Urban Ladder Failure/Complaint

Back in the day, when selection was limited and good furniture was subject to a combination of fluke and chance, Urban Ladder was a nice and decent take on the whole Do It Yourself (DIY)/Ready To Assemble (RTA) market, of which I am familiar.

Not being one to be shy away from building wooden-based structures nor doing the lazy-version of buying furniture from a Ikea and assembling at home, I was hoping to see something akin to the basic levels of good quality that I was used to from back in the UK where I lived.

After moving to India, I had a shock and was extremely disappointed with the way things panned out. After nearly two years I have decided to break the silence and chronicle the entire ordeal in the public sphere for posterity. Admitedly, I have not used Urban Ladder since said event (nor do I plan to).

Order Date: 19 September 2015
Pearl Three Door Wardrobe in Walnut & White Colour by Crystal Furnitech
SKU: FN1362029-P-OD9978

Damage to the backboard.

This occurred when your carpenters tried to fix the backboard to the wardrobe but forgot or didn't know to screw/fix it properly. As a result, when they lifted it straight up the object fell down and smashed on the floor. This broke the bottom corner of the right side of the wardrobe (if you're looking at it from in front) -- the backboard for the narrow portion of the unit. Not only did they break it, but they lied to my wife and tried to hide their mistake.

Please view the following images to see the quality:
Laminate is too long, pushing the entire drawer to one side.

Filthy finish. That area is glue and I can see fingerprints. Bad finish. 

There's only one screw at the top. The other isn't in. This puts the strain on a single point as oppose to two meaning that half of the weight of the door is supported on a single point. This degrades the lifespan of the door as opening and shutting it will weaken these areas. With this kind of wood, that is as good as turning it into scrap. Once the wood seal breaks, it become worthless. 

Deep scratches. These are not glue marks. These are etched into the laminate itself. 

Ignoring the filthy finish, this piece of paper is stuck with industrial glue onto the board. It is removeable either by scraping it off, or by using paint thinner. This would mean I have to choose between removing the polish or scratching the finish. 

Another angle of the scratches on the laminate. 

Spotted dents all over the board. This are not dirt marks. 

Glue stains and streaks all over the place. Not a good finished product. 

More filthy marks from what looks to be tape. Perhaps from painting? Whatever the case, the residue doesn't qualify it as a finished product. 

Laminate around the edges isn't stuck properly. It is coming off in some places at the edges.

Again, single-point contact on the hinge. All the hinges were like this. It is obvious that the carpenter either didn't care or didn't know. I leave it for you to decide which is worse. 

Chipped wood. 

The broken backboard from before. 

Closer view. 

Dent in the wood. 

The screws are not flat and are standing up from the metallic unit. I have better and proper screws to this. This is unprofessional. I would expect this from a hobby-job, not from a company who does this as a business. I wouldn't have minded, but these screws are quite high off the metal, meaning that it could catch loose threads when pulling out clothing. Whatever else, it is ugly and not what I expected from your company. 

Laminate at the end (facing towards the outside) with the edge sticking out. 

Drawer is damaged (same drawer as above) in the rear-right corner. 

Shoddy workmanship along the edges of several joints in the laminate. 

Damage and laminate is coming off at the corner of the drawer. 

The other side of the drawer the laminate is coming completely off. 
I wish to especially bring a strong complaint against the carpenters themselves. All along they kept insisting that this product was designed the way it was and did not listen to her when she clearly knew better. This shows a lack of proper communication and training. Not only that, they took three times longer than promised to complete the work and only led to them disassembling and reassembling it a number of times, thereby damaging the internal areas where the screws were removed and added again and again.

My primary concern is:
  • Paid premium prices for a sub-standard product. 
  • The overall product was not finished properly. 
  • Spending Rs 30,000+ for such garbage is thievery. 
  • The carpenters were unprofessional 
  • They had no idea what they were doing 
  • They were not trained properly 
  • Using incorrect tools for the job 
  • Trying to force-fit items in a RTA unit 
  • No clear instructions 
  • Lied and tried to cover up their mistakes 
  • Assured my wife they were doing things right when they weren't 
  • Did not listen when they were making obvious mistakes (this feeds into the fact they were not sufficiently trained) 
My wife is in her last trimester and this experience has added unnecessary stress. It was supposed to be a simple assembly, but it turned into a nightmare and I am infuriated at the way she was treated and how negative the overall experience has been. We waited four weeks for a high-quality product, and instead got a dirty, substandard 'thing' with a service that was questionable at all fronts.


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