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Dealing with Home Depot - "What can we do to make this right?"

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Forum topic by ubermick posted 02-11-2013 12:35 AM 941 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ubermick

48 posts in 592 days


02-11-2013 12:35 AM

Okay, bit of a long winded story.

On the advice of many, I decided to pick up a Dewalt thickness planer, and decided to try and use a 20% HF coupon at my local Home Depot to sweeten the deal. Contacted the local store, and the person I spoke to said “Yep, we’ll take them”.

Great!

So hopped in the car, headed out there. As I was walking along, an employee stopped me and asked if I needed help with anything. Said “yes, actually, just wanted to confirm you accept competitor’s coupons, including one of these”, showing her the HF coupon. She said she was still new, and wanted to double check with a supervisor.. so followed her to a supervisor, showed the coupon to her, and she said “Sure, we’ll accept that”

Great!

Tossed the planer in a cart, and stood in line. Eventually got to the checkout, and it was the original new employee – who was standing next to a supervisor when she said it would be accepted. Alas, being new, she didn’t know how to enter it into the register, so she called another cashier over…. who promptly said “We don’t take those.” To be fair, my checkout girl went to bat for me, saying that I called ahead to verify, and that the supervisor had already approved it. New cashier took the coupon, disappeared for 10 minutes (at this point, TWO checkout lines were now at a standstill) and came back and said “Nope”, feeding me the line that Harbor Freight weren’t a competitor, since they didn’t carry the same brands. Left the store, without buying anything, fuming, since this was my lunch hour that had already ran late, and I had a conference call.

At someone’s recommendation, I posted the above story to the Home Depot facebook page (!), and got a response from a customer service rep within minutes, asking me for the store location so they could look into it. And the following day – after heading to Lowes and buying the thickness planer, with the HF coupon (they accepted it without batting an eyelid) – I got an email from my local store assistant manager, apologizing profusely for my experience, assuring me that they would speak to the staff to make sure they understand “how to ultimately provide nothing less than excellent customer service.”

The assistant manager also said the following, and this is where I need the advice: “I would like to again apologize for this unacceptable experience, and make this frustration up to you in any way possible. My initial offer to make this right is to honor the 20% coupon on the tool you selected, and offer a delivery service to your home free of charge.”

What would you guys do in this situation? Gotta say, I’m PISSED at that place, have never had anything but a horrible experience whenever I’m at this store, it seems to be staffed by imbeciles and people who genuinely seem interested in doing the bare minimum to get by. I’ve also already picked up the tool I wanted at Lowes (where the customer service, have to say, was stellar – and I KNOW I can use the coupons there in the future) But that said, I need a new sliding compound miter saw, and the words “my initial offer” makes me wonder what I could finagle out of Home Depot – stretch it to a bigger discount, or ask for store credit? Or just stick to general principle, and avoid them like the plague?

Anyone had a situation with them where they made an offer like this?

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.


28 replies so far

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1456 days


#1 posted 02-11-2013 12:43 AM

Unfortunately you are bound to get an idiot at any store. But I don’t always feel like I should hold the entire store accountable for the idiot. Especially if the store went out of their way to make it right, as it seems to be the case here. Take advantage of the offer, chalk it up to a learning experience for the person who messed up, and enjoy your new tools!

On the other hand, since you said you seem to ALWAYS run into idiots at this store, which implies that you will surely only get bad service there in the future no matter how much they try to correct this particular problem, you should instead take advantage of the offer, tell them to kiss your supple rear end on the way out, and enjoy your new tools!

Either way, it’s all about tools!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2874 days


#2 posted 02-11-2013 01:07 AM

We had a similar bad experience with purchasing installed carpet from Home Depot. Without going into detail, suffice to say they badly screwed up, and our special-order carpet did not get ordered in time to meet the installation deadline they had originally promised they could meet with no problem.

My wife, who is a real bulldog at this sort of thing, voiced her complaint insistently up the chain of command to the regional manager’s office. They ended up offering to cut the total price of the carpet and installation by 50%, and we accepted. To their credit, the installation come off without a hitch and we were well satisfied with the end result.

Now for the clincher: We opened a Home Depot charge account just for this purchase because they were offering an extra discount if we did. Now it has been nearly three months since the carpet was installed, and we have not been billed one penny! My wife checked the account balance online, and it is zero.

I seriously doubt they decided to give us the carpet, but we have decided to let them sort it out on their own. Can you imagine the confusion it would create if we called to “complain” that we have never been charged for our carpeting? We have the money. If and when they figure it out, we will be happy to pay them.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14204 posts in 994 days


#3 posted 02-11-2013 01:08 AM

The Home Depot near me is awful. I won’t waste my time there. My brother loves the one near him. It seems certain stores attract bad employees. Probably says a lot about the management.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1376 posts in 1161 days


#4 posted 02-11-2013 01:37 AM

Bought our granite counters from HD in Sept, Labor Day Weekend….asked for an Oct 10th install, they said sure, I took a day off from work….they missed it. Called me the day before and said my counters were not ready.

Finally got a day off in Dec, as the HD installers do not work on weekends. (my patient schedule is booked 6 months out, so I had to cancel patients).....Now Dec appt for install…I was told we were a 9AM install…11:45 still no installers, guy shows up @ 1:30 and tells me he had two 9AM installs booked….counters installed….but they cracked the main counter.

Finally, Jan 5th got my counter replaced.

Not really HD’s fault but a $hi%y subcontractor who I tell all my friends to avoid.

-- http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid6255915

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 592 days


#5 posted 02-11-2013 01:39 AM

I get that stores vary – and for what it’s worth, the Home Depot in Falls Church, VA where I lived a few years back was great – and it’s unfair to hold everyone responsible for one person’s screwups. But as I mentioned in the OP, and as Monte I think can relate to, it’s EV-ER-Y-TIME I’m in there. Most of the employees (if you can find one) don’t actually WANT to help you. They pass you off, or just tell you that they don’t have what you’re looking for without bothering to check. The ones that DO help, more often than not, are surly and act like they’re doing you a favour by preforming the duties they’re paid to do. In fairness though, the new cashier that was there on the day in question was fine, and very apologetic when things went wrong, and I do appreciate the assistant manager reaching out to “make it right.”

I suppose the question becomes then, what do I “demand” from them to “make it right”? Their offer (initial offer – her words) was basically doing what they initially promised to do, and is something that I already know Lowes will do. So don’t really see how that’s really making it right, since it doesn’t take into account the half and afternoon I spent in a failed attempt to give them my business. But then again, I’m not the sort of guy who’s any good at holding someone’s feet to the fire about things like this. You think if I called her up and asked for 30% off a DW717 delivered to my house, it’d be too much to ask?

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.

View Gary's profile

Gary

7247 posts in 2088 days


#6 posted 02-11-2013 02:28 AM

I’m probably the only weird one here who feels like this but, if I were at your position, I would not try to take advantage of them…however, I would make sure that they drove me to their compeditor. I would thank that person for their assistance and indicate that I might try them again sometime in the future. Just my 2 cents…

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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Gary

7247 posts in 2088 days


#7 posted 02-11-2013 02:28 AM

Just my 2 cents…

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 592 days


#8 posted 02-11-2013 03:43 AM

Actually Gary, you’re not alone – that was the way i was leaning. Why bother going back to a store that’s treated it’s customers poorly for the same “offer” I can get from a store that I’ve never had issue with? Primarily it’s a good friend of mine who basically said “If they want to make it right, then get a better deal out of them”. But as I said above, not the sort of person who likes to hold folks to ransom, but I am the sort of person who has a hard time letting go of a grudge, hehe.

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1456 days


#9 posted 02-11-2013 01:05 PM

Is it really holding “folks to ransom” if they offer YOU a deal because they want to make things right? Nobody said to go in there and demand something from them. My understanding was that they offered the deal. Accepting their offer isn’t unethical, is it?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#10 posted 02-11-2013 01:18 PM

I’d take whatever they offer. Their idea is to save a customer, its still cheaper than finding a new one. Even at 30% off, they are not loosing money, and if they get you back as a customer, they’ll make it up. I agree with Stumpy, there is nothing unethical about taking the offer. Think of it as payment for your time you wasted and the frustration it caused.

I’ve dealt with lumber yards and dealers for a long time, both as trying to make a living and as a hobbyist. I’ve never found one that will not frustrate you from time to time.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1578 posts in 1947 days


#11 posted 02-11-2013 01:20 PM

I think you’ve got the right idea – you might have them give you the next tool or machine you want/need (the 717), delivered to your door, at 20% off (honoring the HF coupon). What they should be doing is honoring the HF coupon as promised, and compensating you for the lost time – the time it took to make the additional trip to Lowe’s. So, getting the next one at your doorstep will do that.

By the way – I lived in Daly City for a while – is this the HD on the east side of 280 (or is it 680) with the parking garage, in Daly City?

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

442 posts in 1721 days


#12 posted 02-11-2013 01:54 PM

It seems that HD is concerned about your LCV, Lifetime Customer Value, and not just trying to make just this one purchase right. They are only giving you what you asked for initially, and they promised you, a 20% discount. But , they are throwing in the free home delivery to say I’m sorry for the shoddy treatment you received. Take them up on it, unless you don’t want to pay 20% less on your compound sliding miter saw. You can still shop at Lowes or HD in the future, and expect to get what you want. It just expands your choices. I have both stores within 4 and 6 miles of my house, and shop them both for convenience. I must say though, I have never used a competitors coupon to get a discount at either. Not sure why, but I just don’t believe in it. If I think a price is fair, I pay it. If not, I don’t; but would only use that particular store’s coupon or “special sale” price. Just my weird sense of propriety. Face the fact that in today’s culture, customer service is nearly a lost art. What use to be the norm has become an abberation. When you actually have your expectations exceeded, you are now very surprised. When a retailer can not even teach their employees to say “thank you”, businesses are going to lose customers. Almost every business will piss me off sometimes with their attitudes. I never miss a chance to tell a manager that their
employee exceeded my customer service expectations. Likewise, I always let them know when their employee was a
customer service moron.

-- Improvidus, Apto quod Victum-- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

281 posts in 1235 days


#13 posted 02-11-2013 01:58 PM

I would pass on the offer.

That transaction is done. You don’t like the store. You’ve spread the word about the incident, so others are forewarned. You no longer need that tool.

All that happened was that you made an offer to buy, and they refused. They didn’t violate your constitutional rights; they just rejected your proposed deal.

I understand your annoyance, but trying to find a way to wreak vengenance for an imagined “wrong” is not doing your personal peace much good.

Let it go. Enjoy your new tool. Build something, enjoying your craft, and relish your achievement. Try hard not to hold a grudge against them in the future; it will only churn up your guts, and they’ll be sleeping peacefully at night.

Your peace is more valuable than their offer.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View ubermick's profile

ubermick

48 posts in 592 days


#14 posted 02-11-2013 03:29 PM

Okay, to be fair I’m not trying to wreak any sort of vengeance here. And while I understand they didn’t violate any rights, I went out of my way to clear the transaction with multiple people, including a supervisor, before I even attempted the purchase. It’s not a case of “I want you to give me this list of demands or I’ll never shop at your store again” it’s more of a “If you don’t honour those coupons, then fine – but tell me that up front, rather than telling me the complete opposite and making me drive 45 minutes to get there, 45 minutes to get home, as well as another hour standing around like an idiot in your store.” And as someone else mentioned, I wasn’t the one who contacted them making an offer “to make it right”, the store had contacted me. Guess the point of this is “What would you ask for to ‘make it right’, or is the answer nothing, and don’t give them my business again?”

-- Gaz. Irishman who lives in the San Francisco area, and tends to ruin more wood than he should.

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

281 posts in 1235 days


#15 posted 02-11-2013 03:34 PM

My apologies. I intended no offense.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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