Lowe’s’ dramatically reduced return policy delivers a significant advantage to independent appliance dealers with more customer-friendly rules.
Drops category from military discount program
By Alan Wolf, YSN
In a major policy shift for the nation’s largest appliance retailer, Lowe’s has cut its return window from 30 days to 48 hours for virtually all major appliances and has excluded the category from the company’s 10-percent military discount.
The changes, which went into effect last month, apply to both in-store and online sales. According to sources, the new policies were initiated to help the home improvement chain increase margin on its white-goods assortment.
The new 48-hour window effectively bars customers from returning their appliance purchases unless they were paid for with Lowe’s private-label credit or remain unopened in their original and undamaged factory-sealed packaging. The clock begins ticking at the time of delivery or store pickup.
Most products sold at Lowe’s can be exchanged or refunded up to 90 days after purchase if new and unused. The grace period is 30 days for room air conditioners, water heaters, TVs, electronics, and lawn products.
The new two-day window on appliance returns matches The Home Depot’s return policy for damaged or defective white goods.
Meanwhile, Lowe’s’ 10-percent military discount for active-duty and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces will no longer apply to major appliances or related accessories, parts and services including delivery and installation.
Store managers were reportedly instructed to implement and explain the new policies in a way that maintains a positive customer experience.