A good friend recently contracted with "a major home improvement retailer" to install her vinyl kitchen flooring. I was present when the sub-contractor arrived on the job and he explained that the floor needed repair before he could start the job. One section of subflooring had to be removed and replaced with plywood. Some of the planking above the Joists also had to be removed. The area damaged was less than 4 x 8 but it was easier to repair a 4 x 8 section rather than a smaller area. Subcontractor called his "supervisor" (big retailer employee we find out after the fact, we thought we were talking to dispatcher that employed installer, Supervisor never stated he was employee of big retailer) and advised him of the problem. Supervisor talked to home owner and said the additional cost to repair the floor would be $1900.00. Home Owner said no, she would have the job repaired herself and reschedule the installation. Supervisor said she would incur a $300 trip charge since he had to pay the installer for the day and he didn't have any other work for the day. Supervisor was told no, that the charges were unreasonable and predatiious as the repair consisted of installing 2 pcs. Of plywood stacked. (the repair consisted of two pcs. Of plywood stacked on each other and the removal of the old material). She stated the job was canceled for today and she would reschedule next week when the repair was completed. We then started working on ripping up the material ourselves as we were going to do the repair having some construction experience. Supervisor got back on the phone with installer and then got back on the phone with both the home owner and myself. I have personally GC'd the construction of 2 of my homes and although no expert, have more than rudimentary construction knowledge. Owner told Supervisor that she could not afford the additional charge and could not complete the installation. She handed the phone to me and I told the Supervisor that it was unreasonable and predatory to charge $1900. To install 2 sheets of plywood that the original quote included the installation of 1/2" plywood over the total floor "if needed" for $610.00 how could be possibly try to charge $1900 to install 2 stacked pcs of plywood in one spot. He than offered to reduce the price to $1100 which was still quite unreasonable and he was again told no. He got on the phone again with the installer (who spoke spanish over the phone this time and all previous times) and after a lengthly conversation handed the phone back to me. Supervisor than said to me, he didn't realize the job was as small as it was and could do the job for $520. at no time did he indicate that he was planning on using the $610.00 budgeted for plywood "if needed" towards this repair, it was $520. TOTAL charge. I asked him clearly if $520 was the total cost for the repair and he said yes. I handed the phone to the Owner and he repeated the offer to the Owner which was accepted. Sometime later during the installation, the installer spoke to Owner to sign off on a change in the number of seams since not enough material was sent to install the job with only one seam unless the material was reversed in direction and some difference in sheen might be noticed. Owner said she would but would also need installer to sign off on the fact that the 1/4" of plywood "if needed" in the original quote was not used as were the 2 additional containers of leverler. During the estimation part of the process she asked if the plywood wasn't used would that cost be refunded, big installer said "yes" and she has that comment in writing from "big home improvement retailer" Installer said he could not sign off, we would have to talk to his "boss" whom he called. I then spoke to "his boss" who it now turns out is the company who employes the installer, not an employee of the "big home improvement retailer" who agreed that the 1/4 " plywood and additional leveler wasn't used and said he would contact the "big retailer" to have those charges removed from the bill which he did. A few days later Owner gets a bill from the "big retailer" reflecting a total cost of 1300. For the job which included $610 for the unused plywood " reflecting a total cost of 1300. for the job which included $610 for the unused plywood " and an additional $520. Owner called the "big retailer" and an additional $520. Owner called the "sign off" and manager refused to reduce the charges. Says installer's Boss had no authority to " plywood " that the plywood wasn't used EVEN though Owner has in writting that 1/4" would be refunded if not used. What are her options at this time. It seems clear that the "if needed" never intended to do the job for $520 and was being deceptive and dishonest when he made to offer of $520 "manager". Incidentally the installer on the job offered to do the repair that next weekend for $300.00 TOTAL cost with materials included for cash but couldn't do it the day of install in case the "total cost" sent an inspector to check the job. He would get in trouble if he was caught doing extra work "big retailer". Owner decided to stay with the "under the table" as she was uncomfortable "big retailer" the "stiffing". What options does she have to resolve this dispute. The charge card used was the "big retailer" credit card so hopes of help along those lines seem slim. Does she contact the BBB? How does one go about fighting such dishonest, deceptive practices? Thanks in advance.