Saturday, April 16, 2011

Product/Company warning: KRESTA blinds

So now with the wedding planning and event all over, it's back to making our house a home.

We've been in over 6 months now - how time flies. We had the 3 month service review done at the start of the year, and while most things have been fixed satisfactorily, I'm still waiting... waiting.... waiting.... waiting....

...waiting... for the service manager to call me back about when we're getting our faulty cavity sliding door frame in the ensuite fixed.

To recap, before handover our independent inspector noticed this fault (door and frame touching each other, failing to meet basic Australian Standards guidelines to tolerances). The problem was "fixed" at handover, but clearly a pretty dodgy "fix" since a week after handover the door and frame was touching again. Noted at 3 month review, promised to get it fixed, nothing done yet. I will be calling in the coming week to find out what's been done.

More issues have arisen with our window coverings. We were able to grab some standard blinds from Spotlight and Bunnings to hang in some rooms, but for the home theatre and master bed we needed custom ones made due to the nonstandard window widths.

Anyway, here's a timeline of what happens - mostly for my benefit, so I can record what's going on in case we end up taking Kresta to the Small Claims Tribunal.
  • late Feb 2011: Placed order with Kresta for 7 blinds: 2 translucent and 5 blockout, 50% deposit paid. Promised to be be done by mid March as a rush order.
  • Mid March: No blinds.
  • Tuesday March 22nd: Called Kresta to find out where our blinds are since they never contacted us after the deposit paid. Turns out we might get them installed next week. Paid remaining 50% owing on blinds.
  • Tuesday March 29: Blinds installed.
  • Thursday March 31: Noticed one blind in the home theatre room had come off the rail and was lying crumpled on the ground. Could've happened this day or day before.
  • Friday April 1: Called Kresta Doncaster store to complain about blind. Polite customer service lady said the installer would pick it up the coming Tuesday.
  • Tuesday April 5: Defective blind taken away by installer and quoted 10 days to remake.
  • Wednesday April 6: Got home after work and saw the big blind in the master bed also fallen off the rail. Looks like it was two blinds "glued" together by a tiny strip of glue and of course glue isn't enough to hold the big blind up.

  • Thursday April 7: Called Kresta Doncaster store again to complain another blind was defective. They said they'd call me back to organise another check.
  • Monday April 11: Kresta called and said they couldn't check the defective blind until Saturday 16th April.
  • Saturday 16th April: Kresta called and says installer is sick. Can't fit us in again until Saturday 30th April. Clearly I'm not impressed. I take the defective blind into Doncaster store and leave it with them.
So, we're in the middle of some issues with Kresta. At the moment it's too early to judge whether or not there are going to be issues with this company - it's OK to make mistake as we're all human, but it's the complaint resolution process and customer satisfaction that will make or break companies. So far, not so good. Will keep updating progress, should Kresta come good on their service claims, we will acknowledge this.

On that note, here is some tips for you new home builders to avoid some of the basic errors that we made when choosing suppliers for our house. Consumer Affairs Victoria reviewed basic contracts for several manufacturers and you are legally entitled to demand a change in the contract should they state:Should any company have any clause relating to these terms, first request they change them to comply with the directive by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Should they refuse, DON'T ORDER WITH THEM, take down as many names as you can and contact Consumer Affairs Victoria who will investigate on your behalf - and find another company who trades fair. Unscrupulous retailers will take advantage of the fact that most consumer simply don't have time to research their rights prior to signing a contract - we didn't. But now we are aware that Kresta are in prima facie breach of the Consumer Affairs directive for asking for full payment upfront, we have a strong case to push for a full refund on defective items, even outside their stated "warranty period". Also be aware Vista part of the Kresta Group (Kresta Holdings Limited)
  • Google search for "company name consumer affairs complaints" - sometimes provides information on major offenders.
  • Also, if you're an iFan, get this free app for your iDevice: My Shop Rights.
  • Consider reading ProductReview and - however these kind of sites tend to be negatively biased - bad experiences tend to be publicised more than good ones. Still, a good way to hear of real-life experiences. Similarly Homeone is a great resource for all home builders.

Keep fighting for YOUR RIGHTS people! On a related note, I recently reported Micro$oft for selling defective game consoles. While on that particular issue Consumer Affairs decided it wasn't a big enough fish to fry, I was able to claim repair costs through my credit card insurance (though it did take 5 months to be approved). Worth checking to see if your credit card provider offers this service.



  1. Have followed you guys for a long time and learned heaps about building with Metricon. Great blog! We have linked to it from our Metricon blog site: Would you be able to link to us as well? Ta! Chris and Sue

  2. Tim, i remember that you got your powder room fan externally vented. We have requested Metricon do this and they say they can just vent it into the roof. Did you find a standard that they had to externally vent? If you get a chance can you please let me know?
    Thanks, Kim

  3. kim - because our powder room doesn't have any opening windows, i think our exhaut had to be externally ducted. otherwise, venting to roof or floor space is normal (our bathroom & ensuite fans vent to roof cavity)


  4. Tina I have only just come across your link and I found it useful. I also am building with metricon and funny enought I went with the Imperial exactly as per the dispay home in Balwyn. However i noticed that the frame of the shower is visible even if the contract states tiled shower, it is tiled but I can see the frame as the shower is slightly higher the the floor of the bathroom. Did you have this as well. Does anybody recall is the shower tiling in the dispay home was flush with the bathroom floor.

  5. What was the outcome of this Kresta debacle? Were you able to get a refund?



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