1. Had a kitchen remodel planned by HD (but we were planning to do the
installation ourselves). They misread their own drawing and supplied a
countertop that was 2 1/2" short. BUT they replaced it very quickly by
one the right size, and we got to keep the wrong-size one, which we cut
into sections and used in other places.
2. Ordered a new water heater to be supplied and installed by HD. They
delivered the next day, and the installation was quick, but when I
looked at it afterwards I could not see how they could possibly have
installed it the way they did without heating the plastic dip tube,
which I understand is a no-no. But maybe I am misunderstanding what they
actually did. We moved away soon afterwards, and there were no problems
during the time we were still there.
I live within walking distance of a Home Depot and a Lowe's, and the
Home Depot is a lot better. At Lowe's I've experienced know-nothing
employees, like the one who worked in the plumbing dept. since the
store opened who asked another employee, "Do we have something called
'copper fittings'?" And when my A/C broke and I needed a window unit,
three employees in a row couldn't find a single A/C in the store. The
Lowe's store manager is a jerk who only cares about the bottom line (I
heard him boast of sales increases when a customer complained).
I've read that Home Depot wants to decrease the amount of employee
training. That would be a big mistake.
Which seems to be one of the better ones in Montgomery County. The
Silver Spring HD, near Cherry Hill Rd., is one of the worst, getting
junkier by the day, and one has to be desperate to go to the HD on
Shady Grove Rd.. The few Lowes in the area (Gaithersburg, Laurel) are
neater and better stocked.
It would be a shorter list if I could mention the good experiences at
our local HD. Like the time I happened in last year and found the
stainless steel BBQ grills on sale half price. :>) And I needed one.
So did my son-in-law and a neighbor. We all got good deals that day.
But it is sad. We knew it was going to happen. Don't know how it
could have been prevented. HD comes in to town with low, low prices
and huge selections, and drives most all the Mom and Pop hardware
stores out of business. Then the prices start creeping up and there
are no bargains to be found anymore.
Went there yesterday to buy the endcaps for a shower curtain rod.
$2.22 each. Most all sizes, $2.22 each. Can't tell me there is $2.22
worth of material, labor, and marketing cost in one end cap. I didn't
care what the extra gas cost, but I wasn't going to pay almost $5 for a
pair of shower curtain rod end caps. Went to one of the few remaining
Mom and Pop hardware stores in the area, which I considered overpriced
compared to HD, and found a set (2) for $2.99. Score one for the
I'm retired. Time isn't that important. And I have principles. I'm
not going to buy overpriced garbage at HD. The Mom and Pop store is
one mile from my house. The cost of gas is negligible, especially
considering it is next to a grocery store, and I had to pick up some
food there anyway. But I knew some nitpicker would comment on the
added cost, that's why I stated I didn't care about the extra gas to go
to another store.
Went to buy a fan in mid-july.
Was told they were out of stock, and they weren't ordering more because
it was past the season.
OK, Ok, I'm fibbing a little. This happened at Lowesers, not home
I have not had a "single" bad experience. But, I have returned items
that were of low quality or poorly constructed. Never had a problem
returning an item. HD won't "deal" on more expensive items such as a
$600 Honda lawn mower and for that I buy elsewhere to save $$$.
Chronically being poorly stocked and having to spend Saturday morning
driving from one HD to another to find some mundane thing like satin
Shopping carts that invariably have problems with the wheels and make a huge
racket on their concrete floors.
I could go on and on about how I hate Home Depot.
some seasonal sales people have zip idea what they are doing.
had one jerk blow me off I had the manager called for his attitude/
in general its a good experience, although fortunately theres still one
old time hardware store close by...
Went to the plumbing section and asked if they carried PEX materials. The
answer I got was "No, they only use that stuff on mobile homes."
"Thanks for your support asshole".
I don't shop there unless I can't help it.
Ordered $21,000 worth of their high end cabinets. I had to pay 100% up
front, and two of the cabinets were badly damaged in shipping. It took
more than 16 weeks for the replacements to come in. Same order, the
kitchen designer made a mistake, and two cabinets showed up in the wrong
size -- told us that there would be no problem returning them for a credit.
After a huge amount of pain and frustrating phone calls, I still have two
My new rule for HD is: if you can't carry it out with you, don't buy from
HD. They just don't have any financial incentive to fix up errors once
they have all their money in hand.
Let's take a moment to remember how HD was able to get so big so fast. Go
back in time ~20 years. You need a special fitting to fasten some piece of
your house to some other piece of your house. You go to your local hardware
store and head for the counter to talk to the guy who dispenses this stuff.
There's no discernible line anywhere at the counter, but it's surrounded by
the guy's contractor buddies, who are milling around, smoking cigarettes,
and telling dirty jokes among themselves and occasionally transacting some
business. The guy at the counter ignores you for as long as he can, but
eventually you make a determined effort to make eye contact with him, so he
decides everyone would be more comfortable if he gets you out of there.
Counter guy: What do you want?
You: Umm. I need a connector for a frammitz device. It's made by Acme inc.
The label says it's part number ncc-1701.
Counter guy: Is that an inside fitting or an outside fitting?
You: Huh? How can I tell?
(Contractor buddies all laugh.)
Counter guy: Here's the pictures. Which one is it?
You: Well, it doesn't look like either of these. It's green, and kind of
(Contractor buddies all laugh.)
Counter guy: Must be an outside fitting. They haven't made inside fittings
in 30 years. Is it type 31A or ddb lzmdc ouaejk?
You: Well... I just know the part number.
Counter guy: Listen kid, when you know what you want, come back and we'll be
able to help you.
(Counter guy and contractor buddies resume what they were doing.)
Consider also what happened when you needed lumber. This time, somehow you
are prepared and know what you wanted. You negotiate the deal at the counter
and guy tells you to bring your truck out to the yard. You know right away
you're going to get laughed at when you show up with a car. The yard man
shows up 20 minutes after you pull in. He goes way back in the yard and
comes back with the wood. Of course, he selects the pieces and they are all
warped and cracked. If you complain, he sneers that that's all they have and
you can take it or leave it. Now you have to decide whether to face the
counter guy again (and get the same treatment when you try to buy at a
different hardware store) or just settle for what he gives you.
Meanwhile, the Home Depot opened up at the other end of town. The
contracting business was kind of slow (that's why all those contractors had
time to hang out at the counter at the hardware store). Home Depot offered
jobs to these contractors. They didn't pay all that well, but it was steady
work, indoors, with benefits. All they had to do was be courteous and
helpful with the customers. If you weren't sure what you wanted, the clerk
would listen to your whole story, tell you what you needed to know to make
sure you got the right part, and probably give you loads of advice on the
best way to do the job. It didn't take long for the homeowners to decide to
take their business to Home Depot.
Over the years, Home Depot became big and prosperous, and the stockholders
demanded that they squeeze out more profits, so they had to cut back on
expenses, meaning buying cheaper goods and paying the help less. The
contracting business picked up, and all the contractors they had hired (the
good ones anyway) went back to contracting. The only help left were the
losers or the oldtimers and idealists who were still clinging in vain to the
dream of a place where customers and staff interacted in harmony. Some of
the neighborhood hardware stores eventually got their act together, but
performance was inconsistent, so most homeowners just accepted what they got
at HD, since by this time, they were conditioned to the Big Box store
Getting back on topic, my worst HD story was almost comical. I needed some
gravel to spread around on the ground under my deck. Over the course of
several months, I visited various HD stores and for at least 10 consecutive
visits, the gravel section was always closed. They always had the forklift
or something in there that made it necessary to close it off. Eventually the
curse was broken and I got my gravel, but i was starting to wonder if it was
Mine wasn't at one, but arguing with a customer about an electrical
installation. The customer who claimed he was educated by a Home
Depot employee who said he was an electrician.
Couldn't believe I had to fight to get the two 'hots' off the same
phase, in a multi-conductor circuit. I had to draw two pictures
explaining how they could be overloading the neutral and resulting in
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