Consumer Investigation: Army vet says he was denied military discount; Lowe’s promises resolution

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – This consumer alert deals with a veteran, a retailer and a discount deferred. Don Cooper says his shower desperately needed some TLC. So, he bought supplies from Lowe’s where he gets a 10% military discount. Cooper proudly served in the Army in the 60s, but he didn’t get the discount.

He went back to the store, asked to speak to a manager, called customer service, and even tried to reach the CEO. When that didn’t work, he called Deanna Dewberry.

Cooper is one of the 2.7 million Americans who served our country during the Vietnam war. He gets a military discount at a number of stores, including Lowe’s, which offers 10% off to those who served. So that’s where Cooper decided to buy materials to remodel his shower.

“Of course they didn’t have it in stock; it had to be ordered,” said Cooper. “And that’s when we ordered them on the third of March or whatever it was.” His contractor ordered the materials using Cooper’s Lowe’s credit card, and the receipt clearly shows that Cooper got the 5% discount given when you use the Lowes Advantage Credit card. But his military discount is supposed to be twice that: 10%.

Cooper went to Lowe’s with his receipt in hand to ask for his discount. But he was told the retailer wouldn’t give him a discount because his contractor placed the order, an argument he thought was ridiculous. While the receipt shows his contractor placed the order, Cooper paid for the order. And the proof is on the receipt, the last four digits of Cooper’s credit card.

The store manager told him to call customer service. When asked if he had to wait long to talk to an actual person he responded with a laugh, “I heard a lot of music!”

While Cooper can laugh now, he wasn’t laughing when he finally talked to a real person who told him the same thing. He couldn’t get a discount because a contractor placed the order. Cooper says a retailer’s responsibility to honor its promise to our veterans is certainly no laughing matter.

“Everything there [the receipt] shows that I paid for it. I don’t think that’s right,” said Cooper.

I reached out to Lowe’s and a spokesperson sent this statement:

“The satisfaction of our customers is a top priority, and Lowe’s is working directly with Mr. Cooper on a resolution. We encourage customers to refer to the terms and conditions of our military discount on”

I checked those terms and conditions and it says the military discount can’t be used with the 5% Lowes credit card discount. So, does that mean that military members should not use their Lowe’s credit card? After all, the military discount is twice as much. I emailed the spokesperson that question and as of Thursday evening had not received an answer. But if there’s anything we learn from Cooper’s story it’s that tenacity pays off.

Cooper has been promised a resolution. Of course, I’ll let you know how Cooper’s story ends.