LOWE'S Home Improvement Sucks
DISCLAIMER This personal non-commercial website is NOT affiliated with LOWE'S Home Improvements, or the LOWE'S Companies of North Wilkesboro, NC (you can find LOWE's here) in any way shape, form or fashion. The contents of this website are views, opinions and facts as expressed by Allen Harkleroad and fully protected under U.S. and International law.
"LOWE'S is nothing more than a corporate bully that attempts to use the U.S. legal system to stifle my free speech rights. What they are doing (my opinion) could be considered as an attack on every single hardworking American in the United States. They are trying to shut me up because I am criticizing their business, and if you were to criticize them they might do the same to you.
No company or government authority has the right to prevent a U.S. citizens free speech either through harassment or by legal threats. I have a GOD given and constitutionally protected right to express my opinions and criticisms against others without fear of prosecution or persecution. Every American has that right, and can protect it, without any fear of getting sued or hurt in any way.
The issue I have with Lowe's now goes far beyond my
public opinion of their companies shoddy workmanship, it
has now spread into helping protect and uphold the
rights of every American against heavy handed
corporations (like LOWE'S) that think they can scare
us into shutting up about their bad products
If this kind of abuse and mistreatment makes you
angry I hope that you will send this information,
website, etc. to every one you know and help spread the
word about how LOWE's believes they can stop an American
citizen from criticizing them through lawyers and legal
Click here to be
taken to an easy way for you to help spread the word
about LOWE's corporate bullying.
WOO HOO! - This item is now on the Consumerist! (thanks guys and gals). I can't link back because of keeping this non commercial but you can add .com to the word consumerist to see the post! I apologize for the slowness of the site, all 4 T1's are bouncing at around 95% capacity at the moment, because of all the traffic, keep coming, I just ask for your patience as the pages load. I also see that the Register (Register .co .uk) picked up the story too, it's only a matter of time before this hits the large newspapers and television news shows.
Update September 23, 2007 -
at the bottom) - Call from Lowe's attorney on Saturday -
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org) has been
retained as legal counsel (for me) and all of the emails
and phone calls.
UPDATE - September 21, 2007 - Added recording of telephone conversations I had on 9/20 with Terry Hurley of Lowes. Please note that both North Carolina and Georgia have a one party consent law that allows the consent of a single party to record a telephone conversation. Click here to go directly to this entry
UPDATE September 20, 2007 (bottom of page) LEGAL
THREAT FOR TRADEMARK MISUSE BY LF, LLC ON BEHALF OF
LOWE'S - WHAT A FREAKING JOKE - BRING IT ON! (the
infringement letter I received is posted with this
UPDATE September 19, 2007 (bottom of page) VEILED LEGAL THREATS BY LOWE'S - Click here to go directly to this entry.
I encourage you to email a Lowe's Board of Director Member and tell them how you feel about them trying to prevent an American citizens right to criticize then in public? Here are their email addresses.
For everyone reading
this please send this to every one you know, the link is
YOU COULD ALMOST CALL THIS THE ULTIMATE LOWE'S COMPLAINT
LOWES (NYSE ticker LOW)
Refuses to Fix $3500.00 Fence
Loweâ€™s Home Improvement of Statesboro Georgia Refuses to Fix Faulty installed fence, consumer refuses to pay for the work, Loweâ€™s turns the matter over to a collection agency.
You know it is very sad when a home improvement company ( LOWEâ€™S - NYSE ticker: LOW ) sells you a $3500.00 fence, their installer does a crappy job. You refuse to pay for it because LOWEâ€™s wonâ€™t make good, so they turn it over to a collection agency (ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE MANAGEMENT INC of Thorofare New Jersey).
My name is Allen Harkleroad and I live in Statesboro Georgia and this is my story. I bought a fence from Loweâ€™s (mistake #1), the send an â€˜installerâ€™ out, he disappears. Two weeks later they send another one, he takes a week to install it. From the outside it looked fine. However, within a week of the installation I notice big gaps under the fence (space between the ground and fence). My dogs disappear the next day, they crawl up under the fence (without even having to dig out). I put down 2x4's and secured them to the fence. I had to do this 5 or 6 times in different places around the fence, I still never filled all the gaps in.
A week later my dogs disappear again, this time they have escaped through the locked gate one the far side of my home. The installer didnâ€™t tighten the gate hinges or the clasp handle on the gates, the dogs simply pushed the gates open and escaped (imagine if it had been a small child that had gotten out of the fence and into traffic or worse). I call Loweâ€™s and speak with the person in charge of the outdoor fences; she tells me that the installer must fix it. I call him; he says Loweâ€™s has to tell him to fix it. I call Loweâ€™s now I canâ€™t get the woman on the phone that I talked to. I went to the store several times and she was not to be found, I try to see the store manager, twice, he either wasnâ€™t around (convenient, eh?) or was too busy to deal with it. I call the main Loweâ€™s I get the phone extension run around.
Enough is enough. Since LOWEâ€™s doesnâ€™t see fit to fix a screwed up installation, I then decided to withhold any further payments on my Loweâ€™s account (financed by GE Money BANK) which was used to finance (Mistake #2) the fence. After about 60 days, Loweâ€™s starts calling about payment on the account, I ask them when they are going to fix the fence. They told me it wasnâ€™t their department or problem. All they wanted to know when payment would be made. I told them when the fence they sold me and installed was fixed. It has been nearly a year now, and now Loweâ€™s has sent a debt collection company (Accounts Receivable Management of Thorfare New Jersey) after me.
Look at the pictures below. Would you pay $3500.00 for this crap they call a professionally installed fence?
Imagine if a small child had pushed on the gate like my dogs did and got out of the back yard and into traffic, or worse?
No one wants to fix my fence, but they sure do want to collect the money on it. Enough is enough. I am fighting back.
I have spent over 100 dollars buying 2x4â€™s and steel rods to try and keep my dogs in the fence; I and my family have had to frantically search the neighborhoods for our pets that escaped the faulty fence (numerous times). It got to the point that we gave one of our dogs to a friend as we just could not keep her in the fence. I am frustrated, exasperated and very pissed off.
To top it off the freaking fence mesh is on the inside of the poles rather than on the outside, the front two stretches are on the outside of the poles (as it should be) the two long sides are on the inside (you can see this in the first picture below). HOW RETARDED IS THAT? Are all Lowe's outside installers brain damaged? Heck my next door neighbor's 5 year old could have done a better job.
Note: In the above picture I am standing on the inside of the fence and the mesh is on the inside of the poles rather than the outside. No wonder my neighbor kept asking who in the heck installed the fence. I of course told him LOWE's. I don't think Lowe's could install themselves out of a wet paper sack.
EVER BEEN DONE WRONG LIKE THIS? SURE YOU
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 14 2007
The Freaking debt collectors called me at work again, despite having been told orally to not call. A certified letter was sent to Accounts Receivable Management on September 11, 2007. If they bother me after signing for the cease and desist I sent I am going straight to the State Court of Bulloch County and begin filing complaints against LOWE'S, GE Money Bank and Accounts Receivable Management. BET ON THAT...
On of the biggest problems LOWE'S has I bet is with outside installer/contractors. I bet they are nothing but a headache. My advice is to stop using outside contractors, hire and train a traveling installer group and send them from town to town, or spend some money and train/hire folks at each store, while they aren't installing they can work in the store. That will stop much of the installation/installer issues. Probably would cut out a lot of overhead and problems such as me...
UPDATE September 18, 2007 - Updated @ 6:30pm
Good news Google is showing quite a few results on my issue with LOWE'S in their search results (took only 3-4 days!), that means MSN search and Yahoo will be showing results any day now.
Mr. Hurley (?) [of Lowe's install division] I could have sworn you were going to get back to me today (Tuesday 9/18/2007). It's a shame you didn't keep your word. I guess the city sites and granting the interviews that were requested of me by the news media is my next step. The longer you take (LOWE'S), they more visibility I will grab over this issue, bet on that. Maybe I should start posting cell phone and home phone numbers of the Lowe's folks that have made assurances and promises that as far as I know haven't been delivered. I imagine there are quite a few LOWE'S customers that would like to talk to all of you.
LOWE'S I see you wherever you go on my network. That's the cool thing about my owning over 1,000 IP's on four class C network blocks. I can see everything that goes on.. I see all, I know all. I have seen you on every site (just about) that I have posted the fence issue on. You haven't found them all, though. More coming too!
Update September 19, 2007 - ATTENTION ROBERT A. NIBLOCK
In case the visitors to this website is wondering what I am asking Lowe's to do to rectify this issue is simple.
#1 Get the Debt Collector (i.e. Accounts Receivable Management - GE Money Bank) off my back. According to Mr. Hurley(?) of the Lowe's install division this has been accomplished. I have yet to receive any written notification or verifiable evidence to that effect though.
#2 The CEO of Lowe's (Robert Niblock) is to send me a signed letter that collection activity has ceased and will not happen again regarding this issue and a stipulation in the letter that if I am harassed again that Lowe's will pay me $10,000 for liquefied damages. Basically if I am NOT bothered by GE Money Bank or debt collectors I do not receive the liquefied damages. If what Mr. Hurley has said is true then Lowe's will have no future liability for liquefied damages. If they are so confident that I won't be bothered again, then they should have no problem with such a stipulation. Or is Lowe's worried that their own system is severely flawed and such a thing could happen again?
#3 Refund any difference between the purchase price and what I may have paid on the account for the fence. If there is none, fine, I understand that, however I do believe there is a couple of hundred dollars that is due me regarding refund of the fence.
#4 After all three conditions above are met then Lowe's is to remove the defective fence and restore my yard to it's pre (fence) installation condition (i.e. fill in the post holes when fence is removed).
#5 I demand a letter of retraction by FL, LLC/Lowe's for their meritless and baseless trademark infringement demand.
That is all I am requiring of Lowe's yet they do not seem to even want to even discuss this beyond my conversation with Alton John's (Statesboro Ga Lowe's manager) or what Mr. Hurley and I discussed.
I do not believe that what I am asking is outrageous, I just want things to be like they were BEFORE the fence was installed, plus an assurance that the GE Money Bank and ARM issue will not reappear.
Suck up your pride Mr. Niblock before I end up taking this entire matter to court and end up costing everyone far more than what I am requiring of LOWE's. Juries love awarding damages, and the emotional strain on my family is worth a lot to me in terms of court awarded damages. I don't care if it takes years of litigation to right this wrong, I am a patient man and I can easily keep this issue very visible for years to come if need be.
Mr. Niblock you can stop this right now by doing as I am requiring, the ball is in YOUR court so to speak. Don't let the snowball get too far down the hill, LOWE's won't be able to stop it and will end up turning into an avalanche of embarrassment, bad press and litigation.
UPDATE September 19, 2007 8:08am - VEILED LEGAL THREAT BY MR. TERRY HURLEY
You wouldn't attempt to stifle free speech and public criticism now would you LOWE's? The press love hearing about big businesses trying to stomp on an individuals freedom of speech, and newspaper readers and television news watchers can't get enough of that kind of news.
In regards to Mr. Terry Hurely's veiled threat about LOWE's taking exception to the lowes-sucks.com website. I hope you do try something stupid like a DMCA notice (I own the network so it must be addressed to me, in which I will send a response declining removal), or filing for trademark infringement. Per the 6th circuit court decision in "The Taubman Company v. Webfeats et al. (see notes below) a SUCKS.com website doesn't violate the Landham Act. I sincerely hope that LOWE's does try the litigation route, it will be that much easier to file a counterclaim and a demand for a jury trial, for, but no limited to: false and deceptive advertising, violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), frivolous litigation and wrongful prosecution. The news media will eat it up.
I would also like to put LOWE'S legal counsel on notice. Should LOWE's be inclined to foolishly file anything, any legal filings must be made in the State Court of Georgia (Bulloch County) or the US District Court, Southern District, Statesboro Georgia. My principle place of business and residence are in Bulloch County (Statesboro) Georgia, the servers hosting this website are located here and all events that led up to the creation of this sucks website transpired here. Basically you gotta come to me on my home turf if you want to sue me. I hope you make an unwise decision to go the litigation route, I can very much and more easily deal with you in court. Plus it will make for some great human interest news stories.
I welcome LOWE'S to the world of SUCKS.com websites, it really does suck doesn't it.
Dear Lowe's and LF, LLC I am in receipt of your unauthorized Use of LF, LLC Intellectual Property. Unfortunately your claims of misuse are baseless (per your letter Section 43(a) of the Landham Act 15 U.S.C. section 1125a). Please read 'The Taubman Company vs. Webfeats, et al., decision Nos. 01-2648/2725 (6th Cir., February 7, 2003).' Secondly the use of a Trademark in a parody (such as I have used) has been upheld also and is not a violation of Section 43(a) of the Landham act, 15 U.S.C section 1125(a). In other words you go ahead and file what you think you need to. You will need to file this in Bulloch County (Georgia) state court or in the U.S. Court Southern District of Georgia, as the alleged infringement occurred here, my residence and my place of business which houses the services that host the website are here. Get ready to lose a LOT of money in damages when you do file this. I like collecting damages for idiots attorney's that attempt to scare individuals with legal threats.
PS: your infringement notice neglected to identify the alleged marks, nor where they accompanied by trademark registration numbers., this is your notice of non-compliance.
Mrs. Rebecca Greene of LF, LLC (and Heather G. Sidbury, Esq.) - Your notification is incorrect, you will need to either resubmit your notification as follows below or send a notice of retraction via certified mail or overnight delivery.
I would also to take a moment and remind you that there are SEVERE penalties for any misusing the Landham Act.
Your best bet is to properly re-send the infringement notice as outlined (see below in bordered box), so that I can send you a non-compliance notification per U.S.C. 15 or send a retraction before you anger me and I go after you and your employer (and any attorney's involved, et al.) for abusing the Landham Act. The ball is in your court Mrs. Green. I also might remind you that USC 15 1125(a) is in correct in regards to your claim of infringement, you need to come up with something better than that. Better go grab that US Code book you are referring from and find something that you believe matches more closely.
1125(a) refers to False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden.
(a) Civil action
(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, whichâ€”
(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or
(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another personâ€™s goods, services, or commercial activities,
shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.
My detailed response...
(A) this site and
use of LOWE's IP is
not being used in
goods and services,
nor is it being used
in commerce, this
website is a
website being used
THAT THE BEST YOU GOT? I THINK IT IS TIME TO GET THE NEWS MEDIA REALLY INVOLVED - TV and NEWSPAPER - See you in the news!
Legal threats won't squelch my free speech rights. If in fact you and your attorney's do file, I will be filing a counterclaim and demand for jury trial and a motion to have your case dismissed based on prior precedence's and decisions.
The Letter I received today (9/20/2007)
(Allen says) Ooooh, i am so scared, quaking in my shoes (NOT LIKELY)
Note that it isn't from an attorney, nor
was the infringement notice
properly executed and lastly the reference to Section 43(a)
doesn't apply in this issue. Maybe Mrs. Green should leave legal stuff
to the legal folks, before
ATTENTION: LF, LLC you might want to finish up the patent case that Steven J. Orosz , jr. has filed (Federal Question - 15:1126 Patent Infringement - July 13, 2007) before you try taking on anything else. I have access to Edgar online, Find Law, Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis and several other online legal information brokers, including filings. As far as I can tell the only case you have ever had in US district court is the Steven J. Orosz case and you are named as a defendant on that, so it is highly unlikely that you will do anything beyond that joke of an infringement letter you sent. And if you do, l I shall prevail. Got any more attorney's names you want to throw around in your infringement notifications?
Now I am going to do a little background research on Heather G. Sidbury Esq. that you cc'ed in your letter. I like to file against attorney's (their state bar association) when they try to misuse the law. You know the ethics thing can cause disbarment or censure. I don't have a problem filing bar association complaints, bet on that. I figure Heather Sidbury should have a license to practice in either North Carolina or Delaware, so it won't take too long. Can't seem to find them in Findlaw though, but Lexis-Nexis should turn them up if they are licensed to practice law. You know I can only find one Sidbury (attorney) in Findlaw.com and his first name is Benajmin. Hmm, I wonder if Heather G Sidbury actually exists. Now to do a search of all US state bar associations to get a little deeper into if indeed Mrs. Sidbury is an attorney or a fictitious name.
I am believing at the moment that there is no such a person (or attorney) Heather G Sidbury. I am quite sure if there were, the letter would have been from her and not some trademark manager. (LOL). I did find a Heather Gregg Sidbury in Charlotte, however I see no cases brought by her in state or US District court, she appears to be a patent attorney (LOL). You need to find a better way to threaten someone.
LF, LLC YOU ARE SO BUSTED!!!
An attorney in Atlanta (referred to himself as Bill Smith) called me on Saturday (9/22/2007 - 3:30pm - Kind of Odd don't you think to cal on Saturday?) and claimed to be representing LOWE's, I advised him that I had retained legal counsel and referred him to my attorney, who happens to be a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (Go to EFF.org for this who aren't familiar with the Electronic Frontier Foundation). Mr. Smith and my attorney agreed to speak on Monday.
A note to all of those that have called and email, it is great to see such support from consumers and LOWE's employees alike. I greatly appreciate all of the information that was sent, however I can't post anything here as it wouldn't be my opinions. Thank you again for your help! Also thanks for the offers of hosting this site, I would prefer it to stay on my company network as I/we will not bow to pressure from Lowe's or their attorneys to take my free speech offline. It's here to stay. The longer it takes for LOWE's to come to their senses the less likely it that I will ever remove this website.
I believe that LOWE'S is now resorting to legal pressure to squash my free speech rights and thinks that by being stubborn and heavy handed with the lawyers about this makes them right (except NOT). I WILL NOT BACK DOWN. This is now more about free speech than anything (I still want that fence out of my yard by the way, but that will have to wait until the trademark infringement issue is resolved, this site will not go anywhere until such time as it is cleared up, even if it takes years and years!
I wonder if 'Bill Smith" is the same William B.B. Smith the big litigation and Trademark attorney in Atlanta?
Free Speech is an American's Legal Right and Corporations through Bullying and legal threats cannot take that away
Imagine all of this uproar because of a crappy fence installation, and now LOWE is is bullying me, an single individual, because I am criticizing LOWE'S about my fence. Everyone at LOWE's puts their pants on the same way I do (one leg at a time) and are bound to the same laws of this country as I am. I shall ultimately prevail, you cannot take away my GOD given right and constitutionally protected freedom of speech. I am normally an easy going individual that doesn't get involved unless I know I am 100% in the right, and this is one of those issues, not only am I standing up for my consumer and free speech rights I am standing up for every consumer in these United States that have been done wrong and then threatened by large corporations that often use corporate and legal bullying to squelch our rights as citizens of the united states. Whatever the outcome LOWE'S won't ever forget about the little guy in Statesboro Georgia that stood up for his rights as an American citizen, and took on the LOWE'S Companies single handedly.
I will make one last thing absolutely clear to LOWE's. Regardless of what you try to do legally or via harassment, etc. I am NOT going anywhere nor will I back off. I will also begin contacting every news media outlet in the US from top to bottom, left to right beginning on Monday, September 26, 2007 both via telephone and email. I can assure you this at some point is going to get national news media exposure it deserves. I am a man of my word, I suggest you take that to heart.
Seems someone at LOWE'S corporate is working weekend, I have seem LOWE'S IP addresses on www.lowes-sucks.com yesterday evening and again this morning. The last visit was a few minutes ago....
On the whole this weekend has been pleasant for us, my wife and I spent yesterday evening with friends at the movies and dinner. Today after church we are going to eat lunch and spend the day with out of town relatives. Maybe Monday will be more interesting. (LOL).
There is a lot
of media interest in lowes-sucks.com and my issue, I have been
looking through the LOWE'S Sucks website log files and have seen
cbs.com, abc.com, Turner.com, timeinc.com, EMFbroadcasting.com,
(among others) even the US department of Justice and US District
Courts IP's in the website logs. I also have gotten a lot of
email from Fox News, Gannet, and others, I imagine from a
media standpoint the next couple of weeks will be very
interesting. I have also seen some big financial (online trading
etc.) and financial brokers IP's in my web logs, as well as some
huge corporation names (many of which are LOWE's product
I encourage you to 'spread the word'. If you know anyone that does business with LOWE'S, share this site with them so that they don't fall into the same trap that I and many others have fallen into.
Hit LOWE'S where it hurts. Right in the wallet.
To help out in sending information about LOWE'S. and their activities, You can copy the text in the textbox below and paste it into an email and send it to everyone you know.
You can select the text in the window and copy it.
(Windows) select the text and click the CTRL key + C
(Macintosh) select the text and use the APPLE key + C
If anyone from the press would like to talk
to me you can call allen @ 912-489-9333
Many thanks! Allen
This personal non-commercial website is NOT affiliated with LOWE'S Home Improvements,
of the LOWE'S Companies of North Wilkesboro, NC (you
can find LOWE's here) in any
way shape, form or fashion.
The contents of this website are views, opinions and facts as
expressed by Allen Harkleroad and fully protected under U.S. and
visitors to date