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Old 05-27-2022, 02:11 PM
 
Location: NC
10,664 posts, read 7,314,345 times
Reputation: 11229

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This is really long, but the short version is:
  1. Lowes shipped damaged vanities on a project
  2. The installer confirmed inventory, and went ot get replacements
  3. Lowes did not provide the replacements, so the installer (they hired) had to go to next job
  4. Now they are telling us next availability to install is June 7
  5. Meanwhile we have no sinks in bathrooms, only the kitchen sink for two weeks
  6. They refuse to do anthying because their installer is booked, and they are not wiling to hire another
  7. A whole lot of other issues detailed below.

What would you do? We are stuck in our house, no sinks in the bathroom. No resolution. They told us that if we reported to the state attorney general that they would end all discussions, and we'd be SOL, so I haven't done that.

Five on your side?
BBB?
Online REviews?
All of the above?

I really don't want anything, other than getting sinks in our house before June 7.

__________________________________________________ __________________


Lowe’s flooring, vanity and toilet project 5/27/22:

1. Lowes promised that vanities, toilet and flooring installation could be coordinated
2. They said THEY would coordinate across departments
3. They suggested we have toilets and vanities removed, flooring installed and toilets and vanities reinstalled on the same day, and that they would coordinate with their install vendors, so they could work in separate sections of the home.
4. At the date of sale, they then told us “we’ll put notes in the file, but it is up to you (customer) to coordinate and schedule with the vendors, “we don’t do that”. Particularly annoying because during the entire negotiation, they pushed “single point of sale and coordinated project, which is something they never intended to do.
5. At check-out, as we were signing contracts, they stated that there could be a fee of up to $2500 because condition of subfloor cannot be known until old floor is lifted.
a. We were upset about this, because we asked multiple times if there were any other costs, responsibilities, or potential concerns we needed to know about and were told by the department manager there would be no other costs.
b. Even as they (the department manager, specifically) pressured us to close on the sale before we were ready, they never mentioned this.
c. They knew we were budget constrained and price sensitive, never mentioned it
d. We almost walked away at contract signing but decided to go forward. The expense was reasonable to us, just not the way it was (or was not) presented to us.
6. As we were coordinating our own installations, we were told that it is Lowe’s policy that two installers cannot be onsite at the same time. This is a Lowe’s policy, yet it was sold to us that they would be able to do this. (See item #3).
a. We ultimately agreed because there was no other choice. The result was that we planned to live without vanities for Tuesday until Friday morning.
7. There were delays of over one month to get the installation scheduled, due to an out of stock issue, that we later found out was actually in stock. Not a huge issue for us, as they ended up installing on the timeline we wanted, but it resulted in multiple calls from the other installers, who we could not respond to because we did not have a flooring date. This was cost a lot of time as I had to work as acting General Contractor. I actually had to use vacation time from my job.
a. This is particularly annoying, because we were ‘sold’ that Lowes would coordinate the entire project, but then switched at signing that we were responsible for it.
b. Effectively, we became our own General Contractor.
8. On day of install, the installers showed us that the floor was unlevel, and that Lowe’s would contact us to let us know the additional cost.
9. Within the hour, Lowes called us, this was before they finished removing flooring in all but the first room. They said the fee was going to be more than $3800, which I protested because they promised (and we budgeted) $2500. At this point we were already over budget and spending money we had not planned on.
a. How did they know the full cost of labor and repairs before all of the floors were uncovered? This is very suspect!
10. After much back and forth, they agreed to a price of $2528.65, we accepted.
11. The store called us, asked for the card to pay the fee. They never disclosed price, but I asked what the final charge amount was. He said $3400 (approx.). I said we were quoted $2528.65 and that is what we’d pay. He countered with “that was the cost, this is our fee”. Our sales rep got the prices adjusted to the quoted amount, but added tax.
a. Labor should not be taxed. They added a small amount of supplies, but this was supplies they already sold us, and are still in our house. If they had not double sold the supplies, the labor would be tax free, costing us over $200 additional.

Our view of this experience was that it was a bait and switch:
1. They presented their services as “coordinated by Lowe’s”, when in fact this was never an option per Lowes Policy
2. They told us the quoted price was the final price (we asked multiple times) but hit us with a significant increase at the time of check-out. A known pressure-sales technique
3. Then they hit us with even more fees after our floors were ripped up, with no option but to pay it. Again, pressure sales.

It should be noted that our Sales Rep (Terry Andrews) was professional and helpful throughout the experience. We have high regards for him. To his credit, he asked his department manager to weigh in on every issue. Since he got the information from a higher authority (in front of us), it is our opinion that this is a Lowe’s management concern, not an employee concern.

It should also be noted that the installation crew was the most professional, hard-working crew I’ve ever encountered. I’d use them again without hesitation, but now via Lowes.

We were given a quote, which already stretched our budget. Then at the last minute, after we had already committed to the sale, Lowes tacked on additional fees. They did so a second time, after our floors were ripped up, leaving us little choice.


Additionally, as I type this, BOTH vanities that Lowe’s delivered were damaged. The crew has been gone for over 3 hours to get replacements (Lowe’s rep told them on the phone it was in stock and would be waiting on them for pick up). When they arrived, the vanities were not available, and we later learned that one of them was never in stock
The Toilet installation prior to the flooring was done incorrectly, resulting in having to have a second crew come out and fix the problem.
--UPDATE—
We never heard back from Lowes or their Vanity contractor, so we called the vanity contractor and they informed us that the soonest they could reschedule the installation was June 9th, which would put at over two weeks without running water in bathrooms. I called Lowes Installations and asked to escalate to the manager. I spoke to “Scott”, who told me they offered to pay the installer an extra $100 (to make their mistake on our $20k job right) but that the installer was not available. HE said he had no options. I suggested they hire another installer but her refused. He tried to refund my money and make me responsible to pay for their mistake, but I didn’t want a refund, I wanted the services I paid for in advance.

Scott was of no help. He did not seem to care that my family could not wash their hands after using the bathroom. He was not willing to commit to having the vanities delivered and installed because he would not pay the price. He effectively said my family’s health and safety was only worth $100 to Lowes. We agreed to disagree, because I had no choice, he was not budging, and I had no money left after being billed the extra $2500 ($2700 with tax).
I was able to get him to agree to redeliver the vanities, so they’d at least be available, should a cancellation provide an earlier opportunity to install. (My idea, he never even suggested this.) But then... read update #2

--UPDATE #2—
Lowes called to schedule delivery of one of the vanities. The other was out of stock. They could not guarantee a delivery time, event though we had provided our availability in advance (this, after spending an ENTIRE day dealing with this issue, in addition to the other scheduling issues mentioned above). Finally, the schedular told us to just accept the schedule, because she had no power to change it, and we could decline and reschedule if the delivery was outside our available window. I agreed, even though I was expecting they could make an exception, considering what we’d been through. It was the best we could hope for.
When I agreed to accept their delivery schedule, the scheduler asked me for payment. I told her we paid the full job in advance, and she refused to schedule it, because she needed payment for the replacement too, and she’d refund us when they got the return, which was already removed from our premises by their contracted deliverer earlier in the day. When she would not budge on this, I said we can’t pay, and suggested she speak to Scott to get approval. She literally hung up on me, so we don’t know if delivery is coming or not.
We will not recommend Lowes to others, our reviews will reflect this, and we are considering sending copies of this message to the State Attorney General, the BBB, or other entities. I will wait to do that, to insure cool heads prevail.
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Old 05-27-2022, 02:39 PM
 
8,122 posts, read 3,373,509 times
Reputation: 5850
too long.
cant you file a chargeback on item not as described and buy another set from HD?
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Old 05-27-2022, 02:51 PM
 
Location: NC
10,664 posts, read 7,314,345 times
Reputation: 11229
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo101 View Post
too long.
cant you file a chargeback on item not as described and buy another set from HD?
Issue is that it's the installation. I could pay to have another company do it, but it might not be any sooner, and it will certainly cost me a lot more.

It is way long, sorry. I documented it for my own future reference.

Not sure if this is the right approach or not, but I have not raised my voice once. I've expressed my displeasure, but have kept a cool head. A few people in the room have said I was too nice. More bees with honey and whatnot, I guess.... My goal is not revenge, it's to get my sinks installed in at least one or both bathrooms.
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Old 05-27-2022, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
4,012 posts, read 5,065,547 times
Reputation: 8789
build a temporary 2x4 frame for an elcheapo vanity sink, with a plywood top, plumb it temporarily...you're done....now sit back and wait for the installer while using your bathroom.
Can't do it yourself ? Any handyman can do it in a couple of hours.

Chalk it up to experience, and vow never to cheap out again using a big box store.
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Old 05-27-2022, 03:49 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
21,846 posts, read 33,426,996 times
Reputation: 18390
File a complaint with the AG after all is said and done. That kind of threat ain't cool. Doesn't help you now. I do hope you have that threat in writing. That should be a very large part of your complaint. Frankly it wouldn't deter me. It WILL hold things up but ultimately it will be resolved. I work in insurance - when people file an insurance department complaint, it DOES hold up their claim, as we cannot do anything until that is resolved. That doesn't mean it shouldn't happen.

As someone said - lesson learned. Don't use big box stores for this kind of work. It's subcontractor upon subcontractor upon subcontractor. If you had a really successful home improvement business, would you be getting business through HD or Lowes? No, you wouldn't. These guys don't work for Lowes. If you need to get business through a big box store right now you are doing something drastically wrong.

Lowe's is in the business of selling products. General Contractors (GCs) coordinate all the stuff they (Lowes) promised but a big corporation is not going to do that. Being a GC is a dance and requires relationships with the trades and a lot of patience. No big box store is going to provide that level of service.

Last edited by twingles; 05-27-2022 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 05-27-2022, 03:59 PM
Status: "Making the Retirement Run in under 12 parsecs!!!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,774 posts, read 70,629,227 times
Reputation: 42227
Are you actually dealing directly with the Lowes' store?
Or only with Lowes Installations?

If the latter, I would get into the store where I did business and talk to the store manager in person and lay it all out.
Lowes' Installations is who you were handed off to, right?
The manager wants people to be satisfied with their interaction.

If you are dealing directly with the store management already, well... dang.
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:18 PM
 
Location: on the good ship Lollipop
480 posts, read 236,285 times
Reputation: 1714
Contact the regional/district manager with your complaints via email, emphasizing that your family is without running water in bathroom due to delays, blah blah due to local store #__. Explain that you would like to come to a reasonable solution for both parties resulting in a timely installation and/or a partial refund of costs you have already incurred before you file a complaint with the AG's office.

If no/inadequate response, file the complaint and send the store manager & regional/district manager a copy of the factual complaint you have filed and see what happens next.

Had a run-in with Lowes 5-6 years ago? re: the purchase/installation of an hvac thingy my Father had arranged with them. Problems/delays/etc. -- retrieved a good % of total cost due to dogged persistence up the lowes chain of command. Big box stores suck at this kinda thing and leave customers with very little recourse...

good luck.
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:48 PM
 
Location: NC
8,691 posts, read 12,034,205 times
Reputation: 19005
Two weeks is not a catastrophe. What do you use bathroom sinks for? Think of alternatives. Use a catch basin when you brush your teeth for example.

Many vanities are made in Asia. Covid lock downs and ship transport limitations can suddenly slow things down. Lowes isn’t trying to cheat you. If you go with a local company the vanity will cost 3x as much. My contractor insisted his contact be my source. Yikes the final price with counter top was over 10 grand. Things are complicated these days.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:04 PM
 
2,947 posts, read 3,109,198 times
Reputation: 3116
Good luck to you in getting this resolved. Reading your thread makes me thankful that I can do all this stuff for myself and fearful of the future, decades from now, when I may no longer be able.
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Old 05-27-2022, 08:37 PM
 
2,902 posts, read 3,073,564 times
Reputation: 2567
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Are you actually dealing directly with the Lowes' store?
Or only with Lowes Installations?

If the latter, I would get into the store where I did business and talk to the store manager in person and lay it all out.
Lowes' Installations is who you were handed off to, right?
The manager wants people to be satisfied with their interaction.

If you are dealing directly with the store management already, well... dang.
^^^ Agree 100%. If you are dealing with the manager I am shocked they have not offered some sort of concession for your inconvenience. I have never used Lowes or HD for a reno but I have used them for carpet and a Garage door opener/installation. With the garage door opener, the first 2 were defective and the manager upgraded me for free to a better brand and model. We had an issue with the opener a few months later and the store paid for the installer to come even though it really was not covered issue.
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