Canadian Contractor

Most-viewed story of the month: The Burnt Deck Incident

The Burnt Deck Incident was a story covered by Global News in Edmonton, in which a contractor managed to build the stairs of a client's deck right next to her fireplace vent. Ouch. But it was how they dealt with (or refused to deal with) the complaint that has kept the issue smouldering.


July 30, 2013
By Steve Payne
Steve Payne

The clicks don’t lie. Our “most-viewed story of the month” for July was The Burnt Deck Incident.  An Edmonton renovation client complained to a Global News consumer ombudsman program that a local contractor had built the stairs of her deck too close to her fireplace vent. Result: A burnt deck.

It is an object lesson in what Brian Sharwood of HomeStars has identified as “The Streisand Effect”:  The widespread negative publicity that can be generated by attempting to shut a client up, when they have a complaint, rather than dealing immediately with their issues, is rarely worth it. In this case the contractor is alleged to have offered to refund money if the client (and Global TV) agreed to back off any publicity.