Customers take complaints about renovation company to province
Published Thursday, January 30, 2014 6:55PM MST Last Updated Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:08PM MST
A kitchen and bath renovation company that has been in business for years in Calgary is in trouble with the province after an investigation found it was not following regulations.
Darlene Saltesz took down her cabinets seven months ago to get ready for her kitchen renovation.
She says she paid Xpress Kitchens an $8000 deposit to do the job back in July but since then nothing has happened.
"There's been many excuses over the past seven months, everything from his workers didn't show up to assemble the cabinets to he doesn't have them yet, they were still in California originally,” said Saltesz.
Another homeowner says she also paid Xpress Kitchens a $29,000 deposit to renovate her kitchen and bath last fall and that getting the work done was difficult.
She says that what was completed was done so poorly that she had to rip most of it out and start over again with a new contractor.
The ordeal made her so embarrassed and fearful that she didn’t want to appear on camera.
"It's been a nightmare. At one point I was considering selling the home as is and recovering what's left of it. I don't know that I would ever do anything like this again," said the woman.
CTV News went to Xpress Kitchen's office in the northeast and found it closed with an eviction notice pasted to the door but the company's Macleod Trail location was still open.
Service Alberta says Xpress Kitchens is not licenced as a prepaid contractor and it is now investigating five consumer complaints against the company.
The province says consumer complaints allege that Xpress Kitchens failed to do the work agreed upon, did poor quality work, raised prices without customer consent and refused to provide refunds when warranted.
“Now the total losses to consumers so far are almost $80,000 and individual losses or the individual payments right now range from deposits of $8,000 to more than $25,000," said Mike Berezowsky from Service Alberta.
Service Alberta has served Xpress Kitchens with two Director's Orders calling for the business to stop entering into new prepaid contracts, to stop various unfair practices and refund consumers as required.
Among the unfair practices listed is raising prices by more than 10 percent or $100.
CTV News contacted the operator and director of Xpress Kitchens.
"We're talking to Service Alberta to get the licence, the pre-paid contractor’s licence that allows us to talk to customers. These are customers who want to know on the jobsite when we go to do the estimate,” said Romeo Versace, Director Xpress Kitchens Ltd.
Versace says he plans to appeal the Director's Orders and denied raising prices unfairly.
(With files from Lea Williams-Doherty and Bill Macfarlane)