Let me preface this by saying that there may be a lot of difference
among the various LL stores. The one I went to was in Orlando. Maybe
the other ones are different.
As far as I can tell there is one (and only one) good thing about LL -
they're cheap. Any kind of transaction takes several hours at the
least. As far as I could tell, there were three people working at the
store in Orlando. They took care of everything from unloading and
loading to ansering phones to playing cashier to delivering the
product. With a dozen people or so in there at all times, the phone
ringing constantly, and no one even remotely in any kind of hurry, it's
a VERY long process just getting a question answered. They don't
appear to have any kind of inventory system, and they don't seem to
have any idea what they'll be getting in the future or how to get more
of a particular type of flooring.
This is what happened to me: My wife and I went to the store and
waited around for two hours or so to get a chance to ask somebody some
questions. I was curious about their 99-cent unfinished oak. Once we
finally got a chance to talk, the manager was very nice. He brought us
in the back to the warehouse, gave us some bottled water, sat down and
talked for a good half hour (about the weather, where we were from,
politics, etc.). Meanwhile, lots of people were still waiting out in
the showroom. We didn't like the 99-cent oak at all, but he ended up
showing us some beautiful prefinished oak for 1.99/ft. He gave us a
couple samples and we were on our way. Mind you, this was not their
standard 1.99 prefinished oak with all the knot-holes and cracks and
splits. This was really nice stuff.
Well, we ended up buying 800 sqare feet of the stuff, and the next day
my wife drove the 2 hours, horse trailer in tow, to the store to pick
it up. It took her almost three hours to actually pay for the wood and
get it loaded, and then she was on her way.
When I got home from work, we opened up a few boxes and the wood was
the same beautiful stuff we had looked at in the warehouse. But when
we opened a few more boxes, the contents were totally different - their
normal el cheapo oak. The two types were not even close to each other.
They were different widths, different colors, and the good stuff had a
beveled edge - the crappy stuff didn't. I was furious to say the
The next day, we called the store and after a day's worth of messages
and waiting finally got a return call from the manager the next day.
He apologized and said we could come swap out the bad wood since it was
his fault for giving us the wrong stuff, but that under normal
circumstances all sales are final on the $1.99 prefinished oak.
My wife was unable to make the trip the second time, so I had to take
time off work to take the boxes of bad wood back. Half a day later, I
was finally speaking to the manager. We went in the back to get the
replacement boxes of wood, and as it turns out, he didn't have any more
(hence they switched over to the other stuff). At this point I was
absolutely livid, because I had only brought back the boxes of bad wood
- the good stuff was still sitting in boxes in my living room. Of
course when we had called him earlier he had assured us that there was
plenty more of the good wood. Well, he made some phone calls and it
turned out that he couldn't get any more of the good stuff. That left
me about 200 feet short of being able to do what I needed to do, so we
(the manager and I) decided to just cancel the whole thing. I headed
back to work for the last three hours of the day and then went home. I
reloaded a couple thousand pounds of wood back into the horse trailer
and headed back the next day.
When I arrived and waited the customary two hours, the manager got
ready to refund my money, but had to get "corporate approval" for the
refund because it was more than $500. Of course, it took him about 45
minutes to get through to the right guy in Virginia or whereever, at
which point the guy informed him that LL would not refund my money.
All sales on the 1.99 oak are final - period. My wife should have
inspected it before it was loaded into trailer. The local store
manager tried to argue for me a little, but it was hopeless.
In hindsight, it's probably good that the guy was several states away,
as I would probably be in prison now if he had been there in person. I
have to say, I think the local manager genuinely felt bad, but this was
his fault in the first place. After much arguing, threatening, and
another phone call to the wonderful people at LL headquarters, he
agreed that I could trade in the wood for store credit. You can
imagine how happy I was to now be locked into having to get my wood
floors from this excellent store.
In the end, we found some bamboo flooring that actually looked half
decent, and the manager gave it to us for cost, which was $2.40 per
square foot (I think the price as marked was $3.25). He also offered
to deliver it for free, but I wasn't going to let him or anyone else
from his company get anywhere near my house or my wife (she probably
would have killed or seriously maimed whoever showed up). Of course,
it took another trip to bring home the bamboo samples and then go back
to pick up the flooring.
I made them open every single last box of the bamboo flooring, cut open
the plastic wrap, lift up the foam padding, and show me the color and
quality. I refused several boxes (luckily they had plenty of others in
When all was said and done, the floor looked beautiful and was pretty
inexpensive for what we got. But if I had to do it again, I would
NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER go to Lumber Liquidators.