Our fence was supposed to be a “simple, one day project” in the offseason. We were expecting family with large dogs for an extended visit and wanted to finish our fence straight across the side yards of our small property- allowing the 2 big dogs to roam in the backyard. We experienced issues with Lowes and their subcontractor EVERY step of the way! Our project turned into a 6-month ordeal. Because they demand full payment up front, we felt stuck, thinking surely, we are past the worst... starting fresh with someone else and/or trying to get our money back would have to be worse, right? We used to trust LOWES and their products, but no longer even shop there. The system is so flawed—the LOWES coordinator is not local and is not familiar with product or installation. It usually took weeks for her to get back to us with any issue—meaning long delays. Though the subcontractor is local, they do not take any responsibility for the materials or ensuring proper delivery of supplies. They show up on installation day and cancel if anything is not there. (They refused to come and check in advance of install day). You are then at the whim of their packed schedule as to when they will return. Our “one day project” turned into a 6-month nightmarish process, and we are still waiting for the final follow-up from LOWES—now over a month after the completion. Still waiting for a call from the coordinator...
Here’s just a few highlights of the problems we experienced:
The subcontractor (FYI LOWES salesman stated they were good since they’d worked with them for 14 years…) cut our cable, phone and internet lines off at the house in preping for the fence. This meant we were without service for several weeks. Of course, we as the homeowners had to schedule and coordinate all of it. That wasn't the end of installation problems! On another visit, the water line was cut while digging a post hole, and we were without water until a plumber could come rectify the problem. The fence is now in, but obviously, we wouldn’t recommend the subcontractor: MId-Atlantic Millwork. In talking with the workers, for one it was his FIRST day, another had been working for the company a week...
It wasn't just installation issues...the coordinating of materials by LOWES was also horrible. Part of our initial order was delivered to the wrong address. I even called while the delivery truck was in our driveway to alert there were missing parts… but LOWES assured me the computer said everything was okay. The contractor arrived two days later, and couldn’t work with only half the materials…Opps. The next time the contractor arrived it was discovered the wrong “posts” were ordered, multiple phone calls, delays for new parts and waiting for the contractor's schedule to be open... Next time the contractor arrived, it was determined the wrong “slats” were ordered, so no fence; more calls, long wait for contractor’s schedule… The final straw, 4 orders later... the slats and posts were fine, but not enough—we were short one section! The subcontractor “jimmied” the final section with the original "wrong" parts so the fence would be whole and withstand wind, etc. but it was nearly two months before they came back out to finish the section properly. As mentioned, the contractor felt no obligation to check out the parts in advance, as for the local Lowes manager, he said they were unable to check out materials delivered to a home...something about local store employees only employed to work inside the local store... LOWES coordination to pick up the wrong materials was a joke. When the truck did arrive to pick up the materials the driver told us, “Oh, there’s no pallet, so I can’t pick up. YOU need to call the office to have them send out someone to package it up properly… when that’s done, call them again to have a truck come back.” Since fence parts were sitting in our driveway throughout this long process, we actually got a letter from our HOA threatening to fine us… Oh, our original desire for the fence… the dogs... had come and gone by the time it was completed…
We contrast our LOWES experience with that of working with a local company (American General Contractors) to have two stone patios put in. AGC coordinated the materials and delivery-adjusting material quantities seamlessly as needed, their work was professional and beautiful, completed ON TIME as promised- start to finish in less than a week! We couldn’t be happier with the outcome… and they ensured we were satisfied BEFORE taking the final payment. We were so sorry they didn’t do fences! LOWES has been nothing but frustration and problems, and everyone putting the blame on someone else. Since LOWES requires funds in full before starting, we are not getting return calls on our request for compensation/discount for the laundry list of problems we encountered. After all we endured, it doesn't seem that paying in full is appropriate.
Product or Service Mentioned: Lowes Fence Installation.
Reason of review: problems with delivery/ordering/installing/customer service.
Monetary Loss: $1000.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.
Lowes Cons: Customer service was the worst, Poor follow up, Wrong orders.