Just an FYI - the General Manager has not yet contacted me, despite my posting this review over 2 months ago, and despite their explicit statement below indicating that is what they would do.
I have to break this down by individual components:
1. Financials - 7/10. It was on the pricier side, but the price didn't shift and change and I never felt I was being pressured into buying more/replacing my requests with pricier ones.
2. Resources - 7/10. All were respectable and did not behave in anything but a professional manner. Even after my complaints they were supportive and understanding.
3. Management - 2/10. Here is where it goes downhill. The sales pitch (for which I would give 11/10) made it clear there was a support office who would respond to me. Nope. The tool they use - Buildertrend - wasn't updated accordingly. The project plan changed several times (Another reviewer mentioned this as well). Emails went unanswered. There was little to no transparency. Any of my concerns were unanswered or unresolved. If you can NOT create a project plan upon which your client can rely, it is a USELESS tool.
4. Timeline - 0/10. Seriously. The project started mid-October and there remains stuff to do. It was supposed to have finished by the end of October. I would have been satisfied if they even managed mid to late November. It is now mid January. I gave Penguin 5 days a week, 11 (!) hours a day access. AND Saturdays if necessary. They did not have their resources lined up. Different resources would finish tasks (the floors were done by 2 different resources; the tiles were done by 2 different resources). They overcommitted everyone. Not to mention the Xmas break and a COVID exposure, which added time. The Xmas break could have been avoided if they had finished on time! Resources wouldn't show up until 2pm and then want to work past 6pm. There seemed to be an idea that Penguin could work at THEIR discretion. Bitterly disappointed with the timeline. And in the magnificent sales pitch this was clearly spoken of as a NON issue. Penguin resources were committed to doing as much as they could (it’s even referenced in the material they provide for clients on buildertrend)
Based upon this alone I would say PROCEED WITH CAUTION with Penguin. They have OVERCOMMITTED themselves in Ottawa. They are NOT different from other contractors, which is expressly why I hired them – for the value added. Upon which they did NOT deliver.
- Approximate cost of services:
- Company Response
Hi Lubna, thanks for taking the time to write a review. Buildertrend is a great tool, and in itself was not the problem. Sometimes we are great and exceed customer expectations, and sometimes we are not. We own both. And are always learning and striving to improve. You are correct in identifying the problem as resources. Covid has negatively impacted us, as it has many businesses in many categories. We have many clients who have stop/started their projects depending on their ongoing comfort level with Covid. And that has thrown our usual tight scheduling out of the window on occasion, if we are honest. Then we had staff shortages, again as employees respond to the latest in breaking news and fears, or simply not being able to work while they recover. Those problems led into the Christmas season, a time usually were we can refresh and regroup. We are working diligently to address valid concerns like yours and to prevent a repeat of them hiring as many new staff as we can for 2022, especially in the Ottawa region where sales exceeded our projections. And as for not being different from other contractors, we have to disagree with that. All of our reviews are real, both brilliant, and less than complimentary, so you have our honesty... a rarity in the renovation industry sadly. And we also have locked down our prices in spite of supply chain issues, and increased costs, as we want to continue to control what we can in this environment, and try and deliver the best value we can. We'll never be the cheapest, but we will never rip off our clients with inferior products either. Our General Manager will reach out to you directly. At the end of the day, we want you to have a basement you can enjoy for years to come.