Seaton: Nightmare on Appliance Street


Some things in life couldn’t be compromised on, the Sheriff decided that day.

Those things were the rule of law, the US Constitution, quiet dishwashers and functional central air.


Today, friends, we’re going to examine the lengths to which your humble humorist will go to obtain that second prong on which no compromise may be made: the quiet dishwasher.

About a month ago the dishwasher in my house started making a loud buzzing noise on the fill. Well, to be precise, it was buzzing when it drained and buzzing when it filled.

I got on YouTube and Googled several things I thought might be problems, like clogged traps. No such luck. It was time to put in a call to my friend J.P.

J.P.’s a transplant from New York State and very proudly Tennessean these days. He’s also a versatile contractor and handyman. He stops by one day after work and eyes my dishwasher.

“That thing’s about ten years old by the look of it, brother,” J.P. told me. “I don’t want to rain on your parade but that’s usually about the time these things go to shit.”

As soon as he heard the buzzing I got the diagnosis: a bad motor on the drain pump in the dishwasher. I was given two options: call a guy who worked with J.P. and see if he could repair it. The catch on this was that the part needed to be in stock, and he had to be able to actually repair a ten year old dishwasher without something else going wrong.

Or we could bite the bullet and buy a new dishwasher completely. J.P., stellar guy that he is, offered to do the install for $50. He’d even be able to get us a discount if we got it from Lowe’s or Home Depot.

We would eventually choose Lowe’s. This would prove to be a mistake. More on that later.

Dr. S. took point on the dishwasher selection. We picked a Bosch model in stainless steel on J.P.’s recommendation. J.P. informed us the next day that model was Supply Chained to Hell, and there was no timeframe on when the manufacturer would have more.

So we picked another model that was about $200 more expensive but we knew it was in stock. After all, according to Dr. S., it was showing as in stock at a Lowe’s twenty minutes from our house.

We jump on the dishwasher. Dr. S. ordered it online and selected delivery because Lowe’s offered to haul away our old dishwasher if it was disconnected and pulled out. This was a Wednesday. J.P. showed up that afternoon, disconnected the dishwasher and pulled it free from the anchoring so it would be easy to pull out.

Delivery is set for Friday between 8am-8pm. This is a worse window than cable repair guys, but we were getting our dishwasher so we were going to have to make sacrifices.

Part of the sacrifice was no hot water in the kitchen sink and steadily accumulating piles of dirty dishes. It’s not something I’m happy with, but I took solace in knowing one or two loads would sort it all out.

Friday morning we got an update. The delivery would be between 8 am and noon. When that didn’t happen Dr. S. checked online. The delivery status was now listed as “delayed.”

Well, we did originally know that it was going to be at the house between 8 am and 8 pm, so there’s that, my wife and I thought. I resume my errands as Dr. S. is now at the house.

By 2 pm she’s starting to get nervous, so she calls the Lowe’s. The lady in Customer Service tells my wife with a gee-golly-aw-shucks tone in her voice that wouldn’t you just know it, that silly dishwasher never made it on the truck! And worse yet, no one could even tell if they had that dishwasher in the building, wouldn’t you know it?

It had to be there. Not only was it showing as in stock online from our end, it was showing as in stock and in the building on her end. The overly happy CS rep then told my wife she was going to do some digging and call back.

That call back came half an hour later. No mention was made of our dishwasher’s status. Instead we were told that the store wouldn’t be getting any new dishwashers in until the 26th of August, and that we could either (a) cancel the order or (b) try our luck with fulfillment from a different store.

Neither option was satisfactory. After obtaining the order information I called the store to inquire with a manager as to what would be done to make this right.

The store manager, who I’ll call “A,” was very nice and off-putting, which sucked because I was in the mood to motherfuck someone into oblivion. Further still she called me back half an hour later with wonderful news. My dishwasher was there, in the receiving bay, and it just didn’t make it onto the truck that day.

Apologizing profusely, A texted and emailed everyone she could think of about the issue and stressed the dishwasher needed to be here by noon Saturday. Furthermore, she offered to take 10% off the order total because of the trouble we’d incurred.

Satisfied for the moment, we ended our conversation that day. We would have our dishwasher the next morning.

Dr. S. woke Saturday to a missed call. It was the store. Due to “routing issues” the dishwasher would now arrive later. Nothing we could do, we gathered, and then went on about our day.

My calm was somewhat restored until I got a phone call from A informing me that somehow the dishwasher failed to make it on the truck. Again. The delivery truck had been recalled and they’d agreed to do the delivery but the unit wouldn’t arrive at the house until 4 pm.

By 3:30 I became impatient and called the store to see if by any chance my dishwasher had made it onto any sort of delivery truck. A informed me that no, they were still waiting on the delivery team to get back from whatever crack house they’d stopped at on their merry way back and my dishwasher was still in the receiving bay.

I call J.P. and offer him a six pack of beer if he’ll go get my damn dishwasher from the store.

“Hell yes,” he responded. “Beats sitting on my ass twiddling my damn thumbs all day.”

I neglected to mention J.P.’s time was being wasted with Lowe’s continued fuckups because he was waiting on the delivery so he could install our dishwasher. So about an hour after the call, my dishwasher was on J.P.’s truck and A took another 10% off our order total for the sheer maddening debacle this whole experience had turned into.

The horror was far from over. While J.P.’s installing our dishwasher, I check our credit card balance. Turns out instead of crediting back the difference in purchase price, Lowe’s charged our credit card twice: once for the full price of the dishwasher we’d paid Wednesday and then a second charge, made that very day, for the total that would’ve been the discounted price.

I call A again and ask for an explanation in this payment issue. I’m told the original purchase price will be back on my card by the next day and if the matter isn’t resolved by Monday we’ll hash it out with General Accounting.

Fortunately that did happen. Our card got credited back the full purchase price charge overnight and we’ve been Lowe’s-free since then.

So the moral of the story, I suppose if there is one, is that if you plan on ordering appliances from Lowe’s one really should plan on picking them up and taking care of the install yourself. Otherwise you’re going to get nothing but Friendly, Ultra Careful Handling of your purchase.

And everyone just loves it when the fine professionals at Lowe’s delivery team FUCH your order. Based on my experience and that of others I’ve spoken with since, they’ve got a delivery team that’s FUCHing everyone they come in contact with.

We’ll see you next week, everybody! Hope you have a great weekend, and remember: no matter how bad your week’s been, at least you didn’t depend on Lowe’s delivery team for an important household appliance!

Happy Friday!

12 thoughts on “Seaton: Nightmare on Appliance Street

  1. Mike Guenther

    See that’s the thing. Lowes, and Home Depot also, use independent contractors for their deliveries of anything other than building materials. So you could get a conscientious team that goes above and beyond, like we had when we ordered our dishwasher, or you could get team Doofus and Butthead, who haven’t seen a crack house they could pass up. I think mostly these days, there are more Doofus and Butthead teams out there.

    I will say however, that Lowe’s customer service is pretty good. When I had trouble with the mini splits I ordered from them on line for delivery and I had to take one of them back a couple of times because of shipping damage, they gave me an additional discount to my military discount of ten more percent.

    1. CLS

      I can only speak to the tone deafness of the CS Rep who spoke to my wife, and the complete FUCHery made of my purchase.

  2. B. McLeod

    I stopped dealing with Lowe’s over a decade ago, due to their clownish “customer service.”

  3. KeyserSoze

    Sounds like the experience I have had multiple times in dealing with anything outside of the store. It took them five weeks to reverse a double charge. They made my 84 year old mother wait 2 months to finish her kitchen.

    Lowes IT sucks then it has to interface with someone else’s.

    1. CLS

      J.P., among other things, is an ex Lowe’s employee and got similarly shafted trying to build a deck a year ago.

      They’ll FUCH everyone from employees to 84 year old mothers, Lowe’s will.

  4. DanQ

    My (holiday version) dishwasher story involves three months (Nov, Dec, Jan), seven new dishwashers, seven delivery teams, and a dishwasher repairman (who drove a screw into a perfectly good circuit board, twice). I had the accounting department manager on speed dial by the time they processed refunds for six separate purchases.

    The silver lining – the redeemable loyalty points that accrued @ 1 point for every $1 spent were worth $1 for each point, and accounting never deducted them when they processed the refunds. We were able to purchase all new small appliances in our kitchen for 0$ + tax.

  5. Kirk A Taylor

    My local Home Depot delivery dudes refused to deliver down our admittedly “difficult” private road. The difference here was that the manager loaded it on their rental truck and had two employees deliver and install it the next day.
    Probably violated a dozen company policies but some people remember what customer service means.

    1. CLS

      I guess the moral of the story is when buying appliances, you’re going to get FUCHed one way or another!

Comments are closed.