Friday, May 16, 2014

The Worst Home Depot Trip

I had the worst experience I've ever had at a Home Depot store today (#1516). I went in to rent a towable tool, and needed to pick up a couple items for a project. My wife and I brought a few bolts and nuts to the tool rental area. The two gentlemen there were helping someone else, but they didn't acknowledge us or ask us to wait a moment. No big deal, they're busy.

One was more experienced (John) and he was slow and somewhat disinterested in helping the other employee get his customer served. When they finally asked us what we needed, and we told them, the more experienced one told the new employee to help us. He tried, but certainly struggled with the transaction. I understand that. People need to get trained, but there was little help being given to this new employee.

When we walked outside, we watched the new employee spend 15+ minute attempting to unlock the tire and hitch locks. Trying key after key. That tried my patience, but I could let that go. Finally the older employee came out and helped him, but didn't check the tool, or our truck, and offered no guidance. They didn't notice one of the control items was missing until I pointed it out. They never explained anything about the tool, brakes, or things to watch out for. The older employee left, not offering assistance beyond getting the lock open.

Eventually things were prepped and we noticed that my light plug was different than the tool. The young man helping me didn't know what to do. I followed him inside and he looked around the counter, but didn’t know what to do. We stood there for a few minutes and he mentioned that “everyone can’t be on break”. There was another customer waiting, who wasn’t acknowledged. After a couple minutes I asked him if he could call someone. He tried the phone, spending a minute or two punching buttons, and then put it down, never saying a word. He walked away, and foolishly I thought he was going to the service desk to get help.

He came back 3 or 4 minute later with a cup of coffee and seemed surprised no one had come back to help us. We stood there for 4 or 5 minutes, the employee, me, another customer, not sure what to do. Eventually I walked outside and saw another employee who couldn’t find an adapter, but offered to sell me one from the store. Fine, I understand and it’s a $10 adapter. I buy it after he brought 3 back from the store and tried them on my truck. I paid, and walked back out.

At this point, 3 employees were in the tool area, though not the older gentleman. All of them watched me walk out, or hobble out with a brace on my knee, and none of them offered to help hook up the tool. Fortunately I’d done this before and knew about the brake. I started to hook it up and realized my ball was too big. The older gentleman saw me looking and walked up at this point. He noticed the ball was too big and helped me lift the tool back up. He looked at it, and never offered any suggestions or ideas. No offer of a loaner. After a minute of stunned silence from me, I asked if I could cancel the rental. At this point he said I could go find a new ball from the store and buy it, or he could cancel the rental.

Over 45 minutes after I walked up to the tool counter, during which time I saw 3 other customers in the area, I cancelled my tool rental.

A lack of competency that I can forgive, but very little help, no offers of assistance, no real desire to work to make the experience pleasant, gave me the worst afternoon I’d ever had at a Home Depot.

Steve Jones

I sent this to Home Depot. Hoping they don’t live up to the motto I’ve seen ex-employees share: You can’t do it and we won’t help.

No comments: