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resolved to the customer's satisfaction
I am a former employee. I am writing this not out of bitterness, I actually left on good terms. The hours were great and so were the benefits. I managed a branch office in the mid-west region, but was not considered to be a branch manager. I gave over a year in good faith and service to this company and have an excellent, educated and informed perspective on Bath Fitter as a company. It is surprisingly and unfortunately negative.
All employees, including installers and office staff are grossly underpaid with expectations from management to take on extreme work loads. I was the unofficial manager of the office, even recognized in those terms by the branch manager, but was not rewarded in any manner for my skills or services. (Customers would call and ask for me, "the manager" by name!). Installers are paid a measly 7.8% commission rate on installations, which usually average around $1, 000.00 but keep them working on the job until around 7-9 pm. You do the math.
It was common for the local branches to hold Help Wanted Open Houses that are advertised in the newspaper every 2-3 months, in which they hire off-the-street installers and salesmen. The reason behind hiring people with little to no experience is so that Bath Fitter can train them with Bath Fitter's guidelines... A recipe for disaster.
Not only is the turn over rate absolutely outrageous but installers are only required to complete 6-8 weeks of training - only 3-4 of which are used in a hands-on training facility! When our location was desperate for installers, our branch manager approved new hire installers to work after only completing the written course training portion of 4 weeks. Desperate times call for treading a thin legal line, apparently. When questioned by me and other staff regarding the decision to allow this the branch manager responded by saying "who's going to know besides us?"
The people who knew ended up being the angry, disatisfied customers who's bathrooms were left in damaged, leaking, shoddy condition for WEEKS waiting for resolutions. Sometimes these were customers only bathrooms with children or grandparents residing in the home. The manager would instruct me to handle all complaint calls and "use my best judgement" to resolve them. I dealt with a laundry list of complaints on a daily basis and it only kept growing as I made my exit from this company.
Just so you have an idea, I can recall installers breaking 50 year old porcelain antique bathroom floor tiles and our company never reimbursing, replacing, or repairing them because they were "too old." (So what? Does that mean these customers are not entitled to compensation?) That complaint still had not been resolved by the time I left the company.
It's an everyday occurence to have a liner installed crookedly. Of course it is usually the "fault of the homeowners floor tiles for not being straight." Yes, that unfortunate excuse was actually given. Never the fault of poor craftsmanship - OR Bath Fitter. This, not to mention the terrible caulking jobs with large gaps, leaking walls, liners with bubbles behind them...these bubbles must be due to the fact that the walls are not perfectly level, right? Laughable.
There was an ongoing issue with a customers home in which the plumber that BATH FITTER provides (not one the consumer choses) actually broke a water pipe behind a wall and did not say anything and just left it that way. A few hours after the installer completed the job, the homeowner's kitchen ceiling light directly below this bathroom was flooding with water and his entire kitchen ceiling needed repair. This went on for WEEKS and WEEKS with Bath Fitter trying to escape responsibility. "Oh, it's the plumber's fault, not ours..." The branch manager finally agreed to send out an installer to repair the drywall and ceiling of his kitchen - an 18 year old, fresh out of high school, green handed kid with NO experience in the realm of home repair.
Branches rarely made good on promises to compensate customers for bills they incurred from repairing damages our company made to their property - like the steam cleaning bill from blood on white carpet and not removing shoes leaving scuffed and scratched floor tile despite being "required" to lay down a drop cloth
Some customers file complaints with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and as soon as Bath Fitter hears of these complaints they are immediately addressed and the situations rectified. Most of the time Bath Fitter attempts to settle issues before complaints are filed, but that only strings trusting consumers along for a waiting period of up to months before the office makes good on their promises.
The salesmen, or "estimators, " are paid only an 8% commission rate on sales. The are not given an hourly rate and usually have around 6-9 calls a week. Of those calls, approximately 30% will sell. Most of the salesmen estimate on a part time basis because of this and therefore it is not their primary means of income. They are instructed by every level of management to make each sale a high pressure sale wrapped in a low pressure atmosphere. They are told to hike the price to an outrageous level and then charm the price down. For example: "Well, Mrs. Mathers, this package is normally around $7, 000 (completely made up) but if you decide to purchase your liner system from me tonight I can lower the price to about $3, 000." Most estimators that I've met could care less about Bath Fitter as a company and even less about their 8% commission rate. There are absolutely no incentives for salesmen, excuse me, "Estimators" to go out and make sales.
If you haven't picked up the trend yet, my main point is that a company's only as successful as the management and employees it hires. And from my experience Bath Fitter fails in both aspects. That's why I left. I wanted no more ties with a company of this negligence. They have unhappy employees and hidden, cowardly management. I have spoken with many Bath Fitter employees who complain of the very same things I've written here, which is so unfortunate because this company has the potential to be more lucrative and successful than it is. I'm shocked that they have been in business this long.
Of course there are those "couple thousand satisfied" customers that they keep telling me about...hmm. From my experience these customers are satisfied - only after Bath Fitter takes responsibility for their managerial and costly in-home blunders. Do you have the time, money and patience to do business with a company like this? You'd be better off doing the project yourself. Bath Fitter is a total scam.
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