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Lowe's treatment of contractors who subcontract service and installation from Lowe's is abominable. These contractors provide services that Lowe's employees are not capable of providing due to lack of training and they turn significant profit for Lowe's HIW Inc.

The contractors are rewarded for this by being forced to satisfy middle managers who have no training in the task at hand, but clearly have been threatened to drive up profit margins or receive consequences. Lowe's managers make every concession to please the customer and pass the costs onto the contractor. These concessions aren't made because the customer was 'right', rather because the manager has minimal experience with the service or installation job in dispute and no idea how to troubleshoot the problem. The contractor is forced to pay or lose details (aka jobs). Losing these details usually means downsizing the company or taking a staggering pay cut, so the contractor obliges and takes a loss. These losses are heart wrenching when you're talking about a small company that's barely staying above water in difficult economic times.

I live 0.5 miles from a Lowe's store and I consider it a last resort for my home improvement needs because the situation outlined above sickens me. It's criminal to siphon money from small contractors rather than properly mediating a dispute. I've seen the stock market and it's quite clear to me that Lowe's has the resources to mediate these disputes, but it's cheap, fast, and quickly shuts up the complaining customer if you just take money out of the laborers' pockets and hand it back to the customer.

I am one person and I can't change Lowe's, but there are a few things I can do. First, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS tell me friends, family, and neighbors who want quality services and installation to purchase directly from small stores and contractors. Stores like Lowe's depend on squeezing the middle man to make a buck, not high quality work, word of mouth, or repeat customers. Second, REFER THE HUSTLERS TO LOWES, if someone wants work done around their house and quality is less important than getting $500 knocked off the estimate because the contractor was 10 minutes late, then Lowe's is where they should be. I hate to see decent tradesmen deal with stupidity like that and Lowe's has teams of barely trained employees who can handle those phone calls. Third, POST THIS ON THE INTERNET, it won't do much because there's already plenty of bad press out there for Lowes. However, Lowe's has already shown us that they have no conscience or ethics, so I guess bad press is my only tool for motivation.

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Anonymous
#1129984

I have been an installer for lowes for four years. Working for lowes was the best decision I have made.

I install kitchen cabinets and countertops for multiple stores. My gross last year was $103,000. I usually get paid two or the times a week.

If you are a quality, professional installer, you should have no problem working for lowes. If you are not, that Is when you will have problems.

Anonymous
#1081100

i agree home depot is 3 times worst all the money they make is from small companies that work none stop from them never but never they will tell you thank you for your hard work things have

chance for the worst and it will get worst more in years to come

Anonymous
#1063164

I totally agree!! Lowes is horrible to work for or purchase from!!!

Anonymous
West Haven, Connecticut, United States #1042573

YOU ARE SPOT ON!!! I COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF.

Anonymous
#1031004

I was a subcontractor for 2 weeks and quickly learned this lesson - customers have been waiting 9 months for their projects to get done - management does not care or return calls - bottom line they take half the right the top and the other half you pay materials and labor - in the end you make a couple hundred bucks for 2 weeks work - and you have to be grateful - all the while trying to convince the customer Lowes is number one - good bye Lowes

Anonymous
#977738

My husband worked for burget's a sub contractor for Lowe's he worked for three days and was fired due to missing work for an eye infection (which he had Dr and hospital notes for). That was 6 weeks ago and burget's still has not paid for the work he did.

They say check is in the mail or they havnt figured out what they owe him. It's a huge runaround and not a company to work for.!!

Anonymous
#976215

This is so not true....The contractor is the one person Lowe's does not go after. We are partners with Lowe's and they bend over backwards for us. They do try to everything in their power to make the customer happy at their expense not ours the installer.

Anonymous
to Anonymous West Haven, Connecticut, United States #1042574

"Partners" with Lowe's-?? Yeah ok...

Give it a little time. I used to think our company had a partnership with them too.

They'll *** over eventually. Trust me.

Anonymous
Metcalfe, Ontario, Canada #972757

My contract for installation was just terminated this year, they had said we lacked customer confidence. After 3 years of working for them, kissing *** and no longer being my own boss, this is how I am rewarded.

Took many pay cuts due to false promises made through the stores to the customers, without an approval from my company. I have lost thousands working for them, a true nightmare. We stopped caring near the end of last season because the lack of pay to get jobs was minimal profit at the most, and the bad apples who get installations from box stores always trying to get a quick hustle that you end up slaving for a price cut for.

I have lost many good workers, who even refused to work with Lowes after the have been treated by them for a couple months. To sum it all up work for yourself, pay the advertising and you will get ahead, at the end of the day any box store can just feed off another installer once you stand up for yourself they kick you to the curb.

Anonymous
#963758

We were charged back as installers and never told. They just put a hold on our account 3 weeks went by before we figured out that someone said something to say be it truth or not , Lowes charges the middle man.

Not fare to the one who is certified to do the job, when the installed sales mgr who is like u say not qualified to make decisions they do ultimately to please "customers ". Even when not if , they are wrong or lie.

Anonymous
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States #809557

Lowes is nightmare to for work as a General Contractor. I have done work for Lowes for a few years now in over a dozen stores and would like to point out I am 1 of the best contractors they have and there is no way to fully describe my experience other than they have made almost every General Contractor I have seen miserable or put them out of business.

When you 1st sign up they lead to believe it is a partnership but it is not. It is a one sided street and the contractor is not paid as agreed back charged for ridiculous stuff.

I have lost many nights sleep working for such morons this goes on in most stores just talk to a couple of General Contractors that have been there more than a year and ask them what Lowes is like. STAY FAR AWAY IF YOU CAN.

Anonymous
La Vista, Nebraska, United States #800001

Well as a contractor myself and working on the road I have let Lowes sub contractors do simple task like installing windows. They didn't want me to measure the windows.

The first set of windows were measured correctly but installation was pathetic taking 6 months to make right peach tree vendor. The second set of windows were measured incorrectly and installation was pathetic I had to use the windows sent. So I made some casing adjustments and I'm gonna live with it. I have had them install carpet which they did a fair job on installation of kicked in carpet.

They need to learn how to make seems and figure nap or quarter turns better. I will do the work myself from here on out

Anonymous
Victoria, Texas, United States #780839

Any hvac sub contractor experience with Lowes

Anonymous
#771798

:upset Well where do I start ??? I have been with Lowe's, as a carpet installer, in Burlington NC for 18 yrs... I must say it was better back then than now...yes our pay was late comimg in back then..but it was more "hands on" in the early days...I could measure a job, then go to my car and phone it into the store...the Associates were waiting with all the information when the customer arrived...

now everthing is so high tech..the way I see it is that Lowes IS SCARED TO DEATH OF GETTING SUED OR SOMEBODY STEALING SOMETHING..and both happen much to often I'm sure...today that customer detail has to go through so many hands, from the store to CPO and back...no wonder they have so many errors...then if they buy the flooring, back it goes again..

I had a retail store back when, but the expenses were killing me..like rent, telephone, and advertizing...so when I got the call from Lowes to give them a try, I welcomed it....and am not sorry I did...but I have had my moments..I know that Lowes buys a lot of seconds...you have to know what you are working with..what to look for in carpet, and be aware of, in a seconds carpet...like loose backing or straight lines that are not straight when produced..etc..

I was told when I went with Lowes "not to install vinyl"..(as a warning)..Lowes will side with the customer on complaints, and Vinyl replacement is frequent..I do feel that Associates control the details we receive...I keep pretty good records of jobs, and fine that certain Associates give the big jobs to Watson Flooring and the small ones to the rest of us...I complain when jobs get few, but it does little good..therefore I feel management knows what is going on but as long as somebody installs it, they could care less....

there are so many little expenses now that really hurt us small guys..instead of using Lowes dumpsters, we now have to drive out of town to a dump site..they do give us a dump charge...this new Lead Paint Certification, that at least one installer on the job has to have, cost him $200.00 every 5 yrs..and my company $300.00 a year...something that should not be for carpet installers...now days we do not carry any paint on our trucks...times back, when we went on a carpet job, considering the carpet was in good shape, that carpet was going to be installed, then...if the sub-floor had a problem, we fixed it, then...now days you call CPO and bring it back to the store while the customer has the problem fixed..THAT A 75 YR.OLD LADY HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT IS VERY UNFORGIVING...MAN I COULD GO ON AND ON...LOWES IS IT'S WORST ENEMY...but i'm glad I went to work there..I would not change that...

LET ME SAY THIS TO INSTALLERS THAT MAY COME TO LOWES AND WORK: WATCH YOUR BACK..I MEAN CHECK YOUR GOODS FOR DAMAGE BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STORE, CHECK FOR CORRECT DYE LOTS, CHECK FOR THE CORRECT YARDAGE ON TO-BE INSTALLED GOODS..BE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF PADDING, AND THE RIGHT KIND....I know folks that work for Lowes are suppose to do all of that..but they are Associates and you are the professionals...save yourself a blown morning and Lowes a trip charge...they'll like that....

Anonymous
Livonia, Michigan, United States #753433

We have worked for Lowes and had nothing but a bad experience. They take forever to process your invoice.

They Fi d every reason to blame a contractor for an issue irrespective of whether it is a contractor's fault. They are judge and jury about your work. Their sales people have no clue as to what they are selling. They are only interested in revenue.

They sell crappy quality materials and expect the contractor to make into something great. These people are horrid to work for....run, run, run away from them or they will ruin you!

Anonymous
#734289

Now your hurting the contractors business more by telling people how bad lowes is. Not smart!

srhyoohoo
to Anonymous #759097

This post did not affect the number of jobs that Lowe's subcontracted to the contractor in discussion. However, the economy did improve enough that the contractor was able to sever all ties with Lowe's and the contractor has been grateful for the freedom.

Using 'services' at these big box stores is a nightmare.

It destroys small business and skilled labor and rewards Lowe's for hiring unskilled, bull-headed managers. The success of a Lowe's installation is a coin flip.

If the customer gets lucky and the materials aren't complete garbage and the store they hired hasn't destroyed all of it's relationships with reputable contractors, you may get a decent install. DO NOT DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING AT LOWE'S.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #813075

Anonymous I am not hurting contractor's business. If a customer needs floors, or windows, or doors, they will still have to purchase them somewhere (obviously). I am STRONGLY ENCOURAGING customers to purchase from small business with skilled labor rather than box stores with imbeciles in polo shirts.

Anonymous
to Anonymous West Haven, Connecticut, United States #1042575

***. I WISH we had read all of these horror stories BEFORE we trusted Lowe's.

Our business would have been much better off. Laying off hard working, skilled craftsmen because Lowe's steers your ship and controls your work flow is no way to live.

I am sharing these stories as often as possible. If I can help save ONE small business it will have been well worth it.

Anonymous
Des Moines, Iowa, United States #586903

This writer, srhyoohoo, is absolutely right. If there were better work opportunties out there we would not be working as a sub for Lowes, so right now we don't have a choice.

Most Lowes employees know NOTHING about construction, then if a homeowner complains, most of the time it's the "little guy" eating the cost, not Lowe's. But you can't tell the homeowners that. Meanwhile good luck getting paid for jobs in a timely manner. In our experience Lowes employees would rather sit in the back room and play on Facebook rather than pay invoices so many times we will go weeks without pay.

But the employees dont care because THEY are still getting paid every week.

Long story short, if you are a construction company that can afford losses and delays in pay, Lowe's might be good for extra work. But don't go to them if you need a regular income to live on.

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