26 reasons NOT to buy Menards
Posted Tue December 10, 2002, by David B. written to Menard Inc
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I would like to bring to your attention a problem I had with the overall experience at Menard Inc, and I hope someone can do something about it. The store I'm referring to is located at Golden Valley, MN.. This incident has left me extremely angry.
1. February 9, 2002: Oak Park Mission cabinets, and matching chestnut stain, were ordered from Medallion Cabinetry (a division of Elkay), through the Golden Valley Menards store, price paid was $6342.
2. March 24, 2002: The cabinets were received with the following problems:
- Some door stiles are not quarter-sawn oak as advertised.
- The 3" trim pieces were not quarter-sawn oak and not chestnut stain.
- The valance was not the right style and was not quarter-sawn oak.
- The Southeast wall cabinet did not have 3/4 inch finished sides.
- The dishwasher end panel did not have 3/4 inch finished sides.
- The South wall boxes and doors are much darker than the North boxes and doors, and the NE wall cabinet door is much darker than the rest of the North wall boxes and doors. This shows our cabinets were made at different times and the stain mixing process is not in control.
We (my wife Mary and I) also noted construction of the cabinets generally exhibits poor workmanship and materials with little attention for detail; stapled construction, protruding staples, running glue, damaged corners, not square, not true, 1/8 inch backs, and appearance of being slapped together with no quality control. We returned trim, valance, SE wall box, and dishwasher end panel to the Golden Valley Menards store on March 26 and were told that we would be working directly with the Medallion Representative, Dick E.
3. April 5, 2002: Mr. Dick E., Medallion marketing representative, came to the house and took a wall cabinet shelf to help match stain for a 2nd SE cabinet box in hopes of using the original door. A suggestion was made to accept a 1/4 inch "skin" glued to the existing 1/2 inch sides of the original box and dishwasher panel that would make it appear to be a 3/4 inch finished side - we declined the offer. It was also stated that being this cabinet style is new, we "are kind of the guinea pigs".
4. April 14, 2002: Received the 2nd set of trim pieces; all were bowed, twisted and unusable. It appears they were not jointed on one edge before ripping, resulting in 2 curved edges. Also received the stain, three weeks after the cabinets and nine weeks after it was ordered. When speaking with Medallion representatives, since February 23, about stain not being received, to prepare kitchen trim prior to cabinet delivery, the standard reply was "I will look into the problem and call right back"; only the last person called back resulting in today's delivery.
5. April 15, 2002: Called Dick E. about the 2nd trim pieces that were received. Mr. E. picked up the trim and ordered a 3rd set.
6. April 16, 2002: Discovered a protruding hinge on the bottom of a door and repaired.
7. April 17, 2002: Discovered the front bottom edge of two 21 inch wall boxes are not straight. To install a trim piece I had to match the curve of the untrue edge. It appears again that pieces were not jointed before ripping.
8. April 23, 2002: Sent email explaining problems to Mr. Tom C. and Ms. Sage H.
9. April 24, 2002: Dick E. responded to the email by calling our home. We set up April 29 as a time for him to come to the house and bring the 2nd SE box and 2nd dishwasher end panel. Dick stated he couldn't find the 3rd trim pieces and they were "on a delivery truck somewhere".
10. April 29, 2002: Dick came and the 2nd SE box had a damaged corner...it appeared to have been dropped before it was packaged. Dick called the factory to remake a 3rd SE box. Dick took pictures of differences in cabinet stains, door panel inserts, and door stiles that are not quarter-sawn oak and said Medallion had returned all stiles to their supplier. We noticed the finish on the 2nd dishwasher panel was blotched in a five-inch circular area and stained very dark but kept it as it was needed for countertops to be installed.
11. April 30, 2002: While installing the 2nd dishwasher end panel we found part of a staple protruding 1/16 inch on the bottom edge...it was noticed after scratching the new wood floor.
12. May 1, 2002: While installing standard 3 inch drawer pulls (centered vertically and horizontally on the drawer front) we sometimes drilled into screws used by Medallion to install the drawer fronts from the backside of the drawer box. We had to reinstall the drawer fronts to the drawer boxes leaving screw holes from Medallion's misplaced holes.
13. May 2, 2002: Extra Medallion shelves received through the Golden Valley store were not quarter sawn, not stained chestnut, and 1/2 the length of ordered
14. May 3, 2002: Dick E. brought the 3rd SE wall cabinet box. The stain on this 3rd box was much, much, darker than all pieces...Dick stated "3 shades darker". Dick said he would reorder a 4th SE box and that "Medallion will redo all cabinet doors to match stain and with all quarter-sawn oak stiles".
15. May 16, 2002: Returning home, we were surprised to find UPS had dropped off the 4th SE box and 4th trim pieces on the driveway. Have not heard from Dick for 2 weeks tomorrow. This 4th SE box has nearly a 1/4 inch bow in one side and a 1/8 inch bow in the other.
16. May 29, 2002: Have not heard from Dick for 4 weeks this Friday. Mary called Dick, asked about the new doors, the warped SE door and now the bowed box. Dick said he will be traveling for the next 2 weeks and we should be receiving all new doors.
17. July 12, 2002: No one from Medallion has contacted us for over 2 months. Mary picked up Conciliation Court papers and we are in the process of filling them out.
18. July 17, 2002: We received a call from a woman at Medallion asking what the court notice was about because "there was no record of a problem". Mary informed her of the email notice and to contact Dick E.
19. July 18, 2002: Mr. Emanuel L. from Medallion left a message on our answering machine to call him. We returned his call on July 19 and had to leave a message. Mr. L. never did call back.
20. August 7, 2002: Dick E. called me at work wondering if he could take pictures. Dick stated a train wreck was a major part of not getting the problems solved...I did not ask how. I said Mary and I would discuss retaking pictures and call him back. Before we could call, Dick called the house at 4:30 P.M.. Mary told him he had already taken pictures (Item 12 above), and also taken 3 separate wood samples and 2 separate shelves on prior visits, to match stain. Dick said he had given the wood samples, shelves, and pictures to Medallion to remake the doors (they presumably were lost). Mary told Dick that that is just another part of the problem. Dick stated he wanted to work with us so Mary said if Medallion could remake 2 doors, same stain and not warped, we would subtract money from our suit.
21. August 14, 2002: Dick called the house and dropped off the doors at 10 A.M. He wanted Mary to sign a statement declaring that Medallion had taken care of all pending issues and that everything was acceptable. Mary did not sign and when she opened the packages, she found that one door, to replace the non-matching stained door, had two windows instead of three windows like all others. The other door, to replace the warped door, was fitted with all hardware from the original SE cabinet door and mounted to the 4th SE cabinet box. It was either just as warped as the first door or the problem is the 4th SE bowed box so the 2nd door was detached, and hardware moved back to the original door.
22. August 15, 2002: Dick called the house about noon and Mary told him about the problems with the last 2 doors. Dick responded it may be an "installation problem". Later, he was very apologetic and stated "Medallion really has quality problems out there".
23. August 26, 2002: Went before the court of Carver county in Chaska, Minnesota to plead our case against Medallion and asked for restitution in the amount of $4,000. The judge said that being we had paid Menards for the cabinets we would need to file a claim either against Menards, or Menards and Medallion as co-defendants. Mary and I again spoke with the Medallion reps after the hearing to discuss a resolution. Another disappointment for us has been that none of the door insert panels are "solid oak" as advertised on the Medallion website for their "Mission" cabinets. According to the dictionary, and everyone dealing with wood and furniture, the word "Mission" is a style and is defined by appearance. It was pointed out by Medallion reps today after our court appearance that the Medallion "Mission" style is not the Menards "Oak Park" mission style even though they each use the same picture in their advertisements. When Medallion is asked where consumers can purchase their "Mission" cabinets, they are told they can purchase them at Menards. The Menards description, printed out only on the contract, says "veneer insert panels" which are much less in quality and price than solid oak insert panels. At the moment we are not interested in trying to work things out any further with Medallion. Every time they try to fix one thing they mess up another. Their processes are totally out of control and suffice it to say, they promise the world, deliver nothing, and are less that truthfull...Dick E. had obviously not informed anyone, including his partner in court this morning, of the ongoing problems and stated this morning that he had never volunteered to redo all the doors three months ago. I called the Golden Valley store and explained the situation to date. I was transferred to the store manager, Mike A. Mr. A. instructed me to call Arlene K. at (715) 876-2344. I called Arlene at about 10:45 and was instructed to call back in about 20 minutes because "Arlene cannot return phone calls". I called back in 20 minutes and Arlene was still not available. I was instructed to send a letter or fax regarding my complaint to Arlene as Arlene "could not converse on the subject until there was hard copy documentation". I was told that Arlene "would review the documentation and respond by mail instead of calling me on the telephone to discuss the problem and it's resolution". I faxed Ms. K. and stated that I thought I should pay for what I received and asked that Menards determine an amount.
24. September 9, 2002: Received apology letter from Medallion and a letter from Arlene K. thanking us for our business.
25. September 10, 2002: Sent another fax to Arlene K. Menards Customer Service, Eau Claire, WI, Fax (715) 876-2868 stating that we want some of our money back.
26. November 20, 2002: Received a letter from Arlene stating that Medallion had offered in their apology letter to come to our house and that "offer" was "self-explanatory".
As a result of this incident I will do everything I can to avoid Menard Inc in the future, and I will certainly advise others to avoid your store.
Here's what I'd like to see happen: Give us one half of our money back.
I hope you are willing to address my concerns. I look forward to receiving a response within 10 business days.
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