David and Nicola Innalls haven’t been able to use their newly-installed solid wood designer front door for five months.
It started sticking and refused to open properly just two weeks after it was installed by timber door specialists Cosham Door and Glass Ltd.
It all started earlier in the year when Nicola was looking for reliable wooden door specialists on the Checkatrade recommended trader website.
The Farlington couple were impressed with the firm’s range of door designs, so placed an order with them for a new solid wood front door leaving a dent in their bank balance just short of £2,500.
Although they fell in love with their choice of bespoke door, it wasn’t long before their faith in the firm started to turn sour.
Last March, when the door was installed David, 38, noticed signs of poor workmanship. The letterbox was off-centre, the paintwork finish was marked, and the hinge carpentry wasn’t up to standard.
He told the firm about it and to their credit they promptly rectified the faults and compensated the couple with a spare set of keys and a suitable door knocker.
Encouraged all the initial installation problems with the door were now behind them, they looked forward to years of trouble-free usage.
But just two weeks later they found it increasingly difficult to get the door to open.
David explained: ‘We understood a wood door may stick in winter, it might swell a bit and we’d have to rub it down for perhaps a couple of years and give it a touch-up.’
‘But it started sticking so badly my wife was unable to open the door in the morning.
‘We got them to come out again and the first time they rubbed it down and repainted it.’
‘Then they came again and tried putting wax on the door seal and moved the latch, which misaligned the deadbolt so we couldn’t lock it and you could see daylight.
‘On the next visit they tried painting the edge with water-based paint, but that didn’t do it so they decided they’d have to change the seal.’
Weeks later and after constantly chasing the company up, gas fitter David was on the point of blowing a gasket. His phone calls weren’t being returned, and he became involved in a bizarre daily game of hide and seek, trying to track down Door and Glass boss and director Jonathan Drudge.
Eventually the seal was changed but within a couple of days the door refused to budge again and he had to resort to kicking or shouldering it open.
As far as he was concerned this was the last straw. He went to the firm’s Havant Road showroom, to buttonhole the boss and admits he blew his top.
The outcome was the promise of a replacement door, but David wasn’t impressed when Mr Drudge told him he couldn’t have a like-for-like replacement because the style was no longer available.
David felt backed into a corner. Either accept a door he didn’t want or continue to put up with yet more abortive attempts to fix the existing one.
He was so furious the five months of anger and frustration began to boil over and prey on his mind. After some sleepless nights he decided to get in touch with Streetwise to see if we could help.
We were surprised to hear David’s story, because the litany of poor aftercare service was at odds with the glowing reviews on the firm’s Checkatrade website.
We emailed Mr Drudge and put it to him that David was right to complain. His customer believed he’d been short-changed and not taken seriously for months.
Within a matter of hours Mr Drudge phoned us to confirm the couple’s original style solid door would be reordered and replaced.
Although he didn’t respond to our offer to give us a full statement, he apologised and clearly recognised this was not exactly a shining example of his company’s aftercare service.
Shortly afterwards David was much relieved when he was given the news he’d waited so long to hear.
He said: ‘They’ve called me and I’ve agreed to them supplying and fitting a brand new door and glazing. The soonest date they have is September 9 which I’ve accepted.’
I can’t thank you enough for your time and help which has now hopefully resolved this matter and put it behind us.’