I've resigned myself to the fact that both Big Box stores are woefully lacking in customer service. Only "trained" employees I have interaction is paint mixers. In fact, I don't even ask for assistance in other departments unless it's something that needs to be loaded with a fork lift - and I'd do that myself if they didn't kick me out of the store.
Management has taken to the Wal Mart business philosophy: Keep wages low and employees trained to the lowest common denominator. Guys in plumbing were working in garden supplies last week, and they think they are being 'trained' in all the departments so they can become managers but other than where it is on the shelf (they have to memorize that), they know very little about the products they sell. Truth is, that's how management weeds them out, thinking they will get frustrated before their chance at promotion comes around.
The company I work for has also had to modify their contract agreements regarding pricing and targeted completion dates due to product availability. Looks like my decision to retire is being reaffirmed every day.
Hate to hear your bad experience. It could just be management at your local store. The Burlington Lowes is great and has very good customer service. The Home Depot has comparable customer service but for some reason they built a Mini HD in Burlington that has very limited selection. Generally when I go to one of these stores, I want the item now, not a few days from now after the order is shipped.
Both the Lowes and HD are the Taj Mahal stores in the Raleigh/Cary/Apex area compared to the smaller towns. The products they carry seem to be geared to a higher socioeconomic level. Unfortunately, the basics are higher priced than in my area. Welcome to the Walmart approach to pricing structure. Prices vary based on demand and local demographics. This will unfortunately become increasingly more evident as inflation continues to increase. Building materials are currently one of the most highly impacted items right now.
That's the problem with Lowe's. How well the store is run and how well the customers are treated is entirely autonomous with the local store manager. If you complain to corporate you just get redirected to the store manager. I've had good Lowe's managers and I've had bad ones. The one I can't figure out is that the Mooresville store, which is the closest (less than a few miles) to the Lowe's corporate headquarters is the absolutely worst run one in the entire chain.