Lowe’s to Pay $1.6M in Settlement for Mislabeled Building Materials

August 28, 2014 15:00 pm · 29 comments

Lowe’s Home Centers was ordered to pay a $1.6 million settlement in a California consumer protection action for allegations that it was selling building materials advertised with the wrong dimensions, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office said today.

They alleged that Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, sold structural dimension building products that described product dimensions that were not the actual dimensions — incorrectly advertising the length, width, depth or thickness of building materials, according to Marin County prosecutors.

In some cases, the inaccurate labeling was because of inaccurate dimensions provided by the manufacturers or other suppliers.

Lowe’s must remove the products from sale or correct the false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate product descriptions. The company must also pay $1.47 million in civil penalties and the costs of the investigation, prosecutors said.

The company will also pay another $150,000 for future consumer protection investigations.

Marin prosecutors said that Lowe’s was cooperative with the investigation and has already implemented better policies and procedures to keep misleading or inaccurate product descriptions out of its advertisements.

“Consumers should expect when making product purchases that retailers are providing accurate information especially when misinformation could adversely affect building products that more often than not rely on precise measurements,” Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said in a statement.

Dale Keys August 28, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I would like to know some specifics, like labeling studs as “2×4’s” or sheets of plywood as 3/8″, 1/2″ or 3/4″. If so, everyone does that.

Again? August 28, 2014 at 3:29 PM

That makes the 3rd fine this year for Lowes.

$500,000.00 for allowing its contractors in their home improvement division not to follow the mandatory lead safe laws on remodeling.

$18,000,000.00 for illegal dumping of scrap materials in its home improvement division in Ca.

Marianne August 28, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Was this the Lowe’s in vallejo, I wouldn’t doubt it. I bought a washing machine there and it clunked so loud I had to send it back right away. The reps weren’t pleased because there was a dent in it where I kicked it, but they did take it back.

The Mamba August 28, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Just curious as to why Lowe’s got caught ripping off its clients, but the government is keeping all the fines?

@#1 August 28, 2014 at 3:53 PM

That’s exactly what I was thinking. This could just be some trumped up BS to make the government money.

JT August 28, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Marianne, Vallejo isn’t in Marin County.

TinFoiler August 28, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Don’t LIE, CHEAT & STEAL……….the government Hates Competition

Ctown August 28, 2014 at 4:12 PM

This is certainly not the first time someone has been caught lying about the size of their wood.

FORMER CONCORD RESIDENT August 28, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Funny i bought a tuff shed kit there, and i asked the salesmen if everything came all together , he said everything you see is correct , waited 5 days they delivered it and guess what , no tar paper, no shingles , no window , all sold seprately… wonder if others had the same type of problem ….another $500.00 bucks… was like wtf…

Marianne August 28, 2014 at 4:38 PM

@JT oops…I guess it isn’t in vtown-and 7,8 I agree 100%.

a 2x4 is actually 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" August 28, 2014 at 5:07 PM

if some moron doesn’t know that, he has no business buying one…..

Cat Wrangler August 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

@Ctown – Sounds like a Nora Ephron line I know…..

RunDogRun August 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

These suits always amaze me.
Fines collected for the State, but
what recourse is there for the
consumer who purchased the
product. I believe one suit
involved mislabeled flooring.
If you purchased it, you didn’t
get the quality of wood you
were supposed to, yet the State
got the money for it. Real
consumer protection would
include some sort of compensation
for those who purchased the product.

Smokey August 28, 2014 at 5:36 PM

So what happens to the $1.47M? Where does the money go? Marin county? How much goes to the lawyers?

JT August 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM

“How much goes to the lawyers?” Probably about $1.77M.

@11 August 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

“if some moron doesn’t know that, he has no business buying one…..”

It’s marin county, need to lower all expectations.

Those are the people that messed with George Lucas.
By the way he got even many times over, now they’re stuck with low income housing along with crime and a perpetual drain on county services.

Probably a safe bet DA is a democrat.

Dog dog dad August 28, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Basically the reason why Lowes was fined is the measurement of wood products such as 2 x 4’s not being really 2″ x 4″ also there were issues with the labeling of three and 5 gallon plant cans not actually containing that much dirt. Pretty much all that Lowes was fine for was for the use of verbiage that has been common language in the hardware and home-improvement industry for decades. Most likely this was initiated by some whiny ass Who had nothing better to do than to irritate other lives to break them down to the level of their useless selves. Come on how far we going to push political correctness?

Jim August 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

it’s BS….2×4 and the like haven’t been true 2×4 for years…just another liberal money grab…tell ya what…when do we get to sue our politicians for all there misleading promises?…when do we get paid back for their BS

grewah August 28, 2014 at 9:05 PM

I once owned a house built in 1883. When 2×4’s really were that. Try to rehab that with modern lumber. If it was dimension lumber that got them busted then every lumber yard in the country is guilty. I’m just surprised it is Lowe’s and not Homeless Depot

California Nightmare August 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

This sounds like a lawyer money grab to me too. This administration loves to shake down businesses. Probably a Marin county lawyer with deep democrat party connections.

PhilthyPHRESH August 28, 2014 at 10:57 PM

When I buy a 2×4, I want a 2×4. Change.

@21 August 29, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Good luck finding those and have fun ripping them all to size for use with modern construction.

Mary August 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The government bureaucrats are stealing from Lowes to finance their perks and pensions. What a shame!

J. August 29, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Everybody knows a tubafour is not really 2″x4″

wibbles August 29, 2014 at 5:53 PM

J. what is a tubafour? Is that a new instrument?

Terry Kremin August 29, 2014 at 6:48 PM

@wibbles #25 –

Whats a tubafour? for when you don’t got a sousaphone!

Silva August 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Is this for real? Did they actually get fined about the size of 2 bys? That can’t be it.

J. August 30, 2014 at 3:46 PM
Silva August 30, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Well that’s the silliest most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all week.

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