03 October 2010

commerce - why I won't shop at Lowe's

I've not traded with Lowe's [the lumber and hardware superstore] since 2008, discontinuing when it took almost three months to get a special order [pre-paid, mind you] of three packs of roofing shingles from the store.
     They were ordered in Newington in September. The clerks were certain such a small order would take no time at all. I took possession of my shingles just before Thanksgiving Day, in November. I learned that my order had been sitting in a warehouse outside of Boston almost the entire time since "special orders" don't get delivered right away to the originating store. When the clerks called to find them I was present and overheard the call. The Boston folks seemed angry that the clerks were bothering them. The guys I was standing with were embarrassed; said to come back next time I needed something and they'd give me a good deal, but I didn't return.
     Until recently. In the process of repainting Bill's apartment while he's in the hospital, I thought I'd give them another try. Maybe that was a fluke. This time I went to a new store, n Cromwell.
     I special ordered a gallon of paint. Put it on the bed of my pick-up. When I got home, the paint can had tipped over and while the top had not come off, the paint ["creme Brulee" the color mix] had seeped out and across the bed of truck.
     I was more than a little upset. I called the store and was told by a woman that it was water-based so it should be easy to clean up. She took my number and promised a manager would call then, abruptly, hung up.
     It took about an hour to clean up the paint.
     When I got a call back I was berated by the clerk [Chris was his name, he would not provide his last name] who began questioning how I'd secured the can on the truck bed; that I should have been more responsible. He told be it was "impossible" for the paint to have just seeped out from underneath the lid since the store uses a high-tech securing device to guarantee the paint can is sealed.
     I told him I knew the device; that all stores use it and there was nothing high-tech about it; that I'd watched him seal the can and that the device is called a "mallet". He was momentarily silent.
     The fact that not only he would neither apologize [it could have been insincere, I understand that] nor take any responsibility for his inattention ~ but instead glared at me defiantly when I came back in, made it worse. When he was through foisting the blame on me, he said to come back in and he'd mix a new can for no extra charge and that I could even have what remained in the spilled can.
     It's a work truck. I've never expected to keep it in pristine collector-state condition. But I would prefer that, if it's damaged, it's due to something I did; getting a gallon of paint on the bed because a store clerk didn't properly seal the can shut is unacceptable.
     Ironically, he was actually kind of helpful when I first went in to get the paint.
     But it is the attitude that I can't abide.
     In the past two years I have probably spent over $14,000 on lumber, or hardware or new appliances. That is money that did not go to Lowe's. It may not be a huge chunk of change to them, but it is still business they didn't get ~ and still won't.

IMAGE SOURCES: Paint can found at: Smart Couponing; Lowe's logo found at: Propper Source; Rubber Mallet from Hand Tools

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