Lowes / terrible everything
OCT 2008: This past week, we bought two sets of mini-blinds at Lowes, Louisville, Colorado. There was a sign posted - $70 installation which we confirmed with the floor sales staff. The following day we called to set up the installation. After being transferred to the wrong person twice, we set up the initial appointment, where their sub-contractor comes to your home to measure your windows. The charge was $35 for the measuring, which could be "applied to the total contract cost." So far, so good.
I then took the measurements and had the blinds trimmed (for free) at Lowe's. I then had the floor sales staff call the installers to let them know we were "good to go" and to put us on their list -which we understood could be about a week wait. Again, so far, so good.
Then the trouble started.
After I left the store, we received a call from the person at Lowe's who handles the installations that I needed to come back to the store "to sign an installation contract." I requested that it just be faxed. No can do, they said. I then asked to speak to the store manager...
After a long wait, DAN answered. At best, he was perfunctory, but mostly unhelpful if not uncaring. He said not only could we not do a fax, but he started blaming the floor staff I spoke with at the time of sale for telling me I could handle this over the phone. He also blamed the installers who came to our home, saying they shouldn't have given us the measurements of our window wells before we signed a contract - (Say what? The measurements of our own window wells?).
It gets worse.
As directed, I had my fiance go to Lowes Louisville that same evening in order to "sign the contract." I expected this to be a five minute procedure. My fiance spent over an hour in frustration in the store.
One other note: Because of the height of the blinds and the fact that the old blinds had to be removed, we had been told that there would be an additional $15 charge per window blind. Fine. That would mean, I figured about $70 more, when including the credit we had already paid - $35 - for the measuring.
At first, the staff at Lowes hasn't any idea of what contract we need. After my fiance gets me on the phone to speak with the floor staff, they say "Oh, I think I know what you need." After a great deal of delay, I find myself on the phone once again with the store manager - DAN - who this time has had my fiance already sign a installation contract for well over $200!
In addition, Dan is disputing that Lowe's even has a sign advertising a $70 installation offer, says he can't see it, and questions whether we even saw it. Again, he's blaming his floor staff. Again he's blaming his installers who came to our home for letting us photocopy their paperwork.
If this wasn't unprofessional enough, he begins to argue with me about Home Depot, who is located about a half block away, who has a "whole house" 10 window treatment installation for an amazing $118. I'm trying to tell Dan, if he wants to keep our business, he might want to help us, not rudely defend himself and blame others.
As it turns out, Lowe's won't allow my fiance to get back the paperwork (contract) she signed. After I get Lowe's staff back on the phone and demand it, they do allow her to cross off her signature. Furthermore, they keep the paperwork she brought to the store and even kept our receipts for the blinds. My fiance left, feeling completely disrespected.
For the record, we have invested over $40, 000 into two homes during the past four years, and have spent thousands at both Lowe's and Home Depot. From now on, it's Home Depot who gets our business.
Buyer beware. Lowe's, in our experience is disorganized, lacks competence and shows little ability to work with frustrated customers, at least when this manager is involved.
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