Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lowes, You Rock!

And Canadian Tire, You Suck!

It's nice, sunny and breezy today, and we decided it's time to buy the gazebo I wanted for our backyard. It's in my landscaping plan to extend the indoors living out. I was looking for a 8'x8' gazebo that's perfectly scaled to the seating area I carve out for the backyard space (see design plan below). As far as Internet research can take me, there are only two places that carry 8x8 gazebos: Canadian Tire and Lowe's, except the CT one doesn't come with insect/mosquito net and is not made of steel. We thought we'd give CT a try since it was on our way back from lunch. So here's what happened to us in the next 20 minutes of life that we'd never get back:
  • We scanned through the Garden/Patio section and couldn't find the 8x8 gazebo, yet the web site clearly says they have it "In Stock".
  • We went to the Customer Service counter and hubby pressed the "For Assistance" button. 
  • 2 minutes later no one showed up and hubby pressed it one more time.
  • Again nothing happened for another 3 minutes before I went out to the floor and grabbed a sales associate.
  • The associate said the gazebo might be in the back storage and she didn't know how to check inventory.
  • She in turn paged the store manager (the same Brandon that screwed up my patio set order last year, surprised that he still works there) to the CS counter.
  • 5 minutes later not a single soul showed up, and we couldn't find any associate nearby to ask any question at all.
  • Finally an associate showed up and paged the store manager again.
  • 3 minutes later not even a ghost.
  • Hubby said "Let's get out of here. They clearly don't want our business."
  • And after wasting 20 minutes waiting for nothing, we left.
  • The verdict? Canadian Tire, You Suck!
We drove to Lowe's to try our luck. And man, let me tell ya, what a difference in shopping experience! I've always loved Lowe's but with contrast they stand out so much more today.
  • As we were walking through the Garden/Patio section, an associate came up and asked if we had any question.
  • We asked for the 8x8 gazebo and he immediately led us to the aisle where they stored the item.
  • We wanted to take measurement of the box to make sure it fitted into my SUV, but the sales associate without looking through any record spelled out "7.5 feet long"! Wow! He knows the section and all the items he looks after by heart!
  • He helped hubby load the huge and 100-pound box onto a platform buggy, and asked if we'd like him to push it to the checkout counter for us. Sure.
  • We paid and the cashier asked if we needed help load the box into our car. She called and three guys showed up immediately and loaded the box for us.
  • We spent about 5 minutes altogether at Lowe's from browsing, loading, paying, reloading into the car to driving away with the gazebo!
  • The conclusion? Lowe's, You Rock!
Here is the backyard plan I drafted in PPT. It's still subject to changes depending on what our landscaping company finally comes back with.
This is the Lowe's Garden Treasures 8x8 Gazebo (Insect Net not shown but included) with Steel Frame, Scroll Fretwork, Canopy and Insect/Mosquito Net.
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