DON’T SHOP AT LOWE’S

This is a public service announcement: first, hit share. Everyone, share this. Everyone needs to know. You’ll find out why in a second, and it’s worth it trust me. All set? Good.

This is a bit of a departure for me, but it needed to be said: DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM LOWES. Not their products, not their appliances, and ESPECIALLY not their services. Now, I will explain why.

First, a little bit of backstory. Five years ago, my husband and I had good jobs with the state and we lived near Palestine, Texas. We had cause to buy a brand new washer and dryer, and we had just gotten our income tax. All of our little ducks were in a row to get an energy-efficient set, complete with the extended five-year warranty. So, that’s what we did.

Fast forward 4 1/2 years. Our fancy, high-tech washing machine, with all of it circuit boards and sensors, decided that it was through. Kaput. It began to quit cycling halfway through every load. It wouldn’t drain. It wouldn’t spin. We were forced to pull the heavy, saturated, musty-smelling clothes out of the dirty laundry water then drain the tank manually. That meant disconnecting the hose from the wall then siphoning out the nasty water ourselves. We did this twice before we realized that this was not a problem that was going to fix itself, and we had better call a repair man. But that was fine, because we had a few months left on our five year warranty.

Or, so we thought.

Did I mention that I pulled a muscle in my side lifting those soaking wet clothes we had to pull from the washer? Wet clothes are very heavy. Even with my husband’s help, I wrenched the muscle underneath my right arm pit so it felt like I snapped a rib. I had to go to the emergency room. I then spent the next three work days on the couch being electrocuted by a TENS unit, as it did its very best to unclench that pulled muscle. But I digress.

Knowing that we had bought the unit in 2014, and that our FIVE YEAR warrantee was good until 2019, my husband called Lowe’s to schedule a repair.

Lowes could not find any record of our purchase. They had a record of every single other thing we’ve ever bought there, even if it was just a single extension cord or batteries. But not the washer and dryer, and not the five year warranty. For some strange reason, they don’t use the model or the serial number to keep track of such things. They sort it based on your address and phone number at the time of purchase. Which, we provided to them, but they still could not find any record of our having bought that particular washer and dryer, much less the five year warranty, which was pretty much the same price as a third major appliance.

What could we do? We couldn’t prove that we had bought it there. We had lost the warranty and the receipt in the move so we were basically boned.

OK. Crap happens. Lesson learned. Hey, sometimes Life will throw you a curve ball. You’ve just got a learn how to roll and catch it. I began doing laundry at the laundry mat, to the tune of $40-$60 every week, until such time we could afford to get a replacement. We look for a cheap used one in the classifieds and on Facebook, but had no luck. It seems like every time we found one, some other poor soul bought it out from underneath us. We just had to suck it up, do laundry at the laundry mat, and wait for our next income tax return.

Curveball. Catch it. Keep rolling.

I know what you’re thinking. For $40-$60 a week, I could’ve made the payments on a new washer and dryer. You are correct, but you assume much. First, you assume that I have credit.

I don’t have bad credit. I have ZERO credit, which is worse. I am deeply opposed to borrowing money, preferring instead to pay cash for everything. I know that’s a strike against you in modern American culture, but it will actually save money in the long run, when one removes the finance charges and interest rates. This financial philosophy has served me well over the years, except when it doesn’t. This is one of those times when it doesn’t. My unwillingness to go into debt has left me with no credit to my name. In order to get a credit card, I’d need to get a secured credit card. Which, if I had $500 on me, I would’ve just gone and bought a brand new washer. Total catch-22, but whatever. That’s what I get for being poor.

2 1/2 months later, Lowes—yes, the same company that told us “they had no record of our purchase” in the first place—sent us a letter to inform us our warranty was set to expire in January. If we wanted to renew said warranty, we had only to pay $100 a month. For the next few months.

Basically, if we essentially paid for another washer, they’d extend the warranty on the washer they had no record of us buying the first place.

This was the break we had been waiting for. Letter in hand, my husband called Lowe’s to schedule a repair.

Lowe’s: but we don’t have a record of you buying that washer.

Mike: According to this letter, you do. *gives them policy number*

Lowe’s:…Oh, *that* washer.

One would think that would be the end of our story. Nay nay..

We were told that a technician would be in our area on Tuesday. My husband tried to call said technician and got his voicemail. My husband left a voicemail saying that the technician needed to call him back, so he could find out what time he would be in town and we could arrange for one of us to be there when he arrived.

He never called back. And, he never showed up.

The next day I called Lowe’s to find out what the heck was going on. According to the customer service representative I spoke to, the technician reported that he came to our house (he didn’t), and spoke to a tall man with dark hair and glasses (which describes absolutely no one we know). This stranger reported that we did not live there, so the technician marked our job as “complete“ and went about his day.

The customer service representative apologized profusely. He took the time to fill out the paperwork to hire a different repair service, who I was told would call us within three days to schedule a time to come out and take a look at our machine.

On day five with no word from anyone, I called Lowe’s back.

This time, I got a different customer service rep. This woman answered the phone with what could only be described as complete sarcasm. She would not listen when I tried to explain the situation to her. In fact, she was terse and dismissive. When I got irritated, she doubled down and got irritated right back. She informed me that, because it is the holidays, I will not be getting a repair before Dec. 31st.

Our warranty expires January 1. I think we can all see where this is going.

So, there you have it. This is how Lowe’s treats its customers. This is how Lowe’s honors it’s warrantees. And this is how their customer service representative’s treat their customers. This “mistake“ of Lowe’s has cost me and my family Somewhere in the neighborhood of $400-$600. That’s just in laundry mat fees. If I want to factor in the ER visit, it becomes much more expensive, but I will let that one slide. Unless I don’t feel like it later, in which case I will absolutely not let it slide.

$400-$600 DOLLARS. That is not a small amount of money to us. That is money that we could have used to buy food. Money we could have used to buy Christmas presents for our relatives and friends. That is money we could have used to pay for our daughter’s band trip coming up in the spring. We do not have so much disposable income that $40-$60 a week doesn’t hurt us financially. Every. Single. Time.

And this is why I have made it my goal to make as many people aware of this underhanded business dealing as I possibly can, so that they don’t experience the same nonsense.

Tell everyone.