Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Truth in Advertising?


I returned to Home Depot today after my biweekly trip to the Red Cross for apheresis. And I now have proof that customer service is a foreign concept there. I went to the services desk (my other choices being a regular register, the returns desk, or contractor services). I first asked how I should handle the unpaid-for item (take another up to the register, which is what I figured.) I then said I'd like to make a complaint. After listening to me, the woman said "well, they have to restock." I repeated the part about "but they don't need to make part of the store inaccessible for 45 minutes or more to do it." Ponder. "There's an 800 customer service number. I'll write it down for you." Uh-huh. I guess they don't have any customer service here.

Taking another service panel to a register caused some confusion. I explained about it not being scanned yesterday, the security guard not noticing (a 2 square foot cardboard box?!?) and that I wanted to pay for it. OK. Scan the UPC, swipe the credit card, fail to check ID (whoops!) to make sure I was the owner of the card, and I'm out of there, right? "Don't forget your item!" Huh? I thought at first she was joking. So I explained again, finishing with "I got one yesterday, but they didn't charge for it. This balances things. Thanks!" I still think she thought I was from another planet or something.

Maybe the honesty was disorienting. Given the state of things in Washington, D.C., and corporate boardrooms around the world, I can understand that confusion. The whole thing made me think of the movie Paper Moon, where Ryan O'Neal runs a little scam swapping ones and fives and tens with a rapid patter about getting change and ending up with more money than he started. Tatum O'Neal catches on quickly and does the same thing herself when given a chance. Great movie, by the way. If you've got Netflix (which does have good customer service, in my experience), add it to your queue. And no, while I could have, I did not bring home the second breaker panel.

The good news is I finally found out where they have breakers on display and for sale in the store. At the newly constructed merchandise pickup window near the registers. Oh, there are a few attached to a display back near the breaker panels (and behind a sign, so you have to be 20 feet back to see them) where you might expect to find them, but the rest are mysteriously at the pickup window at the front of the store. If there's a sign indicating that back in the electrical section, it's well-hidden, too.

1 comment:

Gene said...

Hmm. Just noticed the similarity in colors between my logo and the Home Depot colors. Definitely not a concious decision. I think I was more influenced by a DIY website, DIY Network that I stumbled across when researching some material or technique for the addition.