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Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

Posted by Kathy G on 1/07/05 at 19:32 (166673)

Seven years ago, we had our furnace and hot water heater replaced. At the time, the local gas company was offering a $450 rebate if you replaced both and our furnace wasn't that efficient. Our hot water heater worked fine but we figured we should get one that was a bit more efficient and get the rebate.

A friend, who worked at the gas company, said not to buy the hot water heater they were offering because they offered only two models; one was more than the average family needed and the other was poorly made. He told us to go to Home Depot and get a Reliance hot water heater, which is what we did. It cost $264.

During the last couple of days, our hot water has been erratic and this morning I called the plumber and found out that we needed a new gas control valve. He said the part often needs replacement. Since we are only seven years into a ten year guarantee, he said to call Reliance and have them send one out. He then showed me how to replace it so I would save myself another plumber's charge.

When I called Reliance this morning, they told me that they don't sell to Home Depot anymore and I should call Home Depot about my warranty. I called Home Depot and spoke to four people (two managers) and spent all day at home, awaiting phone calls. Bottom line, the best deal they could offer me, around 4PM today, was to buy a new GE hot water heater from them (350) and they'd give me credit for the heater I bought seven years ago ($274) but that I'd have to pay for the installation of the heater (219) and any retrofitting necessary.

I thought about it for a while and called the manager of the store and pointed out that I would be spending $295 when I had a warrantied item and it should have been costing me nothing since the part could be put in by me. He wouldn't budge. I even asked if I could take advantage of the current 6 months, no interest deal on orders over $299 because I would be only $4 under and he said NO! That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I called back Reliance at 7PM (my time; they're in Tennessee.) and asked them if I could personally purchase the part from them because I was furious at Home Depot and I was never going to buy anything there again. Would you believe that they are going to ship me the part, free of charge, on Monday? They're overnighting it to me so I'll have it on Tuesday. Come to find out, the reason they no longer deal with Home Depot is because Home Depot's contract with them stated that Home Depot would honor the company's warranty and they have never done it.

I called the manager at Home Depot back and told him that he had lost a customer. I was nice to him because I know that it's tough to be in middle management. I simply told him that he should relay the story to his DM and point out that they had lost a customer. Actually, I will write a letter but it probably won't do any good.

So, if you need a hot water heater, Reliance makes Maytag, Reliance, Sears,
State and AO Smith brand heaters and I can attest that they stand behind their warranties!

Ralph Nader and my mother, an early consumer advocate, would be proud of me! :)

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

JudyS on 1/07/05 at 20:11 (166675)

Oh Kathy your Home Depot story is just too familiar! This whole last year their changes in staffing and service have shown up so negatively that I finally, just like you, decided to stop shopping there. And of course I attended that decision with a talk with the store manager and a follow-up letter! I told them I'd been shopping there for over 13 years and their new policy for hiring part-timers with no knowledge was really showing up poorly.
Lucky for me there's a new Lowe's in the neighborhood!

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

vince on 1/08/05 at 11:36 (166704)

I agre about not shopping at home depot but in my area they drove every hardware store and lumber yard out of business. I also don't shop @Target and Walmart.

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

Connie H. on 1/08/05 at 12:14 (166707)


Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us! We are in the planning stages of remodeling our laundry room, and we want to buy a larger gas hot water heater when we do it. I'll avoid Home Depot and shop for a Reliance brand heater. Glad to hear they stand by their product!

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

john h on 1/08/05 at 15:12 (166714)

Kathy: My last water heater was from Sears and had a 10 year warranty. On the very last day of the warranty it developed a leak in the tank. They gave me a brand new one and installed it. The only catch is the new one loses the 10 year warranty you had on the old one.

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

Kathy G on 1/09/05 at 09:46 (166774)

The fellow at Reliance told me that they currently make Sear's top of the line hot water heaters. I don't know how long they've done that but I thought that the next time I'm in the market, Sears or my local plumber, will be the place I go. I never have had problems with a hot water heater before.

My plumber told me that you're better off with the older ones in that they have fewer parts to break down. He said that mine should be good for more than ten more years. Maybe your current one will last longer than ten years!

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Target

Linda V on 1/09/05 at 10:35 (166781)

Curious why you don't like Target. My husband and I have been working at a Target since November. From what I can see, they hire 'mature' workers like us, the money is ok for that type of job, and they treat us well.

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

tom m on 10/20/07 at 21:43 (238145)

stand you ground! these sourth boy's need to go back to there roots. Hospitality, and if you aint happy we'll replace it .. enough with the big box bull- SH--.

Re: Why I think you shouldn't shop at Home Depot

redsoxski on 11/08/07 at 18:52 (239216)

Just a comment on Reliant. The one in my house is over 20 yrs old and still going strong...