ELIZABETHTON, TENNESSEE -- Recently I wrote a review on Lowes Home Improvement store manager in Elizabethton TN for physically assaulting me. There was a lot of negative responses, saying that I was lying. So here I'll fully tell you the entire story. First I was a military policeman for 18 years. I retired because of physical conditions, arthritis in both knees, left ankle, two major surgeries on the right knee. For those of you who thing your doctors, in your early twenties the spine completes it growing and then a covering grows over the lower part of the spine, if it doesn't close completely such as my case its called spina bifida occulta, in some cases accompanying this condition is that the vertebra creates a misalignment that causes a false joint. So sudden movements or unexpected jars can cause extreme pain. The reason that I have blood clots is due to a genetic inherited condition, that I was completely unaware of until recently. However most people that due a lot of sitting, long distance driving or long flying miles are subject to getting blood clots. I'm on the cumadin to slow the clotting time of my blood, it does not make the blood thinner as some may think.
As being 70% disability rating is a combined rating from all these injuries, conditions being combined. As for being a college graduate, I was retired at 44, I could have stayed home an drew my pension, however the Department of Veteran's Affairs provided the opportunity to return to school to be retrained from offering physical/manual labor which is what I had to offer to potential employers, to using a more refined education that would rely on thinking, problem and solution skills to employers. I graduated from East Tennessee State University Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Social Work. Now as for Lowes, first I own my own home free and clear, I was very money aware while working and saved and paid for my home and my debts, before I spent on luxury items. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy life, its just that I try to be financially responsible.
In 2005 I bought a Troy-Built riding mower from the Lowes in Elizabethton. After using it for les than 3 month's a "cast iron" piece on the mower cracked. I called the Lowes Service Center and for 1 month I didn't hear from them again. I called the Lowes Service Center after 4 weeks had passed, and was promised and given a pick-up date for my mower. If your wondering why I waited so long, is that I had another Murray riding mower that I could used to mow. Anyway, on the promised day, I waited that day, no one came or even called, I waited two more days. Than I called the Lowes Store and complained, told the manager of the service that I hadn't received. The store manager said that she would pay to have my yard mowed, I mow a large yard, which includes my mother's and grandmothers as at that time we lived on a large farm that was divided into sections. No one came to mow the yard, which wasn't the point to begin with, it was the principle that I bought in good faith a mower, and purchased an extended warranty for an additional $189.00 but it seemed I wasn't making any progress with repairs.
Eventually the store manager called and said to bring my mower back and a new mower would be given me. This made me feel bad, So I called the manager at Lowes and said if they would just send someone to repair the mower, I would be satisfied. But there was an insistence to bring in the mower. So in June 2006 I returned the mower back to Lowes and received a mower at the same cost as the one that I had purchased, again with an extended warranty. So now I have another mower in June, calculating that most people mow every 7-10 days from June to Oct I used the mower 7 or 8 times at the most, before placing the mower in storage out of the weather. 2007 Late April I changed the oil, plugs regular maintenance to begin mowing season. I mowed twice when the deck blade belt started slipping, I figured it was worn and stretched, no problem I thought I would just go to Lowes and buy a belt. No, the belt that I needed was no longer available from the manufacturer MTD, I had to return home and search the internet and MTD websites to find the belt that replaced the original belt that came on my mower. This belt cost $43.00 I replaced the belt, mowed twice and the belt broke.
On May 9th I called the Lowes Service Center and here is where the story starts, the person at the Lowes Service Center told me that it was the beginning of mowing season and there was no telling when they could get a repair service to pick-up my mower for repairs, than laughed and hung up. So truthfully that really just got my goat, not the repairs the laughing. (Why because my lifestyle had drastically changed, I went from being bread winner, physically active, happy go lucky, to a house husband, Because of my age companies are interested in spending time , money and effort on older employee's, who have s short shelf life when it comes to the time between employment and retirement. So I compete from among young college graduates that have possibly 20-35 years for a company to my 15-17 years). So I went to the local store to air my grievance. There response was that I could call around to all the local repair centers, tell them it was a "Lowes repair job" and see if I could get the mower in to be fixed quicker. Somehow I don't think that should have been my job. I wrote letters to the CEO, President and Executive Customer Service Representatives. On May 11th, the Lowes Customer Service Center called and actually set a pick-up date.
I waited on the appointed day, than the rest of the week no-one ever came or called about the mower. So I bought another $43.00 belt on the mower used it carefully, the belt still slipped occasionally, I just got off and placed it back on the pulley. Sometime at the end of May around the 25th the district manager called about the mower, I told him that it still slipped but I was able to use it. As a token of their appreciation and the lack of attention from the Lowes Service Center I was sent a $25.00 gift card to use at Lowes. July the mower broke the belt, and the deck had starting cutting my grass uneven, one side lower than the other. I called the Lowes Service Center and this time they actually sent a repair service to pick up my mower. Would you like to know why I hadn't received any service until now, the repairman said that they were given the wrong home number for my residence and unable to contact me. Storm Service Center took my mower and keep it until July 31, I remember the day its my sister's birthday. I started the mower, and since my yard was in need of mowing I began to mow. As I was mowing I began to notice sparks coming from under the engine, I stopped the mower, looked and seen at that time nothing that could cause the sparks. I resumed mowing, and every time I lifted my Blade up to go around or over obstacles in the yard, sparks would fly from underneath the engine compartment. Again I stopped the mower, this time I raised the deck and noticed it proximity to the main pulley underneath the engine. I had my wife come and start the mower and left the deck, that's when I saw the front top of my mowing deck was striking the pulley underneath the engine that drives the mowing deck belt, I also saw that there was no guard on the front engine pulley.
The sparks came regardless if the blades were engaged or not. If you follow the weather, here in TN there is a severe drought, everything is dry and I was using a potential fire threat, even if the time between my mowing had lengthened because of the drought. It just takes a spark and some favorable weather conditions to start a fire, and I live on the fringe of the Cherokee National Forest. I took the mower back myself to Lowes in Elizabethton, I brought the Department manager for Mowers out to show him the problem. He agreed that sparks from under the engine was a serious safety hazard, and stated not to worry it could be taken care of by the service center. The mower was unloaded on Aug 11th, The next week I was called and told that there was two different type of blades on my mower, that the shafts on the mowing deck had been damaged, causing the pulleys on the deck to spin unbalance causing the belt to come off.
The problem that I returned the mower for wasn't even addressed, and still hasn't. Well luckily for me any repairs over $255.00 dollars had to be approved by me before the mower's blades could be repaired, with me paying for the repairs. I declined to have the mower fixed and asked for it to be returned to me. Actually I went on a Saturday, and spoke with an assistant manager, told him who I was, where my mower was, and that on the following Monday I would be there to pick up my mower in the early afternoon. And if it wasn't there I would report it stolen (this because earlier I was told I would have to pay $300.00 dollars to have an unrepaired mower returned to me by the store manager, which I thought was absolutely ridiculous) SO Monday came, I went to pick up my mower, it wasn't there, I asked if he was going to return it to me, the manager said no. I then stated that the mower was stolen if Lowes had the mower and refused to return it, so I would have no recourse but to contact the Elizabethton Police Dept.
He asked if I could dial 911 or did I want him too, I said no I could call, he provided the telephone. I called and reported the mower stolen. After calling I did not stay in the store to cause any further disruption within the store, nor to become involved in any further actions with the store manager. Not one harsh word was spoken by either of us. The police arrived listened and decided it was a civil matter that needed to go before the court for resolution. I left the grounds of Lowes, returned home and called CON8 the Executive Customer Service Representatives. My mower was returned to the Lowes Store in Elizabethton the next day for me to pick up. I called the Executive Service Rep thanked her for her assistance, and told her I considered the matter resolved. I would just avoid shopping at Lowes.
Two month's later at the Football Game, the home team being the school I attended, I was standing personally alone as no one accompanied me to the game. When the store manager came up behind me, asked my name, then began his tirade, and yes I listened and when he asked why I thought Lowes should have repaired my mower that I had damaged, my anger did flare up. But when he moved purposely in front of me baiting me into an altercation, "fight or flight" instincts kicked in, and I will not apologize for standing my ground, because when you start accepting and allowing people to treat you as they like, where and when do you draw a line that you won't retreat. Listen I have no lies to tell, I take responsibility for all that I do, even the misspelling contained within this statement. But I'm sorry there is no reason for any person in a position of management, for any corporation to come up to someone that had a dispute with the companies policies, and take it upon themselves to approach anyone in a free nation to extract retribution because they took the dispute personally. So believe it or not, that's your right