It was a hot day here in the Mountains and, for once, I didn't feel rushed.
I decided to pick up 12 feet of inexpensive pine corner bead and work my way
to the front of the store.
As expected - 11 of the 12 checkouts were unmanned, err - un-personed. But
our HD is replete with four brand-spanking-new high-tech Self Service
Checkouts all designed to speed the process and make your shopping an
Well - molding (moulding) is sold by the foot and the machines will not
trust you to key in the length. So, you'll be forced to queue on the
And that's precisely what happened in this case. Register 3 was offline.
Register 1 was serving someone who also needed attendant intervention. I was
on Register 2 and the eldery folks on Register 4 were having a devil of a
time. The attendent, understandably so, was occupied on 4.
My wait was about 2 minutes. Again - it was a slow day, so no big deal.
My point was it was a learning experience for me: I wondered if the machine
would ask me for the footage. It didn't. Now I know.
I won't use them. I look at it this way. The cashier gets paid to
wait on me. If they want me to wait on myself, they should give me a
discount for the money they save on the cashier not doing it.
can't comment on the price question, but thus far, I have not seen any
speed-up in being able to check out with self-serve. Problem is that
the self-serve doesn't handle long items well at all, since when I go to
HD, I'm usually getting at least one thing that is long, I don't get to
Self serve is a way for them to reduce complaints about the abysmal quality
of their clerks.
Last night GF and I bought 2 sheets 1/2" green board, 2 sheets 5/8
greenboard, 4 sheets Durarock, 1 sheet 3/8" plywood and some screws. I told
her to beware of him charging us for 4 sheets of 5/8 greenboard while I went
to the tool corral and drool. Sure enough, he charged for 4 sheets of 5/8".
She didn't notice till it was charged. She was told to walk all the way to
the other end of the store to get her credit back. I come back and while
she's gone, the clerk decides to call more customers over. There had been no
words up to that poiint. I wheel the heavy cart towwards the dooor to get
the cart out of the way of the other paying customers and the clerk tells me
in no uncertain terms that I shouldn't dare go through that door because she
hasn't yet paid for 2 sheets of 1/2 inch. Sorely tempted to tell him to go
do something to himself, I instead remind him that he made the mistake here
and she had indeed paid too much money already for what we had on that cart,
but fine, I leave the cart in everybodies way because there is no other
place without crossing the magical outside line. As GF finally comes back,
he walks off, right by her, down an isle and disapears without a word. Went
on break, the clerk next to him says. So, GF goes to that clerk and trys to
get help in now paying for the 2 sheets of 1/2. By this time I say screw em
and take the sheets outside to load. The second clerk is not interested and
tells GF to go stand in line. Christ. Little wonder HD has inventory
problems because they now have 2 sheets of 1/2" greenboard unaccounted for.
GF is now firmly convinced her time is better spent dring 30 miles further
to the new Lowes. To hell with HD.
I gotta agree with you about HD's customer service (or lack thereof) attitude.
I've been going to HD since it opened in San Jose. One of them is 4 blocks from
my house, so I'm in there all the time. But when I can't find anyone to help
me, driving about 35 -40 miles to Lowe's (brand new) in Gilroy is VERY
tempting. I've been to it once, and was very impressed with how much more stuff
they had. Whether or not their customer service is any better remains to be
seen. I doubt it could be any worse than the local HD. When I asked for
someone to cut a piece of molding, the nearest employee lamented that they are
short staffed. No wonder I feel like I've hit the lottery if I get someone to
help me when I'm having trouble locating an item, or when I need something cut.
One time I was in HD and saw a couple of "associates" standing around
in front of the tool corral. One of them had helped me find something
earlier in my visit, so I was pretty happy with them. Then a manager
type walked by and told them to stop hanging around in the aisles and
find some way to look busy. Well, I went up one side of him and down
the other, explaining that I, as a customer, WANTED them to hang
around in the aisles, so that I could find them when I needed help,
and if he forced them to do busy-work just to "look good", it would
only piss me off.
When I left they were still standing there ;-)
if you are referring to the Walmart in South SJ, I agree: it's the worse one
I've been in. But I still go there with SWMBO. Sometimes they even have
Hostess Raspberry Filled Donuts in stock! (But not often...)
Tim Douglass wrote:
Same location: Southern San Jose. I typically head to HD every week
or two. Typically with a list of 10 to 20 items, usually a weird mix.
At the various area HDs, I typically find 2/3 of the stuff I want; the
rest is just out of stock. This means that I typically have to visit
3 or 4 stores to get everything I need.
So I've completely given up on Home Depot, and I take the 1/2 hour
drive down to Gilroy, and go to Lowe's. Nearly everything is in stock
there. The selection is not significantly better or worse than HD,
but they simply stock much better. Also, they are much more friendly
and helpful. And everything is extremely well organized, and neat and
Here's the huge difference: HD has been pretty much a monopoly for
serious home improvement shopping in the Bay Area, in particular since
OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) has been going rapidly downhill since
they were taken over by Sears. HD has gotten incredibly lazy:
Stocking, customer service, cutting, special orders, cleanup,
neatness, speed of the lines (including the self-checkout, which
works, but with all the teething problems is just as slow as waiting
for a human checker) all of that is just a complete desaster at HD.
Since Lowe's is brand-new, and trying to break into the market, they
are really giving it the extra effort. This makes all the difference
in the world. I'll probably spend a few hundred $ there this evening.
By the way, I can't wait until Lowe's opens the new store that is
planned to be built at the corner of Hwy 85 and Cottle road (near the
IBM/Hitachi site). Then it will be right next to where I work.
The address in the header is invalid for obvious reasons. Please
reconstruct the address from the information below (look for _).
Theres been number of things, plumbing parts, pool chlorine, some plants,
other things I don't remember. I think I bought a ballast that was the same
price as Lowes too. Dewalt tools are about the same price I noticed. Id pay
a little more anyway just because the experience is so much more pleasant.
I read an recent article in a financial magazine, that the new CEO of Home
Depot tried to cut costs to bring up the stock price. He eliminated many of
the Full Time professional contractor types, which were making decent money,
and hired a bunch of part time young people (cheap). Also, he cut down on
the number of items stocked as well as a reduction of the inventory on hand.
Needless to say, the idea has backfired. They started to quickly loose
market share to Lowes because people where getting tired of not finding the
product or the help they were once used to.
They said they are moving more towards their original business model to
improve customer satisfaction. Time will tell.
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