Open Letter to Vels Interiors

6 December, 2011

TO: Vels Interiors, 13/7, Puliyur 2nd Main Rd, Trustpuram  Chennai, Tamil Nadu

FROM: Parthasarathy, 14 Bharathi Nagar, 1st Street, T Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

We have now had many discussions with you about financially settling for work that ended over a year ago on our flat in T Nagar. Now, you are not only not returning our calls, you are not answering our calls. This is not how your customers should be treated. We ask for the courtesy of a resolution to this matter before we must return to the U.S.

We believe you hold responsibility for wasting a large amount of our money. An architect that worked for you ordered much more of a tile than was needed for bathroom installation. He spent Rs. 99,876/- of our money on this tile, which was one of the most expensive tiles at Vaigai Sanitation. This was a large error. The tile was supposed to cost only Rs. 14,238/-.  He placed this order for this tile without our knowledge, review, or approval.

Your employee placed this order despite Vaigai Sanitation advising him that his calculations were incorrect by a large degree. Vaigai specifically asked your employee if this was a business or residential installation. Vaigai told him that no one orders this much of this expensive tile for a residential installation. Your employee ignored Vaigai’s caution, and your employee never informed us for approval before placing this incorrect order. Your employee proceeded to tell Vaigai to ship this incorrect order anyway. You have tried to place blame only on your employee, the architect. But this architect worked for your company, thus you are responsible for your employee’s actions.

After this incorrect order, this tile is not returnable because your architect employee told the tile installers to install it. We worked closely with your architect to develop a tile design for the bathroom, so he was well aware of the design. However he did not share the design with the tile installers!

We had provided many photos of the tile design so your architect could discuss the design with the tile installers. We provided photos to hang in the apartment for reference while tile installers worked. However your employee did not inform the tile installers of the design with these images! The tile installers were working without any design reference. Thus they installed the entire design incorrectly and actually installed the incorrect order of tile, so the tile was not returnable. The result looked terrible. Even you, the Vels owner, visited and saw this tile installation and you agreed it looked terrible. All the tile had to be removed and re-installed correctly. This resulted in wasting more of our money, because we had to hire someone to re-do the tile work.

It is your company’s responsibility to be sure material ordering and installation processes done by your employees are correct for your customers. Is that not true? We fail to see how this could not be Vels Interiors responsibility, as you have maintained.

We cannot recommend your company to others who want construction or restoration work in Chennai. Trying to rectify this situation with you has been difficult and has gone on for many months now, with you placing blame on the architect and tile installers as individual people, and refusing to accept your company’s responsibility for your employee’s actions. Now you will not even answer our calls, avoiding your responsibility.

You have a sign in the entry to your business about wanting customers to be happy. When customers are happy, they will refer others to you. When customers have been wronged, they will also inform others of this. Because of the major mistakes of your employees, the failing of your business process that could have avoided this, the wasting of a large amount of our money, and your avoidance of communicating with us to refund us for your employees’ errors, we are publicly advising that people not hire your firm. What has been shared here has been our experience, and unfortunately we recommend that people considering construction and design work in Chennai do not trust Vels Interiors.


Update — I can see from blog stats that people are finding this page. This was never resolved. Vels Interiors never returned our calls. When we visited their offices in person, their owner avoided us. We never got any money back. We have a huge stack of unused tiles sitting on the roof, years later. I think it’s significant that he originally agreed verbally to refund some money, while he was standing in our apartment. But after that avoided us when we tried to follow up. There are many other contractors we’ve worked with in Chennai who have been more honest and upfront. Also, never give all money up-front, and if a contractor demands it go find someone else.