some kind of a construction professor walked in and immediately said "Oh yea, I've seen this before. It is a defective product" Where was his moisture detector and adhesion failure testing equipment? Ours was on the inspection line at the prefinishing plant. They finish for ****** ************ ****** **********, and many other big brands. They are extremely careful and check these things constantly as they go. They are the best prefinisher in the USA that I know of, and I have been in numerous other plants. None of them even compare to this company. I find it extremely unlikely that their finish is defective in any way, and that this consumer's problem is coming from a moisture issue or something else he is unaware of. Again, we have only seen a few pictures of a few planks and are skeptical of his complaint. He could have had a leak or other event he is not telling us about. That is why we require an inspection before we will go any further with him. His claim that we only responded to him after he resorted to social media is false. We've had numerous conversations with him before that. I talked with him twice the first week of August while I was on vacation, and once on a Saturday afternoon when we were closed, so I know I have tried my best to be patient with him and was trying to respond to his complaint. Instead of being reasonable and acting in a business like manner, he has tried to resort to social media and other pressure tactics. All of this occurred AFTER HE REQUESTED A THIRD PARTY INSPECTION and realized what he was up against when asked to prove his claim. He is making a false statement when he says he has talked to the **** and we have not. He told me some details of his conversation, and then I called the **** to confirm what he had claimed about their policy. I also checked with several other flooring industry associates of mine and they confirmed to me what the procedures are in reality. He claims we have told him we are members of the ****, which is not true. We had never been a member when we sold him his flooring. We joined for 4 months in 2015 and then did not renew our membership for 2016. His claim came after that. For certain important business reasons we had decided that it could be very detrimental to keep that membership, and had made it a critical point not to refer to our **** membership at all to our customers. It is true that their logo still is on our website, but that was an over site and it will be removed shortly in an upcoming site revision. We sent him a copy of our warranty. Although it did not have his name on it, he kept hurrying me for it and it would have delayed him getting it in a timely manner. There again I was responding to him as quickly as I could. After that is when his pressure tactics began and he ceased calling us and trying to work things out for him. Our conversations have become redundant and pointless, as we both just keep repeating the same things. I am insisting on scientific third party review, and he just keeps on wanting me to take his word that we have sold him a defective product. My stance is based on qualified and very experienced industry professionals, and his is on speculation from himself and other semi industry related people who aren't doing anything but speculating on what the problem is, and by trying to put pressure on us to give in to what he wants. Consumer Response I tried to get some sense of fairness from this company for two months. I got hung up on, and realized there were some things that weren't correct or accurate and were just downright confusing: the fact that this company did not produce nor could not produce a written warranty with their company name on it. I made my first call to ****** in July, the Warranty was sent to me mid August (and it was a warranty that did not specify ***** Brothers once in it...it is a warranty from a different company).There are a lot of statements in their reply that are a bit on the untrue and unfair side. Saying no one else complained about their product in ten years was disproven immediately when I posted my online review. Someone else responded to my review immediately as they had a negative experience and were sympathetic with my issue. Calling top experts from the field that I consulted "semi-industry" related people and saying I used pressure tactics isn't accurate. Noted experts from the ****** ******** Laboratory, ****, Two noted university professors and contracting people with a combined industry tenure of over 50 years I think suggest I did my due diligence. There is enough evidence here to suggest something is amiss. Again, as I said to ****** continually, I just wanted a fair response from them.Nonetheless, I am willing to try to resolve the issue fairly. I felt this company put the onus on me. I asked for a third party assessment and initially got hung up on. After my review on line,****** did suggest a **** inspection. Only he asked me to find an inspector and bear all the costs. I had no written warranty (the warranty ****** sent did not have his company name on it) or **** Complaint process to refer to since both were not in evidence (both are claimed on their web site and still are at this writing)... The **** also said to me that there is no requirement of the consumer to pay for the inspection, which ****** required in his "offer." I bought this product because I spoke to ****** at length in the purchasing process and he mentioned it is a perfect product for my job and he emphasized their warranty and how they stand behind their product. I am merely looking for that promise to be good if it turns out his product in some way failed.After not getting calls back from ****** nor his daughter ****, I started this process with Revdex.com. I feel the consumer is at a huge disadvantage here with this company and there was no sense that I would be treated "fairly" which is all I requested. I have what I think is a fair way to handle this, and I tried to get a call back but did not so far. I am still happy to try to resolve this, however, I was not confident that ****** and **** are interested in this process which is why i started this complaint which is based on legitimate concerns.By the way, it took one call to the finishing company executive to determine a fair process if the finish is at fault. He will stand behind the product fully. All i asked of ****** ***** was to do the same, and in two months we can't seem to get it right. However, I am willing to give it a try through the Revdex.com to mediate. If they are serious about a fair result then I expect they will do the same.I can offer the following comprimise situation that should more than satisfy the scientific requirement of the Wrenn brothers company. A noted wood scientist and phd with the following qualifications: , Ph.D.Professor, Wood Products EngineeringDirector, **************** ServicePaper & Bioprocess Engineering************ of Environmental Science & ForestryHas agreed to utilize his extensive experience and testing lab to review the environment in the cottage and will conduct extensive laboratory tests to determine the problem with the wood. I am prepared to abide by their scientific study as this will far exceed the science associated with a sod inspector. I would like to present a comprimise solution that should more than meet the scientific requirement of the other side: a noted wood scientist with the following credentials:PHD,Wood Products Engineering,************** Utilization Service, **** College of Environmental Science and Forestry has agreed to provide a scientific study of the environment of the house in question and will study a sample from the premises to determine the cause of the problem. I will abide by the conclusion if the Wrenn Brothers will and this problem will be resolved. This solution is a far more complete scientific analysis than can be provided by a wood inspector who would utilize a lab such as this to send samples to. Complete documentation and photographs will be available to the WrennBrothers Company. This scientist was referred to me by two independent sources including********* Laboratory specializing in the same science. Final Business Response This customer's claim that he was hung up on is not true. In two of our 7 or 8 conversations, I explained to him that I had other business that had to be tended to at the moment and that we would have to continue our conversation later on. Once was when a customer was getting ready to open his gate for me to drive in, and that it would be unsafe to drive our delivery truck while talking on the phone. This customer was in dire need of the wood that was on my truck so he could begin production for the day. I could not hold that entire plant up, as they were completely out of wood to run. The other time I had to tell him I would have to hang up the phone and get back to him later was during a pressure washing job on Saturday afternoon. Our washer had been broken down, we were far behind in the job, and my son had just repaired it. We had to get back at work in order for us to complete what we had promised to do. I talked with him several times from my home and twice during my vacation. Both my daughter and myself talked to this customer numerous times, but could not even figure out exactly what he wanted us to do for him. He says our warranty was confusing and did not even have our name on it. This was the first time I had ever even had to discuss our warranty in the ten years we have been producing this prefinished flooring product. When I first heard from the customer, I had to contact the owner of the prefinishing plant to get it explained to me. They provided me with a copy, and explained to me, which I immediately passed **** this guy, that all we required was an in home inspectin of the home by certified inspectors from the ************* Flooring Manufacturers Association(****). He would have to bear the cost, and if the problem truly was defective in their opinion, we would reimburse him the cost of the inspection, and wood correct the problem. I learned that from the owner, and that was the standard proceedure in the prefinished flooring industry. That was also confirmed to me by one of the certified inspectors and by two other flooring industry associates of mine. The customer had asked for a third party inspection, so we proposed this to him. The **** Complaints Division reaffirmed this to me, and said the customer needed to contact them, and they would provide him with three inspectors in his area to choose from. The customer then tried to hire some other wood professionals to do the mediation, but the prefinishing plant still required an impartial industry certified professional that had been trained in this field, such as the **** Certified Inspectors. This customer came up with different general contractors, college professors, and a whole host of other what I deemed as "semi-connected to the industry people he wanted to resilve this matter, but there was never a single one of these people with wood flooring experience mentioned. I was contacted by The Revdex.com saying that he had come up with some PHD in Wood Science that agreed to act as the third party. I also received an email from the customer telling me that he had contacted **********, owner of the prefinishing plant, and that Mr. ***** had approved this plan. Since I had already spoken with Mr. ***** twice about other business he and I had going on, and the fact that Mr. ***** had not even mentioned this customer's name since our first discussion about the warranty, I contacted Mr. ***** about this matter. He confirmed that he had spoken twice with this customer and told me that his response had been that he could not comment on what remedy he may offer, if his prefinishing was at fault. He said he told the customer that he would require seeing a sample piece of the flooring that did not show signs of water following the wood grain into the flooring plank, which would have caused the problem. Twice Mr. ***** has requested this, and he said he has never seen the first sample yet. What more can this customer ask for. All Mr. ***** and I are asking for is scientific evidence that the flooring finish is defective, and not being caused by some issue of the customer. We cannot do anything without some sort of proof as to what is going on. There is no need to replace this customer's flooring if it is just going to happen again. If this customer is so sure he has received a defective product, why doesn't he get the inspection done to prove this to us? If it is in our product, we are going to reimburse him for the cost of the inspection and try to fix the problem. There are other reasons we suspect some thing is happening that is particular to his home. His flooring was run in a huge batch along with allot of other people's orders. None of them have contacted us. This batch has been out there for almost four years now. Adefective batch would have shown up in some of those homes by now. His claim to other people have had a similar experience is not true. We have never had this issue in our ten years of having our flooring prefinished at this plant or any other plant. Never. What we are saying and have said all along, is that we have never had a finish problem. Some body commented on social media that they had had a problem with our product. They did not say they had a finish problem. They said quote" we have had a negative experience with ***** Brothers" That could have been anything from a shortage of materials to an individual delivery person. We are not perfect, we make mistakes, and we have numerous testimonials from people that recommend us. One is from an interior design firm on our website that referred this customer to us. At first, we had a width variation problem, but we contacted the Wood Science department at********* University and got help there. Our wood is examined regularly by the ************* Inspection Bureau, a division of the US Government Standards Department. But I will repeat, "in our ten years of prefinishing flooring, we have never had a finish problem. The customer has complained that I referred to his experts he has referenced as semi-connected to the industry. Maybe I didn't speak of them with the respect they deserve. But not one time was there reference to any flooring experience or training. What the point is, is that these **** Certified Inspectors are very highly trained in finding flooring problems and detrimental issues in an individuals home. Where the flooring is and is giving trouble. They also provide resolutions to the problems. I could go on and on about their training. They have had to be working in the installation, sanding, and finishing of wood floors for at least two years just to apply for the **** training course. His statement that he only got a response from us by using social media and by contacting the Revdex.com simple isn't true. Our phone records and emails will show that. He makes the statement that he has made a call to the prefinishing plant, and they are ready to do an impartial test to see if the finish is at fault. The owner there has told me that he has talked twice with him, both times requesting a sample of the flooring and cannot get a sample from him. The owner also stated to me that he has made no commitment to this customer in regard to a test or a remedy. If it were true that Mr. ***** has made an offer, then why doesn't this customer follow up and send that sample in and get the satisfaction to his problem?Why go through all of this, when he can get what he wants by just working with the prefinishing plant. It's all going to come down to that anyway. All professions have an association of some kind to set reasonable and responsible standards for their members to go by. The flooring industry is the same. We have our standard procedures that we go by when a customer complains about one of us. We have the ************* Flooring Association and their certified inspectors that hold us all accountable for the products we put out there. I am not a member, but the prefinishing plant I use is. All this customer has to do is to follow standard procedure in establishing a complaint against the finishing of his flooring to find out whether or not his finish is defective. I don't approve of his methods any more than he does mine. What is important here is for him to find out if he has a defective product or does he have a condition in his home that no wood flooring is going to hold up under. He needs to find this out to stop further damage and just pointing his finger at us and saying he was sold a defective product. At this point we think he has a condition that is particular to his home, and replacing the flooring is not going to keep it from happening again. He really is working against himself by not figuring out what is happening in his home. He is not a flooring expert and needs professional testing done for his own bebefitMore info from consumer:I offered a compromise solution that it would appear is going unanswered. I am interested in knowing what is going on in my situation and there is a prominent PHD who is a wood flooring expert researching the situation. This process doesnt seem to be heading to any conclusion, and I reached out to the owners again to try to resolve this. Did not get a phone call reply. I am open to speak about it.