Lowe’s: the next chapter in the ongoing saga of how terrible they are

By | July 13, 2020

I wrote recently about Lowe’s shipping me the wrong product and about finding it impossible to reach someone at the company to get the error fixed. Since then, things have since gotten much worse, and I feel compelled to strongly urge people to avoid ordering anything online from Lowe’s, at least not until they’ve publicly acknowledged these issues and indicated how they’ve been addressed.

More than a day after I sent Lowe’s a direct message on Twitter asking for their help resolving this (yes, believe it or not, although Lowe’s doesn’t provide any mechanism on their web site for customers to ask for help online, they do provide customer service over Twitter), they finally replied, and all they did was ask for my email address. I replied with my address literally three minutes later.

More than 20 hours later, they hadn’t responded, so I messaged them again:

So… I’ve tried twice to reach you about this by phone, and both times I gave up after waiting on hold for a half hour. I messaged you here and you took over a day to respond, then asked me a question you should have been able to find the answer to yourself because I gave you my order number, but nevertheless I answered the question just three minutes after you asked and, and yet now it’s been almost another full day and you haven’t responded or done anything to solve my problem. What the hell is going on over there that this is the level of customer service you’re providing to people?

They finally responded an hour later:

Jonathan, I apologize for the delayed response. We have an extremely high number of post, but we want to make sure every customer who needs assistance is responded to. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this error is causing you. The fastest way to resolve the issue is for you to return the incorrect item in the original box to your nearest store and reorder the broom handle.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need further assistance.

I replied:

1) It’s a broom, not a broom handle.
2) I don’t want to go to a Lowe’s or any other store right now because of the pandemic. That’s why I ordered it online.
3) Even if there weren’t a pandemic, the nearest Lowe’s to me is in Dedham, a half hour drive from me, so while it may be easier and cheaper for Lowe’s for me to return the item at a store, it’ll waste an hour and a half of my time, which is not acceptable.
You need to fix this. Either send me a return shipping label so the incorrect product you shipped can be picked up from my house, or write it off as a loss and give me a refund for it, or I will dispute the charge on my credit card and not only will you have to refund the cost of the broom and lose the value of the trash can lid you shouldn’t have sent me, you’ll also have to pay the credit card company a chargeback fee.
Legally speaking, if you sent me the wrong product I am under no obligation to send it back to you or pay for it. This is your error to fix, at your time and expense.
This is crap customer service. Do better.

They replied:

Jonathan, thank you for the reply. Due to the item being a special order item that ships directly from our vendor, we are unable to provide a shipping label or reship the item. I have submitted to have your item refunded for you. Please allow up to 14 day for this to reflect on your statement. Please let me know if I can assist you in any other way.

Brothers and sisters, do I need to tell you that it is now 14 days later and the promised refund has not appeared on my credit card?

But wait, there’s more. I did what they suggested and reordered the item on June 29. On July 1 I received email from Lowe’s telling me that my broom was “on the way” and providing me with a FedEx tracking number.

It is now 12 days later, and the Lowe’s tracking page and FedEx’s own tracking page both indicate that the package has not yet been handed off to FedEx.

I DM’d Lowe’s July 8 and asked them what happened to my package. I DM’d them again July 12, again asking them what happened to my package and also informing them that I had not yet received the refund they claimed to have issued. I DM’d them again today, asking once again for help with the refund and the missing package. They have not yet responded to any of these messages. Let me be clear here: I have been asking Lowe’s for help for five days with no response. During that time they have replied to many publicly Tweeted complaints. Apparently they think customer service is about being apologetic in public and ignoring people in private?

I don’t know what the hell is going on inside Lowe’s, but I can tell you that from the outside, it appears that their order fulfillment and customer service are both entirely dysfunctional right now. If you don’t want to run a significant risk of having a miserable experience, I encourage to shop elsewhere.

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