Monday, March 10, 2008

A long-winded Home Depot complaint

Over the weekend, I made like Frank the Tank and spent my Saturday at the Home Depot. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time for Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but that's only because the folks over at Home Depot caused me to waste away a good portion of the day. I'll explain.

I had a pretty big order of stuff I needed. I think I mentioned this a week or two ago, but I'm in the process of remodeling* my basement. My list included [4] 6-paneled doors, 500 sq ft. of insulation, and the bathroom vanity that I had ordered the previous week that they were now telling me had arrived. All of it added together was pretty expensive. And heavy. And awkward to push around the store by myself seeing as though I filled 2 flat carts.

* By "remodel", I mean "model". I don't think it would be accurate to call it remodeling because my basement has never been modeled. Up until now, the room has only consisted of a pool table sitting on cold concrete. In a few long weeks, I hope to be able to say it's a pool table sitting on cold carpet. Maybe there will be a dart board too. Yeah, definitely a dart board.

Thankfully, Home Depot had a huge staff on hand to help me wherever I walked. Unthankfully, none of them offered to. Rather, every single employee I came across would say to me "would you like to sign up for a Home Depot credit card?" and I would respond to each of them by saying "I already have one". Then they would walk away and move on to the next customer with the same question. One male employee who saw me struggling with my two carts even ran clear across an aisle yelling at me: "Sir! Sir! Hang on a sec." I thought to myself, "finally I'm going to get some service around here." But no. Instead I got "you should really sign up for a credit card today. You have a pretty big order and I can get you 10% off." When I told him that I already had a card, he asked me if there was a balance on it because if not, he could say that I lost it and I could apply for a new one. I told him to please go away, so he did. By the time I made it to the cashier, I swear at least 20 people had asked me if I wanted to sign up for a credit card and not one of them had offered to help me load my cart or find what I was looking for. I'm not kidding. This is not hyperbole. 20 people. By the time I made it to the front of the store, I was pissed, sweaty, dirty from loading 500 sq. ft. of busted insulation onto my cart all by myself, and in no mood for what came next.

The cashier asked me if I would like to sign up for a credit card [of course] and if so, she would take $50 off my bill. I said to her "I have one already and I just want to get out of here." Her pitch was not over. "It doesn't matter if you have one already. We can get you a contractor's card which offers more perks and services than the card you currently have."

But I'm not a contractor.

"That doesn't matter. We do this all the time. It takes 2 minutes."

Fine. Give me the bleeping form.

I have no idea why I agreed at this point. On principle, I should have walked out of that store and proceeded to burn it to the ground. I was so done with every person wearing orange. But I'm also a sucker. And a moron. And I guess extremely forgiving. And I wanted the 50 bucks**.

** Ding ding ding. This was probably the main reason. I can say in all honesty now though that I will never again prostitute myself for anything less that $75.

The cashier made it sound like the balance from my old card (about $500 or so) would be transferred to the new card with a swift click of a button (I found out later this would not be true), and my new card would provide me with "insider deals" (her words) that only get offered to their best customers, ie. contractors who spend a lot of time and money at their store. Fine. F#ck it. Give me the form.

So as I was filling out the form, the dude from earlier who ran clear across an aisle asking me to sign up for a credit card saw me filling out a form just minutes after I had told him no thanks. And now he was pissed. So he began taking it out on the cashier who got me to agree. And me. Yes, AND ME. He was saying things like "this is my sale. I want credit for this. You told me you didn't want one. That's not cool Man. I have bills to pay too."

I promise this happened.

And then I snapped.


Yeah, I said something like that. And so he did move on. And 5 minutes later, I had my $50 discount and I was out of there. But not before I had to take 2 trips from the store to my truck with my 2 large carts, and then load all the stuff into the truck all by myself.

So next time you're at Home Depot and someone asks you to sign up for a credit card, do the smart thing and tell them to go away. And then punch them in the face.

[Note: use of asterisks a nod to Joe Posnanski, the best blogger on the planet]


  1. Jane Says:

    I think it's pretty crappy that no one offered to help you, and it's obvious you got treated pretty shabbily throughout the store. The one thing that kept coming to my mind was this - why didn't you ask one of the twenty people you came into contact with for assistance? Yes, they should have offered, but instead of struggling and getting irritated, ASK FOR HELP!

  2. Anonymous Says:


  3. Jane Says:

    So you are only long-winded when you are whining...

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I HATE Home Depot. I live in the Philly area, and their subcontractor for kitchen remodeling is Housecrafters. They did the most terrible job in my kitchen. I will never hire them for anything else. As a matter of fact, I am so disappointed that I refuse to shop there at all. I don't want to spend another penny at their store. Do not use Home Depot for your house remodeling! They are also not all that cheap to say you pay what you get for. We spent over $12,000 (with materials, the total cost was $22,000) on labor only for a dinky tiny kitchen in a twin house. I could have hired a solo contractor for $9,000, but decided to go with Home Depot because I thought they had a good reputation.
    They lied or misguided me when they gave me prices for counter tops. Their customer service was awful. They said it would take 7-10 days to do the work. It took them 2 months. And on top of all that aggravation, the work they did was awful. A sub-sub-contractor does the work and does not care for you at all. All he wanted to do is spend as little time as possible to finish the job. Did not care at all about making the customer happy.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I had much the same experience - except that I bargained for a $70.00 discount on a $170.00 nail gun. I signed up for the card, got the discount, and was on my way. When I got the usurious cardholder's agreement, however, I looked at my other credit cards (9.9% interest) and decided to cancel the Home Depot card. (I also looked around online - Home Depot is notorious for severe penalties for one-day late payments on tiny amounts, and they often fail to mail your statement, causing the late payments - no thanks). I cut up the card and mailed it back, along with a letter asking them to cancel the card. Well guess what? They didn't cancel the card. Why? Well, five months later when I found out (they have never mailed me a statement) that they didn't cancel it, I called. THey said they have the letter and the cut up cards, but that I failed to state my position in my company on the letter. Now, my company is me - they issued a contractor card, but it is really just me. And it doesn't say anything about position with the company in the cardholders agreement. Not only that, the agreement says that if you cut up the cards and mail them back within 30 days, they won't open the account in the first place.
    So beware. Do yourself a favor and close the account. If you can.