Top Hat Masonry, LLC
Added by Reviewer1794861
Review: Our business relationship started out well, [redacted] had Daryca gave me an estimate last fall which was reasonable, not the cheapest but reasonable. I have several multifamily buildings in the area in which his business is located. His estimate came was given to me in late fall of 2013. I called them this spring to have him do the work for me and he agreed to honor his proposal from this previous fall and all I needed to do was send in the required down payment of $500 to reserve a date on their calendar for the work to be done. I didn't hear from them for a little over a month. I checked with my bank to see if they deposited the check and they had. So I called them to see when they would be starting the work. They responded back with a start date of June 23rd however they were not able to do the work they had proposed to do. They said that due to the harsh winter the ice and severely cold weather had done more damage to the chimney and they were only going to back plaster the complete brick fascia and they were not going to rebuild it as the proposal had called for. I agreed with them only back plastering the chimney and not rebuilding it. Now here is where the problems start. In good faith I assumed they would have at least called me to tell me they would be starting the work and they didn't. I had told the residents in the units that the work would be starting on the 23rd and as it urns out they failed to notify me they were starting nearly a week earlier than was planned for. The work that was called for in the contract was not done at all. In fact the work that was done was totally different than what I expected. They should have rewritten their proposal and clarified so I had a better understanding of what and how this work was being done. Their contract calls for payment in full upon completion. I planned on moving funds around to pay for the work because it was a sizeable amount of money that was being paid out to them. If I had known they had started the work I could have moved the funds around and I could have paid them upon completion. They called me on Monday the 23rd to tell me they were near completion and demanded I meet them the following day with full payment. I informed them that I would be paying them Friday which was only 3 days after the work was completed. [redacted] called me with threatening me stating that if he didn't have full payment that he was going to call the city with potential code violations and that he was going to make my life miserable.... I had other business opportunities available for them however with the way they handled themselves from a business standpoint it really concerns me about the type of work they have done. It has been paid for in full and I can only hope the work they did and the amount they received that the work was good and will hold up.Desired Settlement: I would like this filed for public review. Both [redacted] and Daryca need to lean how to handle their clients in a professional manner a little tact and diplomacy will go a very long way. This could have been avoided if they had called me to tell me they were starting the work I could have moved funds around to pay them in full upon completion. After all they had a deposit the check was good and left them no reason to think other wise. Even if they had had a prior client that didn't pay them.
Let me start by stating that there is little truth in [redacted] statement. [redacted] originally contacted my company back in October of 2013. My wife answers the phone, we run the business from home, we are a husband\ wife team. Normally she will set up an appointment for a estimate with me. In this case [redacted] did not want to meet, he asked if I could simply take a look and send him out an estimate. He also stated that the city of Milwaukee had ordered that the property be repaired and he already got several time extensions. No problem, within 48hrs I had looked at the chimney and mailed him a estimate, dated 11/2/13. The property was in extremely poor condition. The chimney near collapse, roof shingles missing and boarded up screens and windows. I immediately called the customer to imform him of the dangerous situation. I explained that I had mailed out the estimate and informed him of the price. He immediately said he was very interested and would return a signed copy and deposit check ASAP. (This contract was to repair brick and tuck point morar joints only, not rebuild. See contract copy.) I did explain that there was absolutely no time to waste and that if the structure was no repaired SOON it would probably have to be rebuilt. The customer made it very clear that this was a rental property and rebuilding was out of the question and not in the budget. He assured me he was on board with proposed repair and asked when we could do the job, I told him we do not give schedule dates, but "tentative target dates", because the weather is just too unpredictable. (As the contract states: to be completed fall/winter 2013.)
I also explained when we received a signed proposal I would give him priority, because of city compliance issues.
Two weeks went by and we did not receive it, no big deal things happen, We did several follow up calls, he said I am sending it out today! Never came. This back and forth went on all winter. As an option we offered an interest free payment plan, no response. Finally in March 2014 my wife informed me that he was calling again and desperate to get the repairs done. We explained the job would have to be re-inspected, after the severe winter we endured. I suspected the chimney was near collapse. I proceeded to the customers rental property the next day. The chimney was a serious safety concern. It was not only more deteriorated,but now "leaning over" the sidewalk 40ft below. We immediately contacterd the customer to inform him. I explained that tuck pointing the chimney like the contract states, would not be possible anymore. (See contract dated 11/2/13.) Removing any of the mortar in between the brick would almost certainley cause total collapse of chimney structure. [redacted] again stressed that rebuilding was not in the budget nor an option. I suggested "plastering" the chimney as an alternative to rebuilding. I would honor original price of $2500.00, as the job scope is very similar to tuck pointing. I explained we would not have to remove any mortar in between bricks, hopefully avoiding it falling over. Due to the poor condition and lack of maintenance there was no way we could give a warranty or guaranty the repair. I also informed him we would "re word" the proposal and send out a copy ASAP. [redacted] asked again if the price was the same, if so there would be no reason to alter the contract, as he has submitted a copy of the original to the city. I explained that we still had not received signed copy, along with $500 down payment deposit. I also informed him that, assuming we went forward with the work that payment is due day of completion. I had an uneasy feeling at this point, because [redacted] just never seemed to follow thru with anything he would tell us.
The back and forth went on until late April, we actually received our contract back on April 26th. The only problem was, there was no signature and no deposit check! We then sent it back to him and finally received a signed copy with deposit for $500.00 on 5/10/2014. The check was deposited in our account on 5/20/2014. Soon after we had a signed agreement Mr. Perkins was contacted with a "target" date and approximate time slot, (week of 6/23/2014.) He again stated frantically that the city was harassing him and if we could get here any sooner he would really appreciate it. We told him we would try and help in any way we could. He was told that once we started we would give him a call. Again customer was reminded that payment was due upon completion. Being a small family owned business, we depend on prompt payment to stay in business. (Unless prior arrangements are made.)
This is when our business relatsnship got kind of strange. The customer imformed us that he was a very wealthy man and owned many properties. (I have had some problems in the past receiving payment from rental property owners.) That he would pay us and not to worry.
My wife actually rescheduled two other jobs to make sure we could get over there in a timely manner. The job was started on June 19th, he was again called over the weekend. The job was completed on June 24th. When my wife spoke with him over the weekend he seemed very grateful we were on the job. He even offered to drop off the check at our house when we were expected to finish on Tuesday. He never showed up, so we called him. Things happen no big deal. [redacted] stated things "came up" and he would be dropping off check on Wed. June 25th at 2:00pm. Never showed, so we called again, then it was Fri. the 26th. He called my wife and said, he could not find our mail box. He also started getting very rude with my wife, referring to her as "babe, sweety and honey?" He said we would not receive a dime until he collected "rents" on the property for July 2014. She said he was laughing and giggling innapropriatley. The conversation really bothered my wife.
When I returned home from work on Fri. evening my wife informed me of the situation, it was obvious he was playing games. Now that he was compliant with the city, I suppose he was in no big hurry to pay his bill. I politely left him a message, that we would like to get paid for the completed work, like the contract states. He called back and was extremely rude with me. He told me when and if he collected "rents" he would consider paying us at his convenience. I explained if we did not get paid soon, I would assume he had no intention of paying and I would file a small claims for lein on his property. We were paid with post dated checks about a week later.
Let me close by saying we take our relationships with our customers very seriously. We could have never built a successful business being disrespectful to our customers. We have an excellent reputation and hundreds of happy customers. We have NEVER had a complaint, that I am aware of. This is our livelihood and we can not tolerate a customer twisting the facts to intentionally damage our credibility. We literally bent over backwards for [redacted] Perkins. As a small family owned business any negative attention is bad. Especially when it is untrue. I would hope the Revdex.com would consider this before posting. We have had a good relationship with the Revdex.com and respect the position you take.
[redacted] and Daryca Schinko
Top Hat Masonry LLC