Lowes Companies Incorporated - Complaint about a Defective Countertop Bought at Lowes

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 7:43am CDT by 0bcf14ad

Product: Kitchen Counter Top

Company: Lowes Companies Incorporated

Location: P. O. Box 1111, CON8
WILKESBORO, NC, 28656-0001, US

URL: http://www.lowes.com/

Category: Appliances, Equipment, Tools

The Issue

In May 2009, we ordered a Wilsonart laminated kitchen countertop via Lowes Kitchen Cabinet Designer in Lowes (located in Laura, MD). The countertop was measured through a contractor recommended by Lowes and was installed in June by a contractor not affiliated with Lowes.

On July 23, 2009, my husband noticed that about two inches of the joint edge (between the top and the side surfaces) near the kitchen sink split open and the top surface in that area pushed up.

On July 28, 2009, I called Lowes and the seller arranged the countertop vendor from Counter Tops and Vanities (CTV) to do a home inspection next day. He came to our house the next day. My husband met him at our house. He told my husband to find out at Lowes about the inspection results.

I did not get his report until the afternoon of August 21, 2009 after I called four Lowes Customer Care staff on four separate days, talked to the store manager twice, to the seller once, and left a message for the vendor at Counter Top and Vanities.

The district manager, gave me a call on August 24, 2009, after I asked Customer Care for its mailing address. I emailed him the four pictures about the countertop and explained my position. He sided with Jeffs opinion that blamed the dishwasher for the damage. His solution was to offer us a new countertop at 50% discount.

On August 27, Lowes installer was dispatched to our house for a second homecheck. He took a few pictures around the dishwasher and the countertop area. He also unscrewed the top of the dishwasher and hand felt the padding there. The district manager emailed me the next day saying he still felt that Lowes was not responsible for the damage because the damage was caused by the dish rack and the standing water. He adhered to his final solution: offering us a new countertop at 50% discount.

Dispute

First I would dispute the vendor's claim that the cause for the split edge of our countertop was our dishwasher underneath it. The steam came out and caused joint edge separate.

I took four photographs of the countertop and the dishwasher. One can see that the bubble and the split edge are located at the right middle section of the dishwasher. Both the bottom and the joint edge of the countertop (between the bottom and the side edge) near the dishwasher are still new and with no sign of damage at all. If the steam from the dishwasher had caused the damage of the joint edge between the top surface and the side edge as was claimed by Jeff, the bottom and the joint edge between the bottom and the side should also be somewhat affected. No sign of damage is seen in those areas closer to the dishwasher.

Next I would dispute district managers statement that the dish rack and the standing water caused the damage. I emailed three pictures I took about the dish rack area to Lowes district manager on August 31, 2009. From the pictures one can tell that there is no sign of any damage around the sink area which is closer to the dish rack than the damaged countertop edge. This indicates that the connection between the sink and the countertop is sealed properly so that the water is not able to seep in. It also proves that the damaged side edge was the result of the defective product. I stated to the district manager these reasons but he adhered to his solution.

Based on the evidence, I can confidently assert that the split open countertop was not caused by the dishwasher underneath it but was the result of defective product. Common sense tells me that the joint edge had not been sealed right by the Counter Top and Vanities Inc. so that it allowed some water drip into the unsealed joint that connect the top and the side surfaces while we were engaging in normal kitchen activities. Lowes should have told its customers in their countertop warranty that absolutely no water is allowed on or near its countertop in order to

free itself from the responsibility for such damage.

We have spent over $1000 purchasing, delivering, and installing the countertop, not to say hundreds of labor hours replacing our old but well-functioned countertop and more unnecessary hours dealing with the post-installation issues. Therefore I demand Lowes honor its warranty and provide full compensation for our loss.


1 Comment

0bcf14ad, 2011-09-29, 09:23PM CDT

In September that year, Lowes told us that they were willing to refund our cost of over $600 for the counter top. In exchange, we were asked to sign a legal document in which we promised we would not sue the company in the future.

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