Lowe's Complaint - Lowe's Flooring Installation "Policies" Are Out of Control
MADISON, TENNESSEE -- I used to love Lowe's. It's cheaper than Home Depot and they have better deals than just about everyone on appliances. Lately, Lowe's is turning me into a bitter, angry person.
Two months ago...
It started simply enough. My husband and I decided to take advantage of a 0 interest no payment promo and have laminate and ceramic flooring installed. We picked what we wanted on a Saturday and got with an employee about arranging a measurement. The employee assured us that a subcontractor would be calling no later than Tuesday to set a day. So, Thursday...We called Lowes. The sub finally called Friday and came to measure Saturday. He measured quick, quick and said nothing about how big the space was. Not very, so it didn't occur to us to be concerned. The guy said he'd fax the measurements to Lowe's and we could pick up our estimate by 5pm.
So, about 5:30 we go to Lowe's to get our estimate. The kid who was working the flooring department didn't have a clue about anything. There was nothing on it in front of him and he said we'd have to wait until the department manager came back from his break. Which was at 6. We waited and the short of it is it wasn't there. And even if it was there it would take a few minutes to work up the estimate. The manager said he'd call when it was ready, which should be by Tuesday. So, Wednesday...We call. Not ready. Thursday, my husband stands in front of the guy with our unhappy baby and waits for an hour while he gets it together. We look it over and it seems pricey so we decide to do the laminate ourselves and let them do the ceramic. We do the contract on a Saturday and the Lowe's employee tells us that the sub will be calling us Monday and there's no reason why we can't get this done by Friday.
Right...So, Tuesday...We call. On Thursday we finally hear from the sub. We set the install for Monday morning. We spent the weekend pulling up carpets and moving furniture to save money. Apparently, that's extra labor. So, Monday the guys come and this part is good. They do a good job. I figured it would be a 2 day job even though no one mentioned that, so I wasn't upset when they said they'd be back Tuesday to finish up. So, Tuesday they finish and it looks great! And this part's our fault...We changed our mind. Shocking, I know. The tile looked so good we decided to have them tile part of what we were planning to put laminate on. So, the phone call runaround begins again. One week later and after many games of "so and so will call you back", we had our estimate. Ready? $2600 for our tiny little dining room. We thought it couldn't be more than 100 sqft!! So what's that all about? We get a look at the estimate and it says that we are being charged labor for 150 sqft plus other misc fees that no one could quite explain. That seemed like a ridiculous amount of space so we measured ourselves. We came up with approximately 102 sqft. ??
We contacted Lowe's about this discrepancy and they said they'd send someone out to measure again. But they felt like the installer was just padding the labor square footage to allow for waste. She said that like it was ok. Does that sound dishonest to anyone else? Anyway the second guy comes to measure and I took a more active roll this time. I stood over him asking questions and had him remeasure the part that had already been tiled. We had a feeling those measurements were incorrect also. He measured the dining area and came up with a very reasonable 102, but would estimate up to 105. He measured the kitchen and laundry area and came up with 74 sqft. We were charged labor on that for 100 sqft. He explained the waste issue as this; he charges us labor for the measured footage and then orders supplies for that plus 10%. Very reasonable. Except, Lowe's was saying they were charging labor for the square footage including the extra supplies. Meaning they would charge labor for 115 sqft instead of 105. The installer said if Lowe's was doing that, then they weren't getting the money. The subs had gotten in trouble for that before. The fax they send Lowe's clearly states what is chargeable as labor and what is ordered for supplies.
We've been in a 2 week runaround with the store manager trying to find out what their supposed to charge us for. He says it is store policy to charge the customers labor on square footage that doesn't exist. When I say that is dishonest, he says he has to talk to his area manager to find out if he can just charge for the actual area. He's supposedly been trying to do that for a week now. Today, I told him he should just make a decision so we could go over his head if we needed to. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of Lowe's and I'm tired of my plywood floor. His decision is that the estimate stands, with the extra square footage. He insists that's store policy. It's store policy to take advantage of your customers? He says that's what the estimate is for. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it. Where on the estimate does it state you are being charged labor on extra square footage? That's store policy he says, no one has ever complained before. You don't think it's misleading and dishonest? Store policy, he says. I don't see how it's not cheating the customer to charge labor on square footage that doesn't exist. It makes sense to order extra supplies, they can always be returned. But labor?? That's just wrong.
So, now we still have a plywood floor that Lowe's will be putting tile on when hell freezes and we've contacted the regional VP about a refund on the 74/100 issue.
The moral of the story is: Lowe's "store policy" on flooring installations is misleading and dishonest.