Queen of Bliss, Joeann Fossland


Reputations…Made or Lost! My Saga of Lowe’s, Customer Service, Twitter & Facebook!

After it was all said and done, my plumber, Norm from Mister B’s said it really scared him what happened…..He said he realized that even if he had done a great job for someone and they thought he charged too much, they could post something negative and it could impact his reputation! By the way, if you need a plumber in Tucson-call Norm!

Social Media makes reputation management more important than it has ever been. Situations can occur quickly and get out of hand if not monitored and addressed swiftly.

A prime example of how Cosmic Shift Happens™ *


My Saga of Lowe’s, Customer Service, Twitter & Facebook!

My husband and I are in the middle of remodeling our bathroom. We have lived in this house since 1982 and the fixtures were original from 1952! So, it’s about time, I’d say! My sweet, retired husband, Bub, wanted to take on managing the project and his pace is quite a bit different than mine (to say the least!). This has meant it is a two month job instead of a 1 week job. That’s ok…I can be patient! I am so excited we’ll finally be replacing the 48 year old fixtures with new!

Back in July, we shopped at several stores looking at fixtures and new sinks, 

and we settled on a great looking pedestal sink at Lowes. They had this sink on the floor as a model and we were told not in stock. So we ordered it and waited a couple of weeks for it to come in from American Standard. It sat in the box on the back porch until last week, when Norm, our plumber was finally scheduled to take out the 50 year old pipes and put new in. (Halleluja!) When Bub unpacked the sink, he saw it was not white…..but a kinda cream color-the box named it “linen” (which I thought was a fabric not a color). So Bub boxed it up to go exchange it…

Lowe’s is a friend to Realtors®! I love and recommend in my classes the program they have created for REALTORS® to use with their clients. In my experience over the past few years, the coupons, information, emails have all been evidence that they understand the needs of consumers and want to demonstrate their value. We’ve been loyal to Lowe’s. We hadn’t had any need to exchange or return anything.

So, it was a shock last week when we experienced a serious customer service issue. When Bub took it back, they refused to exchange it because it had been a “special order”. No one made us aware when we ordered it was a “special” order; only that it was not in stock. The salesman said the policy is no exchanges for special orders. Bub talked to the manager who backed the salesman’s statement and pretty much said they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything. Bub came home upset. I was upset. He decided he’d go back and order a white sink and we’d just pay for another sink.

I don’t get upset often. I always believe there’s got to be a way to make something work, even if everyone says it is impossible. So, I put on my thinking cap and TWITTERED!









Two friends jumped in and also posted on Twitter  Thank you friends! There was also a discussion that ensued on Facebook with more comments. I checked out Lowe's Facebook page and there were complaints with no responses. Doesn't look like they do much monitoring there, but they do monitor Twitter!





Four hours after the first posting, I get a @LowesCares tweets back:

Interesting Twitter handle! Lowes doesn’t seem to follow the Facebook postings like it does the Twitter ones.

I followed directions, filled out the form and shortly after lunch, the following day, Bub receives a call from the corporate office. They say they will “eat it” and he can return the sink to our local store. Which he does. He says they are VERY nice to him. Helpful…even though said sink now is not being made any more and it looks like we are going to have to buy something different. But wait…right there on the floor is a white sink that looks just like the linen one! For some reason it isn’t in their computer! And though out it all, the sales associate was patient and kind and helpful. So helpful that it turns out when they id’ed the sink there- it was only $99 instead of the special order $250! So Bub was given a gift card for the difference and the white sink! He came home a happy man.

Thank you Lowes! And my Twitter thank you to Lowes:








So, the tile guy is coming tomorrow! And then Norm comes back to hook everything up and I should have a new shower by next week! And a new sink that looks GREAT!

As a business coach…I am always looking at questions with my clients after the fact that could make the next situation turn out better:

• Was this good customer service?

• Or poor customer service?

• Did the fact I was a Realtor® have anything to do with it?

• Was the fact I have a fairly high profile in CyberSpace a consideration?

Don’t get me wrong….I am a happy camper, but I wonder if the situation helped Lowe’s learn something and improve? 

Perhaps the moral of the story is that the consumer is empowered these days by the ability to use social media. Smart businesses are monitoring and responding swiftly. Reputations are being made and lost through Social Media. Cosmic Shift Happens™ !!!

*My friend, Carra Riley and I are co-authoring and crowd sourcing an eBook called Cosmic Shift Happens™ about how to navigate the cosmic universe without negativity. If this appeals to you, get the info here, we’d love to hear your stories and thoughts!

Like my plumber, Norm, said....Social Media is effecting people and businesses reputations.....


What do you think?

Comment balloon 12 commentsJoeann Fossland • August 25 2010 09:33AM
Reputations…Made or Lost! My Saga of Lowe’s, Customer Service,…
After it was all said and done, my plumber, Norm from Mister B’s said it really scared him what happened….. He said he realized that even if he had done a great job for someone and they thought he charged too much, they could post something negative… more