Lowe’s makes online appliance purchases impossible

I enjoy shopping at Lowe’s, but the company has made it impossible for me to purchase an appliance online–twice. My most recent shopping failure at Lowe’s.com unfolded over the last week. My goal? Purchase an upright freezer before the Lowe’s 10-percent-off sale on appliances ended. Not only is online shopping faster, but I wanted to start my purchase at Ebates.com so I could get a 2.5 percent cash back on my purchase.I tried multiple times to buy my new freezer online, both from a desktop and a laptop computer and using Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Each time I tried to complete the online checkout process, I got an “Error code 22” message. Finally, I emailed Lowe’s to ask why I couldn’t check out online. A customer service representative called me to say Error Code 22 corresponds to some type of sales tax calculation error, and there was nothing she could do to fix it. She offered to complete my order over the phone, but I declined, hoping the company would resolve its online issues over the coming days, before the sale ended.

Tonight, it became clear online ordering from Lowe’s was still futile, so I called to place my order over the phone. It took 28.5 minutes to order a freezer over the phone. I sat on hold on at least four different occasions during the call while the customer service representative attended to various problems arising from the ordering process. At the end of the call, he actually had to transfer me to my local store so they could take my credit card number and apply the payment to the order. A properly executed online order would’ve taken about four minutes, so ordering by phone took seven times longer than ordering online.

Unfortunately, this isn’t my first failed attempt to order an appliance from Lowe’s.com. Last summer, I needed to purchase a new refrigerator, but my online order wouldn’t go through. That time, I kept receiving a different error code. In the end, Lowe’s blamed that ordering problem on special characters entered into the “special instructions” field of the online order form–the section of the form where you provide directions to the delivery driver.

A company as big as Lowe’s should have plenty of information technology resources at its disposal. Surely the company’s computer gurus can find a way to provide an easy online ordering experience for customers. While they’re at it, maybe they could make it easier for the Lowes.com phone representatives to assist customers. When a customer has her item number and payment information handy, it should never take more than eight minutes to complete her order.

What experiences have you had while shopping at Lowes.com?

8 Comments

Filed under Customer service

8 responses to “Lowe’s makes online appliance purchases impossible

  1. sandy jett

    I had basically the same experience. I failed to complete my on line order repeatedly. I could not get past the “secure check-out” button. It would always revert to the “oops” error message. I too, decided to go the phone order route and it actually took two emails and two phone calls to complete. I have ordered many times from Lowes on-line in the past, this is recent promblem. I don’t know what they have done recently but they are driving me to Home Depot!

    • TCS

      I’m quite late to the party (I’m having Error Code 22 issues, and would rather not call, as I’m at work…), but the “OOPS!” error was fixed by going into my browser history and clearing cache + cookies.

      Putting this here in case someone googles their way into these comments, too πŸ™‚

  2. Southern Indiana

    Let’s put it this way.. Lowe’s Home Improvement stores have a training video involving upset customers. I am the star. Also had to do with a freezer that they kept banging up before it got to my house.

  3. Dena

    Same experience but with error code 304 – even the people at Lowes customer service can’t explain why my card won’t work.

  4. None

    I tried to buy a carpet cleaner online and keep getting this error:

    An error occurred while processing your order. Please clear your cart and try placing your order again. For more help, call Lowe’s Customer Care at 1-800-890-5932 and reference error code 62.

    They need to hide better coders for the site

  5. P

    I am getting this error. Tried 3 different browser, cleaned cache worked with lowe support. Nothing helped. Frusated. no customer support for west cost after 7pm. 😦
    An error occurred while processing your order. Please try placing your order again in a few minutes. For more help, call Lowe’s Customer Care at 1-800-890-5932 and reference error code 53.

  6. mb

    haha having same situation here for the past 1.5 years.customer service didnt wan to help

  7. Lindy

    Googled “error 104,” found this, went back and tried again after deleting the instructions to the delivery driver *and* skipped entering gift cards. It worked! Thanks.

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