Afraid I had a very similar negative experience from AFE… Super polite when he arrived to quote, keen to get on and do the job, and judging by the positive reviews on this site, I didn’t have any concerns. I needed them to install a kitchen sink, tap and dishwasher and they told me this could be done without any issues.
Unfortunately, I was unable to meet them onsite on the agreed date due to illness, so sent my brother in my stead (this was a few weeks ago). Despite telling me (when they came to quote) that they could sort the plumbing for the kitchen tap without the worktop being in place, they claimed on the day that this couldn’t be done (without the worktop) but still charged me for the service!
All in all, they installed the sink, didn’t fully install the dishwasher (something that was apparent to us two days later when we wondered why the dishwasher was not sitting flush with other units) and didn’t install the tap. I will hold my hands up and say there was miscommunication between my brother and I, as a result of him stepping in at the last minute, and not fully understanding that AFE were required to install the tap. Confusion realised when I returned to the flat two days later and noticed tap hadn’t been installed despite AFE having charged me for this.
The thing that got me was AFE knew I couldn’t be onsite due to illness, and on that very evening, Aria texted me to confirm that they had completed all work as per the quote, and that there were no issues. At no point during those comms, did he allude to the fact that they hadn’t installed the tap, so I was none the wiser. I find this to be rather deceptive. He also asked at this point, if I’d leave him a recommendation - needless to say, I haven’t.
When I then got in touch with them (two days later) to ask why the tap hadn’t been installed, and why I had been charged for this service, I was told that it was my fault the worktop wasn’t in place, and that by charging me, they considered this a ‘cancellation fee’, despite the fact that they were not solely called out to install the tap alone. AFE then offered (for another £80) to revisit to install my tap (now that worktop was in place) as well as looking at the issue with the dishwasher. I personally thought this was unbelievable, given I should not have been charged for tap installation, and the issue with the dishwasher was a result of them not installing it properly.
Following lots of to-ing and fro-ing, AFE refused to budge saying I was rightly charged for a service I didn’t receive, and that they wouldn’t return unless I paid an additional fee. So I contacted a family friend who is a plumber (not local to FH, and lives outside London) and he offered to pop down to install the tap and look at the issue with dishwasher for £50, something which I thought was a no-brainer seeing as I knew I could trust him, and quite frankly, I thought it was unethical that AFE had charged for a service I hadn’t received, so I didn’t really want to line their pockets any further.
Despite Aria pushing me to allow him to return to my property to ‘fix’ the issues, I let him know that a family friend would help instead. He then stated that as a ‘goodwill gesture’ he would cover 50% of the cost of me having to call a plumber out (basically £25 which I didn’t think cut it). I replied to say a ‘goodwill gesture’ would be that he returns the money I paid for the non-existent tap installation, to which he agreed to refund me £40, which I was happy with. Minus the reduction, I paid £200 for a sink to be installed, and a half-installed dishwasher – I don’t consider this great value for money. I won’t be using AFE again, nor will I be recommending their services. Upon returning my £40, Aria told me if I ever required his services in future, he’d offer me a ‘discount’.