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Lowe's To Refund Over $1M To NY Residents For Installation Fees

Lowe’s will refund over $1 million to more than 16,000 New York consumers over allegations of deceptive sales practices for flooring installations.
Lowe’s will refund over $1 million to more than 16,000 New York consumers over allegations of deceptive sales practices for flooring installations. Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Lowe’s will refund more than $1 million to more than 16,000 New York consumers over allegations of deceptive sales practices for flooring installations.

The terms of the agreement require Lowe’s to also refund up to 10% of per-square-foot basic installation fees charged to customers in New York who purchased basic installation services for covered categories between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec.31, 2012.

These customers will receive notice by mail advising them of their right to a cash refund. Consumers will verify their identity and that they have not received a prior refund and will then receive a check valued at 10% of the total installation cost. Under an Assurance of Discontinuance signed by the company, they will also pay $900,000 in costs and fees to New York State.

“When consumers shop for home installation services, they deserve to be dealt with honestly and fairly – and not to be misled by deceptive sales practices that conceal the true cost of a service,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Today’s agreement with Lowe’s will return over $1 million to consumers and will result in clear disclosures being made to customers. We expect others who advertise for flooring installation to follow the model practices outlined in today’s agreement.”

Under the Agreement’s new disclosure guidelines, prior to any consumer becoming bound to an installation contract, Lowe’s shall fully disclose how its “per square foot” installation charges are calculated. Lowes’s will also plainly disclose any charges in excess of the actual square footage of the project when per unit pricing is quoted for installation projects.

The terms of the agreement require Lowe’s to also refund up to 10% of per-square-foot basic installation fees charged to customers in New York who purchased basic installation services for covered categories between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012. These customers will receive notice by mail advising them of their right to a cash refund. Consumers will verify their identity and that they have not received a prior refund and will then receive a check valued at 10% of the total installation cost.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Office revealed that since at least 2008, Lowe’s advertised installation services to consumers for several of its product lines including carpeting, ceramic tile, wood/laminate flooring, offering at times, these products for installation based on a “per square foot” basis. For example, flooring has been advertised at “$1.99/sf installed” although it was not disclosed that this was based on the square footage of materials ordered, not the square footage of the project area.

The office is continuing to investigate other home center stores that fail to properly disclose the true cost of home improvement installation services.

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