Joseph L. Balkan, Inc. Reviews (3)
My plumber referred me to Joseph L. Balkan, Inc. They sent George to assess the situation. He was very informative & very helpful.
Review: On November **, 2014 we were given a 3-day notice by the DEP for a water main break in the sidewalk out front of our home. We were referred to Balkan Plumbing through our family plumber of 30 years. [redacted] from Balkan arrived at our home on Saturday to as the job. [redacted] and my husband walked the outside, as well as our finished basement to discuss what the job would entail and where we could expect work to be done. [redacted] told us to protect the area and a walkway because there would be dirt and dust. My husband expressed his concerns to [redacted], stating that the basement was recently renovated, it is finished, and we have expensive items that we do not want damaged. They discussed a route, protection (which was our responsibility), and my husband was told, "not to worry about it." We signed the contract assuming that [redacted] understood our concerns and that while there would be some clean-up, it wouldn't be anything to worry about. We went out and purchased plastic covering and drop cloths for the job. We covered the floor, furniture, television and hung plastic from floor to ceiling in the areas that my husband and [redacted] discussed would be walked so that the "dirt and dust," as [redacted] described it, would not be transferred throughout the space. The job took place on a Monday while my husband and I went to work, and my father-in-law was in the house. [redacted] did not show up on Monday to oversee any part of the job. I arrived home on Monday evening to find my basement and laundry room completely covered in mud. The workers had decided without the consent of my husband (who signed the contract) to use a different entry-way. The plastic covering and drop cloths that we laid out and hung for protection had all been ripped down and NOT REUSED FOR THE NEW AREAS WHICH THEY CHOSE TO WALK WITHOUT CONSENT. My entire laundry room was now covered in MUD, not dirt and dust, MUD. They took it upon themselves to use my mops, brooms, LAUNDRY BASKET, and bucket at a VERY sorry attempt to clean the space, leaving all of my personal items covered in mud. I called Balkan that same evening to express my concern and spoke to [redacted]. The conversation was calm, and very matter of fact. [redacted] told me he would take $100 off of our now $4,000 bill. I told him that would not be enough to clean the space. He then told me that his boss [redacted] would call me in the morning to discuss the situation further. When I did not hear from [redacted], I called Balkan again to follow-up. [redacted] told me that I would not get the opportunity to speak with [redacted] and $100 was all I was getting. When I attempted to explain the situation to [redacted] in a calm matter I was interrupted repeatedly, spoken down to, and essentially told that they were in no way responsible and that we should have protected the space, WHICH WE DID.
How on earth a business that deals in messy jobs can walk into someone's home, destroy it with mud and not attempt to lay a single piece of cardboard or plastic - is appalling. I was not expecting to arrive home to an immaculate space, but I certainly was not expecting to arrive home to a mud covered basement and personal cleaning items so caked with mud that I wouldn't be able to use them to clean up. Furthermore, the attitude that [redacted] took with me over the phone was reprehensible. I never intended to have a screaming match with [redacted], my intent was to discuss my displeasure at the fact that his workers ventured outside of the already protected areas, made a complete mess of my home and my personal property and have him understand that the extent of the mess would now require me to hire a cleaning service. The space they trekked through is not a typical "basement," it is a part of our home and contains our valuable items and it was treated and left as a complete mud pit. In addition, [redacted] was not calm at any point in our conversation, instead he proceeded to tell me that we didn't protect and Balkan was in no way responsible when in fact, he wasn't even there to see the protection we laid or the subsequent mess that was left behind. There was absolutely no apology provided, no understanding of the situation and he did not want to hear a word that I had to say. The customer service was absolutely appalling.
It is unfortunate that a company who came to us highly respected was such a true disappointment. Balkan has no consideration for people's personal property, they want to get in, complete a job and make sure they are paid. I should also mention that this job was supposed to be completed in one day, per [redacted]. Conveniently enough, they had to "order another part" and so another $800 was tacked onto our bill for them having to come back a second day. [redacted] and I ultimately settled for an embarrassing $150 credit, simply because I did not want to be screamed at any longer. There must be other companies who deal in their trade and actually take pride in their service and customers! I have a hard time believing that [redacted] Joseph and [redacted] could continue to run a successful company when customers are left with filthy homes and disrespectful customer service.Desired Settlement: Due to the fact that my home requires a cleaning company to come in from the extent of mud left behind from Balkan, I would have desired a bit more than $150 on a $4,000 bill. I also would have taken the $150 quietly if I was spoken to in a more professional tone, shown a little compassion, not repeatedly interrupted, and if I had actually had the opportunity to speak to [redacted] as I was told I would get the chance to do. At this point, an explanation and apology from [redacted] would be acceptable outcome.
My response: Balkan prides itself on its reputation and level of client courtesy. Therefore it was with much distress that I became aware of this complaint regarding the level of clean-up at the job site, and the lack of proper communication. While I did offer to return to clean the affected area, it was too late to do so. In lieu of that, I apologized for the miscommunication in explaining proper preparation for a water line replacement. Furthermore the client and myself agreed on an increased credit for the cost and inconvenience of the clean-up. I believe we ended the conversation on good terms. As a result of this unfortunate incident my staff has been instructed to take extra care in explaining the dust, dirt, etc, that result from a typical water line replacement in the hopes that an incident like this does not ever arise again. They were further informed that the typical property owner has no way of being aware of these type of issues ahead of time. I do personally extend my apologies to [redacted] again
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID [redacted], and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me and the matter has been resolved.
Review: On September 2012, we contracted Joseph L [redacted], Inc. Sewer & Water Main Service, [redacted] to replace our sewage system and to perform final restoration of street and cement disturbed during the course of the job. Their representative assured us that they are a licensed and bonded master plumbers and cement worker contracting company.During the beginning of installation of the pipes, we had to question the fact that they were replacing our 6" pipes with 4" pipes. They tried to convince us that 4" pipes were better when our contract clearly stated 6" pipes were to be installed. The main office had to be called to rectify the problem. At the conclusion of the job, we paid [redacted] in full. It was about 7:30 pm which made it difficult to evaluate the job. However, less then 24 hours of completion, we had to call them to report the cracked, bulky surfaces and uneven concrete slabs. They had used expansion joints instead of wood forms to shape the concrete which resulted in the above problems. The expansion joints were not recessed 1/2" below sidewalk level and sealed flush with sidewalk level. Also, the concrete were brushed in the wrong direction. Since our driveway is on a ten degree slope, this incorrect brushing caused very slippery conditions. They removed concrete where we had brick on concrete and replaced the concrete with loose sand. Two weeks later, some of the the concrete started pealing. .We stayed in communication with [redacted] throughout the installation of the job and thereafter. We kept them abreast of all that was happening. We told them they have been paid and they should return and do the job correctly. A worker showed up once, took pictures and noted his findings. They never returned. They kept stalling us on the phone. That is when we started to put things in writing by emailing. We found out that the city had given [redacted] a permit to repair & relay the sewer, not to complete concrete work. They told us they did not need a permit for concrete work; however, the concrete work for our job was extensive. Almost two months passed and they never showed to start any work. After all this time, we did not trust [redacted] to do any concrete work for us. We could only trust a licensed cement worker to do the work correctly. By November, 2012, we contacted our Credit Card Company. We submitted all the correspondence and pictures along with two required estimates from license cement companies. [redacted] also presented their case. By February of 2013, the credit card company settled the case and gave us partial credit for the incorrect work done by [redacted]. [redacted] continues to threaten to take us to court. .Desired Settlement: We want Balkan to stop sending us threatening letters.
Balkan was contracted to replace a house sewer for a total price of $9,500.00. A deposit of $4,750.00 was received.
After cement was completed to the customers satisfaction they agreed to have their credit card run for the balance of $4,750.00. This was a courtesy to the client as full payment was due upon completion of the installation, and expressly stated in the signed contract that no money could be withheld pending final restoration of cement or roadway.
At a later date the customer decided that in fact they were not satisfied with the completed cement. Numerous attempts were made to have the custoimer document in writing what amount of cement they found unacceptable. This resulted in heated exchanges, as the client did not wish to list or document exactly what they found at fault. As matter of fact the customer then took issue with the direction of the broom finish of the cement; which they oversaw at the time it was done.
At an attempt at a fair resolution Balkan offered to either:
A) Correct all defects except 'broom finish' (which is a matter of personal taste and was overseen by the client)
B) Fully refund the charge for the cement that needed to be replaced at $10.00 per foot. The same rate listed in a signed contract.
On 10/**/2012 this email was sent and received by the customer, but rejected as unsatisfactory:
"Good Afternoon [redacted] & [redacted],
Balkan Agrees to make the following corrections to the cement work at [redacted]
Sawcut zig zagged/curve edges to a straight edge.
Breakout and re-cement a four(4) 5'x8' flag of cement by garage door.
Please advise if you agree to this corrections.
The client countered with requesting a credit at a rate over 2X the stated per foot price. The client then reversed their credit card charge in full for the balance of $4,750.00 and filed various grievances to harm Balkans good reputation. Balkan has been left with no recourse but to seek a resolution in Small Claims Court - which the client refers to 'intimidation'.
As an additional note, as one of the customers complaints is that Balkan did the cement work, in NYC a licensed master plumber is expressly permitted by the Department of Buildings to restore surfaces which they disturb.
For the record: Balkan again agrees to refund at a rate of $10.00 per foot (the rate listed in a signed contract) the cement that the customer seeks to replace, excepting any cement whose sole objection is the direction of a broom finish which was overseen by the customer.
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID# [redacted], and have determined that my complaint has NOT been resolved because:
[Your Answer Here]
We paid you directly after the sewage was installed as per our written contract. No courtesy was extended to us for payment because no courtesy was needed.