Lowes Tries To Silence Sucks Site For Complaints About Lowes

from the did-someone-call-Streisand's-name? dept

We've covered a variety of cases involving so-called "sucks sites," where someone registers as a domain name the name of a company and appends sucks to the end in order to create a complaint site. Companies have often complained that these sites are trademark violations, but that usually doesn't pass the moron in a hurry test. The latest such case involves home improvement store Lowes. A guy who bought a fence from them was upset that the installers botched the job. Lowes refused to take responsibility, so he set up a site at Lowes-Sucks.com and promptly received a cease and desist from the company claiming trademark violation. While early on, a few companies were able to get sucks sites shut down, it's become a lot rarer, as judges tend to recognize that criticism is perfectly legitimate -- and no one is likely to confuse a sucks site as being endorsed by the company. In the meantime, of course, in sending out such a cease and desist, Lowes has just drawn a lot more attention to the fact that they won't take responsibility for the botched fence install. Wouldn't it have just been better for business to fix the damn fence?

Filed Under: streisand effect, sucks site
Companies: lowes

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Walt, 8 Jan 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Yeah, Lowes Really DOES Suck

    About nine years ago I put down Lowes vinyl sheet on the floor in a room we use for our dogs. We have about one litter/year (midsize dogs), puppies spend 2-4 weeks there with adults, right before they're sold. They're around 10-12 pounds during that time.

    That first sheet was Lowes middle-of-what-we stock grade -- not much over $1/sf. When it wore out in early fall this year, we trotted back to Lowes and bought what we thought was the same grade -- very slightly higher price and still middle grade of what they had there. It lasted about three weeks.

    $#$!!! I blamed myself for not realizing that what was about the same price eight or nine years later, was probably cheaper. I ate the cost of that first worthless replacement and trotted back to Lowes AGAIN, this time buying the best thing they had in stock.

    And that lasted less than a week before holes appeared. I took a sample of the part with the holes together with my receipt to the store, expecting to get my money back without question, told the story, and instead of a refund, was told "Your problem is with the manufacturer -- we can't help you."

    I contacted the national Lowes people; they said senior store management would get back to me instantly. They did, but between my schedule and theirs, we've only managed to talk once in at least half a dozen tries from this end and three or four from theirs. But they did send me a letter saying that my problem was with the manufacturer.

    I'm sorry, but when a flooring which claims to be warranted for a few years lasts less than a week, my problem is with YOU, Lowes. You're certainly free to exclude traffic by dogs from the warrantee (but you'd better exclude high heels, too, because seeing what happened with puppy toenails I'm sure it wouldn't take small heels, either.) OR you can put up a sign saying that "Material is not warranted by Lowes -- contact manufacturer in case of warrantee claims." But DON'T claim a guarantee that you have no intention of honoring.

    This story isn't over yet. Failing all else, there's a small claims court where words like 'merchantability' will be understood. And I'm sure there are other Lowes sucks website names available.

    That Orange Store may not be great, but we got the (more expensive) replacement there, and it seems to be just fine.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.