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Personal Crap

Lowes Sucks – Fence Installation and Crappy Customer Service

IMG_3668.JPGWe’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.

IMG_3667.JPG Below is the letter we sent to Lowe’s. We’re at our wit’s end and wanted to share our experience and hopefully publicize so others won’t have to go through the same crap.

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 Lowe’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 Lowe’s, later confirmed this.

Within only a few weeks, the completed fence was leaning in multiple places. We immediately called Lowe’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 “fix” 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 Lowe’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 Lowe’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. Lowe’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 Lowe’s employees and installers, Lowe’s agreed to hire an independent home inspector and contractor to evaluate the fence. Both home inspector and Lowe’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 Lowe’s and Lowe’s subcontractors’ 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. Lowe’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 Lowe’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 Lowe’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 Lowe’s Installation and general customer service.

Ryan and Amanda Keefer

See our followup here.


43 Responses to “Lowes Sucks – Fence Installation and Crappy Customer Service”

  1. Here’s the thread at TiVoCommunity about suggestions and all regarding our fence.


    After writing to the local news channels, one has already expressed interest in helping us out.

    Posted by Keefer | November 15, 2007, 6:52 am
  2. I am currently dealing with a bad situation with Lowes. I payed for a bunch of roofing shingles that they deducted from my account at a discounted price. They called me back the next day and changed their mind on the price they agreed to AFTER I ALREADY PAYED FOR THEM (I have the receipt to prove it). The manager of the store overided the decision of the other manager that approved all of this and basically said too bad. This is going to cost me over $2000 of loss if Lowes prevails in shafting me.
    How much luck have you had with going above the district manger (chain of command for Lowes) or the 1 800 cust service number? I found a phone number on the web that says it takes you directly to a executive customer service rep 336-658-3599. Have you considered or been advised about any legal action? It looks like I may be facing legal action with what I have dealt with so far. This is a shame since I have primarily had a very good experience with Lowes overall in the past and even own stock in the company. Whats wrong is wrong, crapping on a loyal customer! Any response would greatly be appreciated.

    Posted by JP | March 14, 2009, 10:34 pm
  3. JP, we had a fair amount of luck calling corporate, but honestly, the real thing that lit a fire under Lowe’s ass was after contacting the three local networks’ news “consumer protection” reporters. After one of them contacted the store, things got rolling. We never had to take the legal route, thought that was our next step. Best of luck!

    Posted by Keefer | March 15, 2009, 8:23 am
  4. Two weeks ago I speical ordered a round 8 by 8 rug and waited two weeks for it. When it arrived I took it home and laid it on my floor. The quality was poor not the same fabric that I chose from the rugs hanging from the ceiling. I checked again and the texture was not the same. It had raveled around the edge of the outside seam and when you stepped on it the squares came apart exposing the white nylon they were glued to. I took it back and purchased a beautiful rug at another store.

    Posted by WESTINE SWORD | March 29, 2009, 10:14 am
  5. I bought fence panels from Lowe’s 2 years ago and in just one year the fence is warped. Now my neighbor hates me. I had no idea that the fence would warp like that. It is the cheapest wood I had ever seen. Next time I will call a professional fence installer. Judging by the way the fence looks it won’t be long. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

    Posted by Tom Harris | April 8, 2009, 8:15 pm
  6. What company was the original fence installer? We just recently got an estimate from Lowes for our wood privacy fence. I was a little aggrivated because the estimate from Lowes was much higher than the rough estimate the contractor gave me in the field.

    Posted by Tim | April 21, 2009, 8:05 am
  7. The guy that did our good fence was Don Campenella. The first guy, I’ve since blocked out his name. But after our ordeal, I’m pretty sure that he no longer does fence installs for Lowe’s, or at least the Raleigh store we went through.

    Posted by Keefer | April 21, 2009, 9:09 am
  8. So glad I found this! I won’t be calling Lowe’s for my fence.

    Posted by Nicole | May 4, 2009, 7:36 am
  9. have you tried just going outside and fixing whatever is wrong with the fence yourself? I understand that you should get what you payed for but why fuss so much about it, just walk outside and fix it…. Is the latch broken? unbolt it…. take it back to lowes with your receipt…. get a new one. problem solved. It is always best to do things yourself that way there is no one to blame but yourself….

    Posted by Travis | June 20, 2009, 1:09 am
    • I know this thread is old, but Travis – you are crazy. If I have paid for a product and/or a service, & it fails within a reasonable time window, the company needs to do the repair/replacement – not me. You must be a pushover & have too much time on you hands.

      Posted by Bryan | December 12, 2011, 1:42 am
    • How can you seriously suggest he fix his own fence when he paid for that service to be provided for him? then what the hell did he pay for. You must be some idiot pushover who lets people step all over you. Good luck with that!

      Posted by to the moron | May 2, 2015, 10:34 am
    • That’s the stupidest response ever…
      Then when Lowes comes back to fix damage, they won’t because someone messed with the installation.
      This is a good way to void warranty and negate the whole idea of PAYING someone to install.

      Posted by Steve | May 5, 2016, 5:34 pm
  10. Sorry to hear about your fence installation. Lowe’s subs out work to very unqualified installers. That is why I do not want to be there installer because I would not be able to agree with their beliefs. I build fences and decks and I am very particular of the wood I use. I prefer the pressure treated wood sold by Home Depot. This is the only item I buy at HD since their service also sucks. Anyway, my advice, get the best installer and material for the money you want to spend to prevent any future problems.

    Posted by Louis Sabater | June 28, 2009, 12:41 pm
  11. We live in Arizona and so there are very few wooden fences (if any) like yours. But I will say that the Lowes stores seem to have more helpful people in them than the Home Depot ones – which is nice.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that they are good at installing fences…

    Nice post!

    Posted by Best Home Alarm | September 25, 2009, 4:15 pm
  12. I won’t deal with lowes again. The employees act like inmates. If you don’t like your job quit and get another one. Why take it out on the customers. If you’d have planned your life better you wouldn’t be working for an abusive employer.

    Lowes can bite me. I’m getting my kitchen somewhere else.

    Posted by Lowes customer service sucks | November 27, 2009, 5:03 am
  13. Thank you very much Ryan and Amanda. I am installing a fence for my girlfriends co worker next week. I was wondering if I should just pass it on to Hompe Depot or Lowe’s. Fences are so easy to do it’s kinda like relaxing time for me. You truely deserve better treatment than you have recieved. It is my personal opinion that Lowes should reimburse you in full for the cost of you fence and pay for the work themselves. When you think about it just the fact that they caused you write that letter has already cost them one customer for sure, me. My supplies will not come from Lowes I assure you. They really missed out this time I have some doors to replace and several other projects that will exceed the cost of them reimbusing you. You know most major corporations already know this. Anyway thanks you guys and don’t hesitate to take them to court. You can’t lose.

    Posted by Norman | December 13, 2009, 12:33 pm
  14. Do not EVER get a project card and lord help you if you lose your job and get behind. They will call you EVERY DAY including 8:30 on Saturdays and on SUNDAYS! They called about every day last week!

    Posted by Ken | January 9, 2010, 8:55 am
  15. Lowes doesn’t suck its their sales staff. I’m a Fencing Contractor and used to install for Lowes. We didn’t get one job in the ground because of the sales staff. We were told to go bid a job around a pool and Lowes doesn’t do pool fencing because of liability reasons. After going to bid jobs that Lowes doesn’t accept or the sales staff doesn’t tell them the HOA doesn’t accept it. Taking the time, gas, and energy its not worth it, I lose money. Good contractors don’t put up with the bull, so Lowes gets the left overs. Advice to all, don’t go to a hardware store to get your fence installed. You don’t go to autozone to get your engine rebuilt. You take it to a mechanic. Dumb for all who want to spend their money on a name (LOWES). Your phone book has plenty of contractors in it. If you don’t do any research, you get what you get. As for your pictures of the fence, sorry the fence looks like #@%$. If you need to repair it(something I would do) get a contractor and charge Lowes for the repair.

    Posted by Tom | March 2, 2010, 3:36 pm
  16. Thanks for posting this. Lowes should realize that bad service results in bad publicity. I’m in the market for a new fence and decided to do a quick search on Lowes Fence Installations to see other peoples experiences. Here I am and as a result of your experience, Lowe’s will not get my installation job. I will say tha my experience in the store itself has always been great but as far as outside the store, I will not be using their contractors for anything.

    Posted by Al | April 16, 2010, 12:30 pm
  17. I live in Indiana and recently bought a battery drill at Lowes and used my debit card to purchase it. That evening while trying to charge the batteries there seemed to be a problem with the charger staying on until the batteries were fully charged. The next day I took the drill back to Lowes and returned it with my recipt. They swiped my debit card and told me they refunded the money. Ten days later I noticed the money was never refunded to my account so I called Lowes and talked to a woman at the refund desk. She immediately acted like she was put out by my call, before I even explained what the problem was. She told me that it takes “15 DAYS” for the money to be refunded to my account!!! I asked her why and she could not give me a reason! I have been a home builder for 27 years and I spend six figures at Lowes every year and have for years, but this was the last straw! I will not give Lowes one more cent ever! There are plenty of other places with better customer service and better trained employees than Lowes so this will not be a problem. If you shop at Lowes – GOOD LUCK!!!

    Posted by Bryan | January 14, 2011, 10:25 am
  18. After placing a contract to purchase a home in North Port, FL, the local Lowes was chosen to handle the majority of the contracted work to be performed. At first, everything was great, the salesman that took the order acted like he was our best friend, etc. To be fair, the guys that installed our fence did a great job. The guys that installed our carpet did an outstanding job. But, the tile install and regrouting of our showers was nothing short of a nightmare. We contracted for Lowes to tile the whole first floor, except for the master bedroom and bath. They showed up with just enought tile to do only the livingroom. When I went to the store to talk to the manager on duty, I was treated like I was some sort of freeloader trying to make Lowes pay for something they shouldn’t have to. It took me calling Lowes and telling them not to bother to start the job before I got their attention. The guy that claimed he was the store manager (only a sales manager) said they made a mistake with the order, and they would make good on it. They did a good job installing the tile. But, when they worked on the showers, rather than regrout, they only patched over the bad spots, and used a different color grout. I’m still waiting for them to fix this problem.

    My advice, go to a licensed and insured contractor, not Lowes or any of the other big box hardware stores to have the work done. They get their pricing from the sub contractor, and mark it up for their profit. You’ll save monrey, and hopefully have a lot less headache. I’ll know better next time. I’ll still buy products from Lowes, but they won’t be allowed to even air up the tires on my kid’s bicycles, much less do any work on my home.

    Posted by Keith | February 14, 2011, 2:49 pm
  19. I wish I read this post BEFORE I made the mistake and hired them to install a very expensive cedar fence. I signed the contract in April and it is currently June 7th and no fence yet. After leaving several messages, they setup a delivery date. Of course, I had to take the day off work since I needed to be home to get the delivery. I was up at 7:00 am as they asked me to. I was told they would call me when the truck was loaded. 9:00 still no call. By 1:00 I called them and they said our fence was almost done being loaded. Ya right, it took that long! Anyways, we received a call at 4:30 saying the fence would not be delivered until the next day. Their excuse was that the delivery guy quit. After much complaining they promised to deliver the fence early the next day. Afterall, they scheduled the installer for 8:00 am and i didn’t want the contractor to put me on the back burner. Around 5:00 the night before installation, Lowes called to say they couldn’t guarantee the delivery time. At this point, I don’t believe this fence will ever get installed. I went to the store and raised he’ll. They dropped the delivery charged and gave me a giftcard. Still doesn’t make up for the day off work. Sure hope my fence is delivered and installed tomorrow. If not, I am canceling the project and getting a full refund. They can stick their giftcard you know where. Stay away from these big box stores. Use your small local stores!

    Posted by Bree | June 7, 2011, 8:09 pm
  20. Wish I’d seen your post prior to throwing awayy $4000 at Lowe’s to have a substandard fence installed. I’m into my 9th month of fighting with Lowe’s over gates that won’t latch properly. Home Depot will be very pleased when I start my next project – remodling the kitchen!!

    Posted by belinda | August 14, 2011, 4:12 pm
  21. Please call me before you call LOWE’s! The fence itself is cheap if you used the prefab sections. If there is rock present it can be quite a task to bury the posts. If your installer had to rent a jackhammer and broke 2 auger bits, your yard is full of rock and it sounds like he may have done the best he could with provided tools and payment from Lowe’s. You never know what you will run into when digging!

    Posted by Dale | September 13, 2011, 5:31 pm
  22. It’s nightmares with subcontracted work like this that prompted me to start doing whatever installs on my home that I can myself. I decided I wanted to replace the storm window on our home this year. I went to Lowes and special ordered the exact windows I wanted, and I’m installing them myself, that way I know the job is done RIGHT.

    Posted by Laurie | October 17, 2011, 9:16 am
  23. Lowes wooden fence is total crap. I installed my own and its warping to beat the band. after 1 year all the nail are breaking and i just had to renail 2 board today i’m still trying to find the name of the company that makes this crap. i also complained to Lowes with no satisfaction. They sell alot of crap from what i have seen.

    Posted by Gordon | November 25, 2011, 1:37 pm
  24. They did a super job installing my front door and the storm door I would recommend the installer group to anyone… I say keep up the good work here from Indianapolis Indiana sorry you all got a bad bad installer group… They have super customer service group here in Indy…..

    Posted by REnee | July 13, 2012, 12:01 pm
  25. I paid 8,000.00 for a lowes vinyl fence with a large gate and a small gate. Within six months the slats started falling out of the panels and both gates were broken. I had the manager come look at the fence and that didn’t do any good nor did it do any good to go to them and try to get help. I will never recommend Lowes for installing anything. They have lost a customer in me and all my family.

    Posted by Jean | July 26, 2012, 11:05 pm
  26. I paid almost $5,000 for a vinyl fence and install from Lowes. I purchased 30 bags of cement and paid over $350.00 for the posts to be placed in cement around my pool. I paid an additional $1,500 for fence install. Lowes did not install the fence in cement, other than four of the 26 posts. The fence started shifting immediately after install and latches on gates broke. I contacted Lowes, they fixed latches on fence but ignored all other problems. I contacted Lowes two more times and they sent someone out once who once again fixed latch ignored other separations on fencing. I contacted Lowes manager in Robinson Township after calling professionals in to look at the fence panels breaking out and they stated that the fence was never installed properly. Manager Alan at Lowes stated that he will do nothing to fix the problem of my fence. I have to pay over $1,500 to fix these problems and replace panels due to improper installation. I am very dissatisfied with Lowes and would like suggestions on how to handle this problem. I plan to contact the media once I get the dates of prior phone conversations together. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help and support.

    Posted by Linda M. Revetta | August 3, 2012, 8:15 am
  27. I was thinking about getting another estimate for a new wood fence from Lowe’s, but after reading all the problems, it may not be a good idea. We live in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. I want to use metal posts because they last longer. Has anyone had any positive results with the installation of a wood fence from Lowe’s? Thank you.

    Posted by Cathy | September 4, 2012, 8:48 pm
    • I live in a suburb of Houston, and just had Lowe’s install a wooden fence and gate…OMG! I am still trying to get the cretins back out here to fix the mess. PLEASE! Stay away! Go to a local fence company. Avoid all big box stores for installations-they hire cheap contractors…it’s all about profit. And, by the way, they way overcharge.

      Posted by Emily | February 18, 2016, 10:12 pm
      • By the way, they finished after dark. They arrived at 11am, took a 2 hour lunch, then rushed to get it done. I couldn’t see the actual fence until the next day. My neighbor couldn’t believe it!

        Posted by Emily | February 18, 2016, 10:20 pm
  28. You want some cheese with that wine? You should have been a big boy and not aloud them to leave until it was up to par as to what you wanted as that is stated in the Lowes Installation contract. You may think you have done something to try to fend off customers from lowes but you and a few others are the one in a million people who have had bad luck with installations. You would have bitched just as much if it was someone else who installed it. The installation team at that particular lowes may suck but the contractors are who do the work. Not lowes my dear.

    Posted by Bob Warren | December 6, 2012, 3:19 pm
    • Wow, what a troll. You’re responding to a 2007 article without reading through the whole article. I stand by everything I wrote five years ago, and feel I was just in venting on my personal blog, and followup continued to place blame where blame was due. If a job is sub-contracted out, the job is ultimately still the responsibility of the primary, which in our fence installation was Lowe’s.

      Posted by Keefer | December 6, 2012, 3:54 pm
    • Ah, duh! Lowe’s contracts it out, to save money, and the contractor hires anybody and everybody, legal or not. It’s a scam. This way Lowe’s makes all the money, and people like you blame the contractor, when who hired them time and time again, eh? LOWE’S!

      Posted by Emily | February 18, 2016, 10:18 pm
    • You must have a lot of stock in Lowes. I too can attest to what crap work they do.

      Posted by Jules | July 31, 2017, 7:28 am
  29. I can attest to the lies and unfair business practices to this organization. I recently had 850 pella windows installed. They were contracted to measure, order and install the windows. The windows ordered were grossly undersize but they installed them anyway. Clearly this job is a mess and I have pics to prove. The customer support and so called executive customer support were useless. The so called market director came out to assess as a formality and deemed everything was installed correctly. BS!!! Now it’s off to the stage AG to assist. I likely won’t get anywhere and will likely have to chalk this up as an expensive lesson but it’s worth a try. These companies and their fly by night sub contractors need to be stopped!

    Posted by One pissed customer | February 1, 2013, 2:56 am
  30. I purchased a house last year that just had a vinyl fence installed by Lowes in Troy, OH. The slats constantly fall out. I contacted the installer and also Lowes. The contractor never answers their phone & Lowes never calls me back. I called a qualified fence company, they said they won’t even attempt to fix the fence because it is crap. So, I would never recommend Lowes products or contractors.

    Posted by Lynn | November 8, 2014, 12:22 pm
  31. I paid Lowes $6,000 for a new fence. It’s been a year and half. The post the gate is on has sagged an it no longer closes. I ask them to fix it. They only warranty for one year, so I am out of luck. They don’t stand behind what they sell.

    Posted by Tom | May 4, 2015, 3:51 pm
  32. Lowes tried hiring my company to do work for them, but after seeing there crappy work techniques, poor customer service, way below average knowledge of how decks are to be built, I BACKED OUT before doing 1 job for them. They are a complete joke and do poor quality work..

    Posted by eric | July 21, 2015, 9:48 am
  33. I should have researched this before i hired them. The sales person came out on Aug 24th and promptly cashed my payment. He said it would be approx 2-3 weeks for the fence to be installed. Today it is Sept. 16th and it was just ordered yesterday????? This after they had two fence companies out to measure that 1st week. I have never heard from the salesman again after a few calls to him. I have spoken to others in the installation office that were polite and promised to help but haven’t heard back from them either. Very apprehensive now especially after reading these comments. i just moved and i did have other fencing companies come out who were more than double the cost of Lowes. I wish i had spent that. The fence would be up by now and my two large dogs would have a safe area to run. NEVER will i but another thing from Lowes and will tell all my clients with dogs do not go with Lowes.

    Posted by Barb | September 16, 2015, 9:16 am
  34. Wish I had research this before. I will post my experience everywhere now to make all aware of how terrible Lowes is at installing fences. In our case, the problem was with the materials. The installers did a fine job with what they had, but the panels were uneven. I am so frustrated. E waited a month and half to have these installed! I had other projects in our house and will for sure not hire Lowes for any of them after this.

    If you are in TAMPA, FL. DO not hire them. They will send a guy out named Ed. After he makes his sales, he will never answer a phone call from you again.

    Posted by Loren | May 9, 2017, 2:20 pm
  35. Lowes and all those other box stores claim to do good work they dont. Most times it 1 guy that kinda knows the trade and a bunch of non English speaking laborers named Jose. Lowes was started to sell to home improvement and general contractors. They soon started using a few contractors to do the work and compete against their customers. That OK nothing wrong with that, But when they shop prices and set the rates for work on jobs which vary a lot its a recipe for disaster. Like Angies List which incorperates bid rigging and price fixing which is illegal in most states. As a contractor I would have to go before the board to defend my licence if I did what they do. I know I caught em at it as a Sub.
    Work Ametican Buy American.

    Posted by David | June 1, 2017, 11:44 am

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