ever_abstract (ever_abstract) wrote in bad_service,

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Lowes. This is long, sorry.

So, last month my washing machine finally bit the dust. It was about twenty-five years old and we decided to buy a new machine. We had seen the television commercials that advertised Lowes having the lowest prices on appliances and we went there. After looking around for about an hour, a salesperson met with us and helped us decide on a machine. We picked out a $1,300 Samsung Energy Star 4.0 Cubic Ft. Front Loader (a blue one) and since we were there already, we picked up the matching $1,300 dryer. We also picked out two accessories for the machines: two $300 drawer pedestals.

The salesman told us that we could get delivery the very next day and that everything would be installed in full. Our old washing machine would be taken away and our old dryer would be placed outside for someone from freecycle to pick it up. We asked if we could schedule our delivery time and we were told by the salesman that someone would call us the next day. So, I had errands to run but I stayed at home and waited for the call. At 2pm, after not hearing anything, I called the store and got passed around the phone system until I finally got to speak with a sales manager. He told me that the salesman could not have possibly told us that we could get our machines the very next day because it had to be ordered and it would take two weeks. It really ticked me off that I was being called a liar, but I let it slide and agreed to wait the two weeks.

Now, for the record, I have a one year old son. I cloth diaper. I need access to a washing machine and I wouldn't have purchased the machine had I known it would take two weeks to deliver. There were much less expensive machines I would have picked instead and had them ASAP. Now that they were ordered though, I was excited about them. Again, I let it slide and I went to the local laundromat two times a week during the two-week waiting period and literally spent $20 a session just to get my diapers clean enough that I could re-use them. It was a big hassle. Two weeks to the day after my original delivery date, I went to the store to purchase the pads to protect my ceramic floors from the machine vibration. This cost me $70 but the original salesman told me that they were necessary. While I was there, I decided to check with the appliance department to see what the status of the order was. Afterall, it had been two weeks. I spoke with a salesman and he went into the back of the store and looked for a really long time (fifteen or twenty minutes) before he came back out and informed us that he couldn't find our order. After some computer searching, he found the order but for some reason it had been filed or entered under a different surname which is nothing like ours. Okay. They hadn't been on the truck but they were supposed to come in in four days. They told me not to worry, I would get a phone call to schedule the delivery.

Four days later I finally got a phone call for delivery. We set it up for Sunday (over three weeks after my initial order) because we were planning to be home most of the day. They couldn't give me a time over the phone that they would be at the house and I was told that we would get a phone call between 7:00am and 10:00am. Fine. I woke up early and waited for the call so that my husband could sleep. At 11:00am, after getting no call, I called the store. Again, after being passed around to a million people, I finally got in touch with another manager who told me that the delivery people had called but no one answered. I asked him to repeat the phone number, and it was incorrect. It was correct on my copy of the transaction though, so someone on their end must have transposed it incorrectly. At noon, I finally got the phone call from the delivery people. They told me that they would be there between 2:00pm and 6:00pm, but maybe earlier. So, given the window of time I had, I couldn't really leave the house or anything.

We waited. By 6:45, I was wondering what had happened, so I called the store. Someone from Customer Service took my name and number and told me that they would figure out where the delivery people were and have someone call me. At 7:30pm, we got a phone call. It was a manager who asked if we were the people who were supposed to get a delivery of a washer and a dryer. I said that we were and he said that we wouldn't be getting it today. I asked why and he informed me that the driver of the delivery truck had attempted to drive the truck under an overpass that was too low for clearance. For the record, I know where the accident happened- the height is posted right on the bottom of the overpass! Anyway, the accident happened around 1:00pm, but no one bothered to call us. At no point in time did the manager apologize for the inconvenience. We inquired about the condition of the driver and everyone was relatively uninjured but the truck, we were told, had been totaled and the State Police had never seen such a bad accident without injuries.

After we were reassured that all of the employees were okay, I asked when my new machines would be in. The manager told me emphatically that they would work through the night to locate new machines for us. We were told that a store in another State had them and they would be rushed up and we should get delivery on the next morning, a Monday. I was again told that they would call us in the morning. I made sure the number and the names were correct.

Monday morning comes and again, I wait until 11am to receive the call before I phone the store. At this point, I'm getting pretty angry at the lack of communication happening. I'm connected with a manager, they tell me they'll find out and a half-hour later, I get the call from the delivery people that they're on their way. They show up and start unloading the truck and I notice that the name on the side of the boxes is the same name that was on the original machines that had been in the accident. I asked the delivery guy if these were the machines that had been in the accident, and he said that they were. I told him that we had been promised that our machines would be different than the ones involved in the accident. He said that he didn't know anything about it but since the machines are tied down in the truck, there should be nothing wrong with them.

Now, I don't know about you guys, but when I spend that kind of money on a machine- I don't want it to have been in an accident. I was given a lecture by the salesman about how using non-HE-approved laundry detergent could void my warranty- and being in a major car accident wouldn't?! Whatever. I let it slide, even though I was pretty peeved. I figured that as long as the machines worked, I would be fine. My laundry room shares an interior wall with my garage. So, our old machines were unhooked, and removed. The new pedestals were installed and the exhaust hose for the dryer was snaked through the wall, into the garage. However, it was not hooked up to the exterior exhaust hose. I was told that everything was set up in full and that everything was fine. I inspected the installation before they left and mentioned to them that the washer and dryer were not level. I was told that my floor wasn't level. I opened the washing machine and noticed that there was about three cups of water in the tub. I asked about it and they told me that it was just from the test mode and the water would drain during the first load. I accepted this and tipped them $25.00. They were pretty happy and said that they were going to go out to lunch now.

After they left, I was excited to try out my new machines, so I put my diapers in for a wash. I programmed the machine to do a prewash, which it did. However, once it went into the spin mode, nothing happened. I waited for five minutes for the machine to spin before I got an error message that the machine wouldn't drain. I consulted my owner's manual and attempted to fix the problem myself by manually draining the machine. Now, just so you know. Dirty diapers plus water equals some really gross smelling water. I drained the machine. Turned it off, again, as per the manual, and then put the machine on Spin-Only mode. It spun for about three seconds- during which the machine vibrated and moved all over the floor (which they're not supposed to do) and then I got the same error message. I tried to drain the machine again. Nothing happened. It didn't work at all after that.

I called the store and spoke with a manager. He seemed convinced that I had no idea how to use the machine. He kept trying to talk me through it, but I knew that I wasn't the problem. Anyway, I started telling him how frustrated I was with this whole situation and he promised to send someone out right away to "show" me how to operate the washing machine. An hour and a half later, a part-time salesman showed up at my house and used my manual to operate the machine. He tried all of the same things I tried and then agreed with me that there was some kind of mechanical problem. I told him that these were the machines that had been in the truck and he seemed shocked that they were delivered to us. He had seen the truck and it was a mess. Besides, according to him, it wasn't right that customers who had ordered very high-end items would be given potentially damaged goods. While he was still there, we called the store so that all of us could report that it wasn't user-error.

I spoke to another manager. From the very beginning of the conversation he was rude and unhelpful. He told me that it was "impossible" for the machines to be damaged because the accident and the damage to the truck was minor. I pointed out that this directly contradicts all of the conversations I had with other managers at the store. He said that it didn't matter. The boxes were fine, the machines were fine and I must have done something to them to cause them not to work. I told him that there was no way this was possible. It broke in the beginning of its very first wash. Then I told him that we had been promised new machines. He told me that was impossible as well and that no manager would have ever told me that. I gave him the name of the manager but it didn't matter. He told me to call Samsung and have a repair man come to my house. I asked if Lowes would pay for the estimate and the repair. He said they wouldn't because it was already installed in my house and the transaction was complete on their end. I was livid. Livid. I hung up with him, and sent the part-timer on his way. He promised to talk to a new manager in the morning.

I immediately got on the phone and started leaving messages with the store manager, the regional manager, the district manager and the corporate offices. The next morning, I did the same. I kept getting passed around on the phones again. I told the story a million times to at least ten people and everyone took my name and number down and told me they would call back in a few minutes. No one ever called me back. I loaded up my diapers and washed them at the laundromat because I didn't want them to get moldy from sitting in the machine. I kept calling. Finally, I got on the phone with a really nice customer service representative who actually took me seriously. For the first time in the entire fiasco, I got an apology.

I told her how upset I was that I never got any phone calls regarding my delivery, or my transaction, how I had been blamed, lied to, deceived, and otherwise treated. She told me that the regional manager was at another store but she would call him on his cell phone and brief him on the situation. I returned home from the laundromat with clean but soaking wet diapers because I didn't have any more cash to use the dryer there. I put them in my new dryer and turned it on. It worked. However, forty five minutes later, the smoke alarm in my garage started to go off. I opened the door and found it filled with steam. I ran back to the dryer, shut it off and waited for the garage to clear. It was then that I noticed that the hoses had never been hooked up. I called the store again and spoke with the floor manager again. He told me that the delivery people were not trained on how to do that. I explained that I had been told that it would be set up in full. He said that my delivery had been completed "in full" even though the washer and dryer weren't level, the hose was venting into my garage, and the washing machine was not operational.

I finally got a call back from the regional manager and I explained the situation. He was pissed off too. Finally, someone in a position to help was aware of the situation and cared. He couldn't believe we had been treated that way. He told me that another machine was now en-route to the store and that as long as it arrived in good shape, it would be delivered the next day. He also promised me that the manager on duty while the truck was being unpacked would give me a call and confirm that the item was there. He also offered me a $500 refund on the machine for all the trouble. I got the phone call at 10:30pm that the machine was in and in good condition.

It was delivered the next morning. I had to manually drain the first machine again, before they moved it out. While the delivery guys were working, I got a knock on my door and it was the customer service woman I had spoken to who got me in touch with the regional manager. She had some duct tape and a duct connector in her hand. She said that if the delivery guys were not trained in how to connect the hose, she was prepared to do it herself. She said that the regional sent her. Lo and behold, the delivery guys knew how to do it and they finally connected it correctly so that the dryer was vented outside.

The new machine was installed and I went to inspect it. They were still not level, but it worked. I noticed at this time a huge gouge in the front of the dryer. I asked the delivery man about it and he told me that it happened on accident when they were moving it out. Again, I was angry but I was so fed up at this point that I decided to just let it go. The machines weren't level. I was told that they're "self-leveling" and they wouldn't shake. I had them stand around and watch the test cycle complete before they left. It worked. Yay. However, during the spin cycle the machine knocked around like crazy. They told me there was nothing they could do about it and it was because of my floors. Ugh. They leave. I don't tip this time.

So, later on that night my step-father is reading the manual and he comes across the instructions on how to level the machines. He asked me if they had ever removed the drawer to adjust the "feet" on the machine. I said that they hadn't. We called the store again. Spoke to another manager again and we're told that someone would be out the next day (today) to finish the installation. Again, no apology or anything. I call Samsung and they tell me that there's no reason to use pads because when the machine is correctly installed, it shouldn't shake- even if my floors weren't level. For the record, my house was built in 2003, my floors are pretty damn level.

This morning, a new set of delivery guys come in. I explained to them how the machines literally jump. They take one look, and ask who installed it. I said that the other delivery team had and they couldn't believe it. It took them two minutes to open the drawers, adjust the machines and put the drawers back. I ran another load of laundry and finally they didn't shake like crazy. They were perfect. They were what we paid for. Well, except for the giant gouge in the dryer.

I went to the store today to return the pads. I was spotted by the nice customer service lady and I told her what had happened. She then came out with a coupon for 50% off my next Lowes purchase. Cool. I went to just walk around the store and started looking at grills. I was thinking about maybe getting it when the original salesperson walked up to me and started his spiel. It was when he said, "we'll install it and get it all set up for you" that I decided that it's just not worth the stress, aggravation or years off of my life. If my husband wants that fucking grill- he can deal with it because the last week has been an absolute nightmare.
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