Who Wants The Money More?
How hard would you work to get a refund? I have $450 at stake, but so does the other party...
|Quartz Countertop, Awaiting Tile Backsplash|
We ordered the countertops through Lowes (I had an offer for 11% off!). Lowes works with a subcontractor in the area who handles measuring, cutting, and installing the countertops. The installation went great, except for one minor change of plan. The quote we got included installing a backsplash made of the quartz countertop material across the nearly 9 foot length of the main countertop where the sink is located.
Since this is a long run, the plan was to take measurements for the custom backsplash piece after the countertop was installed. Then the piece would be cut, and another trip would be required to install it. This all made sense, except when we saw what the countertop looked like, we decided to go with a tile backsplash instead of a giant piece of quartz countertop.
The quartz backsplash would have been nice, but it would have been a lot of the same color and pattern to look at. So I called the installers right away and told them not to cut the custom backsplash piece and to cancel that part of the work order.
Now for the fun part- getting the money. The cost for the backsplash quartz piece plus the extra labor for a second trip to bring it out and install it was around $450. The problem with this situation is that both the subcontractor and Lowes are happier if this $450 is forgotten. I am the only one who comes out ahead if the bill gets corrected.
On my call to the subcontractor to cancel the backsplash, I mentioned a price difference. The initial response was that the backsplash wasn't included in the total, so no refund was in order. But I knew it was. I had the person pull up the quote to find the extra amount for the backsplash and verify that it WAS included in the total. She finally agreed and said they would work on correcting the bill and would contact Lowes with an updated (reduced) bill.
About a week later, I called the design department at Lowes to make sure the $450 was actually being removed from the bill. Guess what the initial response was... they had not heard from the subcontractor, and the backspash was not part of the quote, so no refund was in order! I got the person to actually look at the quote and she agreed that I should have around $450 coming back to me. She said she would contact the subcontractor to talk about updating the billing...
I am pretty confident that after a few more calls I will get my $450. I am the only one that is going to benefit from correcting the bill, and everyone else loses. This means that the ball will be in my court to follow up and make sure that this does not get forgotten.
I am also pretty confident that I would not have gotten the $450 if I hadn't taken some initiative to track it down and go get it.
Sometimes it comes down to who wants the money more.
Update 1: After 6 weeks, I think the battle is nearly over... I called Lowes a number of times to ask for a price adjustment, but nothing was happening. The latest response I received stated that they didn't think the backsplash was included in the original total, so there would be no price adjustment! Talk about frustrating! I decided to stay calm and friendly though and handle this like a problem that needs to be solved in the most efficient way possible.
I called the countertop subcontractor (again). I confirmed with them that the backsplash WAS included in the total (again). I asked them to send a letter to me with the total. This was a problem, however, since they say they have to keep their rates confidential since they are a subcontractor. I asked if they could send a statement (again) to the person at Lowes stating that the backsplash was paid for, and what amount should be refunded.
Then I called the person at Lowes and let her know that the countertop company is sending the amount to be refunded. About an hour later, she called back and said the refund was being processed. This sounds promising, but I want to see the money before I am convinced that this really did work out.
I knew getting this refund would be a challenge since I was the only one who would benefit, and I was right!
Update 2: So on Friday morning, the person at the kitchen design center said I would get a $380 refund since I did pay for a backsplash and we did not install it. She said she was taking the sheet to the head cashier and would email a copy of the receipt. That sounded great! But it is Monday now, and I haven't received a receipt and my account hasn't been credited... I'm going to have to call again. Like I said, I am the only one who loses if the refund paperwork gets misplaced of forgotten...
Update 3: After a quick reminder call, the kitchen designer at Lowes took the paperwork up to the cashier. The refund was processed (I verified the transaction on my Lowes card account) and I even got a scan if the receipt via email. Victory! I think we found out who wanted the money more :-)