Our master bathroom shower leaks and this has gone on for about 4 months. Thankfully, it only leaks after two consecutive showers – when either shower is longer than usual. Once we’ve figured out its behavior, we may have to “wipe up” a little water on the kitchen tile every 4 weeks – so far the issue is manageable.
To gain more perspective on the issue, my wife and I went to Lowe’s on Super Bowl Sunday. Trying to be organized and prepared, we took about 6 pictures (of the drain) with her iPhone to help explain our situation.
Our first associate at Lowe’s was very nice but wasn’t an expert with drains so he called over Mike to assist. At first glance, Mike had an attitude and said, “The shower drain was not installed correctly but it’s hard to tell because the pictures were not very good.” I said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and he said, “Not when the photos are not that clear.” Mind you, these photos were taken on my wife’s iPhone and as far as we could see, were quite clear – a red flag for more attitude to come our way.
He was quite curt and argumentative and asked me, “Do you want to jerry rig it or fix it permanently?” Before I had a chance to respond, he shook his head at the idea of jerrying rigging the shower drain. I looked to my wife as if to say, “Why did he ask me a question when he’s not open to my response?” I proceeded to explain our point of view and before I had a chance to finish, he obliged with another interruption.
It’s one thing to be interrupted regularly by your high school daughter and it’s another if this occurs with a customer service associate at Lowe’s!
Not a ‘Wow’ customer service experience on Super Bowl Sunday.
We also needed a toilet and our original intent was to get all plumbing related supplies at Lowe’s. With our negative interaction with Mike, my wife and I decided to go out of our way and drive another 10 minutes to Home Depot (THD). At THD, we met Larry the plumber – thankfully, he had no attitude to impart and listened intently to our situation after he was shown the pictures. He asked what we wanted to do instead of telling us what to do. Our ideal situation was to try to “jerry rig” the drain (with clear caulk) for the next few months in hopes of addressing the leak. He saw no issue with the caulk solution – what do we have to lose? If no success, we’d move on to Plan B.
Sometimes we have good experiences in hardware stores and sometimes not. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t mind paying more for hardware if associates can work with us and provide some guidance and assistance without feeling belittled. Plumbing support without attitude – perhaps I’d have a more positive experience at Lowe’s in another department.