Lowe's Complaint - Lowes Installed the wrong tile and will not fix their error
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- This is a copy of the letter that I sent to corp. in an attempt to have our problem solved. I've since (3 weeks later) received a letter from them saying that they will do nothing to fix the problem or give us our money back. Just a buyer beware for everyone:
Executive Customer Service
Lowes Companies Inc.
PO Box 1111
North Wilkesboro, NC 28656-001
July 11, 2006
My wife and I chose to install new carpeting and tile for our home. After much comparison shopping and looking at hundreds of tile and carpet samples, we chose to give our business to Lowes based on our previous dealings and overall satisfaction with the store. There is a Home Depot two blocks from this store, but for a year or so, we’ve preferred Lowes’ selection, store layout and employees. We picked our flooring, took the samples to the person staffing the flooring desk, C.C, and he wrote a contract for me.
As we have no knowledge of Lowes inventory or system, we did not know that the lack of a number following the name of the tile would cause so many problems in our future. The tile is called Azulindas Padova. The tile we wanted was #60 as indicated by the tag on the sample, but the contract did not specify that. If the tile number had been written on the contract, all of this would have been avoided.
On June 21, 2006, a Lowes delivery truck arrived and the tile was delivered to our home. My wife noticed immediately that the tile was not what we’d ordered as it was very dark and she mentioned it to the delivery person. She was told to call the store and they would sort it out. Being unable to leave the house at the time, she looked online at lowes.com and found no samples. She got out the copy of our contract and found the tile name. She was able to find samples of two tiles called Azulindas Padova at mission-tile.com. Since it had been a while since we’d actually looked at the tiles in person, she was unable to say for sure but she knew we would have chosen the lighter tile of the two. She called CC and told him of the delivery mistake and she said that the tile looked more like #10 than the #50 they delivered.
Again, this issue would have been avoided if Mr. C had been more familiar with the products and knew that there were 4 tiles with that name. All he had to do was tell her that I would need to go to the store to verify which tile we wanted before it could be re-ordered. It seems like common sense to me. I may not have wanted to make the extra trip across town and wait even longer for the installation, but to get what I paid for, I would have.
July 1, 2006 the installers arrived with the replacement tile - #10. They installed it and my wife signed off on the job completion form which was a blurry copy of a copy. Why I, as the person who signed the contract, was not asked to be home to sign off on the job is unknown to me. When I did get home I realized it was the wrong tile. After all of the tile was laid, it didn’t look as light colored as the tile we picked out several weeks prior and it did not go with our décor at all.
We went to Lowes to find the tile we had chosen. We located the sample and took it to the acting store manager SD. I was not impressed with his handling of the problem. He immediately started looking for ways around the issue. He never said he was surprised and sorry that Lowes had not installed the tile we selected. He couldn’t believe we didn’t notice it during installation. The blame was immediately placed on my wife because she didn’t notice the wrong tile for the second time. He was obviously trying to save expenses for the store. He asked someone to collect all of the tiles named Padova – to everyone’s surprise there were four tiles with that name. The only difference in the tile’s names was a number at the end - #10, #50, #60 and #80. I showed him the contract and how there was no number listed. Because no number was on the contract, there was only a one in four chance that the right tile was going to be delivered and installed.
Padova #60 was what we showed the salesman and thought we were paying for.
Padova #50 was originally delivered.
Padova #10 was the lighter of the two Padovas displayed on the web page.
Mr. S looked at the inventory system and discovered there was no way to select any of the Padova tiles with the number at the end, so our salesman couldn’t have possibly entered the correct tile into the order even if he’d written it on the contract.
That is an operational issue that should be addressed, but from my standpoint it only strengthens my argument. I realize that it was a mistake. I realize that Lowes had a problem with their system. I also understand that my wife perhaps should have known that the tile we’d looked at three weeks prior was not what the installers brought. She was over confident in the order/install process. However, I find it hard to believe that the brunt of the blame is on the customer in this case.
After finding that the Lowes inventory system had such a glaring issue, Mr. D said he would have to wait a few days and talk to the salesman (July 5th). I asked what would happen when he spoke to the salesman. He said he would find out how to correct the problem and have the installation team call me and schedule the reinstall. This led me to believe that he’d realized that the issue was something that needed to be resolved. No one contacted me on July 5th or 6th, so I called to find out what was happening. On July 7th I called D and he said they weren’t going to reinstall, but they’d give us half of the price of the tile. I said I would have to find other ways to get what I paid for, and he hung up the phone.
I understand that Lowes is a for profit business and must save expenses when possible. But a Lowes employee did make the mistake of not noting the exact tile we showed him. If this would have been done, these problems would likely not have occurred. We are requesting that Lowes Inc. rectify the problem by installing the tile that we paid for.
We truly hope that our issue is resolved by you as we have many more home improvement projects to complete in the near future and we’d prefer to deal with Lowes over any other company. We are a product loyal family and hope that you see the benefit in keeping us as your customers. If the correct tile is installed, we will be sure that all of our friends, co-workers, blog readers, and family know that Lowes is a stand up company that is willing to do what’s right.