Kimi’s Carpets Plus – Fuquay Varina
TLDR; This company, Kimi’s Carpets Plus in Fuquay Varina, owned by Mike and Kimberly Quinn, overpromises and underdelivers, accepting payment for work they’re not able to complete. The owner is rude, unprofessional, and has a temper with both his employees and customers. The project was delayed at the last minute by two weeks. They refuse to even acknowledge their mistakes, tried to trick us into paying for the work they’re unable to complete, and even hired a lawyer to send a letter threatening a lawsuit over the bad, though non-defamatory, review. Don’t make the same mistake as us by hiring this company.
My wife and I hired Kimi’s Carpets Plus in Fuquay Varina to replace all the carpet in our house with hard surface flooring, specifically luxury vinyl plank (LVP), a $12k+ project. We made this decision in part because we both suffer from allergies, and having carpet doesn’t help.
On October 30 2018, they sent an employee out to look around the house and take measurements for a quote. She told us it would take 3-5 days to get the materials in, and a few more days to begin the installation. They emailed us a quote on November 6th, and on November 8th, they had us come into their Fuquay Varina office to decide on the exact material. We trusted that Kim and Mike Quinn were flooring professionals and were looking out for our best interests, and that they would only recommend something that would work well for our needs (stairs, multiple rooms adjacent to other hardwood flooring, an elevated seating area in the media room), so we went with their recommendation, which was Guardian SPC by Waterville Supply.
We paid 1/2 upfront as requested, agreed on a December 4 start date, and scheduled our busy December around the installation. We blocked off our two Airbnb bedrooms, then scheduled our vacation, Christmas gatherings, and visiting houseguests around this installation date.
The afternoon before they were to start, Kimi’s let us know that the materials hadn’t arrived yet, and that they couldn’t start until December 17. This new date right before Christmas put us into a bit of a situation, as it meant losing Airbnb revenue, and that our vacation we’d already booked was no longer coordinated with the installation, we’d need to push back any Christmas season gatherings scheduled for that time, and that they’d be installing the floors while our out of town houseguests were visiting. I was a bit irked at the situation, especially since they gave no indication of why there was such an extreme delay (did someone forget to place the order?) and why they only let us know about it right before they were to start, but kept it to myself and just tried to make the best of it since there wasn’t anything we could do at that point.
In addition to the loud disruptions from the work they were doing (remember we were supposed to be on vacation during the original installation dates with no houseguests or Airbnb guests), Kimi’s husband, Mike Quinn, could be heard berating his workers. This made my wife in particular very uncomfortable, and was yet another sign of their overall lack of professionalism. Additionally, she told me that Mike never acknowledged her, even to say hi in passing.
During the installation, we had another contractor in the house doing unrelated work. This contractor, who also does carpet, hardwood, and vinyl flooring, made comments about numerous problems with their work after only a day into the install. ( I realize it may seem that he has a financial incentive to criticize a competitor’s work, but I’ve known this particular professional for years, and trust him completely.) He’s never once tried to mislead me, or any of my friends who’ve also hired him. Even though there were numerous issues (gaps, damaged trim, no pad under the flooring, etc), at that point, I figured we were committed, so I decided just to make the best of it, since at a glance, the flooring looked pretty good.
Only after we’d paid the 50% deposit and they were halfway through with the work on Wednesday, one of the installers informed my wife that they’d determined they weren’t able to do the elevated seating area in the TV room with that particular flooring material. (Remember, this is the flooring that they recommended for us.) I decided to discuss this, along with the other issues, after they’d finished everything else at the end of the week.
Friday afternoon, Mike Quinn announces to the household that they were finished installing the luxury vinyl plank (LVP). I started up the stairs to begin the walkthrough on the second floor, and work our way down, finishing by asking him about care instructions. I was talking to him as I walked up the steps, and didn’t even notice that he wasn’t following me up until I reached the top and saw that he was still on the first floor, bags in hand and ready to head out. I asked him to join me upstairs so that we could go through the issues found in the installation, the section not completed, questions about care for the floor, painting the quarter round, etc.
He did come up the steps, but his body language and demeanor made it very clear that he didn’t want to discuss anything. As I started with my questions, he basically brushed everything off, growing more and more bothered that he was still in the house. By the time I got to the unfinished section in the TV room, he’d grown even more agitated, and insisted “I’m just the installer, I don’t know anything about that” when I tried to discuss the contracted work that hadn’t been done. He never did help me to understand exactly why he didn’t want to finish the work, instead he threw a tantrum, and stormed out of the house, sarcastically exclaiming, “Have a wonderful fucking afternoon,” and then slamming the front door. My wife, our houseguest, and I were left standing there stunned, trying to figure out what just happened. Our neighbor later informed us that he peeled out of the driveway as he left, which I verified using video recorded by our Ring doorbell (this also recorded the slamming of the door).
About 10 minutes later, Kimi’s office sales associate called. I explained to her what happened, and that I was not impressed with Mike Quinn’s unprofessional and rude behavior. Strangely, she didn’t seem at all surprised, which made me wonder how frequent this is. They have a handful of bad reviews on each site (Kimi has now disabled reviews on Kimi’s Carpet’s Plus Facebook page), but I glossed over them, figuring everyone has the occasional customer with unrealistic expectations. However, now that I’ve experienced their unprofessional work, attitude, and Kimi’s disingenuous response to my review, accusing me of lying, I see their other negative reviews in a whole new light.
I told her that the owner’s husband offered me “free” carpet, which was both insulting and strange, as I’m not looking for anything free, and it wouldn’t be “free,” since I’ve paid for flooring that costs more than carpet. I let her know that I was still in shock over Mike Quinn’s behavior and not ready to decide what to do next, but that she could email me suggestions of how to move forward and we could figure things out then.
The next day, Kimberly Quinn emails that they’d be willing to complete the unfinished work, provided that I sign a waiver. In addition to finding it strange that they’ve deemed part of the work to be unsafe to have done, when none of the other companies bidding did (and neither did they when bidding), it’s also strange that they’d still be willing to do this work that they now think is unsafe, provided I sign a waiver. What company would knowingly do work they’ve determined is unsafe, even with a waiver?
At this point I really really wanted to just move on. This multi-thousand dollar mistake has caused both me and my wife extreme anxiety. I’ve already had two other flooring companies give estimates to redo the stairs and to do the platform. Rather than argue, I simply responded that I would pay for the work that was completed, and for the materials used.
An office sales associate from Kimi’s Carpet’s Plus, Juliette, sent me an invoice, and after I paid it, responded to her employee that the owner reaching out to me to apologize or at least acknowledge their mistakes would go a long way for when I write my review, as well as for basic courtesy and decency. To be fair, they hit a homerun with that hire. She’s been nothing but polite and professional in all communications with her.
Kimberly Quinn responded, stating matter of factly that the work has been done on time, and completed to our satisfaction, both of which are obviously incorrect.
I really didn’t want to send a response pointing out that these statements were both false, and that the work wasn’t completed on time, wasn’t completed to our satisfaction, and wasn’t even completed. Instead, I reviewed my experience online. Kimi’s Carpet’s Plus responded that I was lying, and that, once again, they’d completed the work, and on time according to our schedule.
As it turns out, Kimberly Quinn, is an admin for a local Facebook community group, Ladies of Fuquay Varina. In retaliation for my wife leaving a review of her experiences, Kimi abused her position by blocking my wife from the group. Keep in mind, my wife did nothing other than leave a legitimate review of her experience with Kimi’s business. She made no post to the Facebook group. Kimi has made a business transaction very personal, and has acted out of spite to take revenge against my wife… Again, this is all in lieu of simply providing good customer service.
Anyway, fast forward to our holiday gatherings, and every single visitor and houseguest commented on the stairs being unattractive and unsafe. Apparently, and unknown to me prior to installation, this material isn’t good for stairs either (remember the raised seating in the media room?). They had to construct each “stair” by gluing together thin planks and a bullnose piece on the end. It’s an uneven surface, and was done in such a way that you can’t walk up/down the steps normally, especially in bare feet. If you attempt to walk on them normally, the ball of your foot hits the uneven part, and is uncomfortable at best, and hurts if in bare feet. Due to the odd shape of the stair, this also causes your heel to hit the vertical portion of the stair, again hurting if in bare feet, and leaving a mark on the white surface if wearing shoes. People using the stairs generally find they have to walk them at an angle. One guest at Christmas even refused to use them after the first time, saying he felt unsafe.
January 7, 2019, I received a letter from Barker Richardson, Attorneys at Law, threatening me with a lawsuit for “defamatory postings”. I promptly called the lawyer, Ian S. Richardson. He said they want to know what they can do to make me happy. I told him that threatening legal action was a funny way of showing it (as opposed to simply picking up the phone and calling).
He then later admitted that what they really wanted was for me to take the review down, and that anything they do for me would require me to sign an agreement that I’d remove the review.
I told him that the review wasn’t coming down, but that I wasn’t opposed to modifying the content, and would even raise the number of stars as high as five if I were given a reason to (just as I’ve updated it as this situation continues to develop).
I let Ian know that the facts I’ve posted can be backed up, and that I’m aware that my opinions are protected by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If told him that if he can let me know what I’ve said that’s untrue or defamatory, I’d remove/correct it immediately. He was unable to provide even a single example.
Once I got my attorney involved, they immediately sent word via their lawyer that they wanted to settle, up to including a full refund or the amount to replace the amateurish flooring and stairs they installed, on the condition I remove my online review.
While our lawyers communicated, we went ahead and had everything they did ripped out and replaced. All the unsafe and unattractive stairs and flooring. Gone. It was as though they were never here… except for the $12k we gave them.
Then a series of events began where they kept coming up with reasons to delay moving forward with a resolution. Fast forward to March, and their lawyer, Ian Richardson, apparently indicated they are inexplicably no longer interested in providing a refund as they’d previously expressed. So basically, they were negotiating a settlement for months in bad faith, another example of their dishonesty and lack of professionalism.
I’ll update this post as things continue to develop, and I’ll add some photos/video when I get a chance and will go into more details about their poor work quality.
*Disclaimer: This post is 100% accurate to the best of my knowledge, though I didn’t exactly take notes during all this, so it’s possible that some minor info such as a date could be slightly off. If informed of a mistake I’ll be happy to correct it.