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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience in various consumer protection areas
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We purchased a new natural gas water heater 10/8/11 from LOWES,

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We purchased a new natural gas water heater 10/8/11 from LOWES, we also took an extended 8 years warranty which covers parts and labor through LOWES. The unit was installed by Lowes contractor the very next day 9/9/13

On Wed.10/4/13 evening I found we didn't have any hot water, looked at the water heater and found the pilot light was out, after several attempts per owners manual, I was unable to start the pilot light. On Thursday morning 9/5/13 I visited Lowes where the purchase was made, I was told by the customer service dept. that I will have to disconnect and bring the complete water heater to the store, only after it I obtain return authorization from their warranty dept. I explained that I am not a plumber or a qualified gas fitter I will not attempt do so and requested that they send a service tech,. I was then told to call their warranty dept.

It took me 5hrs on the phone, after being transferred from dept. to dept. and being put on hold 15-20mins each time to speak to some one. I finally managed to speak with some who actually knew anything about water heaters, and was then given two phone numbers for their subcontractors to make an appointment for one of them to come out to fix the water heater.

I was told by the first contractor they have me scheduled for the 9/19/13 as the earliest possible, I told them its two weeks, I cant wait that long to take a shower. I then called the 2nd contractor and they told me they only have two qualified techs, and
one of them is on vacation, the earliest they can come out to my place would be Wed.9/12/13. I called back Lowes warranty dept. and suggested I get my own technician to fix the problem NOW and they pay for it, I was told they won't authorize and will not pay the bill I NEED HELP, I NEED HELP !!!!!

P.S Gabri
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
I used to work as an Asst Store Mgr at LoXXXXX XXXXX ago and I can tell you from experience that calling on the phone will not get you results...The phone answerers have zero authority to do anything and they will just transfer you around like a hot potato trying to get a zone or dept manager to pick up and deal with you.
You will need to physically go into the store you bought it from and ask to speak to the store manager or an assistant store manager if s/he isn't there. Then when you talk to them, explain the problem and ask them to authorize you calling a plumber out to check out the heater. If they refuse, then tell them that you want the name and number of the District Manager and the Regional Manager. That will get their attention if they think you will call their superiors and make them aware of your problem and that the store manager won't resolve it.
When something got escalated to the District or Regional level, the manager at those levels would call the store manager and say "Fix it". We often fixed problems that Lowes had absolutely no legal responsibility to fix just because the DM or RM called and said "Fix it".
You as the customer have a lot of power over the store manager because if his superiors get involved, that makes him look bad in their eyes.
Having put in dozens of water heaters over the years myself as a landlord, it is likely a simple fix and the thermocouple is not allowing the pilot light flame to stay lit. Worst case scenario is that Lowes has to have a plumber disconnect the two water lines and gas line, drain it and stick a new one in. They then do a RTM (return to manufacturer) on the old one as defective.
So go in and be respectful but firm with the store manager or asst store manager and you will get results either directly with them or by threatening to go over their heads...
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