Home > business, personal > Worst. Service. Ever: Home Depot & HOMExperts

Worst. Service. Ever: Home Depot & HOMExperts

December 5, 2006

I’ve written about great customer service in the past, and what it can mean to companies that pay attention. But today, I’m going to write about the worst customer service I’ve ever received. I’m hoping the power of the blogosphere can help The Home Depot and Owens Corning HOMExperts to sit up, take notice, and maybe even finish my kitchen. Please, please help by blogging about this story and digging it.

It was the summer of 2005, the end of August to be exact. My wife was pregnant with our twins, we’d just moved into a new house, and we desperately needed to get our kitchen remodeled. We headed over to the Home Depot Expo Design Center, met with a designer, and went to town. Everything sounded great – depending on materials, it would take roughly 6 months, they had a great selection of appliances and materials, and best of all, they held all of our money in escrow until milestones were reached with the contractors.

You see, we’d heard all sorts of horror stories about kitchen remodels from our friends. The contractors would often take the money in advance, and then had no incentive to finish their jobs. (I know all contractors aren’t like this, and it paints the good ones in a bad light, but unfortunately, it happens far too often). Home Depot’s approach sounded much better – they’d keep all of our money in escrow, trickling it out to the contractors as they finished parts of the job. They assured me, being a large corporation, they would have lots of control and organization around the project, and the contractors would be incentivized to finish the job quickly and thoroughly, lest they lose Expo’s business in the future.

How wrong that all was! I’m sitting here, December 5th, 2006 – a full 15 months after we began this 6-month project – in an unfinished $130,000 kitchen. Yes, you read that right. $130,000, 9 months overdue, and I can’t even get anyone on the phone to help us out. About once a month, if I’m very lucky, some contractor from Owens Corning HOMExperts comes over for an hour or two and screws a few things together. They came yesterday, for example, and tried to finish a few projects. Of course, what they ended up accomplishing was zero, and actually managed to damage some stuff, so we’re less finished today than we were two days ago. Lucky me.

The kicker? I paid for most of the kitchen on a 12-month, no-interest Expo credit card. You know the ones – they drool in anticipation of you defaulting and this mountain of interest landing on your account in a blink of an eye. Never in a million years did I dream I’d have paid the entire thing off (no interest!) before the kitchen was actually finished. But that’s exactly what happened.

The whole project is like something out of a Hollywood comedy, full of tragic moments. My twins were born seriously pre-mature, but of course our house was unlivable for far longer than the projected timeframe. We scrambled to find a place to live until June 2006, raising pre-mature infants outside of our own home, before finally moving in after the worst of the construction was finished. People left the company, like our project manager, and Expo didn’t feel compelled to replace them. Parts of the kitchen started breaking weeks after they were installed, and had to be replaced. The list goes on and on … many of the lights still don’t work.

As the CEO of a company that strives to provide top-notch customer service, this has been incredible to watch. At no time during the process, other than the design and purchasing phase, have we felt taken care of, or even like our satisfaction was even a consideration. I wish I could say that the experience has been highly educational, like my visit to the Ritz-Carlton, but I have to imagine that any human being would realize that this is ludicrously bad customer service. The two companies involved, The Home Depot and their contractors, HOMExperts, must have some serious problems internally. Steer clear of both of them, whether you’re an investor or a consumer. If they can’t take care of me, how many other homes are they destroying?

Please, help me spread the word and make some noise at Home Depot HQ. I’ve opened a BBB case, but I think the blogosphere is far more powerful. Help me get my kitchen finished!

UPDATE: Looks like Joel Grover at NBC4 in LA has done a report on Home Depot. Guess I’m not the only one.

UPDATE: We made the digg homepage in less than two hours. Awesome! Then someone buried us as ‘lame’ and we disappeared forever. D’oh! Guess I’d better call the lawyers and see if they can help, because I think the blogosphere failed. :(

Categories: business, personal
  1. Rich Wilson
    December 5, 2006 at 11:57 am | #1

    Don, Check out KNBC Channel 4 in Los Angeles reporter Joel Grover’s series on Home Depot. http://www.nbc4.tv/homedepotinvestigation/index.html
    If the above link is bad go to their homepage http://www.nbc4.tv/index.html and select the “Investigations” link..

  2. December 5, 2006 at 12:11 pm | #2

    @Rich:

    Thanks for the link! I’m adding it to the story.

  3. December 5, 2006 at 12:32 pm | #3

    I gave it a plug on digg for you – folks should really hear about these kinds of things. I’ve heard from a few different contractors that the Home Depot jobs don’t pay the best and therefore they don’t get top-of-the-line contractors. That could be FUD, but at the same time it seems plausible.

    BTW – You bought a $130k kitchen on a Home Depot card? Kind of makes me feel inadequate with my current credit limit at HD. :)

  4. Mike Grossman
    December 5, 2006 at 12:42 pm | #4

    You should hire an attorney. A lawsuit usually gets noticed…

  5. December 5, 2006 at 4:05 pm | #5

    While not nearly on the same scale as your debacle, I had a very similar run-in with Home Depot. Was having two sliding doors installed in my home. Everything went great except one of the screen doors was bent in shipping. 12 Months later I was finally able to get a replacement, but it was easily the most agonizing customer experience I’ve ever had.

    A bit of a more complete right up:
    http://www.mccormi.com/?p=51

  6. Smart Ed
    December 5, 2006 at 10:35 pm | #6

    Home Depot also sold arms to the Sadamn regime in the 80s.

  7. George E.
    December 6, 2006 at 7:45 am | #7

    Have you contacted the Home Depot Atlanta Store Support Center? 770-433-8211? Press zero, work through the IVR mess and maze, you’ll eventually end up at the operator. Ask to speak to the President of Home Depot Expo. If all else fails, ask to speak to Big Bob (Bob Nardelli) himself.

  8. cam
    December 7, 2006 at 2:28 am | #8

    one more suggestion for getting the word out to the blogosphere, drop an email to the consumerist, a well read blog that deals (almost) exclusively with companies not meeting their commitments… http://www.consumerist.com

  9. December 7, 2006 at 1:30 pm | #9

    It is a shame that they could do such things. I would love to share your story with people on our blog. If you don’t mind send me an e-mail, we want to make the blogosphere work for all of us. If anybody wants to join us feel free to send us an e-mail, together we can bring customer justice! (I know the last line sounds a bit cheesy- like Superman or something…:P)

  10. ARR
    December 18, 2006 at 8:04 pm | #10

    $130k??? I think that’s past the treshold for which it makes sense to just hire a lawyer and even file a lawsuit. This isn’t just a defective ceiling fan Home Depot has sold you and is screwing around with you on.

  11. December 19, 2006 at 6:03 am | #11

    This sucks, but I can’t say that I’m surprised. We had a bathroom tile job done by Home Depot Expo — we had just moved into area, didn’t know anyone, weren’t sure who to trust, and decided (like you did) that having a corporate behemoth ‘on our side’ would help to ensure that the subcontractor would do good work. Of course, we were talking about $1k of work, not $130k, but still… The work got done, but it was crap. The good thing in this case was that Home Depot was responsive, but it still took a *long* time to get it straightened out and re-done.

    The lesson that we learned is the same one that we learned when we had our house built (and didn’t contract it out ourselves): Subcontractors only care about pleasing the person signing the check (and sometimes hardly even that). When you have someone else contract out the work, the sub doesn’t answer to you, and there’s a layer of often unhelpful bureaucracy separating you from a solution. In retrospect, the Expo model sucks… It’s much better to deal face-to-face with the people doing the work.

    Good luck getting this sorted out.

  12. December 19, 2006 at 6:08 am | #12

    By the way, give this a read…

    Solving Customer Service Problems

    There may be something helpful there.

    I would go straight to the Attorney General at this point. And retain your own counsel and prepare for a lawsuit, I guess.

  13. Slippery Pete
    December 19, 2006 at 8:56 am | #13

    My HD story is shorter, but still pretty interesting. I bought carpet and installation from HD for a condo I was renovating. They subcontracted the installation out, and the contractors were due to arrive at 9:00 am. The night before, I moved every piece of furniture from the 2nd story to the first story – about a 5 hour job.

    From 8:15 am through 10:30 am, I sat on my couch waiting for the knock at the door. In silence.

    At 10:30 I go out to my driveway for a look, and see that the subcontractor slipped his card in my door. I call his cell phone 4 times before he picks up, at which point he tells me he tells me he “pounded on [my] door for 15 minutes” and then left in frustration. Yeaaaah, right.

    I tell him this is a bunch of BS, and finally the truth comes out. His installer, on the way to the job, was pulled over for speeding, and the cops found drugs on him, so they arrested him and impounded the van…and my carpet.

    Two weeks later, they fail to show again…after I again moved all the furniture downstairs.

    One week after that, the carpet is finally installed.

  14. KW
    January 4, 2007 at 11:09 am | #14

    As a customer of Home Depot I recently decided to
    re-do the floors in my apartment and thought Home
    Depot would be perfect for the job.

    On October 9, 2006 I paid almost $12,000 to Home Depot
    for new flooring product and installation. From the
    outset I encountered numerous delays on Home Depot’s
    end (including their lack of knowledge about how to
    properly install a product that they sell).

    Finally the installation began on December 11, 2006
    (the work was to be completed by 12/19/06 in time for
    the Christmas holiday). The installers ripped up the
    existing flooring and carpet and installed a
    self-leveling concrete type product (the wood flooring
    was to be installed over this concrete product). The
    product dried for about 2 days and when I returned to
    my apartment to meet the installers for the final step
    the concrete product had cracked everywhere. The
    cracks were so bad that it was moving and could easily
    be chipped up. Clearly they did not install the
    product properly. Home Depot sent someone to inspect
    the damage but it was more than 2 weeks before I
    heard back from Home Depot.

    I was unable to spend Christmas with my family in my
    apartment as it is inhabitable. Home Depot has not
    made any attempt to remedy the situation nor have they
    provided me with alternate housing. Adding insult to
    injury they have received full payment for the job and
    seem completely happy to to let weeks go by without
    contact or resolution. In conversations with friends
    and other family members I have heard similar stories
    about problems with Home Depot installation projects
    and I think its worthy of investigation.

  15. Patrick
    February 14, 2007 at 10:21 pm | #15

    Although I feel the pain, hiring Home Depot to manage a kitchen installation by various contractors is like hiring Halliburton to manage your war in Iraq, or perhaps AOL to manage your company’ network implementation. I mean seriously, just walking the aisle at Home Depot and asking for assistance should be all you need to know about HD’s level of customer service.

  16. February 20, 2007 at 12:25 am | #16

    Complaints about Home Depot finally made the press in the Pacific Northwest. I saw the article and it reminded me about what you wrote in your blog months earlier!

    Here’s the link http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_021907INVhomedepot.174acf6a.html

  17. Kim
    February 20, 2007 at 11:29 am | #17

    I have a similar nightmare with Home Depot – Ajax who contracted out my hardwood flooring installation to a company in Barrie. They broke a window in my brand new house never lived in, put holes in the walls, installed pieces of quarter round but not entire lengths on walls that didn’t even join, installed defective wood, wood with holes in it, put finishing nails in the middle of the floor or five away from the wall and the list goes on. It took ME 6 hours to clean my new house after the installation and they left all the garbage in my garage for well over two weeks. I carried a double mortgage to have this flooring done before I moved in so imagine my disappoint at finding my brand NEW house is such a mess and with no apologizes or compensation.

    I have been in battle with them for 1 1/2 over 13,000.00 and it still isn’t resolved and no one wants to even fix my flooring issues or be accountable. They are the worst company I have ever dealt with and I won’t even step in their store again. I would advise everyone to let all their friends, neighbours etc know they shouldn’t deal with them for any installations or buy product – let go back to our CANADIAN company CANADA TIRE who respects their clients and isn’t just after the money.

    A dissatisfied customer.

  18. Cynde
    March 10, 2007 at 6:45 am | #18

    All I can say is been there, done that. My kitchen remodel was up there in price also, close to $50K and a 30 day job dragged into 6 months with missing parts, contractors who would show up to work and get called to another job, leaving after one or two hours. The countertops weren’t level, not enough flooring ordered, you name it. The worst thing was the total lack of communication. I always had to contact them to ask what was going on. I finally demanded that the manager of the store, supervisors, etc, all sit down face to face with me to provide some sort of explanation other than, duh. That didn’t work, I called the main Home Depot line and the district manager came out. That got action. We were done in a matter of days after his trip. We ended up with all the subcontractors at our house the same day to pull up the counter without cracking it (silestone), removing the sink (undermount), leveling cabinets, finishing the floor, etc. It got done but we will never use them for any sort of remodel or project at our house. Terrible customer service.

  19. Richard Quiring
    April 17, 2007 at 8:53 pm | #19

    I have spent over $100,000 at The Home Depot the last couple of years and it is more pathetic than usual. When they tell me a good will come in at the Pro Center, I arrive to pick it up. More than 80% of the time the product is NOT there as noted by The Home Depot’s “estimated time of arrival”. Calling is no help because there seems to be a disconnect between receiving and the Pro Desk. The last time it took over 90 minutes to find out my $1,400 order was not there and Sandy at Customer Service at the Rosedale store in Bakersfield said it was there. A cocky young Assistant Manager Asleigh came and told me that I had a problem because of the “Estimated time of arrival” clause. Although it was clearly 48 hours after the “Estimated time of arrival”, she rested her case that The Home Depot wasn’t obligated to deliver the produce because it was only an estimate. When I asked when the product would be in, she said she didn’t know nor offered to telephone me to tell me when it would arrive. If there ever was an advertisement for Lowes, it is the LACK OF SERVICE and respect for the customer at The Home Depot. It is sad . . .

  20. JLynch
    April 19, 2007 at 7:48 am | #20

    My experiences with Home Depot Shutter installation continues to be one of dealing with an arogant and know-it-all who is covering poor design and subcontractor deficiencies, damages, and many missed installation promises. i never get call backs as promised and they have a minute check waiting for me to “get rid of me’ at the local store – advertising costs, cleaning costs, time values, and inconvenience have all bee overlooked and i’m told to modify a poor design since their expert says it was installed correctly ——- by the way, they cancelle contract with this shutter sub and now who warrants these unique shutters??

    john

  21. SRicketts
    May 8, 2007 at 7:49 am | #21

    When we purchase our new home and decided to remodel the kitchen and master bath we went straight to the local Home Depot Expo. After talking with the salespeople everything seemed like it would be an easy no problem project. We were set to go to Home Depot Expo and begin but I thought maybe I should just search the internet to be sure there were no complaints. lol. Needless to say there are so many complaints we made and appointment with a local contractor. I am so thankful that so many people will share their horror stories and save some of us from being just another Victim of Home Depot!

  22. Jacques Blaauw
    May 9, 2007 at 12:30 pm | #22

    Home Depot is working very hard to destroy their business. Staff most of time has no clue what they are talking about and would avoid as the plague to help you to start with.
    Was on Elston Avenue in Chicago. 1/they did not know where products in store were/2/not interested in finding out/3/product not properly priced/coded if at all/4/check out a disaster/5/byebye Home dumbshits, never to return………

  23. June 4, 2007 at 8:05 am | #23

    Don,

    We would like to reprint your blog in our forum at http://www.homelemonlaw.com. Your story about home depot is a common problem. Let me know through email if we can reach an agreement to reprint some of your blog.

    Thank you,
    Greg

  24. Dan
    June 26, 2007 at 11:40 am | #24

    My horror story didn’t cost nearly as much as your kitchen, but the principle is the same. What AMAZED me more than the utter lack of customer service at Home Depot was the fact that employees didn’t even understand the basic principle, never mind the implementation of it. My experience has prompted me to write a letter to the CEO, even though I seriously doubt I will have any luck….

    Dear Mr. Blake,

    I want to point out a customer experience that illustrates direct challenges to your goal of establishing an “ownership mindset throughout the organization”. I don’t generally complain and I have never taken the time to take my complaint to the top level of any large organization. However, my experience with your organization (across several levels) has left me in little doubt that you need to be aware of what is happening in the trenches to customers like me. I have tried to use all avenues available to me to resolve this issue, without any satisfaction. All I ask is that you read this letter, as you will no doubt be able to identify major systemic issues that need to be addressed. Please allow me to give you a recap of my experience:

    My wife and I were interested in replacing our large area carpet in our living room. On Saturday, June 9th we make the 30 minute trip to the Home Depot in Phillipsburg, NJ. We were met in the carpeting department by an extremely unhelpful and quite frankly rude associate named Ken. In hindsight I should have left the store and made the short trip across to Lowe’s at that point. We asked the associate a couple of questions about carpeting and he tried to sell us the most expensive carpet he had. We explained that we have both kids and pets and that the top of the line carpeting didn’t meet our needs. At this point he became aloof and told us to look around. We managed to find an associate who was walking through the department who answered our questions and provided a sensible recommendation based on our needs. We then had to go back to Ken to place the order. After spending about an hour trying to place the order, we told Ken that we couldn’t wait any longer. By this time there were 3 associates gathered around the computer. One of them told us that there was a new computer system in place and none of them knew how to operate it. Apparently the order was on hold and they said they would contact us once the order was placed.

    On Sunday, June 17th we got a call from Ken saying that the order was placed and that the he would be calling us within a week so that we could pick the carpet up. At this point we paid 90% of the total price. The total cost of the order was around $300.

    On Saturday, June 23rd my wife called the store to find out what the status of the order was. She again spoke with Ken who looked up the order and told her it was in the store and we could pick it up. We paid for a baby sitter and make the trip to the store. Once at the store we were told that the carpet was not in. At this point we asked for the manager (Lior). We explained our experience and he told us that he would personally take care of tracking the carpet down and that he would call us back within 24 hours. He also offered us free shipping, which we accepted.

    I took it upon myself to follow up today (June 26th) as I haven’t heard anything from Lior. At this point I felt it was imperative to take my complaint to the next level. I contacted your Customer service line (1800-553-3199) and spoke with Dawn at the special order department. I explained the whole situation to her. She said that she would look into it and let me know when the carpet would be in. I asked her who would be following up with me. She sounded confused by the question. I mentioned to her that this complaint was about more than the carpet itself. It highlights training issues at both the associate and management level. Furthermore it points to systemic issues with computer system implementation and training.

    Dawn informed me that implementing computer systems takes time. I retorted that this may be the case, but it shouldn’t affect a customer who is placing an order. I also explained to her that there was no one in the store who knew how to place the order. Her reply was “training takes time”. I told her that I run a business and my customers wouldn’t be expected to pay for the time it takes me to train my staff, especially if it meant that there order was delayed. I again asked her whether the Area Manager would follow up with me and she informed me that Home Depot does not follow up with customers to let them know how their complaints were redressed. I asked her in that case how I should have any confidence when I return to Home Depot. I asked her who would be dealing with my complaint and she was unable to answer the question. At this point I asked to speak with her manager, to see if they could assist me. She informed me that she doesn’t have a manager and she said “I am a person unto myself”. I was speechless!

    At this point I had reached a dead end with seemingly no one who could take care of my issue. More importantly, my only concern in contacting your Customer Service Center was to ensure that the necessary steps were taken to ensure that this didn’t happen to another customer. I have received any satisfaction and I was left speechless by the treatment of Dawn at the Customer Service Center.

    Clearly my whole experience from the store level to the Customer Service Center, demonstrates that there are issues with training and more importantly with associates buying into your new philosophy of employee ownership. I would be amiss if I didn’t bring it to your attention. I tried to contact you via phone, but this proved to be an impossible task.

    I trust that this letter reaches you. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

    All the best,

  25. Dissatisfied Customer
    July 6, 2007 at 2:34 pm | #25

    I had a bad experience with Home Depot and it’s contractor, Aim Cedar Fencing in the Vancouver, BC, Canada. They installed a fence bordering my neighbour and me, but did not install the door properly. This means that anyone can come into my backyard by simply kicking the door in slightly. I put a 1′ high boulder behind the door to put a little force behind the door. In this way, it is marginally harder for an intruder to come into my house.

    Being unhappy that anyone can come into her home, my mother left a message for the contractor to call her. He didn’t call her for 5 hours so she called HD’s Customer Service Line and filed a complaint. She worried that somebody would come into the backyard. Anyways, she finally got hold of the owner of Aim Cedar and he told her that they would repair the fence door in a couple of days. But once he noticed that we complained to HD’s Customer Service Department, he told my mother that because she complained that his company would repair our door in a week. This is shitty customer service.

    I feel a week is too long to shave a little wood off my fence door so that it shuts. Therefore, I called the store manager of the Home Depot we signed the contact for them to repair our fence and told him the whole story. I told me that he would make some phone calls. He got one of his customer service representatives to call me and tell me that the contractor would be by to fix my fence door either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The fence was installed on the previous Wednesday. Today is Friday. I am angry that the store manager did not call me himself. I previously have got my roof, back fence and shower tub door installed by Home Depot. Because of this bad experience I will never get Home Depot to fix and install anything of mine. I will shop at Rona from now on. I told the store manager 3 times, I am very angry and he didn’t give me a gift certificate or anything. I have probably spent over $9,000 in my life at Home Depot….but never again.

    • Lihn
      January 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm | #26

      Wooden gate aren't metal gates on concrete posts, are you sure you didn't touch it in the first 24hrs (the cement needs to dry….)
      Did the installer put a brace (like a diagonal 2×4?)

  26. lynne butler
    July 13, 2007 at 10:08 pm | #27

    I just contracted HD to reface my kitchen cabinets, new countertops and a sink. I am very anxious after reading the horror stories about shoddy work performed by their contractors. I would be interested in knowing if anyone has any experiences with poor workmanship in the Livonia, Michigan area.

  27. Daryl Brouwer
    July 21, 2007 at 3:47 pm | #28

    I too need to echo the horror stories on this website. I have been working with people at the Home Depot Expo store near Chicago for over 3 months now in order to have window treatments installed. It appears that they can’t train and keep “designers” who actually have a sense of following through. The woman who sold me my window treatments has left the company. The woman who was my “designer” has left the company – after a less than stellar consultation with me. The woman who appears to be the manager of the designers does not return my call. They are excellent at getting down payments, but don’t care if they fulfill orders.

    To make a long story short, after 3 1/2 months, my window treatments show up and they are all the wrong size. The sub-contractor installer was actually the best part . . . he stated that this happens all the time with Home Depot Expo.

    I’m still trying to get an answer out of someone to fix my problem and they are holding my $5000. No answers. Run arounds. Poor customer service. A general feeling of apathy by everyone I talk to. It almost appears to be a hobby place for part-time moms.

    I think I’m shorting the stock on Monday.

  28. Ompie
    August 8, 2007 at 10:40 am | #29

    We also received terrible customer service and product from Home Depot:

    This letter is to lodge a complaint with Home Depot, specifically the Window Installation division. We had initially entered contact with Home Depot to refurnish our windows under the assurance that we were paying a premium for exceptional service and product with unconditional lifetime guaranty with full satisfaction. We firmly believed, and were encouraged in this belief by the sales individuals at Home Depot, that our satisfaction was guaranteed: that unless we were content with our new windows, this contact would remain open. Further, in choosing Home Depot to install our windows, we recalled the exceptional service and product that we had received 10+ years earlier, in having them install our skylights.

    Mr. had paid multiple visits to our home, noted the rural area of our city that we live in. Further, I had questioned him about the windows and their “Unconditional Lifetime Warranty” – that in case of children playing, break-ins or under whatever circumstances, the windows would be replaced as frequently as needed and more importantly to our satisfaction. It was only as a result of this lifetime guarantee, the knowledge that our window’s would last through our ownership to the next homeowner’s enjoyment that we paid the almost $6,000 surplus instead of going with a local contractor with the same promise. In the 25+ years that we have inhabited this house, squirrels have attempted to break in repeatedly, and it has only been through the aluminum screens on our previous window that they had not been able to do so. In showing us a sample of the window to be installed, we were shown how they were would increase the attractiveness of the house as well as how they would reduce climate maintenance costs because of their durability. However, we were never shown the screens themselves, nor did he mention that they would be vinyl after noting that all of our screens were aluminum.

    Upon installation, we were initially thrilled by the windows, and it appears so were our neighboring squirrels. We twice in the first week returned home to find that squirrels had chewed their way through our vinyl screens and entered our house. In a separate instance, the squirrel, finding the window ajar by only three inches, had actually chewed his way through the window siding material. Further, we had noted that contrary to the contract, the workers had left the rotting windowsills although it was specifically noted that they would replace them. In fact, it was only after repeated contact that they replaced one of the three rotted sills. Further, the individu al who replaced the sill noted the extensive damage that had been done at that point by the squirrels and noted that we would need replacement of aluminum screens as opposed to the original vinyl.

    We contacted Home Depot as recommended by the individual and set up an appointment to re-install the screens. The day before installation, I contacted the department to confirm that the screens were aluminum and discovered that they were actually vinyl. When I reminded him about the situation and our need for a more durable screen, I was rudely told I would have to arrange and further pay for the aluminum screens myself and that this was final, this by the regional manager. Further, he informed me that contrary to the contract, this would be the only time that the screens would be replaced: that further replacements would be my responsibility as it was not Home Depot’s problem that this situation occurred with the sub-quality screens. “Unconditional satisfaction guaranteed” indeed. I left several messages over the course of the next few days and never received a call back, in fact it was only after calling from a different number that I was able to set up an appointment in the next few days to discuss the situation. At the time of the appointment, never showed up, nor did he attempt to contact me to explain the reason for his absence, set up another appointment or even offer an apology for the two hours out of my busy day I wasted in waiting for him.

    I then, receiving no feasible closure from your Sales and Installation staff, called your Credit Card department to dispute the charges. I was given another contact and upon explaining the situation was told that there were only vinyl screens available as that was the “industry standard,” and that I could dispute with whomever I desired. As originally agreed, the contact was entered into contingent on our satisfaction. We were neither satisfied by the product that we were sold, and especially not by the rude manner in which we were treated. In fact, we are so unsatisfied that we requested that the windows be uninstalled and our original windows be replaced and were told that it was not possible. The 50+-year-old windows were clearly of superior quality as in all these years we had never experienced a problem; we only replaced them for aesthetics.

  29. Brenda Goodine
    August 19, 2007 at 5:56 pm | #30

    I am in Ontario Canada. My complaint was minor but I have still not received a reply from Home Depot-5 weeks and 3 emails later. We just wanted a few minutes service to ask some questions about a product we wanted to buy. 20 minutes after we asked for help we wandered to the end of the aisle to see two staff members talking with another customer. We had been the next in line for service but it does not take two staff to look after one customer. It is funny that your complaint was a contracting one. I don’t know about in the US but in Canada Mike Holmes is a spokesperson for Home Depot. His show has been cleaning up poor or unfinished work of contracters. He feels very strongly about shoddy workmanship and customers being taken advantage of. I know he had a website(and my still may have it) listing contractors he trusts. I would not hesitate to use any of the ones he likes. His use to live near here and his oldest daughter is a school friend of my son. They are all adults now but she works with her dad on his show. I don’t like to use contacts with people that live locally. My son may mention something about this when he sees Amanda again. I am sure he would not be happy to know what is going on behind the scenes at Home Depot. It is worth looking him up and contacting him if you want to. Good luck.

  30. Daryl Brouwer
    August 22, 2007 at 4:40 pm | #31

    UPDATE: Now I am officially over 4 months and 1 week into my window treatment saga (see above). Apparently Home Depot monitors this site for customer complaints because I was called by a manager of installation. While I appreciate a call . . . they still can do nothing for me and are holding my money. No discussions of credit. No discussions of expediting. Meanwhile, I have half a window treatment on my windows. Was informed today that my correctly sized (we hope this time) window treatments are on backorder for another 3 weeks. Moving into month 5 . . . (at least I made some money on shorting the stock)

  31. Kimberly
    September 11, 2007 at 11:20 am | #32

    Wow — it all sounds so familiar. Had a similar problem 3 years ago with a counter top that was incorrectly installed. Home Depot blew us off and passed the buck until I threatened a lawsuit and filed two BBB complaints. I did finally get some HD ‘gift cards’ (they didn’t come close to the replacement cost for the counter though). I finally used some of the cards to buy bathroom fixtures — which are now not working after being installed just 6 months ago. Don’t trust this company to come into your home. It’s just not worth it.

  32. Lucky
    September 22, 2007 at 7:40 am | #33

    I provide service for Home Depot customers. I am sorry to hear how
    customers are treated.

    I specialize in wood cutting and if you have your own tools and or need
    questions answered or issues resolved, share them with smugmub.com

    I would love to comment or help.

  33. Goldy Canada
    September 25, 2007 at 1:46 pm | #34

    ** CANADIAN HOME DEPOT COMPLAINERS PLS CONTACT ME OFF LIST **

    Pls email at gold_bmw@hotmail.com as I’m trying to get a better understanding of how many Canadian customers are having problems with these Home Depot. I just found this list of problems (but in the US) from July 2007 (http://www.wbaltv.com/news/13649704/detail.html?rss=bal&psp=news) and have not found the equivalent in Canada yet.

    I’m located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and am having problems getting Home Depot to address problems left by their contractor. I’ve gone the full round with their local store (where it all started), head office (in Atlanta), Synergize (affliates that handles the renovations), their insurance company, etc. I’m now dealing with the BBB.

    I would NOT RECOMMEND choosing Home Depot Services again as there’s no benefit in paying the extra price for “peace of mind” and reputation. Both of the latter are false expectations. When problems occur, customers are no better off than directly hiring the individual contractors!

  34. Tracy
    September 29, 2007 at 1:09 pm | #35

    The poor level of workmanship/skill from Home Depo contrators should not be surprising. Contrators with skill/talent/integrity do NOT work for behemoths such as Home Depot. These contractors do NOT NEED the likes of H.D.; they garner enough business (and more) through their own reputation. It has been my experience that the best talent is the local guys who take pride in their service and skill. I have had excellent experiences with the “small” guy in cabinetry, tile, brick, hardwood flooring and more. Each and every one have done beautiful work on our $1mil+ home. For these contractors, their work is their art. They take pride and it shows. These guys are artists in their own right. My tile guy had learned the trade from his father. He was meticulous. He worked diligently and efficiently. His work was superior and he deserved his $1000 daily rate. This may sound expensive but “you get what you pay for”. I think he was plenty reasonable and so do a lot of other people because he always has a waiting list. He’s just one example. I applaud these talented people and wish we had more such “craftsmen” in today’s times. My advise is not to get in a hurry but ask and search out for local talent. Word of mouth is usually the best.

  35. Lori
    November 1, 2007 at 1:19 pm | #36

    We had HD do a complete kitchen remodel. They stated the work would be finished in 10-13 weeks. Six and a half months later, the kitchen is finally done. The project manager was clueless and never knew what needed to be done (even though we had already paid for 90% of the work) and didn’t return phone calls for weeks at a time. We finally took it upon ourselves to schedule the subcontractors ourselves, who turned out to be even worse! The plumber had to leave early for personal reasons each time he came over, so he never got the job done. He also missed three appointments without so much as an apology or mention of it. Then he dodged our phone calls for an entire month when we called to reschedule. All this time we do not have running water in our kitchen. All the other contractors had to return multiple times to fix the shoddy work they did. We asked HD to refund half of the installation fees, to compensate us for all the extra meals we had to eat out and for all the work we missed for appointments when no one showed up. We have yet to hear back from them on this. We will be replacing our doors and windows next year and now I know who not to use – Home Depot!

  36. Nancy O’Rourke
    November 8, 2007 at 3:58 pm | #37

    So, I join the club. I contracted Home Depot on June 15 of 2007 to install a new kitchen. Today is November 8 2007, and what I have from Home Depot is a partially installed kitchen (including one damaged cabinet), a ripped out wall, cabinets that do not fit and a guest room full of other cabinets that were damaged as well as all my kitchen ware. During the installation, my old counter top was destroyed and so I am also without a functioning kitchen and sink. This initial installation took place on October 23, 2007. Since then I have had one phone conversation with Home Depot, despite numerous efforts on my part to find out what is going on. I sent an urgent fax message to the Store Manager but there fax machine is continuously busy. During the one conversation I did have with Home Depot, I was told that all problems would be resolved and that I would have the cabinets and counter installed satisfactorally within two weeks. Guess the joke was on me. I have not heard from them since.

  37. Patrick Bello
    November 12, 2007 at 5:17 pm | #38

    I am Just outside of Toronto Ontario Canada.Wow, I was looking for a blog to praise my Home Depot experience and then i find this site : (

    I did have some minor problems with caulking around my windows approximately 8 weeks after installation. Luckily I have this rock solid Home Depot rep by the name of Andrew Spurvey that I called to explain that the caulking had lifted. Something about this guy, I knew that he would take care of me and and going forwa

  38. roseanne qiu
    November 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm | #39

    I have bought homedepot products for more than 8 years since I own my own house. I had very bad experince reseantly. I decide to switch to other store and tell what happen to me publicly.
    I bought 39 boxes of same tiles from homedepot. After the contractors install and clean up the tile, They look totally diff. like diff. kind of tiles. I talked to homedepot about the tile’s quality, they talked to me this is manufacture problem , and gave me manufacture phone for me to call. After I called manufacture, manufacture said: it is homedepot response to tell custormers the color is diff. They kick ball each other. I understand tile color is a little diff. between lot. But the tile color should not be looks total diff. I bought. I keep to call homedepot , no result.

  39. Steve Jamieson
    November 17, 2007 at 3:26 pm | #40

    Home Depot never tells their customers to contact the manufacturer. I installed a complete laminate flooring for a friend, as soon as I realized the product didnt work well with non-level areas, I ripped it all out and frankly destroyed it doing so. I returned the destroyed flooring, half of which was without original packaging. I was refunded every penny, without questions

  40. Cliff Wicks
    December 2, 2007 at 6:23 am | #41

    We purchased an Atrium Patio door through Home Depot in Julky and have had nothing but problems. Home Depot never responds to my calls and they have taken no interest in resolving the problem. I have called the local store and asked for the Store Manager, who never reurns my call, and also called their “Customer Care” group who listen and do nothing. As a result I contacted the BBB and filed a complaint. They have taken over a month and on Friday sent a letter back to the BBB stating they are not responsbile for my problems.

    The Patio door arrived and was installed by Home Depot with interior grids that were too small and damaged as well as an ecterior “Mull Cap” which was over sized and rattled everytime the door was open or closed. Last week the Atrium Door technician arrived and replaced the mull cap which sems to have fixed the problem. He also installed new grids. One grid is too large and bows out and both grids have black magic marker on marks on them which prevents me from staining them. HIs response, once pointed out, was oh well I will have new grids (the thrid set) sent to you.

    Never do business with Home Depot again. Wouldn’t buy a box of nails from them.

  41. Elska
    December 28, 2007 at 6:08 pm | #42

    TAKE HEART HOME DEPOT EXPO HATERS!! Having been severely wronged by EXPO and it’s sub contractors, I have actually filed a full blown lawsuit against them in excess of 450K. It has taken allot of time, documentation and study of code enforcement and the law (as well as a good lawyer) but I will be damned if I will let them get away with one more bad remodel. SOMEBODY has to stand up and I have the time, inclination and head of steam to do it! Today, in reviewing a couple of things, I discovered EXPO committed bank fraud in addition to the usual complaints of incompetency, bad service and broken promises. Great news for me because we’re talking federal offense.

    If you don’t have the energy to get a lawyer, consider complaining to the STATE (as in Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation) or checking with your local code enforcement office for permits, licenses and inspection requirements. If you have paid for permits and if the contractor has actually applied for and GOTTEN the proper permits and licenses, a series of events will be triggered that are designed to keep the contractor honest. If you keep tabs on this it can save you a world of suffering or at least tip you off to someone who may be trying to rip you off.
    Also, NEVER sign off on a project if you are not completely satisfied!!! Once you sign off on the “final punchlist” all bets are off. EXPO tried to pressure me to sign off on my remodel and I refused as there were too many things left unfinished. Smartest thing I ever did. I only wish I had been smart enough not to hire EXPO in the first place.

  42. Chris from Seguin Tx
    January 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm | #43

    Had HD begin kitchen cabinet and countertop replacment in May of 2007. Cabinets delivered but some doors were damaged, wrong size, and no glass fronts. Also not enough trim and panneling for the backs of cabinets over the sink. Ron the installer was great. I have no problem with the quality of his work. But HD is a trip. wrote to customer service about the runaround getting the doors reorded and Ron the regional manner called but he was no help what so ever. In the meantime, doors and extra trim came but still wrong sizes and no replacement for damaged doors. Called in October to get HD to finish the work and Ron had quit and they were looking for a new installer. Now January 2008 and the two clods from the Seguin store came to install the remaining doors with incorrect hinges, no extra pieces of trim, no ladder, and only a portable drill. This was Tom the salesman and Danny the manger of the kitchen center. Now I’m waiting on the replacement door and a piece of glass — still. Last time I deal with HD . And I thought Lowe’s was bad.

  43. Dwijen
    January 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm | #44

    Store 0131

    Visited store since I needed some plantation blinds of particular size, the lady was working on some blinds on some machine and said she would help me once this job is done. I waited for 15 minutes then I asked her to show me where shoud I go and place my order, she said she would help me in a minute. Finally I got tried and went and asked for Manager. Manager comes along and we go to that place and he talks with the lady. He turns to me and said if she is busy doing some work she cannot stop it and start helping you, plus its sunday and we are busy. I said no problem, all I need to know is where do I explain my requirement of blinds and place my order. He turns to her and ask her when would she be free, I jump in and tell him that I just need to know where to place the order, he turns angirly towards me and says he cant hear me if he is talking to her.

    I just walk back to customer service and took his name and store number and walked out.

    I am not a contractor nor any big time spender at Home Depot. I buy most of my stuff from Lowes and I should have stuck to Lowes only. I am not trying to be “smart pants” or “cocky” when I say I buy things from Lowes. I do buy at Lowes only. From where I live Home Depot is 3 miles while Lowes is 11 miles but I quit going to this particular store since long because many times I have received bad service or zero help. I actually hate asking for help, I feel stupid asking for help. I would search and buy wrong things only to return them later on, but would not ask for help.
    Today at this store I have seen 2 guys wearing IPod with ear plugs walking by. IPODS —- I have never complained and simply stopped visiting the store.

    I am writing this just to vent it out plus a bad service from a MANAGER. I never knew a manager would reply like this. What has gone wrong with Home Depot?

  44. February 22, 2008 at 10:25 am | #45

    I am so sorry received such “service?”. I can say with some authority “Remodeling can and is a trying experience for the homeowner – it is never done fast enough and is always more expensive than expected”. From the Design/Builder prospective – “we never know what we might encounter once we pull the floor up or the drywall off.”

    If only you were in our (Lakeside’s) neck of the woods. We would have loved to help you out – and I promise we would have bent over backwards to make you smile. :)

  45. e.g
    March 18, 2008 at 10:41 pm | #46

    Its horrible to read all these stories! I actually work for Home depot! I’m a specialist in a store in California. You know, in my entire home depot career I always thought that our installations we’re great! I never received a single complaint, and if my store will receive a complain, Home Depot will take the blame and fix the problem (even if it meant taking a money hit). Customers were happy! But it all changed, and i started getting customers that were afraid of having us install because of all of these horror stories! Everything that I could just do is give them my personal assurance that their installations will go according to plan! I have NEVER disappointed a single customer! I’m really proud to say that! I know that i cant speak for other associates and stores! I feel ashamed and sad to hear of all these stories! Hopefully, all of these problem have been resolved and customers can give Home Depot a second chance! Customers are the only reason why Home Depot is still around! I truly hope that those home depot will realize that!

  46. March 31, 2008 at 6:03 am | #47

    Folks,

    I hear stories like this on a regular basis and it really gives good contractors a bad name. I happen to be in the kitchen remodeling business and can tell you from years of experience it is a very hard project and needs attention to detail like very few projects in home improvement do. Therefore with that in mind you are MUCH better off to find a small kitchen remodeling firm that you feel comfortable with and has great references than you would ever be working with any of the major home centers. Home centers are great for picking up a 2×4 or a gallon of paint, but installed services must be handled by seasoned professionals and they have very very few of those at any home center.

    Many people on my staff are from the home centers because they are a good training ground for general knowledge of the industry. After that any associate worth dealing with is going to move on to a better organization and put his or her skills to use with a company that will enable them to keep their customer base happy and learn what it really takes to complete a project. Remodeling anything is tough, and putting a large company like any of the home centers in a position where they have to install anything just makes that project that much tougher. When you add in associates who really don’t care if the customer is happy because 6 more will walk in this hour, and pay them under market salaries, make them work weekends and nights, then add a high rate of employee turnover and managment turnover you have a recipe in disaster for remdeling.

    That all said if you are looking to get something done on your home that will require expertise and labor go to a local “mom and pop” operation that has a good reputation, excellent references, and that you can have a working relationship with. Remodel jobs should be a partnership between the owners and the remodeler, not a battle over price and product. You may pay a bit more (you also may be suprised at how well professional remodel compainies can compete) but in the end you will forget about the price long before the enjoyment of having a project that was completed on time and on budget fades away.

    Good luck to all. I may hang some of these stories on the wall in our showroom!

  47. Nancy
    June 10, 2008 at 6:39 am | #48

    I certainly wish I would have know about this site before my “horrors” began.

    I have a small kitchen. I wanted new cabinets, new counter and a sink. The project started the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2007. It was finally finished in May 2008, after the cabinets had to be replaced THREE times (wrong color, horrible stain problems, etc.). I went without a sink and counter for about three months. When the sink was installed, the installers were called to go to another job and left me with leaky pipes, faucet, etc. I was livid. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong, at least three times. Different people EVERY time they came out. No one knew who was doing what. When they would come out, they couldn’t do the job because whoever sent them out there, didn’t tell them what the job entailed so they would have to leave. I can’t tell you how much time I had to take off from work for this nightmare.

    Received a $500 HD gift card with the kitchen order. Just last Friday (6/6/08) I had a new storm door installed. It, of course, arrived with a ding in it that the installer didn’t notice until it was up. Just last night while sitting on my porch during a storm (6/9/08), the water was pouring through the top of the door. The glass doesn’t meet the top of the door–it doesn’t snap to meet the top. I tried switching the bottom glass to the top to see if that would be more secure. Nope. So…another call to HD this morning and the saga continues.

    Never. And I repeat, never again. If I didn’t have that gift card, I’d never step foot in that store again. And I tell everyone I know to “just say no” to Home Depot.

  48. Ken
    September 25, 2008 at 6:19 am | #49

    ………..I need to find another store besides Home Depot. ……….. THE WORST SERVICE YOU CAN POSSIBLLY IMMAGINE….. MY GHOST………………….

    The worst, worst ……………worst………. nightmare…….. DO NOT USE THEIR INSTALLTION SERVICE……………….

  49. November 17, 2008 at 2:06 pm | #50

    I am very sorry this has happened to you and your family. However, I am not surprised this has been a problem for decades. I work for a company called Buildproof that started because of this issue. Buildproof is a secure online payment system that keeps the homeowner’s money in a SafeAccount at Buildproof. The contractor knows it is committed to the project and the homeowner knows his/her project is going to get completed before the contractor gets paid. Then when the project is completed to the standards that both homeower and contractor agree on, the homeowner can release the money from the Buildproof SafeAccount to the contractor’s account. We also have a place to add contract details and to talk about issues upfront to set correct expectations. If the contractor doesn’t do what he says he is going to do then he doesn’t get paid. This is a free service to homeowner!!! Please email me at genifer@buildproof.com with any questions and maybe I can help your situation. Again, I am very sorry about what has happened. http://www.buildproof.com

  50. Irena
    July 26, 2009 at 2:11 am | #51

    Newbies at the Victory Park build said they caught the KaBOOM! bug, too. “It was simply amazing to see the transformation in the short time span of one day,” said Marsha Jackson, general expeditor which supplied many of the materials for the build. Twelve associates from pitched in including Gus Spurvey , Andrew Popovic assistant store many and had a great experience.

    “It was our first time [volunteering for KaBOOM!], but it will definitely not be our last,” Marsha said. “We had fun, but hauling that mulch really gave us a workout.

  51. December 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm | #52

    Barrie Ontario where a fly by night kitchen cabinet outfit rented out a place for a few months from a prominent business man Paul Sadlin. Many Barrie residents have given these people money upfront for kitchen cabinets but were never given the product, and the building is now locked up with a sheriffs notice.

    Many Barrie residents are out hundreds of dollars because of these low lifes. So far the Barrie Police havent been able to do anything about it. Barrie police are awareof the situtation but can do nothing about it yet. There is some action being taken against these people but they are hard to find because they are in hiding.

    Andrew lives at 203 bayfield street in Barrie. His name is Andrew. He has a golden retriever young dog, short light coloured hair. He is not allowed to drive due to multiple suspensions. Andrew and his father are the main ring leaders in this kitchen cabinet scam. Andrew has also not paid his rent to the landlord of the place he lives.

  52. December 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm | #53

    Andrew even told people that he himself owned the building he lives in and was doing renovations, where in fact he is just a bum tennant ripping of residents of Barrie.

    Andrew needs a collective kick in the ass and a public flogging. Take him round the back of the shed and teach him a lesson if you know what I mean! Barrie Ontario.

    Barrie residents should seek justice and some skin off his ass!

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