back to article Retailer sets legal attack dogs on protest website

Allen Harkleroad was so unhappy with a $3,500 fence he paid Lowe's Home Centers to have installed that he posted pictures he says document the shoddy workmanship on a site called Now attorneys for Lowe's are threatening legal action unless the site is taken down. "Your use of the Lowe's Marks and your …


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  1. Alan Donaly

    No choice but

    to either ignore it and hope not too many people see it or try to have it taken down or sue and end up being endlessly discussed by The Register of course they could just fix the mans fence but that would cost nearly nothing compared to legal fees and not involve destroying the companies image so what fun is that. I personally would fire everyone involved in making this an issue as it plainly has a fairly easy fix. As for 2Clix they sealed their doom everyone knows they suck now.

  2. Colin Wilson

    Customer service...

    ...has sunk to new Lowes...

  3. Steen Eugen Poulsen

    @ Colin Wilson

    Isn't that a free RSS subscription for a year, for using a pun so obevious it should have had a botnote warning of a year ban?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This guy better be careful

    I just had a quick scan of the site and found a number of potential problems, for him!

    1. The Lowe's logo is used on the web site and that is a trademark infringement.

    2. He makes statements of fact, when they should be more carefully worded as his opinion. Despite his declaration at the top that it is his opinion. "LOWE'S is nothing more than a corporate bully that attempts to pervert the U.S. legal system to stifle a consumers free speech rights.", is a statement, not an opinion.

    3. He makes clear threats against the company and it's employees: "Maybe I should start posting cell phone and home phone numbers of the Lowe's folks that have made assurances and promises that as far as I know haven't been delivered."

    Otherwise, I agree with "sucks" sites to express your opinion, and Mr Harkleroad certainly has the right to that. I think that he is crossing lines and stretching his rights on this site though. Posting pictures and describing the process and results is a great way to get his point across but using their logo, defacing their logo, making statements of claim and threatening to release private and confidential information is just plain illegal.



  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re : this guy better be careful

    Yes, he uses the trademark.

    However, he is claiming that its use is parodic and therefore not illegal (in the US). Whether it's parody or not is debatable, but he certainly seems to be taking the piss out of them.

    Having looked at his fence, I can't say I blame him.

    Come on Lowe's. Apologise for the shoddy workmanship, fix his fence and hey presto! Your problem will disappear!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are corporate execs this stupid?

    ...not to know that by bullying this guy and making him into a martyr, they're going to end up causing far more damage to the Lowe's name than if they just left him alone? (or for that matter legitimately investigated his complaint)

    I know that personally I'd be much more reluctant to have any dealings with a company based on their reactionary bullying of a customer, and refusal to even attempt to solve a problem except by strongarm tactics to make it "go away" than one guy's bad experience with one of their products.

    The guys that had and eventually won---I don't think the battle did much except create enmity for the companies involved.

  7. Peter

    Lowe's website is DOWN currently says:

    "To serve you better, we are currently performing maintenance on"

    Too much traffic, or some minor embarassment?

    Fortunately, is still up, and is the best read I've had in ages.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like the spelling

    ...but if the dogs have been getting under the fece, I think they're going to need a bath :-P

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abuse of trademark rights

    A trademark should give the owner ONLY the right to MAKE goods under the name. It should absolutely NOT give the owner the right to prevent people with legitimite gripes from using the trademark to identify the organisation it is criticising.

    So, apart from the fact that its complete idiocy to bring ridicule on your own company by telling everybody that you're more interested in throwing stones at the people you've defrauded than fixing their concerns, isn't it high time that trademark legislation was amended to PREVENT trademark owners from abusing their rights like this?

  10. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    Customer service team

    " I assure you that our customer service team is looking into the issues raised by Mr. Harkleroad."

    I get this image of a bunch of large men with no necks and a monobrow coming around to Mr Harkleroads house, to "look into the issue".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking into ...

    is generally a synonym either for "actively ignoring" or an admission that they were previously trying their hardest to actively ignore until the present circumstances dictated they could actively ignore it no longer.

  12. Scott

    He has a problem

    He hasn't paid his bill.

    In most circumstances (unsure if this applies in US) but, in Australia, title of goods doesn't pass until the goods are paid for.

    Yes, he paid them to do a job and it wasn't done well. But he hasn't finished paying them for it. Even if the job sucks (like this one did), you still pay the amount owed and THEN go the jugular.

    Technically, the fence isn't his - yet. He could be classed a defaulter (if he didn't pay the bill) and that would kill his credit rating.

    I'd like to see what happens next. Put a $20 on Lowes for me, thanks. :)

  13. Randy

    Posting personal info

    How eager will "they" be to contact him, if they know every single thing they say/do/write/etc, including their numbers, calls, addresses are all going to be posted and actively promoted on a protest site? I would certainly skip a beat before calling/writing.

    I don't think every one of his comments and opinions expressed on his site are 100% sue-proof either. I'd not entirely certain that I'd be willing to put every egg into his basket.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly law again

    "In most circumstances (unsure if this applies in US) but, in Australia, title of goods doesn't pass until the goods are paid for."

    If that's the case then the law needs changing. Urgently. Whether in Australia, US or elsewhere, it doesn't make sense.

    If you don't finish the job, then you should NOT be paid. Not a penny, even if you've done part of the work. End of story. Because the contract should always be to do the WHOLE job. Until you've finished the job, you should have no right to demand payment -- except where it was actually agreed from the outset that the job be performed in stages. Otherwise, there might be a case for paying the bill to a stakeholder, but under no circumstances should any money ever be paid to the contractor for a job not done satisfactorily.

    And if the law doesn't recognise that, then the law is an even BIGGER ASS than we always said it to be.

  15. JC

    Half Right

    The Lowes installer certainly did a pathetic job installing the fence, but one primary complaint about how there are gaps is wrong. A standard chain link fence can't be installed in an area where there is unflat ground beyond a certain grade without there being gaps, unless the installer were to manually custom trim the bottom which is very laborious, and practically never done. Where ground is this graded a wood fence is installed instead so the planks can be lowered to ground level.

    The installer should have made this clear before starting the work.

  16. heystoopid

    Defective by Design

    Put it simply from the photographs it is very poorly installed , the key bottom tie rail for the chain link is clearly missing , and the shoddy workmanship , is plainly obvious for all to see !

    The photographs on display clearly show the entire fence was defective by design , with key missing components , for if it is a 6 foot fence where are the centre and bottom rails , a four foot unit would require a minimum of two rails ! Finally as only tack ties were installed to allow for the unrolling and installation of the usual fifty foot sections of chain link to be installed and the fence was not correctly or properly laced !

    Truly defective by inherent design !

    Noted also , their website also needs a zip code to get beyond the first menu page to see anything !

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't be done ?

    "A standard chain link fence can't be installed in an area where there is unflat ground"

    In that case, the sales person shouldn't have taken on the job. Or should have quoted for whatever was also needed in its place.

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