Two years ago a new Home Depot was built near my home. Before that I would need to drive only a few miles to the closest Home Depot, but the tiny parking lot made a trip even on a weekday afternoon a real trip from hell.
This new Home Depot quickly became almost a daily ritual between storage units for the garage and special nails for heavy mirrors. In any case, it was obviously my choice for a new vanity in the guest bath after the original one had suffered some damage.
I took my measurements and headed over there to the custom kitchen (and bath) area. It took about 15 minutes for someone to be rounded up and brought over to help me. The wait gave me time to look at my choices for the vanity counter top I might want to buy.
Finally, Hector (not his correct name) arrived and apologized for the wait. I explained I needed to have my counter top / vanity replaced in my guest bath and I showed him three samples I had taken from the display. I told Hector I preferred a laminate because I don’t have time to deal with granite which is high maintenance and because I have cats, I’d be cleaning up paw prints constantly.
He gave me pricing on the three styles I had chosen. I then picked out a new sink, and a new faucet. He told me he would need to contact the supplier that Home Depot uses for the laminate I wanted, but when he called he ended up in voice mail. I asked him to call me when he heard back from him.
After a few days I finally heard nothing, so I returned to Home Depot to find out what was happening. Hector was off, so I started all over again with Karen (not her real name either). She was very helpful and said she would also try to get an answer for me on the laminate. And she, too, ended up in voice mail. And once again, I was promised a phone call when she heard something.
The following morning I did hear back from Karen. She said even she was shocked at what she heard – the supplier refused to sell the amount of laminate I needed because it was less than their required 25 linear feet! I couldn’t believe it! I was prepared to pay over $500 for this laminate yet … they wouldn’t sell it to me! And here we are in an economy that is horrendous, and even worse in Miami.
I asked Karen if I could speak with the store manager and discuss my options. After all, it’s no secret that the HD stock is hurting, and I just couldn’t believe that any store was in a position to turn away what I would consider to be some serious business. Without selling me the laminate I certainly wasn’t going to buy the sink or the $198 faucet I had picked out, either.
I left three messages for the store manager, and never heard back. I went over there to the customer service desk and after waiting six minutes for the one person there to end a call on her cell phone, she finally told me that the store manager doesn’t get involved in “these things” and that she could help me. I sincerely doubted that, but to prove my point, I happily explained my problem in detail.
And I was right. When I finished, she gave me a blank look and said, “Well, what do you want me to do?” What I wanted to do was take her head and smack it a few times with her cell phone, which she still clutched in her hand during our entire conversation. I told her I WANTED her to get the store manager, like I had asked ten minutes before. And once again she reminded me with an even bigger attitude that the store manager doesn’t get involved in “these things”.
I then decided to write a letter to the store manager, outlining my entire disappointed experience in what I considered to be a simple request: a new counter. I never heard back!
My next option was to head to Lowes, also a new store in my area. I explained exactly what I wanted, and I reiterated the problem I had just experienced with Home Depot, asking if I would have the same problem at Lowes. Isabell assured me that I could order what I needed with no problem.
It’s amazing that Home Depot can complain about the decrease in business and then blame it entirely on the economy. How much more business are they turning away and losing to their competition?