No Office Move This Week Thanks to Home Depot

IMG_1079This morning I was pleased the installers from the Home Despot* showed up to install the new carpet in my office. This was to be the culmination of all our efforts. I was considerably less pleased when the installers informed me they didn’t have enough carpet for the stairs, because it wasn’t put into the order. After calling the installers, and the Home Depot, we determined Home Depot had measured the stairs, but when they submitted the order, it wasn’t noted correctly, so the carpet for the stairs was never ordered. We were scheduled to get our new bookcase tonight, and Bitter was going to start restocking it. That’s now on hold because the stairs still aren’t carpeted, and the bookcase goes right adjacent to the stairs.

Home Depot agreed it was their mistake, and agreed I didn’t have to pay for installation for the stairs, but I still had to pay for the cut of carpet they forgot to order. I found the installers to be far more apologetic and helpful. To me, if you screw up the order, that’s on you, and you eat the whole cost of fixing the problem. But that is apparently not the Home Despot way. If this was the only mishap, I would have been somewhat understanding, but I’ve found the whole customer experience with Home Depot’s carpet department to be lacking.

We originally picked Home Depot because they actually had a better selection of commercial-grade carpets than most of the local stores, and allowed us to take samples home. The local stores wanted to bring samples over when they came to measure. Because my office is in the basement, the sun comes in at different times of day and I didn’t want to have to make a snap decision on color. But that’s where the Home Depot advantage ended. From Bitter getting wildly wrong information to the first person she talked to, to the order being screwed up, to the haphazard way they schedule installation, the rest has left a lot to be desired. I should note that I’m not dinging their installers. Their installers did a bang-up job. My basement floor is concrete, uneven, and difficult to work with. There are PVC drain covers around half the perimeters, and they dip in places. Their installers dealt with the weirdness very well, and the carpet looks great, despite the still naked staircase.

But Home Depot itself needs to work on their customer experience. I’m generally fine with appointment windows, but having a 7-8AM window in which I’ll get a call to get my appointment window that day is the kind of customer service I expect to get from the local electric monopoly or Comcast. It would be nice to be able to have an actual appointment window, and perhaps, as the customer, to even have some feedback on when this window might be so we can plan around it. It would also be nice if their employees knew their business, and didn’t screw up orders when they submit them to their installers.

So next time, I think it’ll be Big Marty’s, and I have a lot more carpeting left to do. I get that mistakes can happen. Bitter will tell you I’m actually a pretty undemanding customer. But when the good customer experience ends once I decide on a purchase, that’s tough to forgive. Home Depot’s only saving grace, at least for this area, is that their installers know what they are doing, and do good work.

* Term shamelessly stolen from Tam.

11 Responses to “No Office Move This Week Thanks to Home Depot”

  1. Andy B. says:

    I have had thing or two installed, not by Home Depot, but by their close by and comparable competitor, Lowes. My complaint is, I think all of those big box outfits operate on a somewhat “bait and switch” level. It somehow always costs A LOT more than the quote that drew you in, in the first place. To some extent that has been my own fault, because usually by the time I reach the point of realizing that, I’m in the mood to say “Screw whatever it costs, I just want this done and out of my hair.” But, there very clearly is a pattern of taking advantage of that.

    On the other hand, I have never had a complaint about the quality of work done by any of the contractors they utilize, and in one example they were four or five times faster doing a major job, than I had been led to believe it would take.

  2. Bitter says:

    I think it’s also telling that the installers had to request that Home Depot take this seriously and get the carpet to them quickly. Home Depot still won’t promise us any action until tomorrow. Even that isn’t a promise for action, it’s a promise that they might call us. Meanwhile, the installers have already bumped us up to their “hot” list for immediate installation, assuming that Home Depot ever gets them carpet to install.

    I should add that it’s not just some more flooring in the house. It’s the entire rest of the house – 3 more full floors, a half-size room space in the loft, and two more sets of stairs. All of that business is now going to local competitors.

  3. I had a similar experience with HD a few years ago. Great installers (because they’re local, small business private contractors), but nothing other than problems from HD from ordering to product quality. In fact, it’s been less than five years and I’m likely going to have to install another one because the product was so poor.

  4. FirstThere says:

    Sorry to inform you, but I nick-named HD the ‘Home Despot’ years ago…

  5. Windy Wilson says:

    a 7-8am window is nothing. The local Gas Company gave me a window of 7 am to 8 pm for coming to turn on the pilot light.
    That isn’t a window, it’s the Anaconda World’s Largest Open Pit Mine!

    • Bitter says:

      It wasn’t the one hour window that was the issue. It was the one hour window to receive a phone call to get a mutli-hour window for installation.

  6. The Noob says:

    Home Depot went down hill the moment that former CEO (his name escapes me at the moment) changed it to a Six Sigma organization and killed the customer service that put them in the top spot in the first place.

    Rule of thumb: if you’re interviewing for a job and they mention Six Sigma, thank them for their time and run. If you hear that your company is adopting Six Sigma, update your resume. It’s hell to work for and it’s hell as a customer. The only thing it does is temporarily improve the bottom line which makes stockholders happy for a little while.

  7. Flight-ER-Doc says:

    Lowes is better – when they screw up an install, you can usually argue with the installs office that they should fix it.