Cosmic Cow Pie: Connecting the Dots


Reputations…Made or Lost! My Saga of Lowe’s, Customer Service, Twitter & Facebook!


Joeann Fossland has just experienced the power of social media and business today in her story of how Lowe's Customer Service responded once she started tweeting and posting on facebook about her service experience.

This is a message that everyone should be aware of and just how important actions with customers can have a direct relationship to reputaitons in a matter of minutes or hours.

Thank you Joeann Fossland for sharing your experience.


After it was all said and done, my plumber, Norm from Mister B’s said it really scared him what happened…..He said he realized that even if he had done a great job for someone and they thought he charged too much, they could post something negative and it could impact his reputation! By the way, if you need a plumber in Tucson-call Norm!

Social Media makes reputation management more important than it has ever been. Situations can occur quickly and get out of hand if not monitored and addressed swiftly.

A prime example of how Cosmic Shift Happens™ *


My Saga of Lowe’s, Customer Service, Twitter & Facebook!

My husband and I are in the middle of remodeling our bathroom. We have lived in this house since 1982 and the fixtures were original from 1952! So, it’s about time, I’d say! My sweet, retired husband, Bub, wanted to take on managing the project and his pace is quite a bit different than mine (to say the least!). This has meant it is a two month job instead of a 1 week job. That’s ok…I can be patient! I am so excited we’ll finally be replacing the 48 year old fixtures with new!

Back in July, we shopped at several stores looking at fixtures and new sinks, 

and we settled on a great looking pedestal sink at Lowes. They had this sink on the floor as a model and we were told not in stock. So we ordered it and waited a couple of weeks for it to come in from American Standard. It sat in the box on the back porch until last week, when Norm, our plumber was finally scheduled to take out the 50 year old pipes and put new in. (Halleluja!) When Bub unpacked the sink, he saw it was not white…..but a kinda cream color-the box named it “linen” (which I thought was a fabric not a color). So Bub boxed it up to go exchange it…

Lowe’s is a friend to Realtors®! I love and recommend in my classes the program they have created for REALTORS® to use with their clients. In my experience over the past few years, the coupons, information, emails have all been evidence that they understand the needs of consumers and want to demonstrate their value. We’ve been loyal to Lowe’s. We hadn’t had any need to exchange or return anything.

So, it was a shock last week when we experienced a serious customer service issue. When Bub took it back, they refused to exchange it because it had been a “special order”. No one made us aware when we ordered it was a “special” order; only that it was not in stock. The salesman said the policy is no exchanges for special orders. Bub talked to the manager who backed the salesman’s statement and pretty much said they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything. Bub came home upset. I was upset. He decided he’d go back and order a white sink and we’d just pay for another sink.

I don’t get upset often. I always believe there’s got to be a way to make something work, even if everyone says it is impossible. So, I put on my thinking cap and TWITTERED!









Two friends jumped in and also posted on Twitter  Thank you friends! There was also a discussion that ensued on Facebook with more comments. I checked out Lowe's Facebook page and there were complaints with no responses. Doesn't look like they do much monitoring there, but they do monitor Twitter!





Four hours after the first posting, I get a @LowesCares tweets back:

Interesting Twitter handle! Lowes doesn’t seem to follow the Facebook postings like it does the Twitter ones.

I followed directions, filled out the form and shortly after lunch, the following day, Bub receives a call from the corporate office. They say they will “eat it” and he can return the sink to our local store. Which he does. He says they are VERY nice to him. Helpful…even though said sink now is not being made any more and it looks like we are going to have to buy something different. But wait…right there on the floor is a white sink that looks just like the linen one! For some reason it isn’t in their computer! And though out it all, the sales associate was patient and kind and helpful. So helpful that it turns out when they id’ed the sink there- it was only $99 instead of the special order $250! So Bub was given a gift card for the difference and the white sink! He came home a happy man.

Thank you Lowes! And my Twitter thank you to Lowes:








So, the tile guy is coming tomorrow! And then Norm comes back to hook everything up and I should have a new shower by next week! And a new sink that looks GREAT!

As a business coach…I am always looking at questions with my clients after the fact that could make the next situation turn out better:

• Was this good customer service?

• Or poor customer service?

• Did the fact I was a Realtor® have anything to do with it?

• Was the fact I have a fairly high profile in CyberSpace a consideration?

Don’t get me wrong….I am a happy camper, but I wonder if the situation helped Lowe’s learn something and improve? 

Perhaps the moral of the story is that the consumer is empowered these days by the ability to use social media. Smart businesses are monitoring and responding swiftly. Reputations are being made and lost through Social Media. Cosmic Shift Happens™ !!!

*My friend, Carra Riley and I are co-authoring and crowd sourcing an eBook called Cosmic Shift Happens™ about how to navigate the cosmic universe without negativity. If this appeals to you, get the info here, we’d love to hear your stories and thoughts!

Like my plumber, Norm, said....Social Media is effecting people and businesses reputations.....


What do you think?

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Cosmic Cow Pie

Carra Riley

Comment balloon 27 commentsCarra Riley & Declan Kenyon • August 25 2010 10:54AM


It never hurts to speak up.

Some of the loudest voices are those of the written words

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) about 10 years ago

great re-blog never knows what will happen when you're not up on your customer service!!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Interesting how this worked.  Sounds like their mistake from the start, so Lowe's definitely should have made it right, and ideally with a lot less hassle!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 about 10 years ago

Sounds as though the squeaky Twitter gets the oil!  Glad it finally worked out!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) about 10 years ago

Interesting story.  I always think the store will make it right if corporate gets involved.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 10 years ago these type of stories---they read like "our life story"--so happy that it worked out in the end AND that Bub received 'free money' so-to-speak.  Thanks for the share

Barb & Sal

Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan about 10 years ago

Carra:  This is modern and creative complaining at its best.  Used to happen via mail (Marilyn once taped a small worm she found in a cake mix to her letter and mailed it to the company) ... now it happens via email and internet.  Nothing wrong with voicing your displeasure in a respectful, but creative and attention-getting manner.  I think the success rate is higher ... as this post proves.  Good to hear the issue was corrected ... and whether Lowes learned a lesson or not ... we certainly did.



Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 10 years ago

Don ~ It's great to see that our voice is heard louder now than ever! 

Ginny ~  The customer is always has been and always will be KING!

Liz and Bill ~  Great how it got resolved!

Tish ~ Twitter is a powerful tool with business right now.

Tammy ~  you are so right.. just have to get to the top!  Social media is sure helping us do that.

Barb & Sal ~  Just like the plumber saw the power.. business and consumers will all soon be "getting it."

Gene ~   love this part of your comment  "Nothing wrong with voicing your displeasure in a respectful, but creative and attention-getting manner"

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

Carra, this is a great story and I am really glad that you posted it. I love to hear about things being made right for us and for our clients. Lowes has a terrific program for Realtors that I used for all of my clients, and it is so nice to know that they care enough to pay attention and fix a problem! Thanks!

Posted by Susie Johannes, SFR (Keller Williams Arizona Living Realty) about 10 years ago

Susie  ~  I am so happy you read it.. it is good for everyone.. becuase everyone makes mistakes.. correcting them is the key to ALL customer satisfaction no matter what business! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

Carra, one of the offerings made by Ben Kinney at RainCamp has to do with a disgruntled passenger that had issues with an airline. He tweeted his issue and got an incredible response from the airline because of the number of tweet comments he got. In strength there is numbers and if you tweet it, it becomes an elephant

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 10 years ago

Say it with respect. Get your point across and you will get a response. Businesses don't need negative press.

Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic ( about 10 years ago

Ed ~  There is power in social media.. it acutally makes it easier for a business to watch what people are saying! 

Robert ~ respect is the key in all communication.. you are so right!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago


Great reblog, I have heard similar stories of the Twitter response,  It is good to know some businesses do respond.

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 10 years ago

Carra ~ I have heard that before about twitter for another business.  Nice to know, twitter may help a sticky situation.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) about 10 years ago

Ron and Alexandra~  It really is great to know that there is a way to let your voice be heard!

Dawn ~  Yes ma'm   the Cosmic Shift is Happening!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

They call me "The Hammer" because when persuading a vendor to do something that they should rightfully do, I can be fairly effective.  But, apparently Twitter works on the Big Box, too.  Nice reblog. 

Posted by Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. (Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc.) about 10 years ago

Don ~ The Hammer.. love it!  Now you will have an even bigger tool!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

A great reblog Carra!

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) about 10 years ago

Pretty interesting take on the power of social media-- thanks for posting or re-posting!  A great story!  Kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) about 10 years ago

Joshua~  :)

Kathy ~  learning new things everyday!  Congrats on friend 1000 on fb!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

What I found interesting was how the staff at Lowes first responded to the complaint. This was clearly an error some where in the ordering process and not the customers fault. Yet they took absolutely no responsibility or made any effort to come up with a solution. I would not have let it go so easily either. I think the story shows the power of social media, but on the other hand it demonstrates the companies poor customer service. At least in this one instance.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

I am thinking it is the power of Twitter. One dissatisfied customer is nothing to Lowe's but one on Twitter, wow! I did the same thing with a cable attention in a hurry!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 10 years ago

James ~  I think the power of social media might improve customer service... what do you think?

Gary  ~  Knowledge... is Power.. knowing where the stroke is today.

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

The Power of Social Media. I brought a expired product at Giant Food Store and I told the cashier about it. She said that they are not going to take it back because I opened it. If I call the company and they are not willing to help me,I am going to do exactly what Joseland did and take it to Social Media. Thanks for the re-blog Carra. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 10 years ago

Wow very interesting story.  Thanks for the reblog Carra.  I hadn't seen this.  I am definitely going to keep this in mind for future reference. 

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) about 10 years ago

Lanre ~  I would keep it as positive as possible.. just looking for resolution... if it gets ugly.. not good for either of you.  Thanks Lanre.

Debra ~  Consumer power is changing.. but we have to be responsible.. I heard one of my neighbors grandsons was getting sued for something he wrote in a blog post.. so have to be careful!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago