Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Sliding Door Company's 5-Star Reviews?

I'll admit it - I've been guilty of ignoring The Sliding Door Company's glowing 5-Star reviews on this blog for the most part. There is some real comedy going on - sprinkled in with the fraud of course.  We saw on our Complaints page how Sheryl Hai-Ami gave 5 STARS to the company - her husband is CEO and she is PRESIDENT!  But hey - 5 Stars is 5 Stars right?  

It makes me wonder if all the 5-Star reviews are what they appear to be.  Let's have a look at a few shall we?

The first thing we can do when looking at the 5-Star reviews is eliminate any that were placed before the installation of the product.  These people have no idea what they are in for during the 12 weeks between the time they placed their order and the installation of their order, which may or may not arrive in the correct size and color and may or may not be complete.  Let's have a look at a couple of these:

There are many to choose from - but picking one page at random... from Costa Mesa  

  • Lynn O.
  • Corona, CA
  • 5.0 star rating4/6/2015
    I have not received my barn door yet, but the process so far has been fantastic. Mari  has provided excellent customer services.  She has gone above and beyond to answer my questions and help with designing my door. I look forward to my door arriving, I know it is going to be beautiful!
    The reviews below don't even mention actually buying anything.  The 5-Star reviews are helping The Sliding Door Company's rating on Yelp, however.  Notice how many of them sound like they are actually ADVERTISING for The Sliding Door Company?  What's going on here?  Are these actual customers or shills?

  • Grant K.
  • Los Angeles, CA
    5.0 star rating
    1 check-in
    The team at the sliding door company were very helpful and friendly! Definitely recommend checking this place out if you are looking to remodel or just add in sliding doors to your home and want to keep your door game strong.

  • K B.
  • Fullerton, CA
    5.0 star rating
    Visited the show room for the first time today.  The displays are awesome and Kym and Maria and very helpful and knowledgeable of the products!  Highly recommend The Sliding Door Company if you are looking for unique, good quality and fashionable sliding doors!!

  • L. E.
  • Laguna Beach, CA
    5.0 star rating
    The 5 Stars I have given are for Kym George, the account executive at The Sliding Door Company! Her customer service skills and knowledge of the product TOPS! If you want to understand the product, ask for Kym. She is the best!!!!!
  • Below, David B admits he's reviewing the product from the showroom.  He seems very concerned about the negative reviews.  Seriously?  He dropped into the showroom and can now cast all the negative reviews in a bad light, while giving the Sliding Door Company a 5-Star rating?  Yes, seriously!

    • Costa Mesa, CA
    5.0 star rating2/15/2013
    Nice clean lines, and the hardware seems to be of high quality.  This place is worth a look if you are going contemporary in your remodel or office.  I'm a little surprised by the few bad reviews here, as everything was well built in the showroom, and the Yelp reviews in other cities have them consistently at 4-5 stars.
    Another thing I notice when reading 5-Star reviews is the mention of the sales person by name.  Customers of TSDC products rely on their sales person heavily during the sale, but still... for many of these shady 5-Star reviews, I think it wouldn't be out of the question to suggest sales people are getting friends in to post positive reviews in order to boost their own sales and to direct customers to them.  

    The One-Star reviews are about the product, the installation and the service, not about the sales experience (with a few exceptions).  There's no "incentive" to post a negative review but there are certainly incentives to have shills post positive hollow reviews of a great sales experience or how much product knowledge a particular salesperson might have.

    UPDATE:  A reliable source has reported that TSDC has been offering some type of "coupon" to people who will post a positive review.

    Here's a fresh review describing how The Sliding Door Company works to remove negative reviews.

    Hanna Y.
    Midland Beach, Staten Island, United States
    1.0 star rating 6/9/2016
    Super shady company. Run for the hills!!! After a horrible experience with Joe the sleazy salesperson, Dahlia the "customer service manager" stepped in to assist. What a joke! She promised to assist; however, that never happened.  She was more concerned about me removing my negative Yelp review and offered assistance in exchange for the removal of the review. That was her main objective. Save yourself the headache. This company hires fly by night scammers whose only goal is to scam you out of money & it is evident that Ethics and integrity means nothing to this business. AVOID AVOID AVOID!

    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Adding A New Digit!

    Our blog visit counter is getting full... We are going to have to add another digit today!
    The Sliding Door Complaint Blog's New Digit
    10,000 views.  Who would have guessed when we started this blog less than seven months ago, that so many people would be interested in The Sliding Door Company's failures?  

    It doesn't hurt that this particular company is representative of companies that behave at their worst!  Today, people are outraged at businesses when they put profit above safety.  And let's be clear here, that's EXACTLY what The Sliding Door Company does every single day.

    This blog has demonstrated their dishonest sales tactics, their mistreatment of customers AND employees - and their failures in almost every aspect of business ethics.

    So having achieved this milestone, where will we go moving forward?  

    Well, of course we will continue to expose The Sliding Door Company's fraudulent business practices - and we have a lot more to expose so please stay tuned.  But I think it's also time to get more federal and state agencies involved in this case and to reflect to readers how this involvement transpires in the real world.  In my case, the evidence points to a conspiracy to hide safety defects in The Sliding Door Company's products - involving family members.  

    Additionally, the evidence suggests that Human Resources department manager was completely inept and acted against me to save her own job.  Evidence also suggests she involved an unwitting independent investigator in a crime.  But we will get to all that soon.  And while it is important to me, people aren't interested in my case as much as the overall product safety issues I have been exposing.  So with that in mind, we move forward exposing product safety issues, product fraud, contract fraud, engineering fraud and more.  

    Join us in SALUTING The Sliding Door Company (and companies like them) and the fine work they do.  We added a new digit - just for them!

    Monday, April 4, 2016

    Documented Use of Counterfeit Structural Bracket

    Swing Door Installation Video

    The link above is to a video of the installation of a Sliding Door Company Swing Door product.  

    At 0:20 of the video, we see the installer applying a counterfeit Simpson Strong-tie.  

    TSDC's engineering documents call for this one: 

    Not the same - at all.  So, clearly they don't follow the documentation an engineer has prepared for them.

    At 0:44 the video cuts away because the installer realized there was no room for his drill to fit into the space he left himself.  Planning - even when making a sales tool video of an installation - doesn't enter the process.

    Notice - no stud finders are used in this process.  Too expensive to supply installers with the equipment to find the solid blocking they are required by contract to install into.

    By the end of the video, we can see that this is a commercial installation and that the swing door does not meet the ADA kick plate requirement.  

    In this video, The Sliding Door Company has documented yet another bad installation - and in the process demonstrated that they use the counterfeit brackets in commercial installations, that planning isn't taken into consideration when installing a system, and that ultimately, the installed commercial system doesn't pass ADA.

    Good Job!

    Sunday, April 3, 2016

    Sliding Door Company Video Documents Bad Installation

    Here is one of The Sliding Door Company's YouTube Videos

    The Sliding Door Company is very interested in making sales.  The above video is a promotional sales tool intended to show a typical sliding door installation.  Here's an image from the video:

    Oh no... What happened here?  

    I count five switch plates on this wall in the area that the sliding doors will cross (the installer is in front of one but it is visible in the video).  The one he is standing in front of is a light switch.  There are two switch plates that are to the left of his left arm.  On the bottom left is an outlet.  The installer even plugged his tools into it.  So if someone plugs something in there, it could be torn out of the wall if someone opens the door from the opposite side.  A comment to the video pointed this out.
    "I noticed a power plug between the 02 doors, if someone opened the door from outside and a cable is plugged, this will cause an issue. "

    Another person noticed the issue that we have already discussed on this blog - stepping over the track.
    "You have to step over a track when walking into the next room or closet. Not good."
    And ultimately - what did the customer end up with?  Two sliding doors that create a big black frame around five switch plates on a wall.  The customer can't even cover up the upper switch plates with a picture.  Have they added value to their home with this ridiculous sliding door installation?  You decide.

    I understand that sometimes their installations might not go that well... but are those the ones you want to advertise in your promotional videos?  

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    Bad Engineering - Worth Sharing

    Here's a story about a stationary panel installation.  At The Sliding Door Company, it's cause for an announcement when a system actually goes together without customer complaints.  Many of us have worked in office environments.  Has anyone ever seen a stationary panel installation like the one pictured below?
    This type of goofy engineering was praised by Sheryl Hai-Ami, president of the commercial division of The Sliding Door Company - SpacePlus.  Does the notion that the president of the company has no clue about safe engineering trouble anyone?  
    The emails indicate that this installation was reviewed and REJECTED before it was installed.  

    "Hi All, One of Kari's clients in Las Vegas
     sent pictures of her unique work area.
    The white frames look great."

    "Hi Rachelle and Sheryl,

    "Beautiful, but these photos concerned me, so I ran them by Pete.  This is actually an example of what not to do.  Basically the rule is you can't have any loose corners like the one created just over the walk-through areas and the one by the stationary panel.  Anywhere the 4x4's extend toward the ceiling.  A beam all the way across at both vertical locations would solve that.  The rule with a fixed panel is that an extended floor flange should not be used on a height above 65".
    "I'm sure it feels sturdy now, but after a few years, it will be quite loose."

    "I thought this looked familiar, so I looked back and Kari actually asked me about this one.  I told her she could not do it without floor to ceiling columns or additional support.  What she did is not sufficient as it does not provide the support needed.

    "Our saving grace, is that we did not do the install.  Please share with your teams and I will mention it to Jonathan so they don't use the photos for any examples."

    "Thank you for the information!                     "My understanding was that this includes stationary panels on a single track in the back and client advised that they would not put beams straight across to side walls at 80" high. I am so glad you initiated a dialog because we need to let all managers know."

    Notice the loose corners in the picture.  These will come loose eventually - and the cross beam can fall down on someone.  This is why sales people aren't supposed to be making engineering decisions.  At The Sliding Door Company, it's "Sales first, safety LAST!"

    Friday, March 25, 2016

    CSI- Fraud Unit

    CSI?  What's that?  Well, it's on the SpacePlus website:  CSI SPEC GUIDE

    So what is CSI? It's the Construction Specifications Institute
    CSI was founded in March 1948 by the specification writers of government agencies who came together to improve the quality of construction specifications. The Institute’s efforts were essential in improving construction specification quality so that it could meet the demands of the post-war construction boom. 
     OK, so these people produce specifications so that their members can improve the quality of construction in their products.  And it's a GOOD thing that the Sliding Door Company belongs to this organization.  They display their CSI Spec Guides for Sliding doors and Swing doors right on their website.  These guides describe what The Sliding Door Company is specifying for their products... Except that... they DON'T!

    Let's have a look at the Sliding Doors Guide first.  Section 1.7 WARRANTY: 

    "Manufacturer's warranty agreeing to repair or replace components used in interior installations, excluding glass, that fail in materials or workmanship within three years from date of substantial completion."
    Hold on... why does this suggest they give a three year warranty?  The Sliding Door Company does NOT offer a three year warranty.  Why is this statement on their website?  This is repeated in the Swing Doors Guide as well.  So if they don't offer a three year warranty, why are they suggesting there is a three year warranty on their products?

    OK, what else is in the CSI investigation.  Let's take a look at Section 2.2 - COMPONENTS.  We already know TSDC uses a "Proprietary Formula for Aluminum" but what are they saying on the CSI documents?
    Material: Aluminum extrusions, 6061 alloy.
    OK, so this specifies a specific aluminum alloy - 6061.  Hold on again... We already saw their engineering documents called out 6063.  Which is it?  And what's the difference


    ConditionTensile Strength (PSI)Yield Strength (PSI)Shear Strength (PSI)Elongation in 2"Brinell Hardness
    6061 Structural45,00040,00030,0001795
    6063 Structural27,00021,00017,0001260

    So, the 6061 Aluminum which the CSI believes The Sliding Door Company is using is almost TWICE as strong as the material they told their engineer they are using.  Hold on... If their engineering calculations were based on the weaker material (and they are) that would be a good thing, right?  Yes... but... Unfortunately, the ACTUAL material they use is the "proprietary formula aluminum" for which there is no engineering data available.

    I think what we are seeing here is that The Sliding Door Company has no idea about what materials are going into their products nor do they understand the engineering and product testing that is necessary in order to produce a safe product.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Illegally Fired from your Job?

    1. Implied Promises

    When you accept a job offer for a certain amount of pay in exchange for your work, you enter a contract with your employer – whether it’s written or unwritten.  
    Employers also make the rules at your company, but they can get into trouble when they don’t follow the policies they’ve created.  
    If your employer doesn’t follow that process correctly, with the proper documentation, it could also be grounds for a lawsuit.

    2. You were Discriminated Against

    Employers cannot fire an employee because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age (if over 40), disability, or national origin. 

    3. There was a Breech of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

    If you believe you were fired so your employer wouldn’t have to pay you a sales commission, for example, that would be a breach of good faith and fair dealing.
    The same applies if you were misled about promotion or wage increases, or if your employer made up a reason to fire you, when the true reason was to be able to hire someone who would earn a smaller paycheck.

    4. Your Employer Violated Public Policy

    According to certain laws, you cannot be fired for taking time off for jury duty, to vote, or to serve in the military or National Guard. 
    In addition, you cannot be fired for refusing to commit an illegal act at your employer’s request. You also can’t be fired for whistle-blowing. Whistle-blowing laws are complex, but essentially you cannot be fired if you report illegal actions your company has committed. It doesn’t stop employers from firing you anyway, however; the Department of Energy is under investigation for whistle-blowing retaliation cases last year.

    5. Your Employer Retaliated Against You

    Similar to whistle-blowing, if you do something that is legally protected in the workplace, your employer cannot retaliate against you by showing you the door.
    If you formally complain about a health or safety concern in the workplace, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act protects you from being fired for doing so.
    You also cannot lose your job if you file a harassment complaint, or if you file a concern with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
    You must prove that your complaint triggered your boss to act (i.e. giving you a reprimand) and that you subsequently suffered adverse consequences (you were fired).

    6. Your Employer Committed Fraud

    “The hardest part of proving fraud is showing that the employer acted badly on purpose, in an intentional effort to trick you. That requires good documentation of how, when, to whom, and by what means the false representations were made,” Nolo explains.
    However, if you can prove that a superior knew about false information that was given to you in order to trick you, and that you acted upon that information and were later fired for it, you can claim fraud in your termination suit.

    7. You were Defamed

    Defamation occurs when your reputation or good standing in the community is jeopardized by someone who intentionally spreads false facts about you.
    If your employer defames you during the firing process, you can claim a wrongful termination and a potentially win a defamation suit, since those false facts could in turn make it difficult for you to find another job.