Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Value of a Lowe's Extended Warranty

With spring coming I decided it was time to do some maintenance work around the yard.  I pulled the tractor up to the house and took the mowing deck off of it.  It was pretty nasty so I pulled out the pressure washer.  I had bought some new O-Rings for the pressure washer the week before so I replaced the old O-rings, hooked up the hoses and started washing the tractor.  After I had cleaned the tractor and the deck the driveway was looking pretty bad.  I started blowing all the grass and mud off the driveway and I lost all pressure.  I tried restarting the pressure washer but couldn't get any pressure out of the wand.  Ah, this is why we bought the extended warranty.  The pressure washer was almost 2 years old so I wasn't too concerned about something failing.

I called the Lowes service number on the sticker and he took down all my information telling me to go drop it off at Lowes and I should have it back in a week.  When I get to Lowes their customer service has no idea what's going on so I have to give all the information again.  It turns out that local Lowes stores can only look up sales from the last 6 months.  She asks when it was purchased, writes all the information down, and it's off for repair.

A few days later "Lowe's Service" calls and says it will be $280 for the repair because it is out of warranty.  I tell them that it is in warranty and am told to call their corporate customer service to have that verified and sent to "Lowe's Service"  So I do, and they do.  Then I get a call back from "Lowe's Service" stating that the warranty is void because I was "running the pressure washer with no water".  I find that funny, I suppose it was fairies and rainbows coming out of the pressure washer for the 1/2 hour before it failed.  I tell them to send it back to the store.

I went to the store today to pick up the pressure washer and they charged me $58 to get the machine back.  Because I didn't take their "service" I was charged a "diagnostic fee".  Oh, and they want to charge $280 to "replace the seals on the pump".  I can buy a whole new pump for retail cost of $125-140.  I asked to speak with the manager and am informed that "Lowe's Service" isn't even Lowe's, it's contracted out.  Whatever they say goes, he offers to split the bill with me.  Oh how nice, then I only have to pay $198 (140+58) for the $125 bolt on part, how nice.

The machine finally comes up from the warehouse and it's soaking wet.  They had it sitting outside, in the rain.  It's been raining here for 2 days.  The plastic bag that the paperwork was hanging from is filled with water.  It's a pressure washer though so it's not really a big deal.  What really made me mad was the fact that they decided to take a permanent marker to the top of it and write the ticket number on the plastic.  See picture:
So the value of a Lowe's Extended Warranty is less than zero.  Zero would be getting it back in the same broken state that I dropped it off.  Now, is it not only broken it's been tagged by Lowe's.  Guess where I won't be buying power tools EVER again?  We have a new lumber/hardware store opening in Leesburg soon.  I'd imagine they will have a new customer soon.

Oh, and Troy-Bilt, the great power tools of days gone by doesn't exist anymore.  Researching this thing I leaned that it is a Honda engine on top of a Briggs and Stratton pump.  Troy-bilt is now owned by MTD.  It's nothing but a name of a company that used to make nice things.

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