Discrimination on Military discount at Lowe's Home Improvement stores

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May 2, 2019
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I'm not sure what type of lawsuit you think you'd be able to file, and I'm pretty sure the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost you out-of-pocket to do so would be worth a discount on 20 bags of mulch.

I'm glad that the District Manager is being helpful. Hopefully he will get you the resolution you seek.

I am hoping he can too. But any one that spouse has severed in the arm forces and did not take that spouse's last name. This would include spouses that choose not to take their partners last name, like professional woman that chose to keep their own last name because of their career. and which to hold on to their independence. This would also hold true for same sex marriages where neither one of the partners take the others last name. I either case the last name would never match. I have worked with civil liability union when living in Florida. And they take up causes and file class action law suit.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Christina, I would stand to reason that any one that spouse has served in the armed forces and did not take the person's last name. That would include professional woman that have chosen to keep their own last name because of their career and independence. And same same sex marriages. Where neither one of the partner have chosen to take the other partners last name. The policy does not say that the spouse must be of the opposite sex.
Do not get me wrong I think it Lowe’s is making a mess of this and needs a policy— but when you talk about a discrimination lawsuit— a spouse not talking the same last name is not a protected class. This could be applied to both male and female . The woman could be in the armed forces and husband not, also applied to same sex marriage.
 
May 2, 2019
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Do not get me wrong I think it Lowe’s is making a mess of this and needs a policy— but when you talk about a discrimination lawsuit— a spouse not talking the same last name is not a protected class. This could be applied to both male and female . The woman could be in the armed forces and husband not, also applied to same sex marriage.

I totally see where you are coming from. Yes and I think Lowe's is take a hard line approach to this because they think they can. I may be the first person to challenge them since they tell me the policy just changed April 18, 20219. But the civil liberty unions take up fight like this all the time against big businesses. And then amazingly the company put in place a new policy. Like noting the military veterans phone number the spouse has a different last name. Seems like a quick simple easy fix to me. But then I am not in charge of fixing Lowe's policies. That why I was told to call corporate. And I sent a email to Marvin Ellison the president and CEO. And how I got a call from some guy in corporate that told me that he is the head of the corporate ladder and that just how it is...
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I wonder if too many people were using the discounts wrongly — such as friends and this is why the policy was changed to something ridiculous.

I am not a lawyer but it seems that no protected class is being discriminated against — I would work up the executive ladder and try to resolve this.
 
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May 2, 2019
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That why I am giving the District Manager a chance to handle it. He seems very honest resourceful and dedicated. After all he has called me back twice. That more then I could get done on the store level....
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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That why I am giving the District Manager a chance to handle it. He seems very honest resourceful and dedicated. After all he has called me back twice. That more then I could get done on the store level....
I think you are on the right path — once lawsuit is mentioned the conversation may stop. There should be a way to implement the discount fairly and accurately — to cover each spouse no matter name or gender.
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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I totally see where you are coming from. Yes and I think Lowe's is take a hard line approach to this because they think they can. I may be the first person to challenge them since they tell me the policy just changed April 18, 20219. But the civil liberty unions take up fight like this all the time against big businesses. And then amazingly the company put in place a new policy. Like noting the military veterans phone number the spouse has a different last name. Seems like a quick simple easy fix to me. But then I am not in charge of fixing Lowe's policies. That why I was told to call corporate. And I sent a email to Marvin Ellison the president and CEO. And how I got a call from some guy in corporate that told me that he is the head of the corporate ladder and that just how it is...
It is important to realize that the Lowe's discount program is voluntary and not in any way a protected "right". Lowe's can administer it any way they wish, in a restrictive manner, just like the airline FF programs.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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This is a really odd, but interesting thread. I got hung up on the use of "partner" to refer to a spouse. My definition of "partner" is someone you live with just like a marriage, but you're not married. Is this part of the problem with Lowes? Is their discount policy meant only for people who are legally married (no matter the last name, genders, sexual orientation or anything else)?
 
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May 21, 2019
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Lowe's Home Improvement store has just without any notice and training to their associates changed their police on Military Discount.. According to their ad and propaganda, it is open to the Veteran and spouse and immediate family. According to Mr Christopher in corporate in Wilkesboro NC. It is only available to spouses that have matching last names. So its 2019 and what about same sex marriages where neither of the spouses have changes their last name. Or even marriages where the female has not changed her last name to that of her husband. As many Todays's professorial woman don't because of their own careers. I told Mr. Christopher that this is discrimination. And he said that this is the company policy. I told him that he either needs to change his ads on the TV, and radio or change the procedure. He informed me that he was the top of the cooperate ladder and that just how it going to be... I am guessing he is another closed mined person in corporate.

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We did this because too many people were "stealing" the veterans discount. Now we just need to see your I.D. to verify that it is you. You deserve the discount for serving this country, your down the street neighbors 2nd cousins wife does not deserve the discount.
In regards for spouses that do not have the same last name, just politely ask for a Head Cashier or Service Manager and we'd be happy to take care of you. Immediately spouting off about "suing" the Company will get no one anywhere.
 

Neil Maley

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We did this because too many people were "stealing" the veterans discount. Now we just need to see your I.D. to verify that it is you. You deserve the discount for serving this country, your down the street neighbors 2nd cousins wife does not deserve the discount.
In regards for spouses that do not have the same last name, just politely ask for a Head Cashier or Service Manager and we'd be happy to take care of you. Immediately spouting off about "suing" the Company will get no one anywhere.
I assume you work for Lowe’s? If you do, thank you for showing us the other side of the coin on why this needs to be done. As a Veteran I can tell you I know people that lie about being in the service that never were. We actually have a neighbor who tells people he injured his back in Iraq when he in fact never was in Iraq and injured his back in a car accident after he was out of the service. I don’t understand why people do things like this.

It’s a shame that there must have been enough dishonest people that force a store to have to do this. I hope this helps our OP to understand why this had to be implemented.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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We did this because too many people were "stealing" the veterans discount. Now we just need to see your I.D. to verify that it is you. You deserve the discount for serving this country, your down the street neighbors 2nd cousins wife does not deserve the discount.
In regards for spouses that do not have the same last name, just politely ask for a Head Cashier or Service Manager and we'd be happy to take care of you. Immediately spouting off about "suing" the Company will get no one anywhere.
Thank you so much for this thoughtful response, Retail/lifer. We were just walking down a street in a small British city and saw a big poster in a dry cleaner's window: "If you're out of work and have an interview, we will be happy to clean your suit for free". We looked at each other and said "That would never work in America; too many freebie-seekers who don't qualify for the offer". I also appreciate your advice on not jumping off a cliff in a situation like this, but first asking, then allowing the company to assist you.
 
Dec 17, 2018
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Lowes has never allowed you to use your military ID at the register to get the discount. I've been in the military for 14 years and even 14 years ago I had to register online and they verified my military status through some third party verification service that looked me up by name and birth date in an export of the DEERS database. I'm not sure whether you are the military member or the spouse, but the active duty military sponsor needs to verify that all information is correct in DEERS. Then, it might take some time before the information is exported to the third-party verification system before you'll be able to register the spouse in the Lowe's discount program.

Note that you say that the discount is option to "Veterans" and spouse and immediate family. As far as I've ever seen, the discount is only available to active duty military, their spouses and immediate family, not to veterans who have retired or separated from service.

-- SR
This isn't true. I used to use my spouse ID at the register all the time until about 4 years ago when they suddenly started forcing everyone to register. Let me tell you, I was PISSED OFF by that, because I was buying a LOT of stuff that day and I had to stop everything, get registered, go back in line... it was a nightmare, and we weren't happy about it. And I'm talking like it was saving us something like $200 so yeah, we HAD to drop everything and do the registration, which literally had popped up out of nowhere all of a sudden. And that was true for every Lowes in my area, not just one by my house. I was able to use JUST my ID at the register at ANY Lowes for a VERY long time. Then, boom, registration.
 

Neil Maley

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This isn't true. I used to use my spouse ID at the register all the time until about 4 years ago when they suddenly started forcing everyone to register. Let me tell you, I was PISSED OFF by that, because I was buying a LOT of stuff that day and I had to stop everything, get registered, go back in line... it was a nightmare, and we weren't happy about it. And I'm talking like it was saving us something like $200 so yeah, we HAD to drop everything and do the registration, which literally had popped up out of nowhere all of a sudden. And that was true for every Lowes in my area, not just one by my house. I was able to use JUST my ID at the register at ANY Lowes for a VERY long time. Then, boom, registration.
But now you know why they have to do it.
 
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jsn55

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This isn't true. I used to use my spouse ID at the register all the time until about 4 years ago when they suddenly started forcing everyone to register. Let me tell you, I was PISSED OFF by that, because I was buying a LOT of stuff that day and I had to stop everything, get registered, go back in line... it was a nightmare, and we weren't happy about it. And I'm talking like it was saving us something like $200 so yeah, we HAD to drop everything and do the registration, which literally had popped up out of nowhere all of a sudden. And that was true for every Lowes in my area, not just one by my house. I was able to use JUST my ID at the register at ANY Lowes for a VERY long time. Then, boom, registration.
So this company is offering our military substantial discounts and you are annoyed that you had to register? Amazing. How long did it take to set up your own account instead of using someone else's card? Is it a really onerous process?
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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This isn't true. I used to use my spouse ID at the register all the time until about 4 years ago when they suddenly started forcing everyone to register. Let me tell you, I was PISSED OFF by that, because I was buying a LOT of stuff that day and I had to stop everything, get registered, go back in line... it was a nightmare, and we weren't happy about it. And I'm talking like it was saving us something like $200 so yeah, we HAD to drop everything and do the registration, which literally had popped up out of nowhere all of a sudden. And that was true for every Lowes in my area, not just one by my house. I was able to use JUST my ID at the register at ANY Lowes for a VERY long time. Then, boom, registration.
Was it difficult to register -- how was it a nightmare? The problem is that people were abusing the system. I would never think of trying to get a military discount because I do not deserve one and I am not the partner of someone who deserves one. Honestly I would prefer the company require registration for veterans rather than do away with the program entirely.
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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Any update on this issue? I too am married to a veteran and according to Lowe's marketing a spouse and family members are entitled to the discount. When searching the fine print it becomes a spouse with the same last name and dependents under the age of 18.
So I begin my quest to contact Lowe's and surprisingly received an answer quickly ( which leads me to believe it is not accurate ) that they are working on their system to allow a veteran to add a spouse ( name ) to their account. How difficult could this really be for a company that size? And how long does it really take? They need more pressure. My issue is that if my brother was a vet or my father or mother ( who took my fathers name at marriage which was the norm years ago, a cousin or uncle or aunt anyone with the same last name I could get their discount with no questions asked as the names match. Despite addresses not matching ( which are not checked nor do the cashier see) I would still get the discount. However - because my husbands last name is different I get no discount! So the reality is that that they are less interested in people who are getting the discount that should not as the door remains wide open as long as your last name is the same.
Seems like I should search the internet for a veteran with MY last name and use their number!! No more issues!
My work around is to order online and have things delivered with normally free shipping which costs Lowe's even more money. Prevents me from impulse buying and buying additional items as I do not walk into the store anymore.
STUPID corporate thinking!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Any update on this issue? I too am married to a veteran and according to Lowe's marketing a spouse and family members are entitled to the discount. When searching the fine print it becomes a spouse with the same last name and dependents under the age of 18.
So I begin my quest to contact Lowe's and surprisingly received an answer quickly ( which leads me to believe it is not accurate ) that they are working on their system to allow a veteran to add a spouse ( name ) to their account. How difficult could this really be for a company that size? And how long does it really take? They need more pressure. My issue is that if my brother was a vet or my father or mother ( who took my fathers name at marriage which was the norm years ago, a cousin or uncle or aunt anyone with the same last name I could get their discount with no questions asked as the names match. Despite addresses not matching ( which are not checked nor do the cashier see) I would still get the discount. However - because my husbands last name is different I get no discount! So the reality is that that they are less interested in people who are getting the discount that should not as the door remains wide open as long as your last name is the same.
Seems like I should search the internet for a veteran with MY last name and use their number!! No more issues!
My work around is to order online and have things delivered with normally free shipping which costs Lowe's even more money. Prevents me from impulse buying and buying additional items as I do not walk into the store anymore.
STUPID corporate thinking!
I am not sure it is stupid corporate thinking -- there are people that misuse discounts -- and certainly people who claim to be vets when they are not.
Yes people with the same last name can game the system, but how many more would if all it took was someone to day "My spouse is a vet" and "borrow" the name of another. How do you propose that someone prove that they are the spouse of a vet? Marriage certificate? Notarized statement?
The problem is too many dishonest people gaming the system -- if people would be honest there would be no such problems.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,093
23,045
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Any update on this issue? I too am married to a veteran and according to Lowe's marketing a spouse and family members are entitled to the discount. When searching the fine print it becomes a spouse with the same last name and dependents under the age of 18.
So I begin my quest to contact Lowe's and surprisingly received an answer quickly ( which leads me to believe it is not accurate ) that they are working on their system to allow a veteran to add a spouse ( name ) to their account. How difficult could this really be for a company that size? And how long does it really take? They need more pressure. My issue is that if my brother was a vet or my father or mother ( who took my fathers name at marriage which was the norm years ago, a cousin or uncle or aunt anyone with the same last name I could get their discount with no questions asked as the names match. Despite addresses not matching ( which are not checked nor do the cashier see) I would still get the discount. However - because my husbands last name is different I get no discount! So the reality is that that they are less interested in people who are getting the discount that should not as the door remains wide open as long as your last name is the same.
Seems like I should search the internet for a veteran with MY last name and use their number!! No more issues!
My work around is to order online and have things delivered with normally free shipping which costs Lowe's even more money. Prevents me from impulse buying and buying additional items as I do not walk into the store anymore.
STUPID corporate thinking!
Post #30 explains why it was done. As a Veteran I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known that have lied about being in the service.

The fact that some stores are willing to offer discounts to Veterans is great and I have no problem with those stores verifying that the person they offer the discount to is a real Service Person or Veteran
and their immediate family. It’s not every family member according to their page. It’s immediate.

And from the Military Wallet- it’s very easy - the veteran needs to sign up and immediate family members can simply use their card:

Be currently serving in or a veteran* of the US armed forces or be the immediate family member (Spouses and/or dependent children up to 18 years old). Once the service member signs up for the discount program on Lowes.com, it will be linked to a MyLowe’s card that may also be used by immediate family.
 
Jul 26, 2019
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From what I read here it seems that not all Lowes stores use the same policy. I am married to a retired Marine. I've never used his surname, nor he mine. I have a military dependent ID card and I am in the DEERS system. All I've ever needed to claim the 10% discount on most items here in Alaska is my DoD dependent ID. Same policy at Home Depot, by the way. The DoD knows we have different surnames -- lots of couple do. Obviously I had to show a marriage license in order to obtain my dependent ID in the first place, and to sign up for Tricare via DEERS, etc. Maybe it's just this way in AK because we have the highest percentage of retired military of any state? BTW as someone with a law and government background, I do think the case could be made that a private company that gives discounts to couples with the same surname but not those with different surnames is violating state and federal discrimination laws. Most if not all couples with different surnames involve either women like me who wanted to maintain their identity regardless of their married status, just as men do, or same-sex couples. Regardless of Lowes' intent, the actual effect of their policy is to deny the discount to at least one member of all couples that include uppity women and/or same sex partners. A policy that pretty much NEVER harms straight men with but foreseeably often harms women and/or those who identify as LGBTQ is discriminatory on its face. It's also a policy that demonstrates ignorance of the fact that the "tradition" of women taking husband's surnames is not universal in many cultures, and is just a recent development even in many Western countries (e.g. Scandanavian countries). About what I'd expect, though, for a corporation HQed in the Southeast USA, that told my local store it wasn't allowed to have any lights on in the "garden" area, where it was selling Christmas trees, between 7 AM and 6 PM. It is pitch dark here in December from 3:30 PM until 10:30 the next day, and pretty dim even at high noon (1 PM) due to the fact the sun never gets more than 4 degrees above the horizon. Most of us aren't good at picking out a tree by touch and smell alone!
 
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