Stove, refrigerator delivery ends up in a 911 call

Buyer’s note: make sure your appliance deliverers are qualified installers.
Buyer’s note: make sure your appliance deliverers are qualified installers.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 10:51 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Ann and Leon Guy are longtime Lowe’s customers who didn’t need to shop around.

The retired Decatur couple found a good deal on a new refrigerator and a stove. They made the purchase but did not ask an important question: who is making the delivery, and are the installers qualified to hook up gas appliances?

Lowe’s, like many big-box appliance stores, subcontracts their deliveries. Many consumers don’t understand the installers are not corporate employees. If something happens, the delivery company, not the store, may be responsible.

The Guy’s delivery ended with a call to 911.

“[The stove] was not installed properly,” Leon Guy said, explaining the gas leaked behind the stove.

“I bought a stove today,” Ann Guy told a DeKalb County 911 operator, “A gas stove, and I think it’s, maybe they didn’t hook it up correctly.”

DeKalb fire department personnel shut off the gas, and the delivery company returned to reconnect the stove, but the couple didn’t know if they were qualified.

Coincidentally, one of Ann Long’s closest friends, Betty Long, experienced a similar incident with her Lowe’s installation, but she waited 10 days to call 911.

According to Atlanta Gas Light’s website, installers should be licensed natural gas contractors. Master plumbers are also qualified.

The couple says Lowe’s employees were apologetic but did not offer compensation, and the stove wasn’t the only problem. They said the first three refrigerators arrived damaged, and the doors on the fourth refrigerator didn’t align.

Lowe’s corporate office responded immediately to Atlanta News First Investigates, canceling the couple’s balance and allowing them to pick out a more expensive refrigerator, one for $400 more.

It also sent this statement:

“The safety and satisfaction of our customers is Lowe’s top priority, and we apologize to the Guy and Long families for this experience and the inconvenience. Upon learning of these matters, our customer relations team worked quickly to address their concerns, and we are pleased that the matters have been resolved to both customers’ satisfaction. Lowe’s requires all third parties to be compliant with all applicable laws.”

More Behind the Investigation podcasts with award-winning consumer reporter Harry Samler
  • Request the name of the delivery company and ask for qualifications.
  • Inspect your delivery before they bring it inside, including appliances and furniture.
  • Document any damage with pictures and video.
  • Monitor the installation from start to finish, and if the installers cause any interior damage, take pictures and video before the crew leaves.

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