derryX Rant: (Nobody’s) Home Depot

I’ve written about a very general frustration with Home Depot before, but since buying the house, that place has become a bitter necessity.

We were there one Sunday afternoon shopping for miscellaneous things, which is pretty much all that they sell there. On the way out, we saw that they had about 10 different types of grills displayed in front of the store. I knew I wanted a grill, but I wasn’t really ready to purchase one yet. By that time, I hadn’t learned that the Big Green Egg would be a little outside of my budget. One of the grills we walked past was a decent sized propane grill with a tray for charcoal, and it was listed at $149.99.

I passed up the purchase that day, but took the next three days to think about it. That Wednesday morning, I decided I wanted it, so I went onto the Home Depot website to order it with in-store pickup and assembly at the Albany – Washington Avenue location. I placed the order at 10:44 am. At 11:20 am, I received an email saying that the order was ready for pickup. I was standing at the Customer Service counter at 11:28 am.

I gave the lady the printout with my order information, and told her I’d be right back because I wanted to pick up some grilling accessories. In the meantime, she said she’d locate my order. I saw it right behind her shoulder, so I wasn’t at all worried. When I got back, I noticed my grill walking away with another customer; I became trepidatious, but, since the lady at the counter said she’d be right back, I figured they had these things in a different place.

She left the station (unattended) to go “pick” my order from the warehouse (sidenote: isn’t the whole damn store a warehouse?). She came back with a completely different grill in a box and quickly realized it was the wrong item. She called to the back, and then a bunch of employees started coming around frantically trying to figure out what had just happened.

According to one employee, he had sold the item from behind the customer service counter because it was the last one in the store. A manager was there glaring at the computer screen, “sir, I’m really sorry; we are going to locate the grill from the nearest store and deliver it to your house.” I didn’t expect that kind of customer service!

The lady was giving him a closed mouth, hidden deliberate “no” nod, which led us to find out that there were none of these elusive grills within 75 miles.

The next thing out of my mouth was, “ok, do you have anything comparable at a similar price?”

And the lady said, “I just refunded you. Have a nice day.”

By that point, the manager was gone, and I was standing in the store with no grill and $50 of accessories for an imaginary grill. I verified what had just happened by asking, “so nothing is going to be done to make sure I walk out of here with a grill today?” And upon confirmation, I asked her to refund the accessories as well.

On top of this, I asked her to provide me proof that I was refunded, and she refused to give me anything. Her response was that I’d get an email within 24 hours. According to my credit card statement, I did get refunded, but weeks later, I still haven’t received that email.

After calling the customer service hotline to provide feedback on the failed order/pickup, Home Depot made good by mailing me a $50 (to an address that doesn’t exist and led to multiple phone calls from UPS to rectify); that Monopoly money helped to pay for some other things.

And I did finally get a grill, but not from Home Depot. I found something comparable for less money at Big Lots, but let’s not talk about how long the “Easy assembly” took.


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