Category: Consumer Bummers


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Recently, I decided to re-paint my old aluminum-frame Raleigh bicycle. It’s a 1985, 12-speed road bike. A great old bike, & fairly high-tech back in the day, but pretty beat up, I decided I would paint & then re-build it as a giant 12-speed Sting-Ray, thus the name "StingRaycer". Inspired by an article posted on the "Instructables" website, I sat out on a journey that I ultimately found would be very difficult to complete, indeed!
 
Based on the author’s recommendation, I purchased a $9.00 can of "Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover". Little did I realize that this would be only the first of many hard lessons that I would learn before my long & arduous journey would end! What follows is the series of articles that I posted on that same website, to warn others before they attempted this project, of the various pitfalls that may lie ahead, due largely to various EXPENSIVE, but LOW QUALITY products!
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POST #1:
To anyone thinking of undertaking this project, be forewarned. The "Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover" doesn’t work on all types of paint! After 3 APPLICATIONS, my Raleigh still has about 25% of the paint left on it! TOTAL WASTED: $9.00!
 
I sanded on it today until my arms gave out & I’ve barely scratched the surface! It seems that the paint remover somehow reacted to the remaining paint, hardening it & making it even more difficult to sand off! This has turned into a nightmare of a project which will probably take a couple of hundred hours to complete!
 
I’m committed now, so I have no choice but to continue, but if I had known it would be like this, I never would have started it!
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POST #2:
Well, a couple of more days of work, MUCH sanding, & a total of 4 APPLICATIONS of the "Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover", & I’ve FINALLY got the frame stripped & primered. Haven’t even started on the fork yet.
 
I’m trying out the Krylon X-Metals paint next. Kinda pricey too, at almost 5 bucks a can! With any luck, I’ll apply my base coat tomorrow. You’re supposed to apply the base coat over the primer, then the color paint within 1 hour, or wait 5 days! This stuff looks great on the cap, but who knows, eh? Stay tuned…
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POST #3:
Warning! Don’t buy the Krylon X-Metals paint! Another waste of money! Primer-$2.00, X-Metals base coat-$5.00, X-Metals paint-$5.00. TOTAL WASTED: $12.00!
 
Even after wet sanding the primer, allowing 24 hours drying time & following all directions exactly, the finish is equivalent to fine sandpaper! Very rough, no shine, uneven finish! And this stuff is SUPPOSED to have a vastly superior finish! In reality it’s VASTLY INFERIOR, but TWICE AS EXPENSIVE!!
 
Now I get to wait 5 days for the paint to cure (as recommended on the can), so I can wet sand it & go over it again with REGULAR paint, to get a decent, smooth, shiny finish. I’ve done MANY $4.00 paint jobs that came out MUCH, MUCH better! What a mess!
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Why I Hate “Lowes”

 
The following is a letter I wrote some time back, regarding one of my more memorable shopping experiences…
 
 
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to relate to you, a somewhat typical shopping experience at our local “Lowes” store. Recently, I decided to order four sheets of 4×8 vinyl privacy lattice. Arriving at Lowes, I proceeded to a check-out register, assuming this would be the logical place to order and pay for said merchandise.
After waiting through line #1, I arrived at the register, only to be told that she did not handle such transactions, and I must see the “man at the computer” at the commercial sales desk. After waiting through line #2, I arrived at the “man at the computer”, only to be told that he did not handle such transactions, and I must see “Danny” at the register. (Still at the commercial sales desk.) After waiting through line #3, I arrived at “Danny”, only to be told that he did not handle such transactions, and I must see the man at the regular check-out register. (Still at the commercial sales desk.) After waiting through line #4, I arrived at the register, only to be told that he did not handle such transactions, and I must see “Danny” at the same commercial sales desk. After waiting through line #5, (previously line #3) I arrived at “Danny”. (Again!) By now I was very frustrated and somewhat irate. I expressed to Danny, my extreme dissatisfaction with Lowes’ policy of dealing with a simple order. It was very obvious that none of the employees wanted to deal with placing the order for me, and that each one was simply trying to pawn the work off on the next one. Now, he was suddenly able to handle the transaction after all, my order was finally placed, I paid for it in advance, and my wonderful day at Lowes was over.
It would be well over two weeks before I would hear from Lowes, regarding the order that was supposed to arrive in ten days or less.
Arriving at Lowes, I proceeded to the information desk, assuming this would be the logical place to start. After waiting through line #1, I arrived at the information desk, and was told to proceed to the commercial sales check-out register. After waiting through line #2, I arrived at the commercial sales check-out register, some paper work was done, and I was told to proceed to the customer service (what a joke) desk, for a “pink slip”. After waiting through line #3, I arrived at the "service" desk, where I received my “pink slip”, and was told to proceed “out back” to pick up my merchandise. “Oh joy!” I thought, “Finally, the big moment is at hand!” Upon arriving “out back”, imagine my ultimate dismay, to discover that the lattice had been stored on a cart, ON EDGE, for several days, warping it beyond any possibility of use. The attendant agreed with me that it was totally unusable, and I was to return to “Danny” at the commercial sales desk. (See a pattern yet?) After waiting through line #5, I arrived at “Danny” again. At this time I requested a discount for all that I had been through, and the fact that said merchandise would now have to be re-ordered, with a subsequent 2-3 week wait. I was informed that I could have a discount on the damaged merchandise only. I informed Danny that the merchandise was unusable at ANY price. Still, my request for some type of compensation was flatly refused! Some paper work was done, and I was told to proceed to a regular check-out register, where a refund/rebuild would be performed. After waiting through line #6, (Yeah, I know, unbelievable!) I arrived at the register, where more paper work was done and I was merrily on my way!
In my opinion, events like this can only be attributed to very poor store management, however, due to this, and OTHER SIMILAR EXPERIENCES at Lowes, I have concluded that having my teeth drilled would be preferable to shopping at Lowes. I have come to absolutely DETEST shopping at Lowes, and only do so when it is absolutely unavoidable!
I am, needless to say, very eagerly anticipating my return to Lowes for another exquisitely supreme shopping experience, when my merchandise finally arrives for the second time. I can’t help but wonder how many lines I will have to wait through, and how long it will take THIS time!
 
Your faithful Lowes customer,
Joey Wallace