Tulsa, Oklahoma
Not resolved

As a small construction company, we spent about $41,000 with Lowes last year across three states. I'm guessing that makes us one of thier better customers.

At the end of each project, we have a small collection of unused stuff...a few light switches, switch plates, pipes, etc which we just take back to Lowes. Lowes normally finds the stuff on our credit card, but when they don't (because we paid cash or used a store credit card), they check our driver's license and give us a store credit...which we just use on future projects.

But last night, I apparently hit the some magic ($250?) return threshold, they would only take back 2 of the 5 things I was returning, and was told I can never again return anything to Lowes. If we can't do the occasional returns, we simply can't buy from Lowes, because it really hurts our profitability and we obviuosly don't need the stuff that we don't need on the project.

So today we set up our account at Home Depot and ordered carpet from them for our customer's 5,000 square foot home, 400 feet of wood fencing, and a bunch of other stuff as part of the renovation. So because of Lowes $35 rejected return, Home Depot wins all our business forever. And because we subcontract out a lot of our work, we informed all our subcontractors today that they too are expected to avoid using Lowes wherever possible and instead concentrate thier puchases at Home Depot.

And the funniest part of this whole thing -- the return that Lowes rejected -- we just sent one of our emplyees over to Lowes and they took the return because it was not my driver's license. So Lowes *** policy doesn't do anything for them at all, aside from running off thier best customers.

All's well that ends well for me. And all's bad that ends badly for Lowes.

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Just look at the complaints about Home Depot and you will find that there will be a point where they quit taking your returns as well. Most stores limit the amount of product they take back without a receipt to combat theft.

Having worked at a competitor of Lowes for years I can tell you that "best customers" are known to help themselves to products just like a common shoplifter. Once had our best contractor who spent in the millions a year at the store throw a couple of boxes of roofing nails in the back of his truck. When we confronted him he said with al the money I spend here I ought to be entitled to a bonus now and then. If you paid for the $35 worth of product you would have a receipt or it would show up in their records.

Sounds like you have gotten to the point where you have returned enough material without a receipt to put a stop to it. Some stores put a stop to it after 3 returns without a receipt and will not accept returns of high theft products without a receipt at all.

Spending $41,000 a year doesn't rank you as a best customer, many contractors spend hundreds of thousands if not millions for products. You are a good customer but even "good" customers have to follow the stores policies.


Keep your receipts and it's all avoided.....


You *** Lowes has a return policy of 90 business days. Just the fact that they even returned it after those 90 days is a upside to this situation.

And on top of that, Lowes only allows so many in-store credit returns using an ID, because who's to say that you didn't steal those items, and bring them back in to put the money towards other purchases? It's called getting blacklisted.

It's a very smart business move, it helps minimize shrink, and ensures that people don't simply steal items, return for merch credit, and then sell the cards online for profit. It's a simple loss prevention tactic


you are such an *** Mike! If Lowes DIDN'T run off employees they could verify the people come in and buy stuff ALL THE TIME!

But like most BIG chains, they have a HIGH personnel turn over.

You must WORK for LOWES right? OR YOU ARE ONE OF THE idiots that troll the pissed customer reviews just to leave negative feedback on someones bad experience, OR you are some *** with the IQ of 10 that can only get a job at lowes right?


Had a good giggle from the other lowes employees, also a good giggle from the argument on it costs lowes $$ for labor on having to return and restock the parts. I have worked the register and the floor takes me about a minute to process a return and if i have 3 shopping carts full of items it will take me about half an hour of my time to restock, its my JOB to do this and costs lowes $7.50 so to the Contractor hold your ground and you have the right to rant.

Also considering I've been a construction worker i speak for you guys as well, we aren't making 500 dollars extra on the job for returning some parts like some have insinuated and not everything can be planned for. These people are ignorant saying contractors come in drunk at 6am, thats a joke and a half and are just trying to bash your character.

To my fellow employees. Your Tears Are Delicious :cry :grin


actually it would be more than .6% for cost. you are forgetting about the cost of labor to take back returns, stocking, etc.

i am not disputing whether or not they should take back your returns, but whether you know it or not, it DOES cost more than what you think.

but shop at the place that meets your needs...


To Lowesassociated12yrs....

I don't mind being called out in a public forum. What I am really pissed about is Lowes employees using this post on this forum to say that all contractors (including us) that come to Lowes are:

"The *** ones", "Drunks with alcohol on our breath", "*** that pad our bids".


In Reply to Lyla....

The flaw is your theory is the volume of sales versus returns. If we buy $40,000 and return $250, that is a 0.6% return rate.

No big deal for Lowes or Home Depot. But a group of homeowners that each buy $500 worth of stuff and each return $25, that's a 5% return rate. That makes homeowners much more costly and unprofitible to Lowes. Then Lowes runs me off, and so do they try to attract 80 new customers ($500*80=$40,000) to make up for the lost contractor business?

Maybe they run more sunday newspaper ads ($$$$$), put more stuff on sale ($$), staff the place to help all those homeowners ($$). Seriously, the 0.6% return rate is nothing for Lowes compared to the insanely high cost of trying to attract, service and retain the high maintenance homeowners.

And I've stood in line with the people returning stuff at Lowes and Home Depot. There are a whole lot of homeowners making returns and not too many contractors.


To Contractor: Actually I am not a Lowe's employee. I did work for them 6 years ago and have done business with them for the last 6.

I have dealt with contractors for the past 20yrs so I have much experience in this matter. If you didn't want to be called out in a public forum them you should never post on a public forum and to be called a embarresment to the Lowe's brand why would you really care when Lowe's has treated you so badly. No place in Lowe's is there a sign that says it is a nonprofit organization.

If they choose not to continue to let you return items then that is their choice, live with it or shop somewhere else and in this world of fraud and loss prevention every big business will eventually cut you off as well. Like I tell my sales people, sometimes it is better to walk away from a sale because it will cost you in the long run.


yeah... keeping thinking that way!

Let's see where your profit is in about a check! DOWN I would bet money on it. CUSTOMERS ARE EVERYTHING! Competition is a BIG thing now, and customer service when BAD will turn CUSTOMERS away that pay YOUR salary!

It's common for some sales associate *** to try to justify BAD behavior! and there is NO excuse for BAD SALES ASSOCIATE behavior. Deal with customers!



Let's look at it from another perspective:

I know you think you are a "good" customer and you have spent a lot. But you do realize that returning items consumes time and resources for the company? (in this case Lowes.) This in turns leads to increased costs.

So even though you are making plenty of purchases, you are also costing them if you make plenty of returns. I know you want to be profitable, and I know your customer wants to save money, but isn't that a bit selfish? You really don't care if you are costing someone else more?

Most companies will allow people to make returns or exchanges. But guess what, excessive returns and exchanges cost companies money and is less profitable for them. So yeah, don't be surprised if they "fire" a not so profitable customer.

Also it ends up being more costly for you. More time spent returning items, the cost of gas, depreciation on your vehicle, etc. If you planned a little better for what you needed, it would actually be more profitable for you too.

And just something to think about: How long will it be before Home Depot fires you as a customer for doing the same thing you did at Lowes?

It wasn't just $35, it was all the other returns as well, as well as the cost of returning said all of the items.


To retailer4life who commented below...2 years ago we did hit the bump at Home Depot but it was totally no big deal to them. When we returned items, they'd simply have to call for a manager's approval, which was always granted without question.

This is in contrast to Lowes that slammed the door hard. Home Depot showed a lot of flexibility that the Lowes rigid policy clearly does not allow to local managers. Finally, I can't believe that you as a Lowes employee would attack us and suggest that we come in drunk.

We have a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, with random drug testing to enforce our policy. Your attack (as an employee of Lowes) is an embarrasement to the Lowes brand.


To Irish who posted below, again, the returns were because the customer changed his mind in the middle of the project, which we always happily accomodate. For you to call me *** and take this post off topic reflects your incompetence. If we can't return the items to Lowes, then we can't reduce the customer's bill accordingly, which hurts everyone.


Now that my compaint has been posted for a few weeks, I thought I would respond to the comments above.

To #1 Lowesassocatied12years who is clearly a Lowes Employee: I am shocked that you would attack customers in a public forum like this with vile, totally false comments. The extra light switches were because the CUSTMER decided not to install so many can lights.

Do you really think that some minimal $35 worth of returns is some big strategy to "pad the estimate". You are an embarrasement to the Lowes brand.


Oh, and I am sure you pass those savings on to your customers that you just "accidentaly" over estimated materials for. How exactly do you over estimate things like light plates?

If you are such a high volume business it would make sense to keep that stuff anyway for emergency situations. You are just like most contractors, always padding the estimate to gain a little extra and when something doesn't go your way you **** and moan.


As to Lowes if you have a problem that a local store will not rfesolve then contact corperate they will I know I deal with Lowes and when I can not get satisfaction at the store I go to the top and boy does it change fast.


You are the *** one, tell me where you work so I can avoid your company. Don't buy things you don't need, plan it out that way you and your classmates don't overspend money for building your tree house.


Yikes! Definitely would not want to see some of our Lowe's girls in the calendar!


I am a former contractor who often shopped at Lowe's. (and no, I was not one of the contractors with beer on my breath at 6am) I preferred to deal with our local building supply house because they were contractor friendly.

The average Joe could go into Lowe's and buy stuff for about the same price I paid and that annoyed me greatly. However, as a consumer, Lowe's is by far the most amazing store that I have ever been in with exceptional service.

And furthermore, I hear that the Lowe's babes are planning to put out their own "Lowe's Ladies" calendar in the near future! I will be there to buy the first copy!


And....sooner or later you'll run into that "magical" bump in the road at Home Despot too! Then what are going to do?

I know, you'll rant on Pissed Consumer Home Depot that you're going back to Lowe's and instructing your subcontractor's to do the same. And answer me one thing, WHY do most of the contractor's who come into our store already smell like alcohol at 6 AM?

This is not a joke to be funny, either. They do.