CK Design customer gets settlement in small claims court – Okanagan

After several households came forward with concerns about a local cabinet company, another North Okanagan customer is speaking out about her experience taking CK Design Kitchen and Bath Cabinetry to small claims court.

Cherryville, B.C., resident Chelsey Hacking said she paid a deposit of over $9,000 in January 2022 and was verbally told to expect a completed kitchen in six to 12 weeks.

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However, she says progress was slow and she had quality concerns.

“All the screws weren’t predrilled,… nothing was plum,” said Hacking.

By summer 2022, more than six months into the project, Hacking says the kitchen remained unfished.

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In response to a deficiency list, CK design promised fixes saying it had vinyl caps to give screws a clean look.

It also defended the work, including saying the cabinetry was square it was Hacking’s wall that was not.

CK Design’s contract calls for a second payment on the start of installation.  That was never paid.

“They said they also wouldn’t go forward until we gave them more money but because of the quality of work that had already been there, we didn’t want to give them any more money because we had already lost so much we thought,” Hacking said.

Hacking’s contract with the company doesn’t specify a completion date and says unforeseen delays may occur.

The Better Business Bureau advises anyone contracting any construction business to go beyond online reviews.

“It is one thing to see a testimonial on a website. It is absolutely another thing to actually have a conversation or go see the workmanship. If they are actively working on another project, you should be able to go see it,” said Neesha Hothi, the director of marketing and communications for the Better Business Bureau of Mainland British Columbia.

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The non-profit also suggests consumers get all key information in writing and document the whole process.

“So if there was a guarantee of a type of work and it’s not that work and you do need to perhaps take it to court, that you would have information to back your claims,” Hothi said.

Hacking had documented her experience and when she took the company to small claims court the company agreed to pay $2,000 after a settlement conference.

“I am still out $7,000 and I’ve still had to purchase a whole new kitchen. So it’s still frustrating to me and I don’t want anybody else to have to go through this,” Hacking said.

But she is encouraging customers who run into problems with any business not to shy away from small claims court.

“A lot of people said don’t bother with small claims court. I actually found it quite easy, especially in this case, where it is quite apparent that there is a problem,” Hacking said.

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In a written statement, the Vernon-based business said it has made changes to ensure high-quality craftsmanship for all its clients.

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”The client’s experience was the cumulative result of COVID-related skilled labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, along with some of our suppliers being inconsistent in quality,” the CK Design statement said.

“CK Design is a supplier of cabinetry therefore we rely on quality products manufactured specifically for us.”

As part of the settlement agreement, Hacking was also able to pick up the remaining materials but she said none of the CK Design-provided product ended up being used in their finished kitchen.

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She said her kitchen was ultimately completed by another business in January 2023.

While CK Design didn’t make anyone available for an on-camera interview with Global News on Wednesday or during our previous coverage, it did post a lengthy response on its website following our first story.

In the response, the company defends its actions and is adamant it provided quality products, arguing some of the complaints were overblown or false and appears to blame a previous employee for problems.

The business says it has made changes, is “owning to the mistakes/neglect/misunderstanding of yesterday” and is working hard on improving.

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“Bottom line is, that we have had everything and anything go wrong the past few years, from transportation to supply chain issues,” the company statement said.

“We are committed to providing high quality cabinetry that is functional, good looking, and of high quality.”

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