Why I don't shop HD

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Blog entry by RussellAP posted 03-06-2012 03:48 AM 2127 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday I went to Home Depot to look at the Ridgid TS R4512. They didn’t have one assembled. The sales guy wasn’t very friendly. I told him I was looking forward to being able to see it before I bought it and he acted like he really didn’t care. So I copied the number on the saw down and went to customer service to buy it and let them know I’d be back for it today.
I made sure the girl at the counter put a sold sign on the box, because they only had the one.

Today I rented a truck to pick the saw up and some lumber I had bought from a local mill. The saw wasn’t there on the floor in TOOLS. It didn’t appear that anyone could figure out what happened, and no one could find it. They kept blaming the weekend staff saying they never knew what they were going to do and had no way of knowing.

This went on a good 15 minutes until a manager got involved. While he was off trying to sort it out, I told the lady at customer service that if they didn’t find it, I expected them to give me their truck free when it came in so I could get it home. I had rented a truck with a lift gate because the saw weighs 279 lbs. She was all put out because I was telling her what she was going to do.

They finally found the TS somewhere in the back where someone had put it away. Why they did that I have no idea, nor why it took so long to find. But I have it home now.

This is why I always shop Lowes. This would never have happened there and they never would have gotten an attitude about it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

21 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117120 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 03-06-2012 04:06 AM

I think each store differs and or each sales person differs. At my HD I have a guy that is the best customer service person I’ve ever had any where. if he is not there then I may have the exact same experience you had. I’ve mixed results at lowes too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2666 days

#2 posted 03-06-2012 04:11 AM

You’ll never find a TS4512 at Lowe’s.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Mosquito's profile


9354 posts in 2318 days

#3 posted 03-06-2012 04:12 AM

I typically shop at Menards because I used to work there, and I know where everything is. There are certain employees that I’ve had to deal with as both a customer and an employee that I’ll avoid… It’s like that with my barber shop too… if the right person isn’t there, I just turn around and leave…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3048 days

#4 posted 03-06-2012 04:17 AM

I have to agree with Jim that I’ve had good and bad experiences at both big boxes (more bad than good at each). However, I hope that you’re happy with your saw. I own a number of orange machines (table saw, drill press, and jointer) and while they may not be top end tools, I’ve found them pretty hard to beat at that price point and Ridgid’s customer service is great.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2624 days

#5 posted 03-06-2012 04:19 AM

Good news is, you got your saw. While the employees are hit/miss, the HD mgrs have always been top flight to work with. Congrats on the saw. Hope you enjoy it.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3900 days

#6 posted 03-06-2012 04:32 AM

The Lowes near you must be a lot different from the Lowes near me!

A year or two ago, I bought a PC dovetail jig from Lowes.

Day One: I got on Lowes website and found the Lowes nearest to me, and determined that they had three dovetail jigs in stock. The website is notoriously wrong about their inventory, so I called the store. “Yes sir, if you’ll hold, I’ll go check …. yes sir, we have three in stock.” I drove the 40 miles to the store and talked to the polite young man who talked to me on the phone. He hadn’t actually looked at the shelf, just checked the computer. They didn’t actually have any. He called around and sent me to another Lowes store 25 miles farther down the road because they had two in stock. Only they didn’t have any. They got on their computer and told me that another nearby store had three in stock. Which store? The first one I went to. I suggested that we call before I went back. “No, no the computer says they have them.” A small argument ensues, they finally call, the first store re-confirms that they don’t actually have any. They call other stores in the area and I drive 65 miles home, empty handed.

Several days later: I receive a phone call from the first store, “I understand you were looking to buy a dovetail jigsaw,” (really, that’s what they called it), “and I wanted to let you know we just got two in the store. Do you still want one?” I drive 40 miles, they don’t have any. We have words, I drive 40 miles home, empty handed.

Several days later: I see on the website that the inventory shows five in stock. I call. Yes, they have five in stock. They don’t want to check the shelf, minor argument ensues, they finally agree to check and they actually only have two in stock. “Put my name on one, I’m on my way.” I drive 40 miles, and by the time I get there they only have one left, but it looks like it has been opened and re-sealed. They assure me that it is unused, may have been opened to show a customer, but they don’t put returns back on the shelf. So I buy the jig and drive 40 miles home, finally happy. I open the box, the jig is covered in sawdust, the router bit has been run into the bushing, into the comb, into the base. I call the store and they offer to take $20 off. Heck no! We have words, I drive the 40 miles back to return the jig. I ask the guy if any other stores got jigs in when this store did. He checks the computer – sure enough a third location got some in. Will he call? The computer says. Minor argument. He finally calls. They have four. On the shelf? The computer says. Minor argument. They check and do have four. I drive another 30 miles to the other store where the tool guy haughtily tells me that I didn’t need to make him check the shelf because the computer said, and their inventory system is very accurate. I bought the jig and drove 70 miles home wondering why I didn’t pay the extra $20 to buy the darn thing at Woodcraft in the first place.

-- -- --

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2312 days

#7 posted 03-06-2012 04:41 AM

Peter -I’m so glad I’m out of the computer networking end of things. I think they mess up more inventory than they help. The employee’s have procedures they are trained to follow. The problem is and remains that the employee is powerless in the system. They never get to a level of expertise like the old hardware store guys back in the day. My Lowes seems to have somehow empowered their employees, it’s very obvious when you walk in that they have a vested interest in making you happy. HD has not shown this to me at all. HD blames their system and you can tell it has all the employees frustrated. Lowes while not having a better system at all computer wise, seem more willing to put the customer first and their own system problems second while being professional enough to keep whatever frustration they feel to themselves.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2624 days

#8 posted 03-06-2012 04:43 AM

LOL Peter, that is funny, because it wasnt me. But I feel your pain. By the time you add in miles, gas, time, and aggravation, that is one expensive hard earned jig.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3900 days

#9 posted 03-06-2012 04:47 AM

What makes it even more funny/painful … shortly after my epic dovetail-jig(saw) adventure, I built my box-joint-jig and I hardly ever make dovetails anymore!
Click for details

-- -- --

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2504 days

#10 posted 03-06-2012 10:36 AM

that is a mater of choice box joints are pretty but do not hold as well as dovetail joints but that is a cool jig

here Lowes is King Hd has a better selection of tools but I just had a meeting with a middle manager for lowes who is in a project to improve tool selection in lowes through out California they are looking at bringing in tools for the serious woodworker brands Lowes is considering are delta Powermatic self development of their own import tools under the kobalt name Jet and steel city this manager tells me that they have known so many small tool shops in our state have closed in areas where there aren’t woodcraft stores Like Fresno they are planning on capturing that part of the market he said they plan on keeping the hobby tools and the home owners tools as well as adding serious woodworking and contractor tools this is great news since we cant seem to get a woodcraft or a decent tool shop in this town in a decent neighborhood I am sick of driving to the slums of Fresno to buy tools when i could just get them at lowes.

Lowes has the best service of the two box stores in Clovis and they seem to have the better prices but unless they actually make the move to put real tools in the store then its sears for craftsman or a trip to the ghetto for our small local about to close saw shop or buy on line and get slammed for the freight Yes if lowes pulls this off i will buy tools there any day

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2560 days

#11 posted 03-06-2012 12:50 PM

Anyone watch Parks and Recreation? There is a great episode where Ron Swanson walks into a Lowes, and a worker there asks if he needs help. Ron replies “i know more than you” and walks away. It was hilarious.

I’ve had both good and bad experiences at both places. I like HD as they Jorgie clamps are cheaper there than anywhere i can find online.

It really depends on your specific store i guess

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2356 days

#12 posted 03-06-2012 12:57 PM

For all the time you spent driving, calling, arguing and hunting, you could have just built Stumpy’s dovetail jig. I usually prefer Lowes and I agree with Russel on their employees being more willing to please and actually being helpful. In my experience, they won’t try to BS you if they don’t know something either. They go and ASK. Novel idea there huh? Also, I have a few friends that work there and I’ve been told that you can have ANYTHING you find in any catalog shipped to Lowes and you can pick it up there. Plus, if you place the order online it will definitely be there for you in an UNopened box

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2332 days

#13 posted 03-06-2012 01:04 PM

Hi Russell, it’s like Jim said, when I lived in NY both the home depots I went to were horrible, the employees might have well been working for NASA since they new as much about jet propulsion as they did about the products they sold. When I moved to NJ I found a Lowes around the corner from me, there was no Lowes within an hour of my NY address. I was very happy at Lowes, when they didn’t have something, (and yes they were professional about it, and checked two other local stores for me), I took a trip 2 mikes down the road and found an HD, having so many bad experiences in the past I was hesitant to go in, but I figured what do I have to lose. All I can was it was like night & day, not only did everyone I speak to know what I was talking about, they were super helpful. No matter what dept I am in if I can’t find something all I have to do is ask any employee, not will they only tell you, but they will bring you to the item. I tried it several times with different employees to see if I just happened eith the first one but it seems to be store policy. I had someone from lumber take me to where the water filters were, all I wanted was directions, how’s that for service? I wish I still had the local hardware store that I had growing up, that guy had everything in such a small place regardless of how obscure it was, and if he didn’t have it, he would have it fir you by 9 am the next day.

I have some great stories about Lowes too, I lucked out. Had I known I would have moved here years ago.;-

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3221 days

#14 posted 03-06-2012 01:08 PM

There is a difference between Lowe’s and HD;

At the local Lowe’s you can find a soul in the aisels to help you find anything.

At the local HD there are lots of people but, they don’t know anything.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2719 days

#15 posted 03-06-2012 01:11 PM

The only thing they’ve got on Lowes is the pneumatic section. Someone told me they don’t give a discount to veterans. That killed them for me.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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