Recently, I have frequented my favorite home improvement store as a patron and have been less than impressed by their customer service. During my college years, I worked as a cashier, paint salesperson and at the returns desk at the Home Depot to make ends meet. While I was standing in line, I began to think about my beloved Home Depot, how I always support this store over the other big warehouse home store (I still have stock in the company, that’s always a good reason!) and refuse, yes, outright refuse to go anywhere but the Home Depot, even though the service stinks.
Here are some of the truths about employees and just general store info. at the Home Depot that came to mind:
1. Most of the younger people there are part-time workers. They do not know an extensive amount about any one project but a little bit here and a little bit there. Some will sound very convincing- and perhaps are accurate, but if they were like me, you can learn just by reading the back of the product.
2. The cashiers are usually slow not because they can’t scan the products, but because the product does not have a UPC scan code (it is a loose item from a bucket) or SKU number. There are some products in a three-ring binder that can be scanned, but inevitably, the cashier will have to call the department to get that ever sacred scan code so the patron can pay for the item, thus holding up the line.
3. The employees in the department (that the cashiers are calling to get the scan code) are usually bombarded by customers with questions. The customers will not even know how to complete the project after the semi-informed employee explains three times how to do it, ensuring a second and third trip to the Home Depot. Oh yes, the one phone in the department is almost always ringing because the one person scheduled at the time is busy with a line of customers.
4. If you really want to know how to do something, ask a Homer. This is the guy that usually cannot be located inside the store. He is the guy on the truck making ginormous deliveries- and oh yes, only works M-F from 5AM-2PM. If you are a weekender Home Depot frequenter, forget about locating real genuine, honest-to-goodness experience in the store. They only work the great shift.
5. The lot guys are hard workers. Be nice to them. Some even write lovely poetry for paint department girls.
6. There are clinics that a Do-It-Yourselfer can take right inside the store. They usually run weekly- anywhere from installing ceiling fans to repairing a drywall. Take advantage of these classes. They don’t usually start on time.
7. The call center people have the best job. They sit and answer and redirect the phones. Most of them have worked in departments before landing this awesome spot, and then, they NEVER give it up.
8. The return desk isn’t the nicest of places to visit when you don’t have a receipt. Keep your receipt for everything. And if you are one of those people that bring back dead plants, I say c’mon guys, join the "I-don’t-water-my-plants-club" and admit that it isn’t the plant’s fault that you killed it… and save yourself a trip to Home Depot. If you are returning a toilet, please drain the water and other murk from it. Keys can be recut, but usually if you get the guy that didn’t do it right the first time, chances are, he isn’t going to cut it right the second time. And one more thing, there is an extensive return policy because losers, er, sketchy characters, hang out in the parking lot looking for dropped receipts, pocketing items from inside the store, and returning an item that never belonged to them to get money. Ugh.
Enjoy your trip