I've been defending somewhat the despot here and there in a few threads but
they screwed me pretty good today. I wanted a dozen packs of these
decorative tile strips, 3x12 inches made up of 3/4 in tiles of different
colors attached to a kinda fiberglass lath. Was gonna really put a nice
touch on the tile design for the kitchen floor.
They were out of stock so I did what they call a "will call". I paid for
the things in advance and they will set them aside when them come in and
Well, they didn't call. And they sold MY tiles (I had paid for them
already) to someone else. And here's the kicker. They don't plan on
getting any more of them.. ever.
Sooo I'm just gonna return all the tile I bought from them and buy it all
somewhere else. Yet another delay.
This pissed me off. They'll still get my business for incidentals. But
orders of things like tile, and doors, and windows etc. they just lost.
I'm realizing a key difference between pros and amateurs. Pros expect the
merchants to screw up royally, and plan accordingly I guess.
Incorrect assumption. Pros don't buy their tile at borgs. We
buy our tile at tile suppliers and if the order gets screwed
up, we get royally pissed because we expect that they will do
what they say.
Then we apologize for getting royally pissed when we discover
that the error was on our side and they really gave us what we
The "true pros" (with registered business names and tax IDs) *may* do
better at a tile (or electrical, or plumbing) supply company. But those
of us who are simply trying to fix our own homes will likely pay "List
Price" at these institutions: i.e, waaay more than we would at the borgs.
Perhaps some of the stuff the borgs sell is inferior, but perhaps some
of it came off the same production line as the stuff at Joe's Tile
Supplies but simply got packaged and labeled differently (and priced
lower because the borgs buy in such huge quantities).
Even if Joe's Tile Supplies and the borgs have identical brand-name
items, it's possible that JTS pays more for them than the borgs sell
them for, so JTS can't help but sell them for a higher price still. (But
the "true pros" may not care about the higher price if the service is
better, because they're going to pass the higher price on to their
On 05/14/05 12:50 am Robert Allison tossed the following ingredients
into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
Re tile; Not so much anymore. The tile houses know they need to compete
some, and most often do. Many any more have their parking lot sales,
etc. As was stated by several others in the thread, we find prices as
low or lower at the tile houses. YMMV
I had a problem once with a 12" floor tile that came from HD that wasn't
uniformly dimensional. I can't remember the mfg'er but it was a bitch
to set. I won't set floor tile from HD anymore. Also, they have a
limited range of other tile products, not just tile. And it's a fight
from start to finish to make decent time shopping and getting out of the
Is that worth a few more bucks, if that? Yep.
Service is important. I dare say most non-pro customers would rather
shop at a tile house rather than HD. They get personal service in
showrooms, recieve help co-ordinating colors and selections, even design
You're comparing apples and oranges.
Well, if money is the only determining factor in your world,
then go for the best price. But we as professionals know that
if the tile is not there when it is supposed to be, then the
tile guy will have to reschedule and it may not be when the
tile comes in, it may be when he can get back to your job.
Then you have to reschedule the appliances, the shower door
people, the plumbers,... In fact you will have to reshuffle
everyone a few days down the line a bit. They may have others
scheduled after the time they have alloted for your job so
they may not get there as quickly as you need them. Since the
appliances have arrived and cannot be installed because the
tile is not in, there is a greater chance of them being stolen
which leads to an insurance claim and further delays.
And since I can get tile more inexpensively at the tile place,
the few pennies extra that I would have had to pay at the borg
ends up costing me hundreds of dollars because they don't have
their act together.
Why not forward your post to the corporate district manager, and explain
that people are reading it worldwide, and that you want some kind of
compensation or consideration? He or she is not gonna want that kind of
negative publicity. You could also send the number and location of the store
involved, and your contact information. You might could make them ship in
the remaining tiles gathered from other distribution centers or stores, just
for the principle. Point out to them that they violated a sales agreement,
and that a lot of potential customers on the internet are awaiting the
outcome of the resolution. Corporate don't like their pants pulled down in
public, and they usually get in gear to defuse the situation.
I used to just walk out of places like that in a huff, but no more. Now
I go for the jugular. Don't show your ass, but be VERY firm.
Once I bought an insecticide sprayer from the Borg. It basically blew up in
my face, spraying poison directly into my nose, mouth, and eyes.
It was nasty, but nothing I needed to go to the hospital for. I called the
manager, and got the old, "Well, you need to talk to the manufacturer"
story. I called the manufacturer, and got even less satisfaction, with them
stating that I needed to box up the sprayer, and send it in with all sorts
I called the Borg, and asked what they were going to do to make things
right. They said that they would refund me on the sprayer, but nothing for
getting poison shot up my nose.
I consulted the local police laws regarding picketing. I was told that I
must stay on the sidewalk, that I could not impede any vehicular or
pedestrian traffic, that I could not go on the Borg's property, that I could
not shout and wave the sign into the street or onto the property, and that I
could not block in and out movements. I could not initiate any
conversations, but could answer questions if people asked me first.
I showed up one Saturday morning bright and early with my picket sign saying
"DANGER - DEFECTIVE GOODS." Within 30 minutes, I left with a $250 store
Picketing is entirely legal, but be sure you check with your local police.
Some jurisdictions require that you notify the company in writing that you
are going to picket and why. All will tell you what you can and can't do.
Be sure to stick to the rules they give you. Companies hate pickets in
front of their business, and it is a way to get fast relief when they won't
give you the time of day.
Remarkably the tile situation has been resolved. I simply talked to the
store manager, something I didn't have time for yesterday, and explained the
situation. They are going to special order these things for me and soak up
the extra cost themselves. I'm still delayed a bit since it will take a
week for these things to get here but it's better than starting from
I do believe however in the future I'm going to take the advice of one
responder and buy these kinds of things at stores that sell these kinds of
things rather than at a borg. Pretty sure that the time savings with not
having to deal with screw-ups will more than pay for any cost difference.
While I have installed floor tile purchased by others at Home Cheapo I
buy tile at any one of several tile supply houses in town. Far less
hassle, quicker, greater range of material and specialty items, etc.
Home Cheapo's primaery tile brand was Dal-Tile. I don't know if that is
still the case as I haven't looked in a long time. We have a Dal-Tile
pro center in town anyway, if that's what's specified for the job.
Ahhhhh, the old DalTile switcheroo.
I put in about 300 sf of French Quarter Mardi Gras DalTile. I priced it at
Home Depot. A friend of mine does tile work, and got it for a MUCH better
price at DalTile. When the work was done, I took the unused tile back to
Home Depot for a refund that was higher than what I paid.
I figured that was for the times they jerked me around, which has been more
I still do business with Home Depot, but get high blood pressure every time
I go there. Had to get some 3 1/2" x 3/8" bolts, and some 7/16" allthread
with nuts. They didn't have the bolts out there, so I started digging in an
unopened box of them. OH MY! Ms. Home Depot was fast to correct me. She
did tell me that the whole box of 25 was way cheaper than the 20 I was going
to buy, and I thanked her.
They didn't have any 7/16" - 14 nuts that I needed. They did have some that
were about half the thickness, but since I needed two together as jam nuts,
the thinner ones wouldn't work unless you have a very thin wrench to hold
the inside nut. Ended up going to Ace.
It's like they read your mind when you walk in, and some little person pulls
that stock behind before you get to the nuts and bolts aisle. Or whatever
it is you are looking for. A store full of stuff, but the bin you find with
your needed item is empty .......................
Buy ahead of time from http://www.mcmaster.com/ or just go to the real
hardware store first!
As a rule, I've found that in most instances, if you are in a Home
Depot or Lowes and think you need to ask someone for help or advice,
you are better off simply leaving and going to a real store to buy
whatever it may be you need.
I was looking for faucet seats one time. Went to Home Depot and
started looking for the bin full of sorted valve seats. There wasn't
one. I asked one of their orange aproned stooges where the valve seats
were and he indicated some small packages hanging nearby. I looked.
There were only two or three different ones. I asked where the rest of
them were. He said that was all that are made!!!!!
Home Depot is the McDonalds of home improvement. Carry second rate
goods, charge the customer more than it is worth, and make it all seem
ok by spending an outrageous amount for advertising to convince
everyone how good they really are.
Sure, there are some things I'll still go to Home Depot for. Not as
much as I used to since there are better outlets for most anything
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
It costs a lot to run that NASCAR rig, I would imagine. I would prefer that
they just give me better prices and better selection, but I guess it is more
profitable somehow to run a $200,000 race car into a retaining wall. I
guess I just don't understand big business.
Well, folks tend to get what they pay for. Wmart and Hdepot want to
sell everything. HD seems to have more experienced people on the
payroll nowadays - went shopping with a friend and asked a sales assoc.
for help. They couldn't answer question so went to get "the
electrician". Took 5 or 10 minutes. I used to shop at a nifty hardware
store, about 3,000 sq. ft., that had everything under the sun. Stacked
"somewhere". The old codgers who ran the place knew how to use
everything they sold. They earned a better living when they could sell
something you needed when you needed it. Down at the mart, they draw a
paycheck no matter what.
The guy down at the tile store or the locksmith or the owner of the
paint store have probably answered questions for two generations, if
they are still in business and not driven out because everyone buys
cheap and expects the best. Same deal in healthcare. Don't get me
I buy stuff at Lowes that my supply houses don't carry. Most stuff I
get comes from HVAC and electrical supply houses where I have accounts.
Better selection and service. The counter people know more and can
special order stuff faster. I get in & out faster. I also figure that
if I support the supply houses, they will be there when I need them.
If I just buy at Lowes and HD, the company that goes out of business
may be mine. I try not to beat my suppliers up on price, they have to
make a living too. They carry the stuff that I really need, in
quantity and the quality that I need. If you buy most of your stuff at
HD, pretty soon that will be your only choice. Then you can forget
about quality and selection and service and competition. They will
beat their suppliers into the ground, and all the good stuff will
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