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Sunday, October 4, 2009

You Can Do It, We Can Help

"You can do it, we can help" - that's the tagline my beloved Home Depot uses. And while it's true - they CAN help - they often DON'T help.

Anyone who knows me, knows that right now I am trying to survive the reno from hell. Through no fault of my contractors, we've had a series of mishaps that are beyond what I believe goes on in MOST renos. Yes, I know, renos are NEVER fun, renos SUCK, and things ALWAYS go wrong, but selfishly, I believe this has gotten to a level a lot of renos DON'T get to.

Anyway, as a result, it's meant a lot more time at Home Depot - trying to get super-heaters to dry out the flood, trying to find a new vanity at the last f*g minute, etc etc. And while I KNOW I'm not the most patient person at the BEST of times, and I KNOW I'm probably not at my most patient right now with all that's going on, the hard part is this recurring frustration with Home Depot started back when we STARTED the reno... you know, BEFORE it all went to shit and I got so angry.

While I fully admit Home Depot is somewhere I LOVE to go when I DON'T have full-blown renos going on (it's fun to go and pick out tiny changes that make big improvements!), I believe I love to go there then because I don't need any real EXPERTISE from anyone, so the experience is just fine. Going there when I need someone to actually KNOW something though? Well, it seems that no matter WHICH Home Depot I go to, the experience is pretty much the same. Or maybe what I mean is that the PROBLEM is the same. It's not that they don't have some great supplies, or that they don't have some even better prices, it's that they aren't that choosy in their hiring...

Sample experience #1... Wednesday night we went into Home Depot to look at vanities. We found one we thought we could live with, but that particular Home Depot had only 1 of the 2 parts we needed. We asked an employee to call a few OTHER Home Depots to find out if THEY had the parts. She did, she said THEY did, and sent us off on a long drive to go get our parts. What she FAILED to tell us is that they only had part #2, that we should have actually picked up part #1 at the Home Depot we were ALREADY AT. So our night went from Home Depot A to Home Depot B, and then BACK to Home Depot A to pick up the part we could have picked up when we were at Home Depot A ORIGINALLY. Something it wouldn't have been THAT hard for her to THINK to tell us.

Sample experience #2... Saturday we called Home Depot asking them if we HAD to put the vanity back in its original packaging to return it - it just WASN'T working. Instead of just answering us the question with a simple, "As long as it hasn't been used, and it was purchased within the return period, no, you DON'T have to put it back in its box." what we got was, "Well have you used it?". And when we said no, we'd just assembled it to see if it fit, we got, "Well if you've used it then you can't return it.". And when we tried to explain that we hadn't actually USED it, just ASSEMBLED it (as most people would to decide if they liked it), we got, "Well if you've used it, your return period is null and void.". So when we escalated to the point of, "LOOK BUDDY, I'm JUST asking if it has to be in its ORIGINAL packaging. Can you PLEASE just answer the ACTUAL question?", and he responded with, "Well I have. I've told you if you've used it, you can't return it."... well, you can guess that we had to hang up, and call TWO MORE stores before we could get an ACTUAL answer to our ACTUAL question.

Sample experience #3... "Hi, can you tell me which aisle 'x' are in?". "Sure, go to aisle 43". Nine times out of ten at Home Depot, aisle 43 is NOT the aisle x is in. And nine times out of ten, when we ask a SECOND employee, we are sent to a SECOND aisle that for the SECOND time, is not correct.

So if you're looking for a GOOD selection and GREAT prices on fun little improvements for your home? Home Depot is DEFINITELY where I'd send you - even with all the complaints above, I'll still be going for the EASY things. But if you're looking for EXPERT help? Or even KNOWLEDGEABLE staff who might GUIDE you through a BETTER shopping experience? Well, unfortunately I have to say to be wary of Home Depot... at least in Vancouver. [I'd be curious to know though if this is consistent elsewhere?]


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3 chiming in:

Michelle said...

WHAT?!?!? My hubby is a manager at Home Depot. They would never do anything wrong there...LOL ;)

Sheri said...

I've noticed both good and bad customer service at Home depends on the day and on the associate.

Two years ago, my husband got on a streak of being unhappy with Home Depot. A couple of times he got so frustrated that he left a cart of stuff because he couldn't get help or find what he was looking for or didn't want to wait in the long lines.

It's been better recently, but on any given day and you can have a different experience.

Lavender Luz said...

Grrrrrr. I'm ticked on your behalf.

We are starting to talk about a kitchen reno. (Need to find the $$ first, so it could be a couple of decades). I am NOT looking forward to this part of it. I wonder if the local competitor, also a national chain, is any better?

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