Alexandria, Virginia
Not resolved

Here’s the thing about Lowes installation contracts. It concerns ‘forced arbitration’. Meaning that if a dispute arises between you and Lowes as the result of a faulty installation, you could be out of a lot of money even if you choose to take them to arbitration which is your only recourse if informal mediation between you and the store that provided the service fails.

First of all, you’ll need an attorney unless you want to want to ‘bring a knife to a gun fight’ because there’s a good chance that if faced with arbitration, Lowes will certainly bring out their ‘hired guns’. If the billable hours of your attorney begin at $305.00/hour, you’re then looking at well over $1,500.00 for at least 5 hours (minimum) to prepare for the hearing with dispositions, discovery and so on.

Then there’s the expert witness that you’ll need to hire because again, Lowes will bring one or more of their best to the proceedings! So be sure to add another $2,000.00 (for each expert witness) to your legal fees.

For example, If your claim against Lowes for totals around $3,000.00 and the arbitration panel finds for the plaintiff (that would be you) for the entire amount, you will have won nothing since you’re down another $500.00 for all your effort (that’s if you chose to include the testimony of at least one expert witness).

Incidentally, if you read further into the fine print on the last few pages of your installation contract with Lowes, you’ll notice that you also have the option to bring them to ‘small claims’ court depending on the amount of your claim. However, if you choose to bring Lowes to small claims court, they will need to bring an attorney since Lowes is a major corporation and cannot send an ‘ordinary manager’ to represent them in court. The rules for the county in the state in which I reside prevents attorneys from representing their clients in small claims court. They would instead be referred to the next level, district court, where attorneys are allowed by both parties.

And since the ‘fine print’ in Lowes’ contract for installation services precludes a consumer from suing Lowes in a general court of law, your only other recourse is ‘forced arbitration’. Hence, Lowes has ‘all the bases covered’. I found this out after I consulted an attorney who spent well over an hour with us for only $40.00 (we found through a legal-aid referral from our county Bar Association) and deciphered the cryptic legalese of my installation contract with Lowes. By the way, this is a fairly common legal tactic used by larger companies that have numerous complaints and wish to minimize their costs for litigation.

The moral of this cautionary tale; if you’re considering using Lowes especially for a major renovation, and something goes wrong as a result of their installation, if you file a claim, and eventually go to arbitration (even with legal representation and expert witnesses to support your case), you may find the amount your recover will barely cover your legal costs and you will have won an worthless moral and hollow victory.

And in my case, after all the grief I’ve suffered due to the incompetence of one of Lowes ‘highly skilled’ contractors, I’m not about to add insult to injury by giving these ‘bottom dwelling ***-suckers’ the satisfaction of knowing I’ll have spent even more money by pursuing them in arbitration.

So it’s a given I’ll never recommend Lowes installation services to anyone nor will I ever set foot in another of their stores to spend a bloody dime as long as I am drawing a breath. But I also truly believe in ‘Karma’ (what goes around, comes around) so in one way or another, Lowes (including everyone from the store manager down to the contractor who had their grubby little hands on my project) will someday get theirs. And the most delicious part, it will be when they least expect it!

Product or Service Mentioned: Lowes Installation.

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As a former Lowe's installer, I can say this post really isn't doing homeowner's any service. The reality is that Lowe's pays out of pocket to take care of so much stuff.

The installers often eat that cost, but customers are basically guaranteed satisfaction. In the rare instances they don't take this approach (pay out to make it go away), it's because there is literally no merit and it is obvious the customer is out to get free money. Anyone who works in construction, especially residential knows there is a lot of grey involved. Was that gutter damaged before we arrived?

Did that wall have that issue in that one corner of the house. There's literally so much to account for it results in a lot of grey. Therefore, it just comes down to good faith between the homeowner and the installer. We had to eat so much expense because customer's, who understandably don't understand the technical aspects of our trade, would complain and Lowe's just forced us to pay to make it go away.

I can't stress enough how much better off you are going with a larger company like Lowes. One, they will always be in business. Most service companies go out business after a few years. Two, they're such a large company, they just pay to make stuff go away.

Three, you're far more protected from a legal/insurance perspective.

This is probably the biggest advantage of Lowes or a bigger company than some small business. You're better off going with a large company, whether or not that's Lowes.


first off, you clearly are a biased party, as you work for lowes. secondly, this post is 1,000% accurate as i am currently dealing with the same nonsense.

the writer of this post is correct, lowes does have all bases covered, very tactfully. Their contractors suck, and so do their products (specifically pella windows). They have total disregard to their customers and take months for a simple installation. Why?

because they know they can get away with it and still recover all their money. DUH


Go through homeowners insurance: they fight Lowes: more than likely with a bigger stick!


Very informative


Day late and dollar short as I am in the middle of a Charlie Foxtrot with them right now. I wish I would have read this before I spent over $26,000 on a bathroom when I could have done a better job installing tile myself. Aside from being *** they are liars as well.


$26,000 on a bathroom? You could have bought yourself a used Double-Wide trailer with that much money. Double-Wide to accommodate your Double-Wide Rear Posterior!


I like my meals just like I like my womens................SUPER-SIZED! Women with a little bit more to love!




Please understand that all of these problems are not unique to Lowe’s. All big box stores have the same arbitration clauses and have the arrangements with contractors.

It’s possible you may get a good contractor but it’s just the luck of the draw.

We always use local contractors that have good local reputations and you can talk to their customers. Yes, they charge more but in my view it’s well wort it.


I head problem with Lowes roof installers it did not pass inspection yet they refuse to fix it. They are an absolute disgrace don't do any business with Laws


this was extremly helpful. We have also been screwed by the Lowes installation team..

From their sales rep to the store manager. They are a disgusting company who we will never recommend or use ever again.

@Rebecca Orona

Screwed over here too!


A lesson learned. That "clause" is set up against the customer.

I wonder how many of us actually won against them.

Probably very few. Such is life today!


Hired lowes to install dishwasher. Their contractor cut and capped a water line inproperly and flooded my home costing me 40k in damages that I know of.

Please, stay away from lowes this is the 4th time in our area this has happened. Their managers are evasive and I would be sitting in black mold if I didn't call my home owners insurance.


I purchased doors to be installed in June and it's 02Oct, only 3 of the 8 have been partially installed. Never, ever again Lowes.


Absolutely horrible! Contractor is incompetent and dishonest!

The central production office at NC doesn’t care about customer and doesn’t return emails and calls. Stay away from Lowe’s at all cost!


Lowes is a horrible company. They do not stand behind the work of the contractors they hire.

The railing on my deck had been installed improperly and needs to be replaced. $1600 in material. Lowes offerd me a $50.00 gift card.

I told them that was not acceptable. I was told it has been escalated, however no return calls for 2 months.


I wish I had read this BEFORE hiring Lowe's to install my deck and fence. I am hating my life and Lowe's so bad right now.


OMG. Same here.

They installed 2 decks. Contractor nor Lowes rep reviewed city code and was installing against code.

So many other awful incidents occurred during installation. Also promised to remove labor charges then would not give it.


I will never go to Lowe's for future projects! I am going through it now.

Window installed over 2 months ago and still not settled. Lowe's and their contractors are dishonest and made up lies to cover their installation error and damage.

By any means take pictures before, during and after installation. Don't trust Lowe's.