This is a complaint about the deploreable conduct of a Home Depot staff member invited to my home to provide a windows quote.
This project began as a one window project. I went into the local Home Depot store and spoke with an in store rep who was very helpful and set up an appointment.
On the day of the appointment you man was a no show. Now I will grant you that it was the day after the blizzard, but I would also note here that my neighbor who had an appointment with a Lowe's representative had his man arrive on time. Home Depot didn't even have the care or concern to call and tell us he wouldn't be coming.
Then 10 days or so later, we found voice message telling us he would be coming a 3PM Saturday... Note here that he never bothered to ask if that was a convenient time for us. It took 4 calls to the call center to get that appointment moved to the following week.
On the date of the now third appointment, the sales rep called to say he had a personal matter he needed to tend to and asked to make our appointment earlier in the day. So I juggled my entire day schedule to accommodate him only to find out when he arrived that he wanted an early afternoon so he could go to church! Forgetting the fact that I expect professional conduct during work hours from the people who are going to work on my home, I find it beyond reason that he had to change my whole day plan to go to a church that probably had a dozen masses the next day. Clearly in the case of Home Depot, customer service comes well after employee personal needs and desires.
The sales rep then continued for some twenty minutes to tell us about his religious beliefs and his past life of turning from God and how his wife brought him back to the church and cured his evil ways. I NEED to know this? I wanted to hear about windows and I get I'm a sinner? He then continued to embellish on that topic that he was now an usher in the church and gift carrier and that's why he needed to re-arrange my day so he could go do that.
OK fine, lets talk windows ?
No, now he goes into another 20 minute diatribe about his past work history in a kitchen at a senior center? Telling us all his experiences there until he was fired.
Now can we talk about windows?
Nope. Now we get a 15 minute whining session about how tired he is because Home Depot expects him to work for free at night doing paperwork and building his sales kits. He was so tired he could hardly think straight he complained. Great, I get a zombie to discuss my project! Then he told us how his salary wasn't the best because he didn't work on commission, and that he depended on getting the volume bonus because he needed it. He did however note on that point that he always nailed that because he could pretty much sell the spots to leopards.
To emphasize he regaled us with tales of previous customers... About an Indian woman in Dix Hills who he'd met a day or so earlier who both she and her husband owned pharmacies and were very well off for "immigrants." He was so impressed he went the extra mile of telling me that when she filled out her application for a Home Depot charge card he told her to list the combined income of her household they way Home Depot trains him, and she told him that was unnecessary... that her income alone turned out to be 1.7 million. I need to know this? This other Home Depot Customer needs her personal financial information shared with me? THIS is how home invasions happen... fools like that guy telling strangers about millionaire homes!
But he wasn't quite done on that topic... he had to note that he'd also had to visit the home of the "Long Island Lolita." When I didn't respond with recognition, he filled in the blank, and said it was Amy Fisher and went on to recite the details of her criminal case! He then went on to tell us she was married now, that her husband was a TV/Film producer and on and on. He noted that he didn't like serving people like that but it was a sale and he had a job.
Again, I NEED to know this? The Fisher family should not be the topic of war stories of Home Depot employees?
Good God, what stories will he be telling about me? What did he learn about me or observe in my home that he can turn to fodder for his next customer? That's freaking creepy.
Windows... well we were getting closer... At least now he was talking about Home Depot. Just not what I expected to hear. I got another arrogant and equally creepy story of how Home Depot computer systems can track anyone in the country with a single phone number. How you keep track of my every purchase (and everyone Else's), every home I have and contact and build a history on me that rivals the IRS. He bragged that with my phone number he could learn more about me in five minutes than I probably knew about myself... my income based on sales trends, housing, credit, and on and on. He went so far to brag how he kept track of his customers and checked up on them from time to time and how could even look me up whenever he wanted in the future to see my future purchases.
Just knowing that Home Depot violates my privacy so totally and allows every employee unfttered access to my personal data with no restriction or protection is reason enough for me to NEVER purchase there again and tell everyone I know not to.
He also bragged that statistically all homeowners will spend at least $80, 000 with Home Depot over the years, so I might as well get started with those additional windows. FYI I probably have spent upward of that with that with them... but not one more dime EVER again. But hey, I hit their statistical number so I'm probably expendable now.
He even went to the extent of telling me how he had seen his manager take back $2000 worth of sheetrock from a customer - sheetrock that apparently had come from Lowes - over the objections of his lumber man as a favor to the customer. Now tell me, did I need to know about the theft of company dollars going on in his store?
Finally, 55 minutes into his visit, we get to windows. I ask for Anderson information, he tells me he doesn't like them and pushes some off market brand. (I'll note here that the windows are so off brand that Home Depot's brochures call them Vantage Point, but the company changed the name a year ago and no one bothered to update the brochure. (Or so he tells it) I show him the window I want done and mention I might consider doing a second. My mother decides she'd like pricing on two others. He jumps on that telling her that her current windows are unsafe and easy for thieves to break in thru... He also then smiles at me and says if I don't do at least three windows, he'll have to surcharge me to make it worth his while.
So now It's Home Depot policy to dictate how much I have to purchase? The minimum I can spend with them?
He sits down and writes up a quote for all four windows. He starts off by handing me a price sheet that quotes me the higher quality of the two styles he showed us (neither being the Anderson's I asked about) at the lower price. Now I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but that smells of bait and switch to me. Quote me the higher quality window at the lower price and then after its installed, bill me the higher priced ones and call it an "innocent" mistake?
So I called him on it. He shrugs me off and says oops, I do that every once in a while. I guess I'm just tired, I was up late dong paperwork. "I do that every once in a while? " Really? How many others has he played that con job on?
Now I notice that of the two "add-on" windows he priced, he's priced an 18" x 24" window for a bathroom at the same price as a 2' x 4' window for a bedroom.
Now by this point frankly, he had loong lost the sale in my mind, but I asked anyway. "Why is the small window the same price as a larger one?" He shrugs and tells me that that's why "he loves his job, because the prices are all set and firm and he isn't obligated to negotiate."
Negotiate? I'm not asking to negotiate, I'm asking why the price for a window 1/3 the size of another is the same price and that's the answer I get?
Then he turns to my mother and resumes the whole "these windows are so much safer and secure than yours..." line. He even started pitching that the current thermals (that have been doing a fine job since the 90's) have sooo much more vinyl than his and the new ones will be installed much lower to hide the vinyl and maybe we should change those too! When I cut him off he shrugged and said, I'm sure they're fine.
I told him he could leave and he did, still continuing to imply the home wasn't safe and emphasizing that "once you do three windows with us, you never have to pay the surcharge again." He manipulated an elderly person's fear and baited the hook that she could save more money later if she gave him the big sale now. The finale was showing us a 10% off poster, that just so happened to expire that day. Give me a freaking break.
As far as I was concerned the sale was dead, but my mother was convinced that her home was no longer safe and called him back.
He manipulated himself a three window deal, with sub standard windows that I'm just sure will help him toward that volume bonus he wants so badly.
Home Depot sent a lying, moral less, conman who had no ones interests but his own in mind. Yes he got Home Depot a sale. My mother will spend nearly $3000 on windows she didn't need because he was coy enough to prey on her fears of safety.
I had planned a natural gas generator purchase from Home Depot later this month, sink, faucets and a hot water heater. Rest assured, that's not going to happen. Go Lowes!
Honestly, I suspect they will probably promote him to supervisor for his ability to make manipulative sales.
Ironically, he was here today to close the sale and collect his money. I avoided him and stayed on a different floor of the house to keep my anger with him in check. But he had to come rub it in my face and asked my mother to bring him down to "say hello". I told him to his face that he was a liar and a con man. He didn't dispute it. I also advised him that I hadfiled a copy of thiscomplaint with his management in Atlanta. He told me thank you. THANK YOU? He already knew he wouldn't see the least repercussions for his actions. Great internal culture you have when your staff has no worries when a customer complains.
Moral of the story? Don't buy from Home Depot. They track your every purchase, allow their employees full access to sensitive financial and idenity information, lie, cheat and anything else they need to in order to tric the elderly.