Markstone did the interlocking for our backyard (with a deck that need to be removed) and two pathways to the front. The following are some of our experience.
1. The material delivered and placed on our driveway long before any work has begun. According to the agreement, third payment (4 payments in total) was due when the material was delivered. The material sat on the driveway for almost 10 days while my car stuck inside and cannot be used during this time period. Our neighbor asked some other company to do their backyard. The material on the driveway gone in two days time.
2. Markstone always came unannounced. For instance, the demolition team came a day before the scheduled day while we were in the middle of some work outside, and they started their work without letting us finish ours. As another example, the installation team dropped in a day earlier. Thru out the project, we were not told about the schedule ever, except to expect the work to finish in 2 week time. Meaning that they came anytime convenient to them without any advance notice.
3. The demolition crew LITERALLY demolished anything (that is not 4 feet deep) in their path such as cable, telephone and internet. Initially we thought our Bell system failed. But it turned out was the work of the demolition crew. As a result we lost Internet, TV, telephone unnecessarily for two days. Our air conditioning, bricks on backyard wall and water tank heater outlet were damaged. Again, our neighbor never had this problem with their project.
4. The demolition crew viewed our garden as their dumping ground; small rock, empty bottle and whatever they did not need or want, were in our garden or on the grass. A slab of stone threw onto our neighbor lawn. Even after repeated requests from us to remove the slab, we were ignored. A cut dead tree was hidden in our neighbor brushes. We only found that out a week later. What an embarrassment! Again even after repeated requests, holes on the wall never sealed (not until 13 days later), small rats have likely entered our house. They care less even after we told them about our concern.
5. Installation crew, by default, installed regular rectangular shaped interlocking lot. Why, it requires the least effort to install. Other shapes are special order. When one demands for special order (which is almost every client will, I assume), they tried to convince you otherwise by saying cutting stones will make the finished product looks bad. We had to fight to get them correct the WRONG installation. This tells you what kind of company Markstone is.
6. On the first day of installation, a mountain of unmarked sand was left behind by the installation team that resulted in an accident overnight. We were awakened by the police in the middle of the night, so were all our neighbors. We were embarrassed, even it was not our fault, except that we have hired Markstone. Even after we and the police called the company in the middle of the night to come and clean up the scene. Markstone just ignored the request as if nothing has happened.
7. The sales Zak failed to disclose to me that the pattern and look will be different from the rest when we paid more to raise the grading on one of the pathways. If I knew it will be a different look, I definitely won’t pay more to make the finished product looks worse.
8. Daniel, the person in charge of cleanup, told me without any hesitation (or shame for that matter) that the above problems happened all the time, and should be expected when one hires Markstone. I wish I knew all this before I contacted Markstone.
9. With so many problems and after so many complaints within such a short period of time, I was shocked and upset to find out that I was sidelined, ignored or laughed at when I complaint problems to the management. Customer service and professionalism are a foreign idea to the company. Making a quick buck is ALL they care.
10. Markstone claimed they have hundreds of satisfying customers. That might be true. But I am certain that there are hundreds more ANGRY customers who do not even bother to share their bad experience.
11. With the amount of money we paid, we EXPECTED Markstone will give us a HASSEL-FREE and PROFESSIONAL service. Instead, we got exactly the OPPOSITE, plus a lot of stress and insults from the company. By talking to the owner and the management, one can understand why we went thru all this. The behavior of the crews does mirror the owner’s and the management. Once the contract is signed, the company views fulfilling its obligation as if they were doing the client a FAVOR (so don’t complain). Customer service and professionalism are not something they have.
The reason I decide to write this up is not for the company. It is clear one cannot expect to change the company’s DNA. Even I have done my research before the decision was made, clearly either me or the info available is not good enough. I just wish someone had told me, at least some of the above, before I contacted Markstone.