We’ve had a crazy and unbelievably drawn-out ordeal with Lowe’s Home Improvement. We thought we were alone, till we saw that guy that had Lowes-sucks.com (he’s settled so the site’s gone). Then, while composing a letter to Lowe’s corporate, we searched, and found there are quite a lot of complaints out there, most having to do with installation and customer service. Does it make us feel better that we’re not alone? No, worse actually. Lowe’s is getting away with crappy customer service coast to coast.
Please link to this article. Share it with friends and family. We’ve been more than patient awaiting some sort of resolution, but all we’ve been given is the runaround and a lot of empty promises.
Our letter to Lowe’s regarding the Substandard Fence Installation and total lack of customer service.
To Whom It May Concern:
My wife and I are writing to inform you of the substandard quality of the installation of our fence, the repairing of its problems, and the general customer service surrounding the entire ordeal.
In November of 2006, we ordered a fence from Loweâ€™s store #625 in Raleigh, North Carolina. When the fence was finally installed in December of 2006, it took longer than estimated, and we ended up having to pay an additional amount of money for the installer to utilize a jackhammer for the installation of the fence posts. Even as the installer, Wayne Knight was erecting the fence several red flags were raised. The installer broke two drill bits installing the fence posts and was slow to complete the job. We also witnessed him putting the concrete bags into post holes, taking up valuable volume that should be filled with concrete. Our initial reaction was that not enough concrete was being used in each post hole, concrete bags aside. A home inspector and several other fence installers, including one utilized by Loweâ€™s, later confirmed this.
Within only a few weeks, the completed fence was leaning in multiple places. We immediately called Loweâ€™s to have the installer fix the problem. The installer was slow to respond, and took over a week to make an appearance on our property. The installer informed us that this was normal and to be expected. He proceeded to take the few posts / fence sections that were leaning, and added more concrete to this post holes. The fix was quick and we were a little appalled that the fairly extreme fence leaning was written off as normal. We were also put off by the fact that the installer did not take time to check, nor reinforce the other fence posts.
As the following weeks and months went on, we had multiple more problems with fence leaning, along with both gates working improperly. Repeats of the first â€œfixâ€ occurred — quick fixes, with no checking of the additional fence posts, which may have saved multiple trips out for the same problem at different locations throughout the fence. The initial fix for the non-latching fence gates by the installer was to smack and pound on it. This did not sit well with us, nor did it instill faith in the other repairs made on our very new fence. Another fence installer of Loweâ€™s later told us that the hardware utilized for both gates was not sufficient to hold the weight of the gates (two hinges where a minimum of three should have been utilized), and that it was no wonder there were issues. Both gates continue to exhibit issues, dragging on the ground and not being able to latch properly. To prevent the gates from opening on their own, we attempted to zip tie them shut, but the mechanisms are so warped, that nothing short of nailing the gates shut with additional lumber will keep them closed.
As a direct result of these gate failures, our dog was able to escape from the yard on one occasion, where he got injured, with permanent nerve damage. Upon informing store #625 of this, little apology, nor any concession for our $250.00 veterinary bills was ever offered. This seemed like an obvious place where Loweâ€™s could step in with a little bit of compassion and compensation to ease our customer service nightmares, but we have heard nothing.
Along with the major issues of fence leanings and gate malfunctions, other issues have popped up over the past year, with no resolution. Multiple places, nails have popped out, creating hazard for both humans and canines to get snagged on them. Additionally, multiple posts and fence slats have exhibited unnatural warping and bowing. Loweâ€™s recognized that these were out of the ordinary and contacted the supplier, Georgia Pacific, but Georgia Pacific refused to get involved.
After taking time off of work multiple times to meet Loweâ€™s employees and installers, Loweâ€™s agreed to hire an independent home inspector and contractor to evaluate the fence. Both home inspector and Loweâ€™s quickly assessed that the multitude of problems with the fence were severe enough that it necessitated demolition of the entire structure, starting anew with new material and a new installer. This decision was reached in August of 2007. As of November 11, 2007, we still have the original substandard fence, with malfunctioning gates. We were originally promised that the replacement fence would be reinstalled by the final week of October. Then, we were told it was pushed back into November. Currently, we have been told first week of December. We have little confidence that this date will not slip yet again.
Overall, we are completely unsatisfied with Loweâ€™s and Loweâ€™s subcontractorsâ€™ apathetic handling of our entire ordeal. There has been no acceptable, nor timely resolution at any step in the process. We are appalled at how many times we have been brushed aside. Loweâ€™s employees and installers have been horrible at returning phone calls. Many time frames have been setup to receive return calls, updates and the majority of the time; these dates come and go without contact. We end up having to make contact again. We are dismayed at the long periods of days and weeks that go by after contacting Loweâ€™s. We have always had to be the ones to initiate and offer up resolutions. Customer service has been severely lacking.
At this point, we want to make sure that Loweâ€™s corporate offices are aware of the issue, and we will also be contacting our local network television news organizations to see if they can assist in resolution. We will also make sure to make it known on the Internet of the runaround and complete dissatisfaction we possess for Loweâ€™s Installation and general customer service.
Ryan and Amanda Keefer
See our followup here.