Update by user Jul 29, 2018
Offered a nice in store credit to use as I wish for my time (90 minutes), and driving to return item at a different store.
Update by user Jul 29, 2018
Update, 4 hours after the attempted return: Just received a call from the head store manager at Lowes where I was told there is no way they can do the return. The first thing he says is "I understand you were in the store earlier trying to make a return and it did not go as expected, please if you would explain to me in your own words what happened".
OK, not that's what I expect to hear...concern, admission that there was a problem and willingness to rectify it. After the explanation he states "you are correct and it was our problem and we made it yours" exactly what a customer wants to hear in a situation like this. He also mentioned that there are two other big box hardware stores within a 1/2 mile of his location...recognizing and respecting that consumers have choices and he wants my business (or someone else will get it). He then makes what I would term a more than fair offer for a in store credit that I can stop by and get from him personally next week.
That's the way its supposed to work. Folks if you know you are right and have legal and moral ground to pursuit it, do so in a non emotional but yet very persistent way and you will often be rewarded.
Original review posted by user Jul 29, 2018
Purchased a $250. Troy built string trimmer at a Lowes store I was close to. Went home and read customer reviews. Discovered that not only was that model discontinued, it had horrible reviews. The following day I went to the Lowes that was much closer to my home. They told me that they could not return the trimmer even though the box had never been opened because "it was not in inventory list" and the only thing I could do was to return it to the other Lowes store. To which I replied, my receipt is a contract, and the back of it states I can return to ANY Lowes store nation wide. Then ask for store manager, Tom, who frankly was not all that sympathetic. Folks, if you have a receipt with term and conditions and it states you can return an item to ANY store then you should be able to or its consumer fraud. After standing there for 30 minutes wile they tried to "add it to their store inventory list" but it would not let them according to their claims, I called Lowes Corporate customer service who basically told me the same thing but in a nicer way. I offered to return it to the other store, but they would need to pay me since they were hiring me to be a courier service. Basically, time is money and they broke their contract with the customer. No luck.
Couple of observations:
If a store make an agreement by contract (and prints it on the receipt) that you can return any (non special order) item to any store in the country within the number of days one is allowed (in this case less than 24 hours) then you'd better honor that, otherwise its fraud.
Its not the customers problem to deal with the stores IT and inventory issues that they are unable to add it to their inventory
Give the store manager some ability to make a decision or at least amends in cases like this. They could have accepted the refund and shipped it to the other store...but that would have involved them doing paperwork!
They could have given me a $20 gift certificate, but all I received the its the only way attitude from those at the store.
Bottom line: as a consumer know your rights. The terms of the sale are printed on your receipt. They are legally obligated to honor them.
Ended up driving across town to return item at original store...but what it would have been 100's of miles away?
When I returned to the other store, their customer service/returns told me that the first store should have been able to override this issue and take the return.
Told the corporate office people to call me so we can discuss, I feel there is some entitlement to having blown 90 minutes of time and driving 15 miles out of my way to make a return.
Lesson: Be the squeaky wheel when you are in the right, and hopefully it will pay off.
Product or Service Mentioned: Lowes Customer Care.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $100.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
Lowes Pros: Selection.
Lowes Cons: Lack of training employees, Manager response.