Lowes Flooring Install Ripoff Attempt
FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN -- Lowes flooring installation...BEWARE
Our family decided to install tile flooring in the section of our house that is built on concrete slab. We went to our local Lowes store and looked at flooring. We really liked the Rialto White 12x12 tile. Not knowing how to install tile, we asked Lowes to send one of their contractors out to measure our floor and give us an estimate. There was a $35.00 non-refundable estimate fee, that would be rolled into the job if we signed with Lowes. We were told that for installation, Lowes charges $5.97 per square foot.
On Tuesday July 24, the measurer and installer, Walt H. came to measure. He was friendly and told us he was second generation in his company. This gave us confidence in his expertise. The next Thursday, 7-26 we went to the store to collect some samples of the tile, and while there were handed the estimate.
The amount of tile indicated as needed on the form was 805 square feet for tile, amounting to $1,762.95 for the tile.. The amount for the installation was $5.97 x 805, or $4,805.85. There were incedentals, like thinset and grout. The total was $6,807.64.
This estimate puzzled me greatly. The reason was that my husband and son measured the amount of flooring that we had, and the total they came up with was 663 square feet (another company had measured our floor and reported it was 680 square feet, at least in the ballpark). This was supposed to be an experienced professional doing the measuring, but the numbers were greatly different. I know that there is a percentage added to the amount of tile you get for waste. But adding the 10% extra for waste would only bring the total of tile needed to 725 square feet.
We would not expect to purchase more that that with experienced, professional installers on the job. So they expected us to purchase 80 square feet we did not need. I know we could return this, but it would be stupid, and inconvienient.
Then there is the issue that in the estimate we got it stated that we would be charged the installation on the 805 square feet on the form, not the actual 663 square feet being installed. We were expected to pay to install phantom flooring.
So Lowes wanted us to buy a large amount of product we did not need, and then pay an installation fee on it, whether or not we needed it. This seems to be a nice arrangement. For the business. We would have paid around $1,000.00 more for the job than needed.
Even adding in a few square feet if we measured poorly, this seems to be padding the charge excessivly. When we first called Lowes and spoke to Jeff in flooring, he said they figure the footage according to the measurements they are given. So their measurements must have been close to that. When I asked why we were being charged for 805 square feet of installation, he said the installers are paid for every square foot of product that goes out the door (not the amount of square footage to be installed)! I then Called Walt H who did the measurement. I asked why the square footage was so high, and told him what our figures were. He said his measurements were close to ours, and that we should call Lowes again, perhaps have a remeasure and have someone else install it, and quickly ended the call.
I called Lowes again, and was told I should call the central office. I spoke to a Olivia, who took my complaint. Someone from the central office said the manager of the store would call me. The manager of the Lowes, Kim called me, and I spoke to her and told her the situation. She said she would look into it. I said I felt cheated, like someone tried to take advantage of us. Later, Mike from flooring called to ask if we would be using their installation service. I explained the situation to him, said I had no longer any trust in the integrity of Lowes, and would also try to get the tile elsewhere. I stated that there was something wrong with this, and I would be putting this information into a review to warn others. I also called the FTC. I also let the BBB know.
I also want my $ 35.00 measurement and estimate fee returned. I have no problem paying a fee when I know about it, but I do not like paying someone to try to rip me off. I will pursue this. The final thought is that we feel so insulted that someone in this process considered us so stupid and gullible that they could blatantly inflate the charges on our job. Do we look that ignorant? Or do they just do this to all their customers? Makes you think. I have since read reviews where the same thing was tried on others.