It was supposed to be a kitchen renovation that would give Denise Van Rooij a refreshed look, instead, she's been living in a kitchen under construction for more than a year.
Van Rooij thought the renovation would go smoothly as she found a contractor Greg Wood who owns Restoration Services by Serendipity, which is an independent business licensed to provide services under the ServiceMaster name. She says she thought that would mean she'd be protected if anything went wrong. Instead, it's been a long year. It's been a long year.
"It's been kind of tough, no sink, no dishwasher, no flooring," Van Rooij said.
The project started in March 2022. She paid Wood more than $9,700 to get started on the work. While some of the work got done like the sheetrock, painting, and some of the plumbing, when it came time the flooring and cabinets would come to a standstill.
Wood said the reason work couldn't progress was two of the cabinets were on backorder.
"You say it's a backorder situation but can you give me an idea, can you tell me when the cabinets will come in, nothing," Van Rooij said.
In text messages, Wood said he had all of the cabinets but one. But months later, still, no sign of work moving forward.
Van Rooij just wanted her kitchen done so after she says she couldn't get in touch with Wood, she reached out to ServiceMaster since Wood is a franchise under ServiceMaster. However, through email, a representative wrote since Wood is an independent business licensed under the ServiceMaster name, she'd have to work on a resolution through him, but said he wouldn't respond.
"Everything started to change."
Frustrated with the whole ordeal, Van Rooij got in touch with ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.
"I'm really glad I did because everything started to change I started to hear from corporate again," Van Rooij said.
In a statement, ServiceMaster said: "We are disappointed to learn about the customer's experience as it is not in line with the standards of ServiceMaster Brands. Each franchise is independently owned and operated, and in cases where working directly with the franchise owner does not lead to a solution, we encourage customers to either work through their insurance carrier or contact the ServiceMaster Restore Customer Service team to assist in any resolution, if possible. The Customer Service team can be reached via phone at 855-959-1212 or via email at CustomerService@smclean.com."
The contractor Greg Wood tells ABC11 he did everything he could but the delays came down to not being able to get all of the cabinets and that he stopped responding to Van Rooij after she repeatedly reached out to him for updates.
After Wilson got involved ServiceMaster sent Van Rooij a check for more than $8,400 for the work that was not done. A refund she says she thinks only happened because of ABC11's involvement.
"I really appreciate it, you've been great."
The best advice before you hire a contractor, especially if you're going through a national company where each contractor is a separate franchise of it is to see what guarantees you have. It's also important to research what steps can be taken if work doesn't progress as it should on the job.
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