Home Depot Inc Investor Shopping Experiences

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006 | Stock Research with 14 Comments

I recently had a terrible shopping experience at both Home Depot Online and at my local Home Depot (HD) store. I was a bit surprised at how bad my customer experience was. However, I’m not the only investor to have had a bad experience. The Dividend Guy also had a bad experience at Home Depot and shared his feelings on his blog, where he writes:

“It was probably the worst shopping experience I have ever had. I went in for one particular item that was featured in their weekly flyer. You would think that if it was in the flyer that had just come out the store would be prepared to sell it and make it relatively easy to find. 20 minutes later and 4 sales associates later the item was finally tracked down. I grabbed 6 of the items and headed to the check out. The 2 staffed lanes and the 2 self-checkout that were open (the other 3 were ‘down’) were about 10 people deep each. Already delayed with a wife waiting for me to pick up dinner I said to hell with it and left. I was fuming.”

I had similar story with Home Depot. I recently had one of my worse online shopping experiences of all time with Home Depot Inc. I tried to order a patio set and gas grill back in March from the Home Depot website since it was offering free shipping this spring for patio sets. After almost 4 weeks I got the patio set, but it was missing the unbrella and base. Home Depot also cancelled my grill order.

Then I spent over 1 hour on the phone with them to correct the problem. Another month passes and I call them up. They inform me that no umbrellas or bases are available from their online store and maybe I could get it from one of their brick and mortar stores. I relent and agree to that if they can call up my local store and put it on reserve.

The local store refused the Home Depot Online customer service reps’ request and indicated there were only two more umbrella sets in the store. I raced off to the store to get it, and none of the employees at my local store (AKA DC Sniper Home Depot) would help me find the items, so I had to climb up on one of their ladders to get it myself! I should have fallen and sued them.

The good news is that they double credited my account for the umbrella and base, so I ended up getting back an extra $200. I guess this is why Warren Buffett sold off his shares of Home Depot. I wonder how Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) is doing? Hmm…

Home Depot is one potential wide moat company that I’m taking off my watch list until they resolve their customer service issues.

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Comments

  • WEB sold off his HD shares? I guess I haven’t been following BRK closely as of late. Quite frankly, I am not surprised. I was more surprised when BRK disclosed they had bought HD. I also expressed doubts about WMT back in Dec last year. I wonder if WEB still likes WMT.

    Jim Chan May 24th, 2006 at 9:57 pm
  • The Lowe’s experience is pretty darned good. I find the Home Depot packed with merchandise, aka cluttered, lookin’ 1993 in 2006.

    Roy Schroeder May 27th, 2006 at 10:35 pm
  • have been in the box for 9 years and have seen HD whither away. They know how crappy their company has become. Its just a matter of time till their the next Builders Square! so sad to see a guy so messed up in the head ruin so many good people’s lives.

    curt alan November 11th, 2006 at 2:20 am
  • read there gift card policy

    Gift Cards, Gift Certificates, and Store Credit cannot be exchanged or returned for cash, credit or cheque.

    The Home Depot reserves the right to request valid identification prior to accepting merchandise for a return.

    The Home Depot reserves the right to limit or refuse to accept the return of certain merchandise at any time and for any reason.

    The Home Depot will only accept the return of merchandise purchased from “The Home Depot” store.

    Items purchased at a U.S. Home Depot may not be returned in Canada.

    Purchases made with a Customer Agreement must be returned to the same location in which it was purchased. See Special Services Desk for details.

    * Home Depot may issue a cheque for refunds over $1,000 (cheques are mailed from Home Depot’s Store Support Center in Atlanta, GA).

    Effective August 2004

    unhappy shopper January 31st, 2007 at 11:40 pm
  • Sorry to everyone who had a bad experience. Although if you base your assumptions on only one of out 2200 stores, then I can see your experience being horrible. Your local store should have taken care of you.

    We try everyday to help customers. My store is clean and organized. We don’t always succeed but we try hard. If you are ever in Colorado come check out our HD stores. They are much better than in other places!

    Paul November 1st, 2007 at 10:18 pm
  • Hi Paul, thank you for sharing a comment about Home Depot’s in Colorado. It’s it is interesting to hear that Home Depot’s are clearer and more organized in Colorado. Why do you think the quality of Home Depot’s varies so much?

    I did recently revisit my local Home Depot. I found it to be much less crowded than it had been in the past. While that might not be good for business, it was a more pleasant shopping experience. The employees also seemed much more willing to help and even offered to assist customers when they looked confused.

    Has Home Depot been taking efforts at the corporate level to improve stores and the customer experience?

    George November 1st, 2007 at 10:44 pm
  • I want to share with you, another happy experience while shopping at HOME DEPOT. I was in the garden section to purchase a large number, of very heavy bags of mulch.Due to my knee replacements, I should not lift over 20 lbs. A very nice lady, by the name of connie, helped me load up, check out, and place in my suv. She shook my hand, and thanked me for shopping at HOME DEPOT. Why would I ever ROAM when I can get super prices and great service at HOME.

    jack blink May 9th, 2008 at 3:07 pm
  • I went to Auburn HD store with the their valid weekly ad. Their computer showed higher price than that in the ad. The sales person would not respect the ad price and the manager on duty was rude and said this ad expired , even though it clearly stated valid through 09/03/2008 in Auburn store.

    Who is lying here? The store manager or the weekly ad ?

    Batman September 4th, 2008 at 12:07 am
  • We ordered a Patio Heater from Home Depot as a part of their online Black Friday sale. Site took the information and processed the order.
    Now today, 12/4, they cancelled the order. No explanation (it “is no longer available” is NO explanation).
    They knew how many of these they had to sell. It isn’t very hard for a shopping system to be told how many are available to sell and when that number has been reached, then don’t except orders. If we knew they didn’t have any online we might have driven the 30 miles at 4 in the morning on Black Friday to see if we could one. But since the system processed our order, we didn’t.
    Now, I’m NEVER going to drive it again. Lowe’s is only 25 miles.
    We purchase things for projects at our church, maybe $1000 per month, mostly at Home Depot. NO MORE!

    LJ December 5th, 2009 at 12:28 am
  • Well the stores vary upon location because of the people working in them. As universal as a company can be does not mean that you can make everyone who works in a particular store the same. If everybody in a particular area is lazy then some of them work in a store is lazy thats what you get.
    And just because your fuming does not give you any right to treat other peol;le like shit. there are situations that happen to everyone not just you. If its busy in a store one day its because a particular reason. Also pay attention and quit whining the world does not revolve around you. Life happens shit happens. Registers lock up for may reasons its a computer. Also dont exagerate on how long the lines are either10 my ass. There is more than cashiers up on mainline where you were. Service desk, Garden, tool rental, lumber/pro checkouts just to name a few. Also look at the date the ads and flyers in the paper come out a day early if they were not out 99% of the time is because its not on sale yet DUMMY.

    Biran September 12th, 2010 at 12:23 pm
  • Hey Lj black friday comment. There are other people online buying things hhmmmm perhaps millions? Just like any store special deals end and supplies run out. Next year try getting on the website earlier. They dont keep making the special black friday items year round it ends after the weekend they dont make money on these. If you miss it to bafd try again next year. Quit whining and just accept that regardless of the store your shopping at shit happens supplies run out, your not perfect neither is anyone else. You cant always get what you want so quit acting like little babies and act your supposed age.

    brian September 12th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

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