GR woman: Customer service chat ended with obscenities

Sarah Caceres, Lowe's customer service, online chat
Sarah Caceres says she got a vulgar, threatening email after an online chat with a Lowe's customer service representative. (April 13, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids woman says she was the victim of some amazingly bad customer service when an online chat ended with vulgarities and a threat.

Twenty-five-year-old Sarah Caceres, her husband and their 6-month-old baby moved from Chicago to Grand Rapids’ West Side about a month ago.

Recently, Caceres went to the Lowe’s Home Improvement website and spent about 10 minutes inquiring about sink parts. She said the chat went OK, but the customer service representative identified only as “Jordan T.” did not find what she was looking for, so she marked the experience as “unsatisfactory.” She said after the chat ended, she didn’t think any more of it and didn’t mention it to anyone.

But a few minutes later, she received an email from a now-disabled Gmail account that read, “listen, mother f—–, I’m not a machine. F— you, I know where you live and you need to learn how to be patient, stupid.”

Caceres said the email has to be from the person she was chatting with.

“It’s five minutes after the chat ended and based off of what he said, it’s very obvious this is a result of the chat,” she said.

She said she was not bothered by the salty language as much as the “I know where you live” part.

“Personally, I’d rather not have somebody hunt me down,” Caceres said.

She says she called Lowe’s and asked for supervisors. After talking to various people, she said she was ultimately told it would be taken care of internally.

“He might not know where I live — maybe he does, I don’t know — but the biggest thing is how Lowe’s decided to respond to it. Because am I just supposed to feel comfortable knowing it’s ‘being taken care of?'” Caceres said.

Kent County Undersheriff Michelle Young told 24 Hour News 8 that unless there is a specific threat, vulgar language and outrageously bad customer relations does not constitute a criminal act unless it continues. But she said it’s good that authorities have been alerted of the incident so there is a record of it if there is any more contact.

“I’d like an apology, like an apology from the supervisor. I’d like to know that it’s at least being addressed,” Caceres said.

She said that as a new mom, she has more than herself to worry about.

“I don’t care if he’s fired, but I want to know if I’m OK,” Caceres said.

Computer experts said a disabled email address that only existed for a short time is pretty difficult to track down.

Thursday afternoon, Lowe’s representatives in North Carolina told 24 Hour News 8 that they are checking into the situation but so far have not taken any action.