Ricardo and Jean Thomas weren’t happy with the work SA Paving did outside the kitchen area and on the patio, at their Pinelands home.
The Thomases paid R25 000 for the job, which was done before the builders’ holidays started in December 2018.
Mr Thomas said that when he checked on the team’s progress he had been surprised to see that they had already started paving over the municipal manhole, which had to be left open.
“When the work was completed, I went to inspect the paving and saw what can only be described as a pathetic attempt at providing a cement edging around the tiles that could have been completed by anyone off the street. I called SA Paving to complain about the edging which was replaced,” said Mr Thomas, who asked franchisee Grant Ambrose about the team he was using.
“I was bemused when he said one of the men had been working for him for about 10 years.”
Three days later, the team returned to spray the sealant over the paving.
“The machine they were using malfunctioned and ‘exploded’, leaking on the tiles and splashing over the wall and the washing line, but because it was the builders’ holidays they could only return in January to acid wash the wall and finish sealing the tiles.
“When more cracks appeared, including the edging where grass was now sprouting and inconsistencies showing in the grouting, I called Mr Ambrose again to express my concern about the poor level of workmanship. Although Mr Ambrose was unfailing diplomatic and polite, he did admit that the job was turning into a nightmare situation, and everything that could go wrong did, but he failed to offer a solution,” Mr Thomas claimed.
In March after a referral by the Master Builders Association, of which SA Paving is a member, Mr Thomas commissioned Qualysure to do a report on the paving, which was sent to Mr Ambrose who didn’t want to comment. Although he told me they would redo the job and let me know when it was done to the satisfaction of Mr Thomas.
The Qualysure report was quite technical: they speculated on what might have gone wrong and made some recommendations.
After Mr Ambrose received the report and following a discussion with Mr Thomas on-site, he agreed to redo the paving.
Later, Mr Ambrose, in an email to Mr Thomas, outlined the procedure.
However, he reserved the right to comment on the Qualysure report and on the letter Mr Thomas sent to Off My Trolley.
“After our discussions, I understand that you feel the job was not done correctly from the beginning and that you were left with an inferior job, which will need to be repaired repeatedly in years to come.
“Once again, I reserve my rights as the next step would be to go to arbitration. However, in the spirit of our shared values and good faith as well as in the interests of making our clients happy and exceeding their expectations, I agree to redo your paving job according to our signed contract and specifications. All work will be supervised by my contracts manager, and I will check that all procedures are followed and a quality job delivered,” wrote Mr Ambrose, who promised that he and Mr Thomas would confirm it in writing when the paving was completed.
He didn’t, but Mr Thomas did, after the work was completed on June 27 a month after they had started in May, although Mr Thomas wasn’t sure of the exact date.
Mr Ambrose ignored my email asking why it took so long to complete. Mr Thomas said he was happy with Mr Ambrose’s proposal and amicable solution.
“I am happy to report that the work undertaken at our premises has been completed 100% to the satisfaction of myself and my wife. We would like to thank Grant Ambrose and his team for going the extra mile to ensure they provided the service and product that we requested and expected from SA Paving the first time. I will certainly use their services again.”