We recently bought several granite umbrella stands from this store. When we arrived home and unpacked, we found one of them cracked in half. No problem at this point, we understand these things happen. We returned to the store and waited in line for 30 minutes at customer service.
The woman that helped us (small, with glasses) looked at the base and asked us "if we were sure we didn't crack it when unpacking it. Basically accusing us of the damage. We said "no" we did not crack the stand. She then stared at her computer for five full minutes. Next she got on her cell phone and walked away so we couldn't hear her. She came back in 5 minutes and said she would allow a "one time" exchange. I asked her what she meant by that, and she said she was just repeating what her supervisor said. I asked to speak to her supervisor but was told she had just left the store. She looked at her computer and said there were 5 more umbrella stands with our color in the garden department. We were told to "go find one" and them come back and stand in line again.
We walked across the store to where they keep the stands and found they had zero stands in our color. We verified there were no more "in back" with another employee in that dept. When we asked if the inventory system had a mistake, he said the inventory system was "a mess" and he never relied on it.
So we compromised and selected one with a different color. We went back and stood in line for 20 minutes at customer service. By chance, we ended up being helped by the same girl that "helped" us before. She couldn't understand why we chose one of a different color and said that they couldn't do an exchange on that basis, even though they are the same product from the same manufacturer. We pointed this out, and she left to "call her supervisor" again. This time she was gone for 12 minutes.
She came back and said since her supervisor was now in a "good mood" she could move forward with the exchange, but there would be "a lot" of paperwork. This next phase took 15 minutes, where she stared at her computer screen and typed maybe 6 words during the whole process. Finally, she handed us a receipt without a word.
Never in this whole process, which took almost two hours, did she offer an apology or thank you for our patience. But what happened next is why we will never visit a lowes store again.
We walked through the checkout stands and were almost through the door when the alarm triggered and a automated voice told us to return to the check stand. I stopped, turned around, and saw a 20 something man running towards our family. He grabbed out cart and muttered something about "shoplifting" and began walking back to the check stand with our cart. Both of my children were so scared by the alarm and the aggressive nature of the cashier that they began to cry.
I followed the cashier back to the checkout stand. There was a line there, and about a dozen people heard this cashier say to me "Now, did you forget to pay for this item?"
I explained to him that this item was an exchange and gave him the receipt. He examined it closely and said her would have to "verify" the receipt with customer service. He opened his cell phone and turned his back to me. A few minutes passed and he turned back to me. He said customer service was busy and that I would have to wait a few minutes for them to call back. He asked that I stand to the side while he helped other customers. He checked out 5-6 customers. My kids were still shook up by his demeanor and the alarm, so I walked back up to him and asked him how much longer we would have to wait. He gave a very condescending look of exasperation and said he needed to checkout his customers and that i should be more patient.
At this point, I had enough. I told him I was walking out the door and would never be back to any Lowes for any reason. He said "Fine, but don't be surprised if the police are knocking on your door later."
I said - that would be great, because the police are more reasonable than anyone at lowes. As I walked out the door, the alarm went off again and again my kids began to cry.
All of this over defective merchandise. A $29 umbrella stand.
Product or Service Mentioned: Lowes Cashier.