A disabled veteran says he is stuck with a broken riding lawnmower after Lowe’s Home Improvement failed to honor an extended warranty he purchased last year.
Paul Corbin of Dunn said he went to Lowe’s of Erwin in May 2017 to buy a riding mower. He purchased a new Troy-Bilt mower plus an optional 3 year replacement warranty from Lowe’s for $199.
Within weeks, Corbin said he began experiencing mechanical problems and contacted Lowe’s to have it repaired. In August 2017, Corbin said a mechanic who performed warranty work for Lowe’s told him the repairs would cost $388.37. Corbin asked why it wasn’t covered by the manufacturers original warranty or the extended 3 year warranty. Corbin said he was told it was because the mechanic claimed the mower had been stored outdoors and it had bad gasoline.
Corbin said that wasn’t true. He told JoCoReport he stores his mower in a barn and uses the same gas in it as his new pickup.
He also said the mechanic failed to fix the original problem. When it was returned, Corbin said he had to jump start the mower and was told he needed to manually turn the flywheel each time he wanted to start the engine.
That’s not all. He said his mower left for repair with almost new blades and a belt. When it was returned, the blades were worn and the belt was used. He thinks they were switched out.
Corbin took the mower to another mechanic he knew. That mechanic does not perform warranty work for Lowe’s. The mechanic found a defective starter, which Troy-Bilt did reimburse the cost of the part. He also installed a new battery which Corbin paid for himself.
When he went to Lowe’s of Erwin to complain, Corbin said no one would listen to his complaints. Finally he says someone told him the extended warranty was void because he stored the mower outdoors. Corbin said that wasn’t true. Corbin said he told the employee that Lowe’s also stores their mowers outdoors and asked what was the difference. He left Lowes of Erwin he says without any satisfaction.
Last week, Corbin stopped by the offices of WTSB and JoCoReport asking for our help. We contacted Lowe’s Corporate office three times by email. Finally, Lowe’s said they were trying to work out a solution with Corbin.
This week, Corbin says nothing has been worked out and he is frustrated. He said the engine has experienced even more problems and no longer believes his mower is reliable. And he can’t take it anywhere to be repaired under warranty.
“They are trying to get out of it with this nonsense from the mechanic who wanted cash and didn’t want to deal with the warranty,” Corbin said. “He was mad at me and said he was too busy and that he had more jobs to do. They believe a mechanic more than they believe the customer.”
Corbin said he thinks Lowe’s and the mechanic are trying to take advantage of him because he is elderly. “They’re trying to take advantage of a 70 year-old man. And also I’m a disabled veteran.”
Corbin is a Vietnam combat veteran who served from 1965 until his medical discharge in 1971 due to a spinal injury. Corbin served in the Marine Corps as an instructor and military police officer.
A spokesperson for Lowe’s tells JoCoReport, “We are gathering details and working towards a resolution with the customer. We will let you know as soon as we have an update to share.”
Corbin prepared a sign to picket in front of the Erwin Lowe’s location. However, he says he has trouble standing and walking without a cane preventing him from making the public protest.
At last check, Corbin still has his defective mower. Corbin says he simply wants his mower repaired and feels like Lowe’s should have stood behind the warranty.
JoCoReport will continue to monitor the story to see if Lowe’s does help Corbin. We will update you with any new developments.