I’m taking a break from blogging about cancer to share a story of the last 48 hours of my life.
I had my breast reconstruction surgery on March 7th. I’m currently home recovering, while being stuck in my house again, and laying around, I decided to have my house painted. I have stared at these egg shell walls for the past year, since being diagnosed with cancer, and I decided since I was stuck laying around at home again, I may as well make use of my time so I contracted the whole house interior paint job.
Here are some photos of the “professional” paint job.
**I have several more photos of the horrible work, but I think you get the jist**
I fired the company, and here is the very detailed email I just sent the company. I’ll update this if I ever get a response.
Emailed Sunday, March 19 at 11:25 a.m. to support at both porch.com and done.com.
I used porch.com
to find a professional interior home painter. I indicated that the job was the entire interior house, prep work was required, and I wanted holes filled in on the initial online form.
Within minutes I was contacted by what I thought was a professional painting company, which impressed me. I explained that my house was fully furnished and that furniture would need to be moved and that I needed 3 holes in my walls repaired, as well as all nail holes covered and sanded. I told the customer service rep that my house is 1,871 square footage – and when I began telling him how many bedrooms, he stopped me and told me he only needed the square footage. When asked how high my ceilings were, I couldn’t give the exact height, but explained that I have cathedral ceilings in my living room and two of the bedroom ceilings are pretty high; the ceilings weren’t being painted, but the walls obviously are very high to meet the ceiling.
In addition, I explained that I just had my 5th surgery last week from having breast cancer and that I can hardly use my arms and would be unable to help with anything at all.
He told me the price would be $379, per day and that since my house is only a little more than 1800 square feet, that this job would probably only take one day to complete, but no more than 2 days, stating that I’d pay no more than $758.
With that information, I contracted the job for Friday, March 17, with the expectation of it being compete no later than Saturday, March 18. Then I scheduled my new furniture delivery and other jobs in the home for Monday/Tuesday.
The day before the “painter” was coming, he called me to tell me what supplies I needed to purchase – which included paint rollers, pans, painters plastic, tape, and roller handles – amongst other things – which I thought was odd for a professional painter to need me to buy, but since I’ve never hired a professional painter before, I wasn’t sure if this was the standard operating procedure for this type of work, so I didn’t know – and against my better judgement I let it go. It was already Thursday afternoon and the job was scheduled for the next morning.
Then the painter told me he didn’t have a ladder. I told him there was no way he could paint the walls without a ladder; he then asked me to go buy a ladder. I told him that I have an extension ladder in my garage and he said he needed a different ladder and I told him I couldn’t buy him a ladder, he then told me to buy it and then take it back when he was done with it. I told him I just had a surgery last week and that I drive a Dodge Charger, so I couldn’t get a ladder even if I wanted to. Finally, he told me he’d take care of the ladder.
When I contracted the job the agreed upon time for the job to begin was Friday, March 17 at 9 a.m. After getting the list of supplies, the painter told me he had a family obligation and he wanted to “make me aware that he wouldn’t be there until 9:30
By a little after 10, I hadn’t heard from him so I called the company that I assume you sub-contracted the job out to and left a voicemail, then called the painter directly who told me about traffic and that he was 15 minutes away. He showed up at 10:40
a.m. driving a Dodge Avenger car, with no ladder.
So now I know, my instincts were correct, there was no way this was a professional painter. But again, against any and all good judgment, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I told him I wanted my son’s room done first and then we’d go from there.
With all the supplies I bought, I also purchased spackle and told him I wanted all the nail holes covered and sanded and wanted a good, clean professional job with no holes. He asked me if I wanted him to calk some cracks and I told him I did and he told me to go buy calk and he’d do that also, which made me very happy. I asked my mother to go to the store and get calk and also asked her to get more tape and a step ladder so he could actually reach something.
So now, for this “professional” to come in and paint I have bought, at the request of the painter: 12 roller sleeves, 2 roller pans, 12 inserts for the roller pans, 2 roller handles, 10 rolls of painters tape, 400×12 painters plastic, a roller extender, a step ladder, 10 small paint containers, spackle, 2 hole repair kits, and 3 tubes of calk, which in total cost me around $300 in what should be basic supplies for any professional painter to have, in addition to the $600+ spent on paint.
He never calked any of the cracks and complained that the tape we purchased was too small and wanted me to take it back and get bigger tape. In addition, he never covered any of the holes, he sloppily painted over them (please see the attached photos).
Since he arrived late, he didn’t leave until 6:40
p.m., which I had plans for my son’s birthday at 6 because the painter was supposed to work 9-5, so in addition to everything else, I had to delay my plans due to the painters tardiness.
At the end of a full 8-hour work day, the painter only completed one room – my son’s room, which is one of the smallest in the house and he prepped the Jack and Jill bathroom (he did help remove a shower door, which I appreciated but wasn’t a priority at all). That was all – in 8 hours, one room sloppily painted.
I explained to him that this job has to be complete by Sunday because I have a follow up appointment with my surgeon Monday and my furniture is being delivered Tuesday, I scheduled the job and the delivery based on what I was told when I contracted the job: that this was no more than a two-day job.
The painter then told me he didn’t know there was such a “tight” deadline (which I was even giving him an extra day from what the company originally promised), that he didn’t know it was a house with rooms (what entire house doesn’t have rooms?), and he had a laundry list of excuses and told me how he believed in quality work and didn’t want to rush the job, as you’ll note by viewing the attached photos, this is NOT quality work.
After the painter left on Friday night, I was in full panic mode and spoke to Steve at done.com
because not only do I have furniture being delivered and an appointment with my surgeon, at only completing one small room in 8-full hours, and still having 2 more bedrooms (including the master), the Jack and Jill bathroom, the hallway, stairs, family room, kitchen, living room, dining room, master bathroom, 1/2 bath, all the trim, baseboards and doors, this job was going to take several days – if not weeks – at this pace, which is not in my timeframe or my budget.
Again, I got excuses about it only being one painter (that’s what they sent, I expected a at least 2 painters), how long prep work takes, etc. I was so upset, but that doesn’t solve anything, so I was doing my best to work with them to figure out how we can resolve this issue. So I authorized another painter to come and assist to do prep work and whatever else in order to get this job done. I got a call back a little after 8 p.m. and was told they were working to find someone else to come and help, but it was going to double the daily rate. I agreed because I need this job done. I felt like they were working to resolve my issues and address my concerns so I went to bed, feeling slightly relieved that Saturday would be better and I’d see progress.
The agreed upon time for the painter to show up was 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 18. The painter called me at 6:27
a.m. and I didn’t hear my phone; he called back at 6:39
a.m. and this time I heard the phone and answered. He asked me if I still wanted him to come and told me that they weren’t able to find anyone to come with him. I told him of course I wanted him to come – the job needs to be done. And he told me he’d pack up and be on his way shortly.
I hung up the phone and cried hysterically, I felt so much stress and I was in so much pain from all the running around I had to do Thursday to purchase supplies, and actually moving the downstairs furniture to the garage to get it out of his way on Friday when I saw how slow he was going, in order to get the job done.
Being that Friday the painter said the taping took the longest, and I need this job done, my mom and I began taping and doing the painters prep work for him. My mother, who is visiting from Kansas and is here to help take care of me from my surgery, has arthritis in her back and feet, I just finished chemotherapy a few months ago and just had my 5th surgery on my chest last week. I still have stitches across my entire chest and drains sewn into both of my sides – neither my mother or myself are in any type of physical condition to be moving furniture or doing prep work for painting a house. I used your site to find a professional interior painting company to do all of this work for me. I wanted a professional job on the home that I own. If I wanted to buy all the supplies, tape, move furniture, and wanted paint sloppily on my wall, I would have done it myself.
The painter told me at 6:39
a.m. when we spoke he’d be at my house in 30-45 minutes – from Columbia, MD to Waldorf, MD – which with no traffic is a minimum of a 55 minute drive, so that timeframe wasn’t even feasible – and he didn’t arrive at my home until nearly 8:30
As soon as he arrived, I again expressed all of my concerns, and again he told me that he didn’t know there was a deadline, he didn’t know there were rooms in the the house, that the prep work takes a long time, that he takes his time because he believes in quality (again, please review the photos). I showed him all the prep work my mom and I had done and told him the level of priorities for each room. He went up to the jack and Jill bathroom – which was already prepped and got started painting.
At 10 a.m. I went upstairs to inform him I was going to Sherwin Williams to get more paint and inquired if he needed anything else. In that hour and a half, he was only halfway done with the bathroom.
At Sherwin Williams, while getting my paint mixed, I told them my story and asked if they knew of any actual professional painters that could come in ASAP to paint my house. As luck would have it, one of the painters they were going to recommend, happened to walk in at that moment. The employee helping me pulled me aside and notified me that one of the painters who just walked in is one of the best, and I walked over to him, told him my story and asked him if he could help.
He followed me to my house, walked through gave me an actual flat rate price of the full job – to include repainting the rooms that the painter that your service sent out/referred painted. And even then, the painter was still painting the Jack and Jill bathroom. The new painter took a look at the walls in my son’s room and saw that the current painter was still in the Jack and Jill bathroom – which I had already told him that the painter had been in that bathroom since 8:30
a.m. – (it was close to 11 a.m. by then). The new painter contacted his crew and they agreed to come in Sunday, March 19 and work on their day off.
The painter your company sent/sub-contracted/referred finally finished the Jack and Jill bathroom at 11:30
, and I told him I was done and I no longer wanted him to do any work in my home. So, in a total of 11 hours, I got one medium bedroom and a Jack and Jill bathroom very sloppily painted, that’s it.
I told him that with the poor quality of work, the slowness/lack of progress, not to mention all the work my mother and I did, that I felt I should at least get some type of discount, especially since I have to pay someone to redo all the work.
When we talked about the hours, he told me that he worked for 3.5 hours Saturday. I told him that wasn’t correct because he didn’t show up until 8:30
a.m. and it was 11:30
a.m., so it was only 3 hours. The painter argued with me that he got to my home at exactly 8 a.m. and told me he was late only because I didn’t answer the phone the first time he called. I again told him that he didn’t get to my house until 8:30
, which he continued to argue with me about, but either way, we agreed that he’d be there at 7 a.m. and I answered the phone 15 minutes later when he called back Saturday morning, but those 15 minutes didn’t excuse the 1.5 hour tardiness – 2 days in a row. He told me I shouldn’t have used done.com
if I wanted a professional house painting job because it’s a handyman site, I told him I never went to done.com
, I went to porch.com
and I specifically indicated that I wanted a professional interior home painter. He argued that I had to have went to done.com
because that’s where he gets jobs and he’s never heard of porch.com
, and I told him I got a reference from Lowe’s to use porch.com
and that’s what I used, and he kept telling me I should have hired a professional painter if I wanted it to be done perfectly with my tight deadline. I told him that I thought that that is what I hired, then he tried to again tell me that I shouldn’t have used done.com
because it’s a handyman service and I told him I wasn’t going to keep going back and forth because I know what website I went to.
He called his boss and I explained all of this to him and instead of charging me for 11 hours, he’d “only” charge me for 10.
So, I used your service (porch.com
) to hire a painting professional, I paid $497 for 2 rooms to be very sloppily painted in 11 hours, and paint to even be spilled on my carpet – so I’ll have to pay to have it professionally cleaned, and nearly $300 in very basic painters supplies. In addition, my mother and I, in very poor health, spent 6 hours doing prep work and moving furniture to try to speed this job up.
And now I have to pay another company to come in and redo the work that your company referred to me, as well as do the job that your company couldn’t deliver on.
I was completely robbed, both monetarily and in time that my mom and I spent doing this “professional” painters prep work.
As I sit here today observing this new crew that I found yesterday, they brought their own materials, they are calking cracks, filling in holes, and diligently working, and I know that I have now found an actual, experienced, professional painting crew.
Using your service was the most horrific, unprofessional, unacceptable experience and I will never use your service again, because if this is the type of workers you recommend and guarantee – no thanks.
I am writing this to give you a detailed account of my experience using your service and hoping that you can do something to make this right.
Please contact me via phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email: xxx @gmail.com
I look forward to hearing back from you in a timely manner. If not, I’ll include the fact that my concerns went unanswered in my complaint to the Better Business Bureau and on all the other social media sites that I will be sharing my experience with.
*The photos of red paint are of my son’s room
*The photos of the blue paint are the Jack and Jill bathroom.
Dana M. Clark
… To Be Continued