I am writing this letter as an ex Lowe’s customer, as I had the absolute worst customer experience I have ever experienced and or witnessed; A nightmare that spanned more than nine months, and was brought on by your West Des Moines Iowa store. The experience in my opinion and the opinions of every one I’ve shared my experience with, (including the Better Business Bureau) borders on criminal.
O July 10, 2007, scheduled an estimate on having a special order storm door and back door installed at my home.
A few days later a Lowe’s installer by the name of Brad Thomas came to my home, took measurements, had a quick conversation about how when the old trim was removed, some stucco would come off and need to be patched. He explained that stucco patch would be easy to apply myself, I agreed, and he left.
On July 15, I went to Lowe’s and pre paid $1216.83 for the doors and the work to be completed. I also did some research on stucco patch and learned it should not be applied in cold temperatures. It was a good thing I was having this done in the summer.
In September the installer finally called to tell me the door came in but that it came in damaged and asked if I still wanted him to install it. Of course I told him no. He then informed me that a new one would have to be ordered. I voiced concern over the cooler weather and applying the stucco patch and was told I should contact Kelly if I had any concerns.
Concerns were an understatement, I had spent over $1200 dollars over two months ago on work that had not been started yet, and worried about the condition of my house as I had been advised not to apply the patch until warmer weather. I called Kelly who informed me that all he could do was offer me a $100.00 gift card for my troubles. I explained my concern regarding the application of the stucco patch and the fact that I would have actual holes letting the cold weather into my home all winter. Again he stated he could only offer a $100.00 gift card. When I went to the store I went to the customer service counter as Kelly had instructed me to do, but nobody there knew what I was talking about. I stood there for 30 minutes while the poor girl working the customer service desk tried to find Kelly and figure out what I needed. In the end I was given a $100.00 dollar bill. I left the store puzzled and irritated. In Mid November Brad called and said the door was finally in and that he would be going out of town. We scheduled the install for November 22. The day before Thanksgiving and four months after this process began.
On November 22, Brad Thomas shows up at 9:00 in the morning to get started. A little while later another guy shows up to help. They sat their air compressor and sawhorses on my pave stone patio and did all their work there rather than on the concrete patio. The air compressor plugged into my outdoor electrical outlet vibrated on my paver stones for eight and a half hours. Mid morning the first snow of the season started falling, and my house became chilly as there was no back door installed and chunks of stucco had been pulled off with the trim.
Brad the installer leaves at 4:00 PM, leaving the other guy to finish the work, load the equipment and clean their mess; needless to say the latter was not done, and we would be unaware until the next day when the snow melted away. The second guy finishes up and leaves at 5:30.
The next day; Thanksgiving, the snow melts away exposing four paver stones that had been vibrated down so far that they were a safety concern, pieces of cut wood and bags of screws.
Monday I am contacted by a lady asking about the install. I explained that the door looks great but there were some patio stones damaged during the install. She said she would call the installer.
A few days later Brad called and says he will come out and look at the damage after the snow melts. This winter was particularly harsh, and I never heard from Brad.
It was March 2008 when the weather began to warm up and the snow had completely melted. Only then was I able to see the damage in its entirety. After a long snow and ice filled winter the four damaged paver stones had caused a number of them to shift. Now my patio was not only an eye sore but a safety concern for myself and my three year old daughter.
I called lowe's install department and I am surprised when it is the same lady I talked to after the install. I was even more surprised when she remembered the damaged patio and the installer. She says she will contact Brad again.
Brad calls a few days later and leaves a message on my answering machine. He says he is out of town, but it down to look at it April 1st.
April 1st he leaves a message saying to call him. I try him several times leaving messages each time.
Finally on April 9, /I get a hold of him. He says he is trying to get Kelly to come out and take a look at it. He then tells me there is no way he could have damaged it. I explained to him that the bricks that were damaged (sunk down) initially are where the air compressor sat. His response was that the air compressor only weighs 25 pounds. I said that is 25 pounds that vibrated on a few paver stones for eight hours straight. His next response was “well it couldn’t have done that because the ground was frozen. I told him that the ground was not frozen, that in fact the day of the install was the first snow of the year and that it was completely melted the next day. He said he would get a hold of Kelly and get back to me.
After not hearing back from him, I called Lowe’s on April 11th. I was transferred to the install department and explained my situation to the gentleman who answered the phone. He said he would have me talk to Kelly. Without putting me on hold, I heard him say, “its Tina Wilkins, she says she is getting nowhere with Brad Thomas about fixing a patio that was damaged during a door install, then I hear Kelly say, “That has nothing to do with me, give it to Jim.” The gentleman who answered the phone then said to Kelly,” well it does if it was damaged during an install”. Kelly then said, “It wasn’t, the door is here and the patio is here. I was told by the initial gentleman to hang on that he would transfer me to Jim Hyatt the install Manager. During the transfer I was disconnected. I called back and was disconnected again. ( I suggest recording your calls for customer service assurance)
I immediately called back and asked for the store manager. I was informed he was in a meeting. I asked for his name and was told it was Rick Watson.
I called back at 12:30, this time I asked for Jim Hyatt. I was transferred to Dan who said Jim was in a meeting. When I said I would call him back later I was informed that Jim should be back on Monday. (I thought he was in a meeting)
I called back at 2:15 and talked with Rick Watson. I retold the situation, and was told that either he or Kelly would be out Monday to get it taken care of.
On Monday April 14th, nine months after this ordeal started, I left work to meet Rick Watson at my house at noon. His response was “, I don’t think Brad could have done this damage, and called it erosion. I again explained about the air compressor but was quickly cut off by, “we have nobody who does this kind of work, but I can give you a $50.00 gift card and some sand. After looking around my house for more “erosion” which could not be found, he left. So now I am left with 5 bags of sand, a $50.00 gift card and a damaged patio.
After being a loyal lowe’s shopper, it more than upsets me to write this letter, but I feel that I was treated unfairly, and my home and family has suffered for Lowe’s lack of responsibility.
After reading several interesting web sites with stories from ex customers such as myself, I see I am not alone. Rest assured that I will not step foot in another Lowe’s, and will continue to spread my story to everyone I come into contact with both by mouth and web postings.
I considered myself a loyal customer. I always went to Lowe’s over Home Depot or Menards, and would recommend it to friends and coworkers. And for loyalty, I get treated this way.
There is one thing I would like to thank you for however, and that is, I want to thank you for making this huge blunder before I ordered my new front doors and windows to be installed through you or any of your affiliates.