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Kitchen Cabinets: Deposits and Contracts

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[OP]
Newbie
Mar 2, 2011
15 posts
Toronto

Kitchen Cabinets: Deposits and Contracts

Hello I need some advice and I hope you can help me in the next step.
We are planning to replace a kitchen in our condo.
After searching for several months and getting quotes from several kitchen supplier my partner and I finally picked one. And since they were running a promo of free delivery and installation we paid a deposit ($5000) with a credit card so we can get a discount .
After several planning meetings we got to the contract stage and we were almost ready to sign but what we discovered in the contract raised some red flags with us.
The payment terms are: 50% -minus deposit on the contract being signed and another 50% on delivery to the store warehouse.
The kitchen is being built in Europe and delivered to the Canadian re-seller, which is responsible for facilitation of the purchase, delivery to the client and installation onsite.
We didn't like that we need to pay the remaining 50% without even seeing the kitchen or installation being completed.
We escalated the issue with the store and suggested to split the last payment to 25% on delivery to warehouse and another 25% on delivery to our condo. The store accountant just got back to us saying that they don't want to change the agreement and mentioned the fact that we already got a discount on installation and delivery. They also suggested that we can inspect the kitchen when it gets to the warehouse but they don't recommend it since if we open it, it can be damaged after they deliver it to us. They also state that this is a normal practice in the kitchen world to charge for the full amount before it was delivered. We called their competitor and they said their standard contract leaves 10% to be paid after the installation.

We are planning to escalate this issue again now with the owner; however, we want to know our options here.
We just don't want to get to the stage that when we get the kitchen, we find some issues and we will need to chase the company to help us with any issues. The fact that they are across the ocean doesn't help either.

We didn't sign any contracts, we just paid with credit card. Since nothing was delivered, can we dispute this with the CC company or the only way to get our money back is small claims court ? Any other options/suggestions?
7 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
4006 posts
385 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
We had a kitchen redone completely a few years ago - ripped everything out including floors and some walls.

What was the full price for the kitchen? To start with, I wouldn't pay more than 10% as a deposit.
And then we paid in increments as the work was being completed, but the total job included electrical, plumbing, re-routing venting etc.

There should always be a large enough hold-back long enough to make sure every sub-contractor was paid before you pay the final amount to the contractor. However, our kitchen es done in Montreal, laws in Quebec are different than Ontario. And our kitchen cabinets came from a Montreal supplier - getting it from Europeand sight unseen makes things much more complicated.
If there is no hold back, and even 10% seems low, then you
a. have no leverage to get things fixed if need be, and
b. no protection if a subcontractor is not paid.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 2, 2011
15 posts
Toronto
Thanks for your response.
The kitchen place is not doing the construction part, just the kitchen order and installation. The contractor is going to be another saga I feel.
I just responded to the store manager trying to solve this issue and split the final installment, if they are not ready to amend the contract this may become ugly. I will want my deposit back and they of course will not want to return it.
I hate renovations.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
4006 posts
385 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
I would suggest you read this if you haven't already.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights ... or-repairs

Also I don't quite understand how and why you paid a deposit without having a contract.
It sounds as if you don't want to go ahead with the work (at least with this kitchen supplier), so I think you would be entitled to get your deposit back less any expenses already incurred by the kitchen supplier on your behalf.
For instance, they may incur a cancellation fee from the European supplier. They also incurred costs just to process the order.

I would call someone at the Ontario government tomorrow, explain the situation and find out what your rights are about getting the deposit back.

You can also call the CC company, but they probably won't want to get involved unless there was fraud and you didn't authorize the charges.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 2, 2011
15 posts
Toronto
Thanks will contact them tomorrow. I still hope the company is reasonable enough and will not want to loose a contract just because the payment terms are slightly different.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
4006 posts
385 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
One other thing -
In general I would try to get a contractor to look after the whole job (unless you want to be your own contractor) - that way if there are issues (and there always will be) - say the kitchen cabinets don't quite fit in the space allocated for them, you don't get into a finger-pointing scenario.

Our contractor took us to three different kitchen manufacturers so we cold check the quality of the products.
We picked the design and finish of one of them - same with the granit counter top and sink.
The kitchen manufacturer then povided their installers to install the kitchen but that as all done under the watchful eye of the contractor.
Any issues he resolved or if there were options and decisions to be made, he came back to us to discuss,
Same for the granit top which was a huge "L-shape" - the kitchen corner wasn't at a prfect 90 degree angle so the precut granit din't fit perfectly, but it was the contractors responsibility to fix that (and he did).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 28, 2005
4006 posts
385 upvotes
Ontario / Quebec
BTW - I wouldn't inspect the kitchen at the warehouse.
It was probably very well packed by the manufacturer to be shipped over here - and if it gets unpacked at the warehouse for inspection and then sent to you - the local kitchen supplier will blame any issues on you.
I would inspect each cabinet and piece as it gets delivered and unpacked at your condo.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 2, 2011
15 posts
Toronto
Exactly the point I made to the store manager, they don't recommend it as well. Because who knows what can happen when they deliver it in Ontario.
So it's catch 22, please sign off and pay without seeing the cabinets being installed, but if you unpack it in the warehouse we can't guarantee that the delivery will not damage them.

I must tell you that doing renovations, especially kitchens in Toronto is hell. It took us months to find the right store, drill down to the right cabinetry etc. and we got this surprise in the contract.
Finding general contractor is another headache they are extremely slow and doing a favor if they even respond. I guess business is booming so they don't care.

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