As someone who has worked in retail for many years, and who currently works for Lowe's I have a couple of things I think needs to be pointed out. This is the reality for most retail firms I would think.
1. Lowe's is not a manufacturer. That Christmas tree that won't light up on one side this year? It wasn't made by us. We just sold it. We didn't sit in the back of the store and say "Hey, let's tear this up so it won't work right next year so the customer will get mad and think we're *** when we won't return it." We had nothing to do with it. Promise.
2. We don't do repairs in the store. Repairs are sent out to shops that the manufacturer has designated to be official repair shops. Whether you have an EPP or not and you have brought your two year old mower in for repair, please don't come in and get angry with the Customer Service associate who has no idea where your mower is. It's not in the back of the store, it's at an off-site repair facility. And please don't pull the "Lowe's doesn't honor their products!" when we want to send it out for repair. The manufacturer is upholding their end of the bargain. Once you've bought something and have had it past the period of being able to return it, then the issue is between you and the manufacturer, not you and Lowe's. See point #1. Lowe's does not manufacture any products.
In conclusion, I know some of this sounds pretty harsh. Many Lowe's associates go out of their way to give great customer service. We don't like returning the amount of defective products that we return, because that means we have less money to work with. I personally want every item that goes out of my store to work perfectly and never have a problem. More money to work with means more people on the floor which in turn means better customer service. Unfortunately many things are made very poorly, and it's not just appliances, but also electronics, clothing and even vehicles. Poorly made products hurt everyone's bottom line, businesses and buyers as well.