Lowe’s replaces the cabinet

We’ve been on and off the phone with Lowe’s and their contractor, and one of the things we agreed to recently was that we could come to the store and pick out a replacement cabinet for the one that got broken during the floor installation. Last weekend we decided to take them up on that.

We decided to get ClosetMaid shelving instead, because it’s a small dark space we’re filling, and we thought we’d get more storage and it would be easier to use. The price turned out to be a wash, but it didn’t really matter. All we had to do was gather up the stuff we needed, bring it to the service counter, and Lowe’s took care of it.

After a bit of installation the shelves were up and being stocked. Our instincts were right – they are a huge improvement over what we’d had, for less money than it would have taken to replace the original cabinet.

We’ve got a date picked out for the reinstallation of the floor, and we’ve agreed on how to fix the damaged molding. All that’s left is the damage on the hardwood floor, but we’ren ot sure what to do about that.

While this got off to a rocky start, both Lowe’s and their contractor Premier Professional Services have been following up and interested to get it resolved.

Lowe’s Picks Up The Ball

It’s been a while and I haven’t followed up here on what’s been going on. I’ve been surprised by the number of people who’ve commented off-blog on this, so I wanted to let people know what’s happening.

1. We’ve gotten regular calls from Steve at Premier to schedule re-installation. We’ve been trying to figure out when to have it, but an untimely bout of E. Coli in our 1-year old daughter has kept us from moving too quickly.

2. Lowe’s as invited us to pick out a replacement for the cabinet at their store. We’re trying to get some free time to do that.

3. Steve at Premier did visit with the new installer, who agreed to fix the woodwork, to look over the old installation and plan the new one. They agreed to do it on a weekend to minimize impact on our employers.

4. Steve said they would contact a wood floor guy about the dents in our hardwood floors.

The only negative thing so far is they will not address the seam in the back all. The new installer measured the space and said that there was no way to do it without a seam unless we bought an extra amount of flooring. Since the original quote didn’t state there would be no seam (it was only a verbal statement by the installer) we’ve agreed to forego the seam replacement.

We should have this all done in a few weeks. So far, so good.

Lowe’s drops the ball again

We were supposed to get a call yesterday to arrange the reinstallation of the flooring job done so poorly by Lowe’s.  No call. Not really surprising given how things have gone so far.

Today we did get a call from Chris at Lowe’s, asking if they should come and install a new cabinet to replace the one they broke. We had two problems with this, the first being that we hadn’t seen a cabinet and would like to have some say in what’s being installed in our home. The second problem is that there’s no point in installing a cabinet on a floor that is being replaced.

He wasn’t really calling to give us any official news, except to say we’d be getting a call from their contractor. In business, when you have to make a call to the customer to tell them that someone else will be calling to solve their problem your ears should be ringing with warning bells. Things aren’t working right. Either the person who can solve the problem should be calling right now, or you should be able to solve the problem.

Seems like the run-around is starting…off to send some certified mail.

Lowes passes the buck

We heard from Chris, our contact at Lowes today, in regards to the unsatisfactory flooring installation we had last week. He’s passing the buck and telling us that the contractor who attempted the first installation, Premier Professional Services, will take care of everything. I’m not very optimistic, but Susan’s telling me it will be ok. We’re not comfortable with PPS doing the second attempt, but Chris tells us that they are the only contractor Lowes works with. This doesn’t sound right to me – PPS has been in business less than two years (at least they were registered in 2005), and as recent as last January was delinquent with the state over their LLC. Doesn’t seem like a stable partner for Lowes.

I say trust, but verify. I acquainted myself with Wisconsins Right To Cure Law, and will be sending proper written notification of the defects and damages to Lowes and PPS. If they come through for us that will be great, but if not at least we’ll be prepared.

Looking for flooring?

Looking for flooring? Maybe a great deal and installation on vinyl flooring?

My advice is to stay away from Lowes.

We ordered flooring from Lowes some time back, and the experience has been neither pleasant nor satisfying. I’m convinced that neither they, nor the organization sent to install the flooring, Premier Professional Services really care what happens once the flooring is sold.

There were two things we really wanted when we shopped for flooring, besides a fair price and a design we liked, of cours. They were that there would be no seams, and that we would not have to move any furniture. I’m short on vacation time and had just replaced our refrigerator, and I was done with furniture moving for a while. The old floor had seams that had opened up and given the size of the room there was no reason for them anyway.

We had an estimator come out, and while the $40 charge for moving each appliance was steep, I knew it involved disconnecting and reconnecting the stove, ice maker, etc. so it seemed worth it – the people doing it would surely be skilled and able to do it more quickly than I, right?

The estimator also assured us that no seams would be required, and we were happy with that too.

Turns out the guys who installed the flooring were very ignorant in two basic skills. First is moving anything without banging it into woodwork, tipping it over (for a detailed reason of why you don’t want to tip a fridge on its side, see here), dragging it across a hardwood floor, or last but most thorough, just breaking it into pieces. As they started to drag the stove across our living room floor, my wife, Susan, threw a fit and explained to them how to move furniture properly. Later, while they were moving the refridgerator they decided to stop in the middle of the job, while the doors were off and our food was getting warm, to step outside to call their boss and complain, she explained to them that the phone call could wait until they’d gotten the fridge put back together and running again. Their boss, Steven A. Lewinski, showed up and proceeded to mostly be rude to Susan and demand more money for moving the furniture. Susan explained that’s what estimators and esitmates were for, and since we’d changed nothing in the kitchen since the estimate was made, there would be no additional payment.

The second area of ignorance was how to measure a piece of flooring to ensure no seams would be necessary. Susan heard one installer ask “Did you measure that?” the other guy said “No – it’s big enough, right?” Wrong.

So here we sit with a floor that has a seam, underlayment seams telegraphing through, damaged woodwork, a damaged hardwood floor, a smashed pantry cabinet, and a two-week old refridgerator that doesn’t get very cold any more.

Steve Lewinski’s solution is to redo the floor. He’s assured us that he’ll send his “best guy – not like those other guys – and he’ll look at the other stuff once the floor is done.” Neither of us is really thrilled to take a day off – Susan’s a teacher and school started Thursday – to have the same company come back and have another whack at the job. We’re also not seeing how redoing the floor fixes the rest of the problems they’ve caused.

The installation was last Tuesday, and we haven’t yet heard from Lowes how the rest of it will be handled. Let’s hope they’re able to come up with a better solution, or at least address all the problems.