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Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

Posted by Kathy G on 1/28/05 at 10:01 (168087)

You all know of my dissatisfaction with the treatment I received from Home Depot a couple of weeks ago when my hot water heater broke. I wrote a letter to the general manager of the store. I was actually talking to an assistant manager during my problem although I thought he was the GM. Anyway, I told him my tale of woe and sent a copy of the letter to the Northeast Regional management office. The most I expected was a letter of apology.

Yesterday, the manager of the store called me and apologized for 'what his store put me through.' He asked if the hot water heater was working properly and I said it was. He then asked how much I had paid the plumber for having the unit serviced. He said to make a copy of the bill and drop it off at the store and he would make sure I got reimbursed for the entire amount! I was flabbergasted! I just didn't expect a corporation the size of Home Depot to care about my having to pay $190 and waste a day on the telephone, not to mention the lack of hot water.

He assured me that customer service was first and foremost at his store and that the assistant manager with whom I spoken had neglected to put himself in my place and he was very sorry.

So, maybe Home Depot isn't such a lousy corporation after all! At least I know that the manager of this particular branch still believes in service. You know, according to the warranty on the heater, I was liable for the cost of shipping the part as well as any costs to install the parts. As it turns out, I won't have paid for shipping or installation!

I will write a letter of thanks to him and make sure I send a copy to the district office. I am quick to villify large conglomerates but I'm just as quick to give them credit for doing the right thing! It gives me a bit more faith in corporate America.

Re: Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

Dorothy on 1/28/05 at 11:35 (168093)

Kathy G - I'm glad you provided this update because I will now update my 'mental file' into which I had previously put my negative impressions of HD based on your previous experience! Whew - too much filin' required! You know, how often does this kind of thing happen - and how easily avoided - if they'd just done the right thing the first time....

Re: Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

Carole C in NOLA on 1/28/05 at 11:40 (168094)

Kathy, that just restores one's faith in humanity (and Home Depot), doesn't it? WOW... :)

Carole C

Re: Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

John H on 1/28/05 at 12:12 (168095)

This is a manly mans store. I can spend hours there. So many things I just have to have.

Re: Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

Carole C in NOLA on 1/28/05 at 15:50 (168106)

I love shopping at Home Depot. Just went there last Sunday. But I have heard before about problems with their services (rather than with things you just buy there). A friend had them hang a door, and couldn't get the guy to come back and paint it for weeks or months until she called in the store manager.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/28/05 at 15:52 (168107)

P.S., John, it's not just a manly man's store! It's a womanly woman's store, too. Have you seen the lamps, and other more decorative items? Gorgeous. They have a lot of very attractive things (as well as the practical ones).

Carole C

Re: Women like Home Depot, too!

Kathy G on 1/29/05 at 08:23 (168119)


I'm with Carole. My friends think I'm crazy but I just love Home Depot. I can spend an hour just walking from aisle to aisle. Granted, I don't spend as much time in the power tools section as my husband does, but I love looking at the kitchen and bath displays, the different paints, the gadgets in the electrical and plumbing section. You get the idea. I just think it's a neat place. That's why I was so crushed when they were so lousy to deal with.

My husband has a friend who works there who told him that if you buy, say a Toro snowblower there, you're not getting the typical quality Toro that you would get from a smaller outlet. Toro, GE, etc; make a cheaper version of an item to sell at Home Depot, thus the lower prices. He said to be careful what you buy from them in those departments because you may be better off buying from an independent and getting the higher quality item. My husband says he's a smart guy and knows what he's talking about.

The only problem I have with the store is that if it's a bad foot day, the floors, which are concrete, kill my feet. So, I only shop there on a good foot day.

I do real well with their gardening supplies and plants, too. I was kind of upset because when I swore I wouldn't shop there again, I meant it. That meant that I was going to have to go back to spending much more money in the spring and fall when I buy my annuals.

I still hate the idea that huge conglomerates are taking over the American economy and that many constitute a monopoly, something that's supposed to be illegal in the US, and that goes against everything I believe in. But if Home Depot is one of those monopolies, at least it's an honest one, if I base it on my own personal experience.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too!

Carole C in NOLA on 1/29/05 at 09:18 (168126)

You are so right about the concrete floors on bad foot days! Even though I feel that my PF is now essentially healed, I don't go to Home Depot or similar warehouse stores except in my most cushioned walking shoes, NB 991's. No sense in tempting fate.

Carole C

Re: Women like Home Depot, too!

john h on 1/29/05 at 10:10 (168128)

Kathy: What is a snow blower? In Arkansas we call them shovels. Must be some sort of Northern equipment. If Home Depot sold a Toro of a lesser quality then Consumer's Report would be all over it. Same Toro Warranty. The main part of the mower is the engine and if it is a Briggs & Stratton then it is the same Briggs & Stratton manufactured for all mowers. The parts list are definitely the same as is the warranty. Must be an urban legend put out by the independents. I did however buy from an independent because they have the ability to make warranty repairs easier. All hail Home Deport! It is a dreary day in Little Rock and I think I might just head down that way now.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too!

john h on 1/29/05 at 10:12 (168129)

Home Depot has several competetors such as Lowes. If I am looking specifically for some small hardware item I usually head to my local small hardware store. Easy parking. Someone will find what I want in an instant and they give me free popcorn and call me John.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too!

Kathy G on 1/29/05 at 10:35 (168130)

We have a Lowes that's looking to come in very close to one of the four Home Depots within a forty minute drive from my house. I think Home Depot has been trying to keep them out by opening so many stores. Kind of like Dunkin' Donuts here in New England. My neice's husband, who grew up in Georgia and lives in Missouri, couldn't get over all the Dunkin' Donuts we have around here. I think they are making an effort to keep Krispy Kreme out. Just my theory.

We have a local hardware store like that, John. We might pay more for an item but they have everything, they know where it is and they all know us. We do as much business with them as possible. It may cost us a few dollars more but in the long run, it's well worth it and it helps to keep the little guy in business.

I don't know about the Toro/GE thing. All I know is that this fellow is in management and seemed to know what he was talking about. I don't know if it's any different than what Sears has been doing for years. You buy a Kenmore dishwasher and some years, it's made by Whirlpool; some years it's made by KitchenAid. The outside says Kenmore so it's cheaper but who cares?

Re: Women like Home Depot, too!

john h on 1/29/05 at 14:10 (168133)

Sears has always had its appliances made by manufacturers as they are not a manufacturing company. Whirlpool has made many of their products and Consumer Reports will typically have the Whirpool whatever rated the same as its Sears counterpart. You can often look at a Kenmore product sitting next to the product made by the company that made the Sears and you can see no difference whatsoever. Over my military career we bought a lot of Sears appliances as no matter where we moved there was always a Sears store who were very good at repairing when something needed repairing. We have a very large Whirlpool manufacturing plant near Little Rock.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

vince on 1/30/05 at 15:57 (168168)

Home Depot is a rip-off-operation as far as quality and service. john experience is unique- to give a refund like they did is not company policy. Everything they sell is made for them and is not the same quality. Just look at their hardware- the bolt threads are coarse an nuts don't fit well, screww heads slots are poorly made so that a driver slips and aI have had many bolts snap under torque consditions less than spec for that bolt size. I have a Maytag washer my wife bought from Home ZDepot and when I called for service I was connected to a dept at Maytag that handled Home Depot service. When the tech came to service the washer he told me it was made of lesser quality just for Home Depot. If it was than the seal and bearing would not have failed in 6 months. The previous Maytag lasted 15 years.
In the summer if you buy plants you can see they are not the same quality as you find in your local nursery.They are generaly dried out runts. The bags of top soil are loaded with water to increase the weight. Take a look at the lumber next time you are there. See how many pices of anything in th lumber area are straight- if you need 10 2x4's you have to look at 50. That's why the stuff is all in a jumble because it has to be picked over.
Never get one of their contractors to do an install for you. They only get th one who will work for peanuts and who wants a 3rd. class contractor working on their house. Any contractor who does a top quality job will laugh at what HD will want to pay them.
How do I know this- personal expewrience and a friends son worked for HD Expo as a project expeditor. The horror stories about the bad jobs, lousey merchandise and lies about delivery and availability were the topic of many a discussion. The experience John had was great for him but I have found it not to be company policy.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

Kathy G on 1/31/05 at 07:28 (168187)

Well, Vince, I still love to look through Home Depot. That being said, we are having our doors replaced and a new window installed in the next few weeks. We didn't even consider buying them at Home Depot. We are getting them from our local lumber company. My sister bought her new front door from Home Depot and they had to replace it once and come out to fix it once. While Home Depot's doors are half the price of what our front door will be, they are of much lower quality. It's true - you get what you pay for!

And, as always, my motto has been and will continue to be: buy it from the little guy! Or there won't be anything left but huge conglomerates and free enterprise, as we know it, will disappear.

Re: Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

Connie H. on 2/03/05 at 09:38 (168381)

Kathy--thanks for posting the update! I guess another moral of your story is to write a letter when you have a problem. Look what it got you! The general manager wouldn't have been aware of your treatment if you hadn't written that letter. Good job!

Re: Update of my experience w/Home Depot - Giving credit where credit is due!

Suzanne D. on 2/03/05 at 19:25 (168441)

I like happy endings, Kathy! This is good to hear.

Suzanne :)

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

Ron S. on 2/19/05 at 14:40 (169447)

Vince, you are dead on right. I went to the NAHB builders show last year and the Milwaukee rep flat out told me not to buy their tools from Lowes or Home Bozo as it was a cheaper version. Then I went to the Makita rep and asked him about it and he said the exact same thing. I always have wondered why my tools have not lasted. One of them told me that Amazon was the best place to buy them, if you didn't want to shop around.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

Dorothy on 2/19/05 at 16:49 (169455)

Ron S -

But Ron S, why would those highly respected,name-brand manufacturers sell their products at Lowes and Home Depot if they are selling inferior versions of their tools? What is in it for them (such as Milwaukee or Makita) but a degradation of their reputation if what you say is true? It doesn't make any sense to me and hope you can shed light on what you said. Thanks

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

john h on 2/19/05 at 18:28 (169458)

I really do not think that the appliances or mowers sold under the major brand name at Lowes or Home Depot is any different than those sold anywhere else. I think this is an urban legend. They carry the same warranty and paper work and operating manuals. Publications like Consumers Report would be all over this. For instance a mower which uses a Briggs and Stratton engine without a doubt has the same Briggs and Stratton engine on any other product. The parts list are the same. It would cost a company more than they could save to set up a different manufacturing line for different companies. Furthermore a giant company like Home Depot are not going to risk their reputation to sell an inferior product and the manufacturer such as Toro is not going to manufacturer an inferior product to save a few dollars. Sears as many companies do not manufacture their own appliances. They do have them made to their specifications which is usually very close if not identical to the manufactures specs for a particular model. If Whirlpool makes their Frig and it carries a Kenmore label in nearly all cases the parts come from Whirlpool when you order them from Sears. Consumer Reports will usually state the particular models of a product sold by Sears and Whirpool are identical.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

john h on 2/19/05 at 18:40 (169459)

If you will go to the Toro website (just an example) you will find they will direct you to Home Depot as a supplier of their products. They are listed along with small independant stores and speciality Toro stores. If they were to be selling something different at Home Depot this would be false advertising and you can bet some consumer group or government agency would come down on them and Home Depot hard. A lot of products are cross manufactured but carry a different name (this is fine). Bryant and Carrier A/C are virtually the same units. You can use a Bryant coil with a Carrier A/C and vice versa.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

john h on 2/19/05 at 18:49 (169460)

More: When product recalls are made for tools, mowers, etc they are made by model number and date manufactured. Not by who they were sold by. Currently you can look at some recalls on various tools, mowers, appliances, etc. it is never mentioned that they were sold by a particular merchant. Model numbers of mowers,tools,etc are the same at Home Depot as they are at any other store so when a recall is made it is made for all the model number which would clearly indicate the same piece of equipment if it carries the same name and model number. I you bought a Bosh circular saw, model xxx at Home Depot and it is recalled it is the exact same Bosh sold at any store carrying that model number and name of manufacturer. The laws of Truth in Advertising demand this.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

Dorothy on 2/20/05 at 00:22 (169480)

This just makes sense to me, John H. and I agree with your assessment of the whole thing. It does sound like urban legend and just makes no sense otherwise.

Re: Women like Home Depot, too! They shouldn't

jack t on 2/14/06 at 10:21 (193460)

I just got off the phone with a repair man. They happen to be 40 miles away. I live in a small town and bought a maytag legend 200 dishwasher from home depot. The spring in the door had broken a week ago and last night we could not get the door to close. the latch was in the wrong position, it will not move so we could not wash. This morning I called the maytag customer service and got their repair number. At purchase time, Home Depot said we could have service right to our door but they didn't say we didn't have service close by. We have to wait 6 days before they get to us. I looked and found that here was a legend recall and they were giving buyers a rebate on their purchases, however, it was from, I think, 1998 to 2002. I believe the Legend is still a bum deal and will carry this further. We have had 12 or more dishwashers over the past 40 years and this is the worst. It does not clean as well as the others. I can say that they excell in being quiet. Since it is unable to work, it is very quiet. I am under trhe impression hat they have phased it out and are featuring a jet wash machine or something like that. If I find that the machine was being phased out, I will get onto Home Depot, bigtime...jack