Good HD experience

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I live in a rural area and the nearest "shopping" town is 20 miles away. The town has a Lowes and a Home Depot. The Lowes was there first, so I got into the habit of shopping there and continued to do so after the HD opened about 5 years ago.
Last week, on a whim, I decided to try the HD when I needed some lumber for a barn repair I was working on. HD had two grades (higher and lower) of the lumber I needed. Since this was a barn repair, the lesser grade would work well, but there wasn't enough of it. I asked the department manager if they had any more in stock. He checked and said no, but they would have a delivery in two days and suggested I come back then.
I told him that I was in the middle of a project and that it was a 40 mile round trip. He said "no problem", just take the higher grade lumber and he would charge me the lower-grade price.
I was impressed with that. At Lowes, I wouldn't have been able to even find a manager. I'm a HD fan now.
Lowes and HD may not be perfect, but they are way better than the "mom and pop" rip-off store that they thankfully put out of business.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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On 11/7/2011 8:06 AM, Caesar Romano wrote:

Mom & pop "rip off"? I can go to the local lumber yard and buy better quality lumber for less. No need to sort through stacks of low quality "utility grade" (or whatever it is called) at the big box. I asked the local place why and she told me it isn't by accident. They order better quality.
Last time I needed a quantity of lumber I emailed her my list. Next day it was in the driveway at no additional charge and every piece was good. Neighbor is a big box cheerleader and he saw the lumber and remarked "you must have been all day at the "depot" picking this out".
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Caesar Romano wrote:

Hi, In my neighborhood shopping complex HD and Lowes face each other across a road. Often I visit both outfits same day browsing, comparing prices and buying some things I need.
At HD price is lower than Lowes, staff members are friendly willing to help. At Lowes most prices are higher than HD staffs often gather around chit-chatting not paying attention to customers in need of some help. Do not feel like spending money there.
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I shop all over for materials, most times if I need any quantity, I often buy at wholesalers rather than retailers.
Recently I wanted some Trex deck material, Lowes was $6.50 per 12 foot piece more than our local Rona (a Canadian not so big box home center) for 18 pieces. I also needed some 12 foot pieces of 2 x 10 red cedar. HD and Lowes don't carry 2 x 10s, a large local lumber yard had it, good price, but better lumber than I have ever found at HD or Lowes. It was straight, hardly any knots, no rough areas, no bark edges, plus delivered at no extra charge.
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Home Depot in pittsburgh has rolled out the latest in security.:(
monitors with cameras every 20 to 30 feet, showing me on a monitor as i walk down the aisles, flashing a red message on the camera you are being recorded, with a annoying beep from the monitor and a small strobe light flashing every 30 seconds or so....
of course the store has little help, this attempt to prevent retail theft has added home depot to my select list of places not to shop at......
more employees would equal less theft
i now go to lowes.
the home depot would have less theft and better customer service if they had staff in the store.......
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You think will all those cameras and monitors, they could install a couple of "help needed" buttons?
--
Dan Espen

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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote in writes:

must be a high theft neighborhood.
the time to worry is when there's a laser spot tracking on you!

maybe you just have to wave at the camera? for sure,if you make them think you're pocketing their wares,you'll get "helped".
or if you fake a medical emergency.... :-)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

My HD has "Help Needed" buttons. Not long ago, in the tool section, I poked one. A red light flashed. A beeper went off. Everything by a steam calliope playing the Star Spangled Banner! In a nonce a orange-bedecked employee appeared! You won't believe what happened next.
He turned off the beeper and walked away!
That's exactly what he did; he turned off the beeper and walked away.
I follwed him to the key-making desk and asked what that was all about. His response: "We are under strict orders to respond to calls for assistance right away."
"I don't think you're grasping the bigger picture here," I replied.
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One of HB's NOLA refugees, undoubtedly.
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No monitors in the Pittsburgh, pleasant hills store. Monitors says they can't handle theft on their own.
I prefer Lowe's generally, but farther away.
Often I prefer the local Busy Beaver because they have stuff on sale, their hardware assortments are lightyears ahead of The Home Depot. I get good service, ands it's faster to maneuver. Security is minimal.
Greg
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On 11/7/2011 9:50 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

I've found the variances in customer service are due the management and there can be a big difference in the same name store from one side of the city/county to the other. A good general manager will cultivate a staff that lives for customer service and those are the locations I'll do business with. ^_^
TDD
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wrote Re Re: Good HD experience:

I didn't notice any cameras or monitors, but I wasn't looking for them.
--
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you cant miss these at just below eye level beeping and flashing and very irritating espically with no employees around.....
they need help buttons and more important the staff to respond to them.
HD here stocks only at night when closed, and has cut staff so low its basically a big box saying please steal from us
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wrote Re Re: Good HD experience:

No, definitely didn't see any such cameras around. And there were lots of employees asking if I needed any help finding something.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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wrote:

I'm glad you are happy, but - - -
It all depends on the store and manager. I've been to a bunch of both stores and some are good, others suck. I can't say that one is better than the other overall.
As for the mom and pop stores, some were rip off, others are great. Reasonable prices and great service. I used to live near one like that. I'd go in and tell the owner "I'm going down to cut some pipe". Half hour later I'd take my cut and threaded pieces to the counter and pay a fair price. Try that at the big box stores.
We have a smallish regional chain of Aubuchon Hardware stores around here (New England). The typical store size is probably 1/10th the size of the big guys, but they always have the odd ball part you need.
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Re Re: Good HD experience:

Yes, I think you are right about that. I've only been to this small-town HD and one down in Tampa FL. The Tampa HD was awful.

Also very true. Unfortunately our former local (one and only) family owned store used it's only-guy-in-town position to charge outrageous prices and provide poor service. At that time (15 years ago) the nearest alternative was 40 miles away. When Lowes, and then HD, came to town the family joint lasted about 1 year and then closed.
They hand never built customer loyalty.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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Agreed, but it seems to be a regional thing (not just a single store). I shop at the Lowes here more than 75% of the time.

When I was in VT, the local lumber yard left their PT lumber in the mud. Not only was the stuff a mess to work with but it looked like pretzels. Some of their molding was quite nice, since they kept it inside but it was *very* pricey. The finally went out of business. No loss.

I never liked the (then) local Aubuchons, though they were the only game in the neighborhood. A Lowes opened up a couple of miles from where I used to live, so I doubt I'd ever go to Aubuchons, were I still living there. There only choice here is HD or Lowes, though.
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Nope. Grossmans wasn't all that bad. I don't remember the name of the place, offhand, but it was the one at the five-corners in Essex Junction. I think it's a latte shop now. ;-)

No more Nothern Tool, either, I noticed. We moved from EJ four years ago but were back on vacation in June.
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That's the one!

It damned well should have. They had crap and treated their customers like it.

Their store wasn't worth much before. I liked it a little better than the Aubuchon's across the street, but not by much. Aubuchon's (neither one in EJ) was "pushed out" by HD. Flanders and Gabby's deserved to lose.

Rice was outrageous and didn't like dealing with homeowners. It was too far from me to be of use anyway.

It was the usual 72F here. It's been nice since mid-September and probably will be for another six or eight weeks. ;-) Then well get whacked with Winter (four weeks cold as bad as 35F-50F). The natives will be in their fur coats. ;-)
My wife is not about to move back North.
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Caesar Romano wrote:

It's the luck of the draw whenever you shop. The lumber is graded but varies a lot, the employees, it's variable as to who shows up for work on what day and what they had for breakfast and if their football team won or lost the big game. And finally there is always the latest company idea how best to serve their customers, whatever best might be. It is what it is, nothing more. You don't get much in the way of help when paying minimum wages with few benefits. I don't know if they are still doing it but at Lowe's once the checker had 5 or 6 people stacked up, and was looking through a catalog for some kind of knobs or something, they had implemented a policy of the checkers ordering special items or something like that, so the customers wouldn't have to go to the service desk. Whatever.... it's the system.
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