Wednesday, September 2

We've Broken Up

When I walked up to the service desk, I was expecting to hear one of two things. It would either be, "Sorry, we don't do price adjustments," or "Sure, no problem." I should have known better. Customer service has been dead for years, so I should have known that instead of a simple answer, I would get attitude.

Lots of attitude.


It's probably no surprise that we have essentially been living at Home Depot and Lowe's for the past month and a half. The joys of moving include the privilege of painting and cleaning and digging and planting and fixing and repairing and replacing and Hey! That list is totally why I haven't slept in forever! Anyway, one of the recent projects has been to banish the ghetto fabulous from the front yard and add a little something the Rich Folk like to call "landscaping." When I spotted the perfect boxwoods at Home Depot a few weeks ago, I immediately bought every last one they had in stock. I knew we would need over 50 of them total, and that 13 they had were a decent start. A few days later, I was at a different Home Depot and bought another 28. A few days after that, I found a dozen more at yet a third Home Depot.

And then I got annoyed.

Instead of being charged $6 per shrub, they rang up at $4. "It's our fall plant promotion," the cashier said. I blinked a few times, quickly doing the math and wanting to scream. Even with coupons and such, I had spent $50 more for all those boxwoods than I would have if I had purchased them just a few days later.

Not cool, Home Depot. Not cool.

I rummaged and dug and foraged, and at last I came up with my receipt for the massive boxwood acquisition. "SCORE!" I thought to myself. I couldn't think of a reason that I couldn't get a price adjustment and figured it certainly couldn't hurt to ask.


There were two paths to choose from, and yet the service desk associate decided to create her own path. A bumpy path.

"You didn't purchase these at this store," she said.

Did I mention that I have been to essentially every Home Depot in Pittsburgh lately? Yeah, that. The receipt was from a Home Depot store about 15 miles north of where I was standing.

"I'm . . . sorry?" I stammered.

"We shouldn't have to take the hit on this," she retorted.

I blinked. And again.

She sighed. Very loudly.

"So, can I get a price adjustment or should I just bring all of them back?" I asked. I was serious--there were certainly enough boxwoods not yet in the ground for me to be able to pull together a very massive return.

"Let me check with my manager," she said in her most annoyed voice. She picked up her phone and walked to the back of the service desk, I guess so I couldn't hear the conversation.

"Have you even bought anything at this store?" she asked upon her return.

I blinked. And again.

I thought about telling her that I was about to march my behind out to the garden center to buy 20 rose bushes (true story--I need 20 of the same rose bush and they had them). Instead, I yanked a receipt out of my purse and placed it on the counter. "Yeah, I have," I said.

She looked at the receipt carefully, then returned her gaze to the original receipt in question. "We really shouldn't have to take the hit on this," she repeated.

I blinked. And again.

It was then that she went into a long diatribe about how they could do a return, but they really shouldn't have to do the price adjustment since I had purchased the boxwoods at a different Home Depot. A loooooooooong diatribe.

I blinked. And again.

Then I snatched up my receipts and stormed out. I have no doubt that she would have given me my $50 eventually, but not until after she made me feel like a complete jerkwad for "stealing" $50 from her store's bottom line.

Customer service is dead.

And in my head? So is Home Depot.

Fortunately, the view out of the back of our house is lacking in ghetto fabulousness. I only wish the front looked that good.


  1. Unless that $50 was coming out of her paycheck, I don't see what the big deal was! In this economy, one would think stores would go out of their way to make sure their customers are happy and plan on returning.

  2. Anonymous1:52 AM

    Have you considered taking the receipts to a different Home Depot? Perhaps the whole chain isn't as whacked out stupid as that one so called customer service person?

    Now if the stores are franchised then I totally get her reticence to "take the hit" from merchandise not purchased at that store, but that could have been explained in a friendly mannter that would have not caused the break up.

    I only have a Lowe's within a half hour - 45 minute drive....I hate Lowe's, but it's either that or Walmart...and really I am forced to enter that hell mouth enough as it is. If it wasn't such a total hassle I'd consider moving just to get some better shopping options within a resonable drive. Sigh.


  3. That makes me soooo angry on your behalf. I would be typing up an angry letter to them (making sure Ms. Bottom-line was mentioned by name) as we speak.

  4. when it comes to plants, I have stopped going to the local nurseries and garden centers.
    Seriously? Catalogue garden shopping is where it's at.
    If something does extra poorly I just send them an e-mail or give them a phone call and I've been sent not one, but TWO replacements.
    I Heart Me some Spring Hill.

  5. Send an email to corporate. Then they can take a whole different kind of "hit".

    We have boxwoods. We were planted them one a year trying to eventually build a hedge to separate ourselves from our neighbors who liked to trample through our side yard. Then those neighbors moved, so we let it rest at a half dozen shrubs. They're starting to look hedge-like, though, and they're really nice. :-)

  6. MUST be the Bridgeville store. My mom has been having a terrible time with them- she even complained to corporate.

    DH loves the E. Liberty store. Ghetto yes, but cust serv is awesome. And apparently it's where all the other stores send their clearance.

  7. And now they are dead to me too! OK, sorry, I can't do that, we are trying to sell out house eventually but I promise to not like a single moment of my future Home Depot shopping experiences!

  8. Do NOT judge all HD's by that one asshat. Mr. Wiener Woman is a big wig manager at our local HD and he would NOT have allowed that to happen. As a matter of fact, you should call the customer complaint line (number should be on your receipt) and tell them exactly what happened. That person will NEVER learn unless she is held accountable for her actions.


  9. I wouldn't have cared. I would have stuck around and got my $50. I probably would have also said a few choice words back to her, just to pass the time. I've worked in countless retail stores, and giving you your money wouldn't have hurt her, or the store, one bit. I think she was just having a bad day and wanted to complain about something.

  10. What a snotty little bitch! I'd call and talk to a manager if I were you... That's just uncalled for.

  11. @MsTeb--Bridgeville is actually innocent (this time--although I have had better luck there than at Bethel or Washington). Washington can go suck donkey balls and will be getting a massive return of everything we haven't installed yet, but purchased at a Home Depot.

  12. ChickLItLisa2:23 PM

    Make sure you call the manager AND email the home office about why you are returning everything. I forsee big coupons in your future if you do that.

  13. oh. hell. no. why should you have to inconvenience yourself by dragging everything back? i agree with www who says to call the customer complaint line. although i would have probably done it while standing in front of that twat who gave you such a difficult time.

    50 bucks is a big deal. don't back down, but you shouldn't have to drag everything back.

  14. I hate people...this is so something that would happen to me...that is all:P

  15. Customer service is indeed dead. I hope you take all the bushes back to the same person and tell her to take that hit. What is a boxwood anyway.

  16. @Otter Thomas--An evergreen shrub. I'm lining all of the front planting beds with dwarf ones. They're super-cute, n'at.

  17. Sounds to me like you A) need to call the manager and if you get nothing form them (use the name of employee, if you remember) B) go above them and go corporate on them.

    That's unacceptable from Any Chain and totally not worth divorcing a chain over one snide and ill trained employee :-)

  18. And now you know why I won't deal with HD, nor recommend them to anyone. When we were building, and spending several hundred (sometimes several thousand) dollars PER DAY at both HD and Lowe's, they gave me hassle over a $20 return. They refused to do the return because I didn't have the receipt. For $20 out of thousands. I got the same run-around and bottom line crap.


    Hate. Them.

    Still won't go to a HD if I can help it, after half a decade.

  19. She was harsh. I cannot, CANNOT stand when people SIGH loudly in front of me. I'd rather them you know, SPEAK up then sigh. It really gets my blood boiling. I would have told her to get the duty manager and told him what an arrogant bitch that woman was. Next time, let them be stupid, but then make sure to pin their ass to the wall. It won't necessarily solve everything, but it sure does feel good! ;)

  20. I've broken up with McDonald's, Walgreens and a few other places in the past because of their horrible CS. Although I do give in to the occasional hot fudge sundae from Micky D's because well, I'm pregnant.

  21. Anonymous11:01 AM

    My hubs and I were actually at HD last night and he was distressed because he had forgotten his 10% off coupon (we were going to spend about $200). He asked one of the cashiers if there was anything she could do or if he needed to drive back home and get it - she told him they're basically given a $50 leeway, per customer, as a "satisfaction guarantee" and gave us the discount - no questions asked. I think you just got a crappy employee - maybe don't break up with a great guy because he's got a bitchy sister?

  22. Anonymous11:03 AM

    If you can return things you bought at one store to a different one why can't you get a price adjustment, esp if they are having the sale now!

  23. I would consider writing a letter or email (or calling) someone high up in the chain of command and asking what can be done. I can't believe you didn't ask to speak a manager right then. I have totally used up my patience and I probably would have told that girl (in my firm, no-nonsense Superpower Mommy Voice) exactly what I thought of her attitude.

  24. Call the store. Ask for the manager. Tell him what happened. Considering they're suffering, I'm thinking he'll be PRETTY pissed off to hear about this incident. Tell him how you bought $50 worth of rose bushes that day at another store because of whate happened (if there's a Lowe's nearby that you can lie about, even better). My guess is that he'll make sure it doesn't happen again and that you are compensated for your troubles.

    Home Depot was my account for three years. My favorite one. Please give them a second chance for me? Don't break up with them, just have a small fight, ok?

  25. Stephanie, Home Depot Customer Care5:45 PM

    Hi this is Stephanie from Home Depot Customer Care. I’m sorry about your experience in our store. The attitude and rudeness of this associate is unacceptable.

    We are making a lot of improvements in our stores, and your feedback helps with this effort. If you would like to share more details about the exact store location and maybe name of the associate, feel free to send me an email.

    Please try us again soon.

    Stephanie, Home Depot Customer Care