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About labyrinthsa

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  1. Roy did my place about half a year ago. Although not perfect, I will recommend him to others because he was the most reasonable of the IDs/contractors that we met up with. For example, my friend asked for 4, 5 quotes from other IDs for his condo, and Roy's quote was $30k less than most of the quotes. His "selling points" are that he is very easy-going... And never once did i get a sense that he was taking me for a ride. (Sidetrack: my friend asked for 4, 5 quotes from other IDs for his condo, and Roy's quote was $30k less than most of the quotes.)Roy would do extra for stuff that i wasn't aware of. E.g., he used the crystal white glass as backsplash which would go better with my black and white kitchen even though it costs more. He could have easily not told us about it and used the typical green-tinged clear glass or pass the costs to us. He did neither. Some of this workers had problems, like the painter was very messy and one of his plumbers was quite jiat lat. But after the feedback was given to him about the shoddy work, he got the workers to come down and rectify the problems. But most of his workers are really quite good. They don't simply follow his instructions blindly. Some will counter-propose better ways of carrying out his plans. For e.g., the guy who did the tiling made sure that the area size of the wall can accommodate that mosaic designs such that the spacings in between are equal. His carpenter also told him to double-check the space to make sure that there is sufficient space for the drawer door to open fully. He and his people were also very resourceful. My windows and toilet bowl resulted in a lot of problems. The windows and toilet bowls were problematic coz they were not the standard HDB windows. In the end, the toilet bowl had to be imported from M'sia, and the window parts had to be sourced from elsewhere as the company that manufactured the windows was no longer in business. Even though it was a lot of hassle, not once did he persuade us to compromise on any of them. After sales service also quite good. For instance, Roy told us that the wall we build up will have fine cracks that will need plastering once or twice again (due heat expansion and contraction). When that happened, we called him, and the painter came down to plaster and repaint the wall properly again. Additionally, he went around the whole house and hunted for nicks and dents on the walls caused by the moving of furniture and plastered/repainted them. Yes, I agree that design is not his strength and there were issues during the process. But I saw it as simply understanding his style of working. At the end of the day, we also need to understand that he's not only doing one house, but has many others on hand. He will need some pushing, and his checking will never be thorough as the home owners. But what is important is that he is very responsible, responsive, and reasonable.
  2. Hi. just want to share something that my colleague told me after I told him that he could try Idealhouse. My colleague is not Chinese and can pass off as an expat, but he can understand Mandarin. When he went down to Idealhouse, he told me that he overheard 2 of the staff discussing between themselves on how to convince him to undertake their services. One of them told the other that expats like him can pay, so they can up the quote. After that, one of them pretended to be a client of the ID that he had a consultation session with, and the "client" told him that the ID is very good, blah blah blah. Now I wonder if all the good comments posted are by their "own people" or genuine customers. Am not in a position to criticize their service and quality since I did not use them. They may indeed deliver good designs and service. Am just sharing something about their marketing strategy that my colleague experienced. So that consumers can make an informed decision.
  3. Ordered our bathroom fittings and kitchen hardware from Universal Union but it turned out to be a horrible experience, where their services were unsatisfactory on at least 5 occasions. The people we dealt were: Main sales asst: Kiko Boss: Mr Tan Sales rep: Ginny Time frame: early Nov'10 to now 1. When we ordered our items, Kiko did not inform us of any item that are not in stock. This is after we told her the estimated delivery period. When we went back about 1 week later to order more things, she told us that our Elkay sink is not in stock. Stock will only arrive in early Dec, but may come as early as late Nov. We had originally wanted another sink when we 1st went down, but she convinced us that the Elkay sink was better. Hence, we were rather annoyed that she recommended something that was not in stock. She offered us another sink that is apparently exactly the same design, made from the same factory but of a lesser known brand (and cost the same). But we rejected this option as why should we be paying the same amount for a sink that is from a lesser known brand? Anyway, she told us to call the shop again towards the end of Nov to check on the shipment date. 2. The rest of our items were supposed to arrive on a Tues. We asked her if the delivery could be in the morning as our plumber will be there and he can start the work early. She said that the delivery period for our area was 2-5pm, but she will arrange for ours to be at 2pm. On the day of the delivery, we took a full day leave so that we can be punctual in receiving our items. We waited till 3pm and there was still no sign of our items. We called her and she said that she will check and get back to us. At 3.30pm we still did not hear from her and we called back. A guy told us that our delivery is only coming at 4.30pm. We were really pissed coz she promised to arrange our delivery at 2pm, failing which she did not even have the courtesy to inform us. When we called her on the actual day to ask about the delivery, she did not return our call as promised. 3. We called the shop again to ask about the shipment of the Elkay sink and was told that it will be on 10th Dec. I don't think 10th Dec qualifies as "early Dec, or maybe late Nov". The implication of this is that our renovation got delayed by 2 weeks. 4. A few days after we were told of the 10th Dec shipment date, the shop called us and said that they have stock for our sink and it will be at the shop on Tues evening. The shop actually called my partner 6,7 times (my partner was in a meeting when they called) just to inform us that our sink is available. My partner kept asking the sales asst (Ginny) if it is the Elkay sink and she insisted that it was. We were unable to collect the sink on Tues evening and decided to do so on Wed afternoon since we were on leave. Thank goodness we decided to call the shop before going down, only to find out that the sink will only be in the shop on Wed evening. If we had gone down on Tues evening, or did not call before going down on Wed, we would have wasted our time again. 5. We went down on Thurs evening, braving a heavy downpour to collect the sink. When we arrived, Kiko looked surprised and we found out that Ginny had got it wrong. Our sink did not arrive at all, and it is still expected to arrive on 10th Dec. This was the last straw for us and we told Kiko that we wanted to speak to the boss. The shop has inconvenienced us enough and delayed our reno. Kiko said that she has the cardboard cut-out from the supplier and we can bring the cardboard to our contractor to expedite our kitchen carpentry. Despite her confidence that the cardboard cut-out is accurate, she was unable to promise that she will bear the responsibility if it did not. After much insistence, she called her boss and we explained the situation to the boss, Mr Tan. 6. Mr Tan apologized and promised us that he will check with the supplier the next day to see if there is stock, and he will personally deliver the sink to us at our convenience. There was no stock locally and he offered 2 options for us to choose from: a) he will give us another sink that he claims to cost more than the one we paid for. However the sink's design is not similar to the one we chose. b) he will airfreight our sink for us, but that will arrive only on 9th Dec. We asked him if we decide to go with option b, how will he compensate for all the inconvenience he has caused us and he replied that theirs is a small company and they don't do monetary compensation, they can at most refund our money. We then told him that the sink arriving 1 day earlier that 10th dec is hardly a resolution. He then admitted that if he airfreights the sink in, it will definitely arrive on the 9th. If we wait for the shipment on the 10th, there may be delays to the shipment and the sink may arrive later. Obviously the "early Dec, or maybe late Nov" is nothing but bullsh*t then. By this time, we have had enough of the shop's poor service and irresponsibility. We decided to choose option b and have nothing to do with that shop ever again. Hence, if you are considering getting their products, you might want to be mindful of the way they have dealt with our issue.