UPDATE: since that post, the folks at Home Depot took care of the situation and in a few minutes, everything was sorted. They’ve been very understanding and helpful (thanks Nicki and everyone who called me). Thank you very much to those who jumped in to help.
I’m usually very patient when something goes wrong with a purchase I make in a store. I know what it is to serve customers, and how challenging things can be. I also have the most respect for all the folks handling relationships with customers. It’s a very difficult job, and the majority of them are doing a wonderful job.
Now, sometimes things seem just wrong. So I wanted to share here my story with the Home Depot at Daly City.
On 08/19, I go to Home Depot in Daly City to purchase a grill. I mentioned to the person who’s helping me that I have a natural gas pipe on my deck that I want to hook up the grill to. We agreed on a Weber grill. It’s a propane grill, but he explained to me that if I put a “converter kit”, things will be fine, even if I may lose a bit of power. So i bought the grill and the converter, and went back home.
I put the grill together, but couldn’t make it work with the converter. I figured I was doing something wrong, and I’ll figure it out by calling weber. Since it was evening, I decided to call the day after, and instead try the grill with a propane bottle that I had for a heater. It was working fine and and we grilled a steak.
The day after, I call Weber who explained to me that you can not convert Weber grill anymore. So basically, I had to buy a natural gas grill.
I then call Home Depot saying I want to an exchange. The person I talked to over the phone said that he was going to ask around and get back to me. Nobody called back, so I give them another call. Another person tells me to stay home the day after and that someone was going to come and pick it up. I spent the next day at home and nobody ever showed up. I called them again and talked to Brian Feagins, a very polite and nice person who basically told me that the best he can do is a $75 refund (out of a $650 purchase) and that I should always write down the names of the people I talk to.
I then told him I want to talk to the store manager, Julia Valledor. He said she’s not available right now but that would give me a call back. A few days later, still nothing. One morning, Vince called me saying that he’s coming the day after to pick up the BBQ at 10am. At 10:10am he’s at my place taking the BBQ with him. Vince was very nice and polite and he explained to me that Fotu validated the pick-up. This was on 09/07.
I had to go out of the country for 10 days. When I came back, I checked my credit card and still didn’t see a refund (which at that point was still planning on spending at Home Depot to buy a natural gas grill). I called them again, and they told me to come to the store to get my refund.
I went there (it’s a 30 minutes ride from my place) and dealt with Roy. I explained my story and Roy said that there is nothing he can do because I don’t have a service agreement, and therefore I should speak with Brian (who’s not here). I told Roy my story and that I’ve talked to many people before, and that I found it quite amazing that they’re ok to keep my money. My wife, who was with me starts losing it, and I walked her out of the service area. I go back to Roy to make sure I write down his name (per Brian’s advice) and as I walked out he screams at me that I should add his name to the list.
On 09/25 (the day after), I gave a call to Brian who told me that he needs to check with Vince to make sure they are in possession of the BBQ. He said then he would call me back in one or two days. Three days later, Brian leaves me a voicemail. I called back but he was not available. I leave a message.
The day after, I called back. Brian is not available. He’s off. I’m told to call back later. Today, I called them again, and it seems that Brian is now off until Tuesday. I asked the person on the phone if they can do anything for me and she said my account has no trace of my purchase and that only Brian can do something.
So it’s been two months. I don’t have my BBQ. Home Depot has it. And I don’t have my money. Home Depot has it. I’m going to send this post to Joe MacFarland, who is the president of the Western Division and to Marvin Ellison, the EVP of the US stores, who was saying:
” you’re going to see us do a lot less talking about service and more executing service. It’s a fundamental of our business.”
Honeslty, I don’t understand what their problem is and why they don’t want to give my money back. But what I know for sure is that this is not the way they’re going to gain customers. I also know, in the new age of customer service, someone will disrupt this industry with a customer oriented service. That day, Home Depot will be left behind if they don’t change.