Lowe's Puts Me Through A Lengthy Song And Dance For Flooring

Stories like the one we heard from Consumerist reader James S. just make us flat-out exhausted by the time we’re finished. In this case, it involves a lengthy ordeal with Lowe’s as James and his wife try to get a new floor installed.

You might want to sit down to read this one, as it involves numerous phone calls, driving and hefting heavy flooring material. Can you imagine actually being the one to go through it? Like we said before, exhausting!

He writes:

About three weeks ago, my wife and I ordered new laminate flooring for our kitchen from Lowe’s. After everything was set up and paid for, we were told that someone would call us within two or three days to set up an installation appointment.

A week went by with no calls, so we called them back. Again we were told that someone would call us back “soon” to set up the installation appointment, but we never received a call. Over the next week and a half or so, we had to call them back at least five or six times to remind them that we were still waiting for someone to set up the appointment.

Finally, the installer called us back and we scheduled a date for them to do the installation – Monday, 5/23. For some reason, though, they told us that we would have to pick up the materials ourselves (which seemed a little odd to us – wouldn’t the installer usually bring everything themselves?). Anyway, they told us to come in on Friday (5/20) before 5:00 PM.

Of course, when we got there, the flooring wasn’t ready for us to pick up – in fact, it wasn’t even at that store! Apparently, it still had to be delivered from a different Lowe’s in another town, and no one had bothered to call us and tell us that it wouldn’t be ready. Seeing that we were annoyed that we had driven over there for no reason (especially since we had to take extra time off of work to get there), they promised us that someone would then deliver it for us over the weekend – but they didn’t know exactly when. Of course, with the installer already scheduled to come on 5/23, that only left Saturday and Sunday (or we’d have to reschedule the whole thing).

So Saturday came and went with no delivery and no calls from Lowe’s. On Sunday morning, I called them back to ask them what was going on. They looked up our file and told us that they didn’t have any information about a delivery, but the flooring had at least arrived in the store. Again, we were told that someone would call us back soon about the delivery.

By 12:00 noon, we still hadn’t received a call, so we decided to just go back to the store and pick everything up ourselves since at least we knew it was there. When we got there and explained our situation, they looked up our file but didn’t seem to have any idea what was going on with the order. First, they told us that the materials weren’t there because they had been taken by the installer, which was the “standard procedure” (so why were we told to pick everything up ourselves in the first place?). Then, someone went to “double-check” this information – and it was a good thing that they did, because the materials WERE there, in fact, and just had to be packaged up.

Since at this point we didn’t trust them to deliver it for us later that day, we ended up taking everything home ourselves – all 16 (heavy!) boxes.

The installation is still scheduled for tomorrow, and hopefully that will go smoothly. We were just shocked at the complete lack of communication and the extreme difficulty in doing something as simple as scheduling an appointment and getting the materials – isn’t that supposed to be what a place like Lowe’s does? Something that they told us would be handled in “two or three days” ended up taking three weeks!

Update! We heard from James today when we asked if the long-struggled for flooring had finally made its way through the installation process.

He says, “Yep, except they neglected to give us a piece of some material that the installer said he needed – fortunately, though, he had his own with him as backup. Installation itself was fine – it was just the process of scheduling the appointment and getting the materials that was needlessly complicated. Nothing we purchased was special order or anything either, so it should have been very straightforward.”

We heartily agree.