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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I Hate Lowe's!!!

It sucks to get on my bad side. Sorry for the long setup, but documenting all the details before getting to the problem... The tale of the new sink and faucet, or not, as the case may be. Our old faucet sprung a leak. I try to do minor plumbing repairs myself so tried to figure out how to replace just the faucet. How hard could it be? Low and behold, I couldn't figure out how. Thanks to a visit from the plumber, we discovered the faucet was connected to the sink. If you want to replace one, you need to replace both. They tell us what we need to get dimension-wise for the sink and off to Home Depot we go.

At Home Depot, the selection for sinks for our dimensions were limited. We had a double basin sink and wanted to switch to single basin with a certain depth. There might have been two or three choices, maybe just one. I don't recall, but we didn't like what was available. So... off to Lowe's we go, which was just a few blocks away.
At Lowe's, there wasn't much better selection either, but then we notice one sink from American Standard with a couple of removable elements for a cutting board and mini sink, but more importantly, a colander. We check the online reviews from the store and they weren't bad. Time for a new garbage disposal next. Then over to faucets.

We knew we wanted a pull-out faucet and end up picking one from Delta. Again, checking online reviews. We also trust the Delta brand and like their lifetime warranty. Total cost for all three $686.38

We get the plumber to come out again to install, pay his $550 charge to rework under the sink and install all the new goodies. We thought it would have been more as they did quite a bit of work to take us from the dual basin sink to a single basin one, but only $550 off to them.

Then life gets interesting. The soap dispenser stops working. I was surprised a Delta would fail that quickly but it comes with its lifetime warranty. Thinking it shouldn't be a problem to fix, boy could I be more wrong.

I start off calling Lowe's. I was thinking Delta first but I discovered Lowe's Customer Care line is open until 1 am on a Saturday and its pretty late so I call them first. They confirm I need to call Delta, give me the number to call and tell me the hours, as they aren't open weekends that late. Off to bed I go.
Later in the week I call Delta. They have a tremendous hold time. I'm waiting and waiting and while waiting, I look up the model identified on the receipt. I notice something a bit off. The soap dispenser doesn't match ours. The pull out faucet looks similar to what we have but the faucet seems to have two buttons underneath, not the one we have. The handle itself looks a bit different and I can't tell if the differences to both are the angle or what, but I focus on the soap dispenser and that isn't close.

At this point, I'm entering panic mode a bit. At first, I'm thinking perhaps they changed the Delta model and we just have last year's model. I search all throughout the Delta site and can't find anything resembling that soap dispenser at all. Then I return to the Lowe's site. Thankfully they have a decent way to filter search results, focusing on finish and soap dispenser, I soon discover that it isn't a Delta faucet I have at all.
It is an AquaSource. I've never heard of AquaSource. The unit is almost half the price of what we paid for. But more importantly, it doesn't work, at least the soap dispenser part. Funny thing is, if the soap dispenser hadn't broken, we probably would have never noticed the switch.

So, I hang up from being on hold with Delta and call Lowe's back. I don't remember who the operator was, but I had what I would consider to be a great customer service experience. I start to explain the problem to the operator. When I mention the swap of the faucet, she says something like "Oh boy," is all apologetic, and discusses how to fix the situation. At first, she offers some cash to make up for the price difference. That wasn't what I wanted though. I wanted the Delta faucet we originally purchased. I also wanted Lowe's to pay for the plumber to come back out to put the right faucet in, since they gave me the wrong one to begin with. She mentions the local store manager will contact me within 24 hours (or maybe 24-48 hours) and finalize any details. I seem to recall her mentioning shipping the right faucet to us but I figured if I went to pick it up, we'd get it more quickly and be able to correct the situation. They're not that far from where we live.

I get a voice mail from the local store manager, Kevin, a couple days later. By the time I call back, he's gone for the day/week and will be back on Monday. It is the fourth of July weekend so no biggie. I do explain my situation to the associate on the phone and give him all the details of the situation, from the receipt details to the product numbers of the right and wrong faucets. I mentioned the desire to get the right faucet and to be reimbursed for the plumber and he says no way to pay back for the plumber. I mentioned what the customer service agent said on the Customer Care line and he says they're not authorized for that. I don't think much about it and figure I'd hear from the store manager on Monday and I find out his hours. He'll be the closing manager on Monday.

Around 5 or so on Monday I get a call from Kevin. He mentions a desire to come to our house to take a picture of the faucet. I mention that I already took a picture and could send it to him. After a couple tries, he gets the picture and sees it is actually an AquaSource faucet we have. At first, he offers $100 to reimburse for the difference in price. I mention I still want the original Delta I purchased. He checks stock and apparently sees they're available. I mention the desire to get reimbursed for the plumber, too. At first he seemed to balk but inquired about cost. I had thought they were $85 an hour and mention that number. [I've since checked bill and see they are $125/hour.] He says they can cover that. I tell him I'll come down that night to pickup faucet, as I needed to go there for something else already. He says no problem and when I return the AquaSource, bring the receipt for the plumber, and I'll get reimbursed for it. Great, sounds simple enough.

I have to wait until my son goes to bed before I can leave for store. They're open until 10 so no problem there. I probably arrived around 9:30. I grab what I originally needed and went to customer service in search of Kevin. Kevin is apparently in back counting cash. I explain my situation to the customer service rep who then goes back to check what to do with Kevin. While waiting, I pay for my item at the customer service desk with the other rep.

The first rep comes back and explains I have to buy a second Delta faucet, less the $85 for the plumber, and when I return the AquaSource, I'll be reimbursed the difference. Slight problem here. That wasn't what Kevin told me on phone. Second problem here. I don't carry that kind of cash on me, or a credit card. We go back and forth a few times about how I find the solution offered not acceptable. The rep won't let me leave with product without paying, even though I already paid for the product once and didn't get it. 

I start to leave but return to store to talk to Kevin. After waiting a good amount of time for him to finish, he finally comes out. He basically restates what the first customer service rep said. Won't budge on the situation and I leave totally frustrated as I can't call the plumber to replace faucet since I don't have the faucet I originally was supposed to have bought.

I refuse to have to pay for a faucet a second time to get a faucet I already bought. I refuse to have to go back to the store to have to pickup said faucet. It was offered to be shipped to me in the first place. I really should have taken that offer but I thought there would have been issues covering the plumbing. All I want is a working Delta faucet and soap dispenser.

I previously was a happy Lowe's customer. In the last couple of years, we've spent thousands of dollars there between the washer/dryer, lawn mower, and lastly kitchen sink set. It is going to be hard for me to go back there again to shop after this latest situation.

-- John Zukowski

Update: Lowe's Rant or Rave

*Read my Disclosure

6 comments:

  1. Time to involve the Better Business Bureau? I've never been to Lowe's and I'm sorry this happened to you. I probably won't ever go there after reading this!

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    1. No need for BBB yet. There is an Update link at bottom of story

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  2. Have you posted your experience on their Facebook page or mentioned it on their Twitter? I've had fairly good luck getting issues resolved by doing this.

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    1. Including link to here on their Twitter feed got a response once they woke up.

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  3. Was the Aquaforce in a Delta box? I've heard of higher end products getting switched with cheaper ones somewhere along their retail journey. There is nothing more infuriating than trying to straighten out a situation like that. Sorry to hear about your troubles!

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    1. Yes, the AquaSource model was in the Delta box.

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