Thursday, July 06, 2006

Customer Service -- How bad can it get at Home Depot

I admit it. This is a rant. But they deserved it! I have to acknowledge, that I was spurred on by Rochelle's post today called Don't Assume. While she takes more of the "blame" than I think she should, customer service is the bottom line here. On to my story:

With my younger son moving home (temporarily, post college, starting a "real job" next Monday, and with a drivers' license test on August 22), he has been working diligently to improve his bed room. It is one of two rooms in the house which had not yet had TLC since we moved in.

First he scraped the ceiling. It's original color (ca 1930) was pink! He primed it, and gave it two coats of white ceiling paint. Then he went to work on the woodwork. He stripped it to the wood. (That is multiple layers...original color: green!) Next he washed the walls and painted them. That's where things where upon my return from New Orleans. Time for refinishing the doors (see my Flickr set for July 4), and carpeting.

We went to the nearest Home Depot, some scouting having already been done. We looked at roll carpeting (and did really bad math, loosing a decimal point!), and carpet squares. We found some squares we liked, and then hassled with the staff and got different answers from different people about whether they were in stock, and if they were ordered would there be any additional charge. Finally, the third clerk offered to see if any nearby stores had inventory of what we wanted....sure enough, Derby and Winsted had enough. Derby is about 15-20 minutes from Bridgeport, and the store is right off Route 8 (limited access highway). While Winsted is further, I was going there the next day to take kids to camp. So, off to Derby we went. [Non-sequitur alert: It was during the drive that I broached the subject of becoming clean shaven.]

We appropriately acquired the squares, and headed home. Brian unloaded them, and Saturday AM, we emptied his room of the remaining furniture before he and his sister headed to camp.

Assorted stuff happened on Saturday evening, Sunday was the Parade, Monday was work and a City Council meeting. So, after stripping -- doors, although clothes would have been good -- I started laying the squares. I almost finished, and completed the job last night.

[Start of Rant] Only thing missing was the transition in the doorway. The booklet suggested several options. So I headed to Home Depot, again. I was looking for two items: a new closet rod (preferably wood, less than 36 inches) and the transition strip. First clerk in Home Depot sent me far, far away from the wood to the "organizing section in Aisle 7." He neglected to mention that it was in the far back of the store, not the front where I spent 20 minutes.

From there I headed to where the carpet was sold. Was there anyone there? No way. I wandered for 15 minutes, found the Pergo transition strips, the metal carpet transition strips, and just about everything else except for what I wanted. There was another young lady looking for help to purchase some roll carpet, and we finally got a clerk to call for help. When the guy came, he could not have been less interested in my problem. He showed me the Pergo strips. I showed him the booklet....for the product manufactured EXCLUSIVELY for Home Depot. He said "We don't carry that. Good luck." I was steamed. It was probably a good thing that I had not yet found the "dowel" which is what I wanted for a closet rod (oak, four feet long, just what I wanted!) or I would have hit him over the head.

Then came check out. Line was long, and rather than scanning one item and counting how many, the clerk individually scanned the five or six different types of plumbing connectors (15-20 of EACH kind) both plastic and copper, for the two guys in front of me. It was interminable. I walked out of there is such a foul mood. [End Rant]

It is the daily customer service exchanges which I have which remind me of the importance of the front line library staff. I am blessed that my staff is generally great. When they err, it is usually in favor of the patron. I am proud of that.

No comments:

Post a Comment