Monday, January 11, 2010

My Lowe’s Nightmare

Let me start off by saying the salesman was nice. Of course, salesmen are always nice. They want to be your friend. That must be one of the rules of successful salesmanship. Not too long ago, my wife and I were shopping for a car at the now defunct Gulf Motors when a salesman asked, after learning we were from New Jersey, what part of Jersey I was from. When I told him Dover, he swore that Dover was his home town. No kidding, I said. “Where abouts did you live?” “By the school,” he answered. “Which school?” “You know, the big one.” By then, I realized the guy was full of shit and probably couldn’t find Jersey on a map. Still, he was probably employing tried and true selling techniques.

Anyway, the guy selling appliances at Lowe’s was a nice enough guy. He helped us roll the Samsung refrigerator we were looking at over to the Whirlpool range so that my wife could compare the shades of stainless. Then, he gladly accepted our debit card and we were good to go.

The problems came with the delivery men. They brought in the refrigerator, attached the freezer compartment handle, plugged it in, then, set the temperatures. So far so good. Then came the range. The lead man, in charge of the connections, did a little finagling, then, voila, tried the burners. They worked. Then, he tested the oven. Zap, it threw a breaker. He tried it again. Same result. He told me there was something wrong with the breaker and that I needed a new, updated, version. Then, he and his partner left. Appreciatively, fool that I am, I tipped each of them a fin.

After removing the breaker from the box – it was a duel 30/40 amp breaker common to houses on wheels – I drove up to Lowe’s and talked to a guy in the electrical department. He said they didn’t have the breaker I needed, a 30/50 amp breaker, and directed me to try across the street at Home Depot. The guy at Home Depot, an ex-electrician, informed me that the 30/50 amp breaker recommended by the guy at Lowe’s required heavier wire than what I had in the trailer and that installing one could spark a fire. He advised me to contact an electrician.

Well, it was Sunday afternoon. But, luckily, I live in an old fogies trailer park where the residents are retired from all kinds of occupations. With a few calls, I found myself a retired electrician who was glad to come over. He ran a few tests and determined that the line was okay to the range outlet and through the cord up to the stove. Something’s wrong with the stove, he said.

So, I called Lowe’s, spoke to the same salesman, and was promised I’d receive a new stove, in fact, a better stove, the next day. And I did. They plugged it in, turned on the oven, and everything worked perfectly. No one has gotten back to me from Lowe’s. Guess they think it’s okay that their delivery man had me running all over when he should have known that there was something wrong with the stove. My guess is he was just too lazy to cart it back out to the truck.

Speaking of lazy, I noticed the refrigerator door, when allowed to swing shut, was closing with enough force to jolt the entire hacienda. I got down onto the floor and discovered that neither of the levelers were touching the floor. They just plopped it down and left it there.

I never liked Lowe’s, but my wife did. Let’s face it, as opposed to HD it’s more girly. You know, finished floors instead of concrete, etc. etc. But, I doubt they’ll ever see another nickel of my money.