Of Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores and costly “Computer Errors”

 Subtitle:

 “My favorite day” Said Pooh…

Heads Up    Act 1

Fraud by Lowes. Heads UP my people! If you buy ANY tools at Lowes  ^^check your reciepts before you leave^^  because they’re cramming “warranties” and charging you for them whether you like it or not. I don’t know if it’s done with every tool purchase, or some, or just folks like me who won’t use the “MyLowes” Big Brother Purchase Observation System (or BB POS); but I can unequivocally prove that it IS being done. Yes I do, in fact, have their receipts! (vicious pun intended 😈)

Prelude To A Theft    Act 2

In Hiding

So… about 4 months ago I purchased an $800.00 trailer at the Lowe’s store in Bend, Oregon. All went well, and easily, until we came to the checkout portion of the sale. The cashier (who was completely awesome btw) asked me if I wanted to buy the extended warranty plan. I declined because I firmly believe these “warranties” (which are almost always written as an insurance plan with a stiff deductible) are a scam. So I watched the lady push the “no” button on the keyboard in reply to the sales prompt for the warranty plan… All Good right?

Well, you’d like to think so 

But Nope. When I reviewed the Reciept the ^computer system^ had added the 1 yr “extended warranty” and charged me for it… even though I’d watched the cashier press the “no” button in response to the warranty prompt . (Note here that I’m on the Aspie Spectrum and I “notice” EVERYTHING. I’m also a fair bit anal about money, contracts, and such things so I reflexively read EVERYTHING about any transactions I’m involved in… Sorry; it’s just how my brain is hardwired)

So I stopped her from moving on to the next customer and said that I’d watched her push the “no” button for the warranty and asked why was I being charged extra money for a warranty I’d declined to purchase after I’d watched her select “no” to the warranty sales prompt in the register system? She immediately got a manager, the warranty was canceled & money was refunded along with lots of apologies to me, and lots of blame for the “Computer error by our old, old, register system”.  All good, no harm/no foul, and I got all my money back; Right?

Well, you’d like to think so; and that’s what I thought at the time, but apparently not so much…

Prelude to a Theft   Act 3
In Real Life

So this week (11/02/16 at 14:52 to be precise) I went to the Redmond Oregon Lowe’s store and purchased $258.17 worth of stuff for some home repairs I was doing. Among those items was a narrow crown stapler which I’ll be using to build replacements for our kitchen drawers which are beat to crap particleboard that’s been repaired repeatedly. 

Pretty rough eh?

The cabinets themselves are all 1970s legacy solid wood cases and aren’t realistically replaceable at any sane cost because of the quality of the wood used (north of $10k for a small kitchen) .. So I’m refurbishing them. Here’s some of the ones I’ve already refinished with a satin urethane spar varnish. I’ll never have to do it again.

Much better, and very nearly bullet proof as I used an exterior grade urethane spar varnish.

But I digress…

Anatomy Of A Theft    Act 4
So, this cashier guy (also awesome btw) checks me out, asks me do I want the 2 yr $11.97 warranty on the $70 stapler (making it an $82 stapler) and I, being the anal Aspie that I am, say “No thanks, no warranty”

Once again I WATCH him push the “no” button on the registers’ warranty sales prompt and I pay with my debit card… here’s my Reciept

See that little old $11.97 for “2yr RP Tools $50-99.99” at the bottom?

Yup! BINGO! That’s the warranty I’d declined, then stood and WATCHED as the guy pressed the “no” button on! (I wonder if Lowes can put in a “HELL F’ING NO” button…)

Once again I called it out, got the money refunded, and got lots of apologies from him and his manager (the people were awesome it’s the system that’s FUBAR) about their “Glitches in the old, old, almost decrepit, computer system causing the problem” which was nice and would be all good IF I hadn’t had the exact same thing happen at a different Lowes store 30 miles away and four months prior. (Oops… those pesky #DamnedFacts and attentive customers really suck for corporate fascist liars)

Where’s The Beef?!    Act 5

Now, were this a one off, or even were it a repeat at the same store a few weeks later, I might buy their excuses of “its a computer glitch” but this happened twice at TWO DIFFERENT stores 30 miles apart, and separated by more than 4 months?!

Um… Yea, folks I was born; but it wasn’t fucking yesterday. This “Computer Glitch” causing the EXACT SAME problem, which profits the Company, at two different stores, months apart, actually looks to be pretty damned intentional and it’s something which the Sherman Antitrust Act calls The Practice of Cramming which has been unequivocally banned since the late 1970s.

It’s also attempted fraud, and likely a few other criminal charges as well. (Like say insurance fraud since the “warranty” is written as an insurance plan)

The Blatant Truth    Act 6 and Finis

Now, I’m a pretty peaceful guy even though I’ve got over 10 years of aikido, and 4 years of Navy Hand to Hand Combat Training, under my belt. I’ve been in just 1 “fight” over the past 30 years and that was because some idiot in San Francisico thought it was perfectly OK to reach for my wallet without my explicit permission (don’t bother coppers,😂 the Statute of Limitations tolled well over 15 years ago).  I say “fight” because dude reached into my pants pocket for my wallet, without my explicit permission, and pulled back a broken wrist & shattered elbow for his troubles. It lasted under 2 seconds total time & I walked away. He, I suspect, didn’t do much walking for a while as I’d also kicked him in the knee. Hopefully he went into a somewhat safer line of business.

Where I’m going with this is that I don’t take kindly to thieves & abusers, nor do I passively tolerate them even though I’m a radical old school progressive who’s generally very peaceable.

SO… I’m writing this to let others know what’s up in the hopes of giving them the tools to defend themselves.

I’LL also say to Congress, SC(R)OTUS, POTUS, and everyone else on God’s Green Earth, that I will ONLY accept your claims of Corporations being equal or equivalent to People and thus deserving of OUR Human and Constitutional Rights; if and when I can punch Lowes’ teeth down his throat for these attempted muggings. Note that I’m being quite literal here. It’s intentional because if I can’t hurt you, or physically imprison you, for harming me then you’re NOT a person!! Thus corporstions are NOT ever entitled to hold the Rights of being a person… on ANY level.

Be well, Stay Woke, and WATCH YOUR RECIEPTS Ppl! There’s shenanigans afoot.

Fin. Almost

False Advertising   Act 7

Lowes makes great hay of “Honoring Veterans” in their advertising  by “offering Veterans a discount” because we served our Nation. Interestingly enough it’s only CERTAIN Veterans though.. Specifically it’s only those Veterans with a current DOD issued ID card. The rest of us who served honorably but didn’t retire, or weren’t injured In Service enough to get a VA Card, or whose records were damaged by aging microfiche (me), get NOTHING. So I served, honorably, can prove that Service with the “Veteran” marker on my driver’s license (which I had to present my DD214 to obtain), or with a DD214 hard copy, yet I get nothing.

Bottom line here is that you either offer the discount to Veterans, or you don’t.  To advertise that you do, even with your “Restrictions Apply” evasions, is simply a lie & it is false advertising.

Now, I’ve talked to their customer support people on all of this, so none of this is news to them. I got ZERO from those folks but polite evasions, obfuscation, and liberal doses of Corporate Newspeak a la 1984; so here we are.

IF a Lowes Corporate person with some level of authority has any questions for me on any of the above you’re welcome to DM me on twitter @fixer_guy to talk.

Fin.  For reals, this time.

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