Buying An Extended Warranty From Lowe's? Keep The Paperwork Very, Very Safe

When the dishwasher that Greg bought at Lowe’s broke down after a failed repair, he called up the store. A manager instructed him to bring the appliance, which was covered under an extended warranty, in to the store and they would exchange it for one that actually worked. Only when he brought it in, the employees on duty treated him “like a criminal” because he had lost the receipt in a recent move. Wait, don’t appliances have serial numbers that they can use to look up warranty information? Nope.

Greg sent this e-mail to the powers that be at Lowe’s.

I hope this email finds you well. I really need to enlighten you to a situation that occurred at one of your stores in [redacted].

My wife and I purchased a Electrolux dishwasher (very expensive, I’m fairly sure it was over $1200) from this store a little over a year ago. We had purchased the extended warranty directly from Lowes on the dishwasher, as we wanted to have peace of mind over the life of the unit. Around Thanksgiving of this last year (2011), it broke. It was out of factory warranty, so we called your Lowe’s service center listed on the extended warranty receipt. They sent someone out (from Sears my wife thinks), who said the drain was clogged and left (didn’t even bother looking at it). After removing the dishwasher myself, and checking it was not a clog in the drain.

We called the Lowe’s service center again, and this time, they sent someone local, [redacted] [The repairman] came out looked at it and determined it needed a pump (which I had told both the Lowes service center and [the repairman]), but told me he had to order the part and that he would return again to replace the pump. Two weeks later he returned and replaced the drain pump. GREAT, we had a working dishwasher…for a day. Pump went out again. This time we called [repairman] directly and he came back out and replaced the pump again…worked for another day and quit again. BTW, this is now January of this year. Well, the pump is still not working.

My wife called Lowe’s [store number] and spoke to a manager named [redacted]. He said, No problem, just bring it in and we can exchange it. “This was great,” I thought. Took the dishwasher into Lowe’s and they treated me like a criminal! I admit I had misplaced the receipt (we just moved a month ago, and could not find it, but ill find it if its the last thing I ever do). However, I incorrectly assumed that Lowe’s OR at least their service center kept decent records. The service center had the gaul that tell me that they could not look up the appliance by serial number! Serial number, the UNIQUE number that only one device has!

Lowe’s repair center had NO indication that we ever called about the dishwasher! Well, apparently [the local repairman] has his records to show that he was contacted by Lowe’s service center, but not that this really matters, because I left the store with NO dishwasher and NO resolution after me spending over an hour at the store. They told my wife last night, when [the repairman] can verify our story, they will take action!

To sum up, I am very disappointed in how your management handled this. I own two houses now, and I have spent easily over $75,000 at Lowe’s in the last ten years. I have spent in excess of $50,000 in Lowe’s [store number] since it opened, and at least $3,000 there in the last month. I realize that how much I spent should have NO bearing on how I am treated in your stores, but I just wanted you to personally know how much money you are losing by me no longer being a Lowe’s customer.

My old broken dishwasher is at your store. I don’t ever want to see it again. And I’m VERY sorry to say, I don’t ever want to shop at a Lowe’s ever again. I will be passing this story along to the Consumerist website, my friends, and family with the intention of them making the intelligent decision and taking their business elsewhere as well. Thank God for choices!

I’m not a criminal as your store made me feel (which is odd because I am there at least 2x a week), I am a consumer with a valid complaint that your staff failed to rectify. It certainly is not about the money, it is the point that I don’t have a working dishwasher. Wonder how your wife would treat you if you had a broken dishwasher for over 3 months through the holidays? I should have just went and bought a new one, since the extended warranties are not worth the paper that they are printed on!

Whatever happened to customer service?

Customer service is probably somewhere near the socks that disappear into the dryer, and the original warranty paperwork for the dishwasher.

This isn’t the best-written example of a customer complaint letter, but it’s surprising that Lowe’s would somehow lose track of a warranty sold not that long ago to a regular and loyal customer. An outside repair service shouldn’t be responsible for keeping Lowe’s records for them.

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