How about this story:
My friend wanted to get something in the decorating dept at HD. I wandered
over to the kitchen faucet display. Kid shows up and starts telling me all
about faucets and that a specific one was really good. I asked him how he
knew about the faucet (did he have one, did he install them for someone
etc). His replay that the manufacturer's reps come to the store and show
videos. So his "knowledge" was simply to parrot what he had seen in a
marketing video. Given the salaries paid by HD I can't imagine more than a
few people really know anything other than what they have been told.
I've had, from time to time, reason to complain about EVERY diy store in the
area...HD, Lowes, Sutherlands, Payless Cashways (reaching back a bit there),
I've found frustration with ALL of them. I've learned, though, which stores
to visit for which purposes, which salespeople to avoid (most of them), and
which to talk to (a few gems). I can get just about any project done with a
minimum of fuss.
Hope you didn't pay Network Solution's price for that domain name.
William Morris, Tailor
Just wanted to post a quick reply, as I have had much experience with
HD locationss that suck, and others that are amazing.
I am a DIY rehabber of houses in Baltimore City, and live in Harford
County, north of the city. I am a regular shopper of 3 different home
depots, and have been to plenty others.
There's one in Baltimore City at Hillen Rd and McClean Blvd that just
completely sucks. The store is laid out poorly, the floor staff has
no idea what they are talking about, and the cashiers make it clear
that they hate the fact that you are there. I went in there once to
get some 22/4 wire, and I literally spent 15 minutes explaining to the
guy who was in charge of the electrical department that 22/4 wire DOES
exist, and furthermore, they DO sell it! Finally he left for a minute
and I was able to find it myself and showed it to him when he came
back. SO I told him I wanted 60 feet of the 22/4 I showed him, and he
started rolling up some 22/2 for me. Meanwhile someone was shouting
over the intercom system "[this guy's name], 420!" over and over and
over. Doesn't take much thought to figure that one out.
On the other extreme is the Bel Air Home Depot. This place is
amazing. They have real plumbers and real electricians working!
These people KNOW what they are talking about, and can help you find
anything you need. There's a fellow there named Perry who I am
convinced has the right answer for every problem.
Also, how about the Oops paint rack, where I have been able to paint
an entire house with great neutral colors and a few less neutral
colors for $5 a gallon or $15 for 5 gallons. The place is clean and
very well stocked, and they have a HUGE selection of everything. The
electrical department alone is two aisles, not including the wire,
interior lighting, or exterior lighting departments. Unless you're
still walking around the store 5 minutes after they close, all of the
staff is very friendly, and there are quite a few very sttractive
young ladies who work there as well. All around a great place!
That's why I'm there almost every day.
There's a HD in Edgewood too, but it's nothing special. It's less
clean and the staff isn't quite as knowledgable.... but it's not at
all a bad place to shop. Based on the posts here I would consider the
Edgewood location to be an "average" HD store.
Just wanted to add my experiences, as I have had the opportunity to be
both very impressed and appalled by home depot stores.
I always go to Ace hardware or Osh before going to Borg. But I always end
up going to Borg because they have what I want. There is one near me in
Oakland. CA but I don't go there because it's over run by contractors and
their trucks. I go to the one in Richmond about 5 miles away. One thing I
hate about shopping there is the big lines at the checkouts. Well last
weekend I saw that they had self checkout counters. While most of the
zombies were standing in line the self CO registers were free. I just
walked up, scanned my item, slid my card through and I was outta there. The
Borg is growing on me.
I think many of the problems with HD are store dependant. I
think the Bolingbrook, IL store is one of the cleanest and
uncluttered HD stores around. I have visited 2 HDs closer to
Chicago, and they are just terrible; stuff all over the place,
dirty, shelves in total disarray.
Here's my story from yesterday. I went to HD to order some
windows to replace 27 year old units that had seal (between the
2 panes) problems. I had infinite problems dealing with Menards
and Anderson Customer Service and several other lumber/window
companies. No one knew how to order the windows and what the
final product would look like. Anderson frustrated my so much
that I hung up on them during my last conversation. At "my" HD
the millwork guy (Austin) did a great job, knew his product and
knew how to order it. I placed the order and put the ~$1000 on
my HD credit card where I could pay it off in 6 months interest
free. I didn't have my new HD credit, however, their system
still took my old one. When I got home and looked for the new
credit card, I found a coupon for 10% off (up to $2000). I
called, they told me to come in and bring in the coupon, which I
did. They credited my account with the $100 with no problem.
Part of the problem (as I see it) is options. And as the average
DIY'er, Home Depot, Menards, Lowes make perfect sence because those
are our options.
We (speaking for the gerneral masses) do not know of a better place to
shop that will sell to the gerneral public. So we will have no other
place to go other than a big chain because we, Joe Handyman, needs the
wide open isles and displays. Since we don't know of or have access
to a real lumbayard, or wholesale supply shop.
I went into a true electrical supply shop where there is no showroom,
just an order desk. I was over my head, and I didn't know what I
needed. But at home depot where there are displays I can see my
options, I can figure out what is best. If the local shops
adverstised and was more customer friendly, I give them the business.
That's why we all trade our secrets/tips here on the web. We trade
tips because no one wants to see someone else get screwed as we did.
And in turn we get tips from here. It sucks paying $0.40 for a
plastic spacer, or $0.89 for three screws in a baggie.
We do it, because we do not know better.
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