Amazed at Box Store Apathy (long)

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I'm a long time (old) tile contractor. Often I pop into a local box store, whether HD or Lowes to get a little something in the tile dept. Generally I buy all serious purchaces from real tile distributors.
I'm amazed at the apathy in these box stores. If they would turn me loose in there I could make them a fortune. Customers are always wandering around aimlessly, hoping for some help while an employee or two ignore them, or poke around endlessly at their computer without ever looking up. Sometimes 4 or 5 employees are around, yet completely ignoring the customers.
In my experience of working for over a thousand people, I know that people usually are starving for help and ideas when I first meet them. Rarely do they fully know what they want. They need help with the rapidly changing trends and products, and help in selecting colors, styles, sizes, textures, setting materials etc etc. I love to help people, and in doing so they want to do business with me.
I have no idea why these large stores don't put at least one experienced old-timer in these departments to be a help to people. It seems to me they could make a fortune selling to customers who are so willing to buy there.
Even as I am just 'popping in' to make a quick purchace at these box stores, I always scout around to see if I can be of help to a person who looks like they really need it. I guess as a little one-man business, I care more about my trade and customers than these mamouth businesses.
Today I was at the business service desk at Lowes, trying to order for the 3rd time some metal roofing for my garage. The first time the order came in and was run over with a forklift, second time the re-order never got placed even though the clerk said he placed it, and now am waiting for the third order. As I waited there for service a woman came over and complained the she was trying to buy kitchen cabinets in the cabinet dept, but nobody was available to help her. She was pleading with them to have someone meet her there
to help her. This was right after I was in the tile dept. where a customer asked "are those 25 pound bags of grout the smallest you have"? The clerk answered, "yes, and we have 10 pound bags too."
Oh well.
thetiler
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http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=topicSelect&topic=contactUs
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Before I made this post I went to their website to complain (Lowes.com), but found that I had to fill in *all* the required fields (name, address, phone, e-mail etc.) in order to complain.
https://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=custSvcStoreFeedback&topic=customerService
I'm not interested in giving them all that information, just to complain. It is just another example of their arrogance.
The chances of the borg stores listening to customer feedback are about the same as the Bucs winning the super bowl this year. (p.s. the bucs just lost to Washington)
thetiler
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https://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=custSvcStoreFeedback&topic=customerService
No, i t is a way that they can eliminate the BS from a few people that would send hundreds of forms a day for fun. . Fill in the blanks with an X and it will work.
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https://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=custSvcStoreFeedback&topic=customerService
When you bitch, they send you coupons. Pretty big ones, too.
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ah... the joys of minimum wage. You do know what it means when an employer pays minimum wage, right? The unspoken message is: "If we could pay you less, we would"
That doesn't really attract quality help.
On the other hand, I HAVE been to some HD stores where there would be just such a helpful "old timer" as you describe. It's rare, but they do exist and it's usually a joy to speak to people who's vocabulary consists of more than: "duuude" and "huh?"
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Actually the HD and Lowe's in my area (South Jersey) pay WAY more than minimum wage. I don't know if that's the case elsewhere in the country. My wife worked there part-time years ago and I was surprised how much they paid...actually jealous because back then I worked for Channel Home Center and REALLY got paid minimum wage!
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What do you expect from a bunch of out-of-work brain surgeons and rocket scientists? It you want an expert who is polite and knowlegable, you will have to hire one and take him with you to the store.
thetiler wrote:

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In the last 20 years, I've been in a Home Depot and/or Lowes about 4 times. It always takes twice as long as other stores and for the time you waste, you don't save that much money. What I don't understand, is why do you continue to shop there. When you're in business, time is money.

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Unfortunately, for me and probably many others who continue to feed stores like HD, the only saving grace of these stores are the hours. I can go in there after work hours and get what I need for that evening or weekend project. Many local hardware stores have closed by the time I can get there.
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Next time you're at one of your "real" hardware stores, you should ask the manager or owner when they're having their going out of business sale. He'll look at you like you're crazy, and then you can explain that the store's hours are only appropriate for the unemployed who can visit any time of the day, before 5:00. My local hardware store's open till 7:00 Mon-Fri, except Thursday until 8:00. At least it's enough time to catch the majority of people who leave work by 6:00. Another store nearby was only open until 5:30. That store's gone.
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Yep.
The smaller stores complain that they're being underpriced.
Wrong.
I'll pay a little more for someone knowledgable to talk to, and, when I'm getting something I didn't think I needed for a weekend project, really, honestly, I'm not going to go price-shopping all over heck for it.
They've been out-houred more than under-priced.
Banks woke up and realized they couldn't have their famous "banker's hours" and close at 3:00 pm in the afternoon and changed all that. Hardware stores and suppliers are now finally 'getting it'.
Banty (been a little family outfit for skeighty eight years and had those hours for skeighty-eight years?? GOOD! You'll have been in the community for skeighty-eight years and should have some good connections as to who to hire to extend your hours!)
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Doug Kanter wrote:

That is only true to the extent that the hardware store caters to homeowners. The "real" hardware stores and suppliers that I use don't really care that much for "shoppers". They cater to people like me (general contractor) that may not even come to the store at all. I will call and say that I need 200 bolts of some kind and then have one of my helpers go and pick them up or just have them delivered. When I need plumbing supplies or electrical, I call my plumber or electrician. When I need lumber, I fax a list to my "real" lumberyard and they deliver it. For those of us that are "unemployed" and do this for a living, the hours are just fine. Except for those times that we have failed to PLAN AHEAD and have to run to home depot for something just because it is open.
When that hardware store goes out of business, then you will HAVE to rely on the borgs, where you will have to special order anything but the most commonly used items.
I will admit that alot of stores have closed due to competition. If it were not for us "unemployed" contractors and service people, they would probably be long gone already.
Just to give you an example; I am a small general contractor. Since it is the end of the year, I can tell you that I have spent about $26,000 at the borgs. Compared to about $240,000 at "real" lumberyards, hardware stores, and other suppliers. As long as we are here, they may have a chance to survive.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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You know what I meant. Another example: There's a store here, Calico Corner, which sells custom window coverings. Open 10 to 5:30, all weekdays. It obviously caters to stay-at-home ladies who have nothing better to do. If you have an 8 to 5 kind of job, you're supposed to tell your boss you need 3 hours off to go curtain shopping??
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Real men don't go curtain shopping ;-)
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Nothing better to do? I hope you are not serious.
My wife would be at the store during those hours if she wanted to be. Meantime, she also ran her own successful business and raised two kids.
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wrote in message

There are still women around who stay home and do a lot of nothing, just because hubby's making a boatload of money, so wifey doesn't need to work. I don't like the image, either, but it is NOT a fantasy of mine.
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That's because you lack imagination. Running a household properly is one of the more complicated and directly rewarding jobs known to humankind. It does not, unfortunately, generate a lot of cash. The only problem with many home-makers is that they haven't got the slightest idea what to do with the situation they find themselves in, (or, in some cases, that they should do anything at all.)
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Oh, I know. I'm doing it alone (divorced). It's satisfying, but a pain in the ass sometimes. I spent 2 years in an apartment after the separation. I told a number of friends "Gotta get outta this apartment ASAP. I need a garden again, and I enjoy working on a house". Be careful. Sometimes you get what you asked for. Like this week: What should've been a 20 minute faucet washer replacement, for a total of 50 cents plus the little package of packing cord, has turned into a nightmare because the previous owner stripped half the fittings. Luckily, I have a plumbing store from heaven about 10 minutes away, where they always have all the answers, and every part known to man, even for really old houses. But still...I was planning on being a slob on the couch tomorrow. I guess not.
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What it does, if done well, is _save_ a lot of cash. Not as bovious, but rewarding finacially none the less.
John
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Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC\'d posts are unwelcome.
Mean People Suck - It takes two deviations to get cool.
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