Why? Too many mistakes, poor accountability, overcharges, and atrocious customer service.
We’ve always been loyal Lowe’s customers, so our recent flooring experience was a huge disappointment on many levels. I know that you pay a built-in premium when you use them for installations, as they are contracting to a third party to do the work. But the value is supposed to be that Lowe’s verifies and stands behind their quality, and you have one point of contact. The opposite happened on both counts.
The installers used some liquid on wood that floor that was nearly impossible to get off. It was a greasy mess and everything left big track marks on it (shoes, vacuum cleaners, chairs, etc.). Cleaning it was very difficult – multiple passes of scrubbing on hands and knees. No one at Lowe’s apologized, no one had a sense of urgency, every Lowe’s group pointed fingers, and the corporate customer service manager (Josh) wouldn’t give me his direct number and wouldn’t take my call when I called on the 800 number he told me to use. Pro tip: Don’t employ, let alone promote, customer service people who are ineffective, condescending, unresponsive, and have zero sense of urgency or desire to help their customers.
We spent over twenty hours on our hands and knees scrubbing the floor to make it usable. The installers sent a crew to clean one of the rooms, but it took ten days to happen. We had half our house turned upside down and had company coming, so we did the rest ourselves. Lowe’s never apologized or compensated us for this.
Lowe’s also engages in deceptive business practices with flooring installations (other companies may do this as well, so be sure to check). If you have 1,000 sq. ft. to cover, I can see why you need materials for, say, 1,050 sq. ft., because there is the inevitable waste with cuts and corners. But they also charge you for the installation costs for the higher figure. They only install the lower amount of square footage (1,000) because that is all that exists, but they charge installation fees for the higher figure (1,050). In our case, the worker over-measured, and I told him so right away (I don’t think he realized I had measured it myself).
We had five extra boxes of wood at the end, about 80 sq. ft. We kept two boxes for possible repairs, but Lowe’s originally refused to refund the installation costs on returning the other three boxes. I pointed out that the wood was obviously never installed, so why should we pay for installation? Many phone calls later, with lots of finger-pointing within Lowe’s, I thought I had finally won out, and the corporate people told the store to issue a credit. However, even though a store employee called to say he was about to process the credit, he never did. I followed up a week later and discovered this, along with the fact that someone had decided not to issue the credit. Yet no one bothered to tell us. So they promised to give us a credit, then decided not to but didn’t tell us.
After multiple additional calls, I finally convinced them to refund what they owed me after lying to me twice. They agreed, so I went to the store and got the refund in cash.
But why so much work to get back what I was obviously due?
Multiple Lowe’s employees insisted that we need $500+ of underlayment to go under the flooring, but the installers and the manufacturer said we didn’t. Luckily we resolved this before installing it, as it saved a lot of money.
We were told they had the product in stock, but it turns out they didn’t, and delivery was delayed for two weeks.
The delivery you pay for is only to your driveway. We had to bring in 72 boxes of wood ourselves and carry them upstairs.
They had two product miss-pulls. We had to make a trip to return the quarter round. They also had a mix of different colored thresholds, but the installers mercifully used the right colors and returned the extra wrong-colored ones.
Other than that . . .
That was a series of first-world problems, of course, but a good reminder to businesses that you can lose sales permanently if you jerk your customers around, and a good reminder to never use Lowe’s for any project work.
Good news: Google Maps just informed me that my Lowe’s review has been seen 500 times.