Home Depot / customer service an oxymoron
My experience with Home Depot has helped me see that you really don't care about your customers. Therefore, in hopes that someone at Home Depot's corporate offices will read this I am writing this summary of my recent experience.
1. On May 5, 2007 I purchased a riding lawn mower at Home Depot in Sandusky, Ohio. When I purchased the mower I also rented a truck from Home Depot to transport the mower back to my home (about 15 miles from the store). Your employees loaded the mower on the rental truck, and thanked me. I had, however, not even paid for the lawn mower. Realizing this, I went back into the store, told the woman at the customer service desk that your employees loaded the lawn mower on the truck and I had not paid for it. I told her that I could have driven away with the mower, but I didn't. I told her I wanted to pay for the mower. I waited for 15 to 20 minutes until she located the employee how handled the transaction (the man who loaded the lawn mower on the truck). I paid the for the mower (a little over $1000.00).
2. My next door neighbor had purchased the same lawn mower a few days before I did (one of the reason why I decided to purchase this particular lawn mower). While he purchased the same model as I did, the store employee loaded the next higher model on the truck my neighbor rented to take the lawn mower back to his house. When my neighbor informed him they put the wrong lawn mower on the truck, and the one they loaded on the truck was $200.00 more than the one he paid for, the employee told him - "It's OK. Our mistake, just go ahead and take it."
3. I've since used my lawn mower a total of four time. When I tried to use it on Thursday, June 7, 2007, a part must have come loose from the mower, because the deck was hanging to the ground on one side. Thursday June 7, 2007 happened to be 3 days after the Home Depot 30-day refund policy expired. I called the Sandusky store and told them that I wanted this lawn mower fixed. I had only used it 4 times and paid $1000.00 for it (I could have gotten it free had I chosen to be dishonest). The employee told me to call the company that manufactured the mower and that there was nothing Home Depot could do about it. I told him I didn't buy the lawnmower from the manufacturer, I bought it from Home Depot. He said it didn't matter, I now had no other course of action but to call the manufacturer. I asked him if that was the only thing he could tell me, and he said yes. I then asked his name. He said (QUOTE) "I'm not going to give you my name." I pressed him for his name and he said "Dave". I then asked for his supervisor who told me basically the same thing.
4. After going through the same waste of time with the customer service department, I asked to speak the store manager. He was busy at the time, so I gave him my phone number to call me back. About 20 minutes later, he called me back and told me his name was Miguel. I explained the situation and he told me that I had to bring the lawn mower in and they would send it out for repair. I told him I was not renting a truck at my expense to take the mower to the store and then rent another truck at my expense to pick it up when repairs were complete. The exchange became heated after a time. He finally agreed to have someone pick up the mower and take it back to Home Depot and then bring it back to me when repairs were completed. But he indicated it would cost me a "Diagnostic Fee" of $30.00 and that if the repair service (not the manufacturer) determined that anything that was found wrong with the mower was "the customer's fault" that I'd have to pay for repairs. The exchange got heated because I had only used the mower 4 times to do what the mower was designed to do - mow grass and I had no assurances the repair facility was going to be honest. Miguel asked "Are you done, yet?" and then proceeded to say "Look, dude!" (quote). At this point I stopped him and said "What did you say? Did you call me 'dude'?". He said, "Sir, madam, Mr., Mrs....it doesn't matter...". I told him I thought this was rude and unprofessional and told him I would contact the corporate office of Home Depot and find someone who cared about Home Depot customers. After that, he hung up on me.
This is when I learned that no one at Home Depot cares about its customers.
My next step was calling the Home Depot Customer Service toll-free number. I spoke to an associate who told be basically there was nothing I could do because a 30-day refund policy means 30-days. I was 3 or 4 days over the 30 days and that's Home Depot policy and that's that. I asked to speak to her supervisor.
I was transferred to a lady name "Betty" - supposedly a customer service supervisor. After a discussion with Betty and seeing this was going nowhere, I finally agreed to the arrangement "Betty" proposed. Since I had no desire to and, in fact, refused to ever call "Miguel" (the Sandusky, Ohio store manager) again - Betty told me she would contact the Sandusky Home Depot store and arrange for them to pick up the lawn mower, take it back to Home Depot, send it out for repair and then bring it back to me when repairs were completed. She said for my inconvenience she would issue a $10.00 Home Deport card for my trouble. I agreed to this, because I could see that I wasn't going to get anywhere with anyone at Home Depot and wasn't going to be able to exchange the lawn mower.
Betty explained that she would call me back later in the day with a confirmation number for the Home Depot $10.00 gift card and we would make arrangements for the pickup of the lawn mower. I explained that I was going to be out-of-town the rest of that day (Thursday 6/7/2007 and all day on Friday 6/8/2007). I told her any day next week would be find. I gave "Betty" my cell phone number and told her to contact me anytime that day (Thursday). She never called back on Thursday, nor did she call the next day. My cell phone was on the entire time and I received many other calls, but none from Betty or Home Depot.
It really appears to me that no one at Home Depot really cares about customers so I really don't expect more than a cursory reply to this message. But I will find a way to get this message to the CEO of the company and any other corporate officer I can find. I am not going to drop this and I will post this information in newsletters and on blogs and on customer complaint sites until someone at Home Depot acknowledges me and my problem.
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