Hired Lowe's to install a fence, after 19 weeks and no fence, I fired them

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Jan 6, 2021
141
543
93
Houston, TX
OP reports she disputed all charges on both the Synchrony account and the Discover account. Discover ruled in her favor. Synchrony did not.
Then she has 10 days from the time of being informed to challenge the results of the investigation. The creditor must then add a note to the charge indicating it is under dispute. However, the creditor may continue to attempt to collect a payment at this time.
 
Dec 26, 2018
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I've found the discussion on the various legal options to be really fascinating. For a different perspective, I just wanted to echo what previous posts mentioned about involving local media, if possible, because that was the only thing that solved my own fence contractor problem.

I won't bore you with details, but I had a similar battle with a horrible fence contractor a few years ago when we purchased a new home. We also had promises from them to complete work that never happened, lots of angry exchanges, and weeks and weeks where they just disappeared and stopped communicating with us. I first complained to the BBB, thinking that they had some kind of actual power (though if you read this site faithfully, you quickly learn that they don't). The company ignored them completely. At one point, I happened to come in contact with one of the company's employees who - for some reason - gave me some inside info on the many ways the company was terrible. That actually all fence companies in my area are terrible. I think he may have been retiring and took some sympathy on my complaints. He explained how the company always dropped residential projects - even ones they had started - when large commercial or public contracts come in. In my case, he said that after they started part of my fence, the state hired them to install fence along a long stretch of road. It was a multi-million dollar project that would tie them up months. They dropped me without a second thought and didn't care what I thought. My little $3K fence project meant nothing to them, nor would losing me as a customer because repeat business among residential clients isn't a major factor with fencing (i.e how many fences does an individual customer purchase in their lifetime?)

So I took that info to the local TV station that has a troubleshooter. We never even had to air a story. When the station contacted the company that we were preparing a piece on them, they said they'd have my fence done in 2 days if we dropped it. I agreed provided they dropped the price by 50%. They countered with a 30% discount, which I accepted. The work was done within days.

So for me the only thing that worked was the threat of public shaming. If you have options like that in your area to pressure them (and maybe the local Lowes branch too), perhaps that might help you too. Wishing you lots of luck to get through this.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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Two observations:

I believe the statute of limitations on filing a Fair Credit Billing Act claim in court is a minimum of two years. (There are wrinkles here with a bad credit report causing continuing injury, which is why I said “a minimum.”)

The FTC’s holder rule requires consumer contracts to contain rather specific language about the consumer retaining claims and defenses. It is simply not possible to provide in a consumer contract for a different choice of law.
 
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Jan 6, 2021
141
543
93
Houston, TX
It is simply not possible to provide in a consumer contract for a different choice of law.
I hate to belabor this point, but this is not accurate. It is possible to contract for choice of law. It is possible to completely contract around law. It is possible to write contracts following laws that don’t even exist anymore. I can write a contract in the US that says any and all arbitration must take place in and according to the financial laws of the Cayman Islands! Most of the time, you’ll see choice of laws clauses for Delaware be a it’s the most business-friendly state in the US. Just because there’s a federal regulation out there does not mean that it will be followed if a choice of law clause says a state’s law will bind. This is what lawyers do and have done forever.

It may not be fair, ethical, or right; it’s certainly confusing for consumers who search out legal remedies, find something that looks applicable, and are then met with reality.

For the sake of those following this thread for its intended purpose, I’m done with the legal lecture. Believe what you’d like; if you want to discuss the intricacies of law, I’m more than happy to oblige in a private message or over on the freeform discussion area of this site.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
25,517
27,957
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Two observations:

I believe the statute of limitations on filing a Fair Credit Billing Act claim in court is a minimum of two years. (There are wrinkles here with a bad credit report causing continuing injury, which is why I said “a minimum.”)

The FTC’s holder rule requires consumer contracts to contain rather specific language about the consumer retaining claims and defenses. It is simply not possible to provide in a consumer contract for a different choice of law.
Just a note - Alexander is an attorney.
 
Jan 6, 2021
141
543
93
Houston, TX
Just a note - Alexander is an attorney.
And one that is not always right! Law is such that there exist exceptions to everything!

The reason I’ve stuck around on this forum and offered to help where I can is because I want people to realize that litigation is your LAST resort! It rarely works out how you hope it will.

Mr. Elliott, and even more so the volunteers on this forum, will give FAR better advice to consumers than a lawyer will in almost every instance. Look through these threads and read the success stories from people who have followed the steps that the volunteers here have laid out—including my own! I came here for help; I didn’t use the legal system because it rarely works out the way you want it to and even when it does, it can take years.

There are a lot of great attorneys out there, but there are a lot of them who will take your money—legally—and do nothing. I hate that, and I hate to think that people might think suing someone is an easy victory. Corporations have scores of lawyers far more brilliant than I am who are experts at shutting down litigation before it ever sees the inside of a courtroom.

Self-help and following the advice and procedures that the volunteer advocates here educate consumers on every day produces FAR more victories than the courts ever will.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
1,367
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I've read this entire thread twice, and it's giving me a migraine. OP needs to out *)$%@ Lowes for subcontracting to a scam artist. OP's best bet on that will be television and social media. Yelp, Yahoo, Google Reviews, Lowes' Facebook and Twitter accounts. OP's local Fox news, local newspaper Ombudsman. Really, plaster your problem everywhere possible. The legal remedies available will eat up more money than the never-finished fence. Sometimes you just have to shame the company into fixing the problem.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
10,824
12,605
113
San Francisco
I've found the discussion on the various legal options to be really fascinating. For a different perspective, I just wanted to echo what previous posts mentioned about involving local media, if possible, because that was the only thing that solved my own fence contractor problem.

I won't bore you with details, but I had a similar battle with a horrible fence contractor a few years ago when we purchased a new home. We also had promises from them to complete work that never happened, lots of angry exchanges, and weeks and weeks where they just disappeared and stopped communicating with us. I first complained to the BBB, thinking that they had some kind of actual power (though if you read this site faithfully, you quickly learn that they don't). The company ignored them completely. At one point, I happened to come in contact with one of the company's employees who - for some reason - gave me some inside info on the many ways the company was terrible. That actually all fence companies in my area are terrible. I think he may have been retiring and took some sympathy on my complaints. He explained how the company always dropped residential projects - even ones they had started - when large commercial or public contracts come in. In my case, he said that after they started part of my fence, the state hired them to install fence along a long stretch of road. It was a multi-million dollar project that would tie them up months. They dropped me without a second thought and didn't care what I thought. My little $3K fence project meant nothing to them, nor would losing me as a customer because repeat business among residential clients isn't a major factor with fencing (i.e how many fences does an individual customer purchase in their lifetime?)

So I took that info to the local TV station that has a troubleshooter. We never even had to air a story. When the station contacted the company that we were preparing a piece on them, they said they'd have my fence done in 2 days if we dropped it. I agreed provided they dropped the price by 50%. They countered with a 30% discount, which I accepted. The work was done within days.

So for me the only thing that worked was the threat of public shaming. If you have options like that in your area to pressure them (and maybe the local Lowes branch too), perhaps that might help you too. Wishing you lots of luck to get through this.
What a great story, David! Unfortunately, I can see a contractor's point chosing between a small residential job and a huge commercial one. While the good contractors will figure out a way to make it work for everyone, the bad ones just walk away. And obviously Lowe's doesn't grasp the fact that you are THEIR customer, so they don't bother to help. @AMA is so right ... a situation like this calls for public hullabaloo. There's just no other way to get the fence installed. Thanks for posting this; I hope that our OP will follow your lead.
 
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