Lowes - Lowe's refuses online fulfillment, changes web site while I'm on phone with corporate customer care

cust id 1963692


Today my wife and I went to Lowe's to get some tools and look at tool chests. Standing in the store we check online and see this deal on a Kobalt chest, item #351117 and see they have one remaining in stock. We checked the aisle but didn't see it, or even a spot for it. We went back and looked at the demo models and saw the chest. $469, with the item number shown (took photo of tag, included here), and a new item number shown below that (Item #538545). The guy helping us is baffled but assures us that weird as this is, we obviously should get the demo. He gets the assistant manager.

The assistant manager says that product is now Item #538545. We point out that online shows one 351117 available and that the product is identical (see comparison). He states that their inventory must be off. I ask him what if I purchase it online, right there. He says it won't work but try. I get to the shopping cart before he stops me and said it doesn't matter, they would just refund my money and tell me they didn't have the product. We argue back and forth, he looks locally for the 351117 chest and nobody has one. Note that the original online sale was shown to go thru 11/22/2014. He offers 25% off the $469 price. We decline and leave.

I called Lowes corporate in the parking lot. Helped by a friendly guy (customer id 1963692) who listens, then starts looking for the 351117 chest. Note that my time with him ends up at 90 minutes, 9 seconds. We drive home while I'm on hold. The service rep pops back on now and then and he's clearly confused by this too. Big sale, the item is nowhere. He asks me for my store location, then reads the sale price for the item off to me. $258.99. He comments on that being a great price, keeps looking. More holding, he's trying this, trying that, commiserating with me, has repeated the sale, the price etc.

Finally he says he found one! In Claremore. That's a couple hours away so he says he'll see if he can get it shipped to my house, can I hold?

This is a long hold. 20-25 minutes. He comes back. His tone is change, no humor, very dry. Claremore has one, but not at the price I mentioned. He asked me what that price was again. Says he can't find it online. Am I sure it's the right item?

I'm dumbfounded. I point out to him that we talked about these things, he read the price to me - and now he's acting like this didn't happen. I look online during this chat and Lowe's has changed the item price to $399.00. No sale. The $469, same item different item number, is online as well. No sign of the sale that started this. The customer rep simple says "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

No, I guess not. So here's my complaints:

1. Lowe's online posted up a nice sale on a toolbox that simply was not available. Anywhere. On October 24 for an item sale lasting through 11/22/2014.

2. Lowe's took an item, changed the item number, and bumped the price up $100 and refused to honor the sale price of the item simply because they changed the item number.

3. Lowe's literally changed the website information during my 90 minute customer service call, then denied that the sales information, which I'm posting here, even existed.

I can't imagine this is legal, but I don't think there's really any customer protection in America any more. All I can do is vote with my wallet and share this experience publicly. There aren't so many hardware store options any more but I know how to buy online from Amazon. I won't purchase from Lowe's again.

This review is a subjective opinion of a user.
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More Review Details

Customer service
Price Affordability

  • What I liked
    • Product
  • What I disliked
    • Bait and switch

Reason of review:
Poor customer service
Preferred solution:
Deliver Item #538547 (formerly Item #351117), in good condition, to my home for $268.99
Monetary loss:
Product or service
Kobalt Tool Cabinet
Review category
Furniture and Decor
review #550279

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