3.01.2012

I Fucking Hate Home Depot

***Update: read about how Home Depot made it up to us HERE.

Bad news. We had to return our planer. I know. Total suck fest. A little while ago I was taking a break being sick again and Chris was out in the garage working on building the table and planing all the wood to the same thickness. The first couple boards went in like a glove, but afterwards...well...there was a lot of door slamming and heaving off of safety glasses as Chris came inside time after time to look online at reviews and any articles he could find where people were having the same problem as him and if there was any way to fix it.

Normally we love DeWalt tools. Their tile saw is totally awesome and we've never had any problems at all, but upon delving into reviews a bit more for this DeWalt planer we got, Chris saw that
many people were having a similar problem that he was: the knives very quickly became dull (as in after less than 10 boards) and so the machine basically stopped self feeding and became EXTREMELY difficult to even try to shove a board through. Let's just say the noises the machine were making were not pretty.

We were left with a tough decision, but based on the incredible difficulty we were already having combined with the evidence of similar problems so many other people had, we resolved that we needed to return it.

We were a little nervous because we no longer had the box, but who saves boxes for 6 weeks after you've bought something and assumed that fresh out of the packaging it would work properly, especially after it did work when we ran a couple test boards through it? We did have the machine, the receipt, and the manual. So I called Home Depot and attempted to explain the problem but the guy kept cutting me off and said, "Just bring it in, we'll return it." Alright, I guess they'll let us return it.

Not so fast. We got to Home Depot and had to wait forever (but isn't that what always happens?) for someone from hardware to come help us. He came over and stared wide eyed at the machine and asked what we were trying to do. We said return it, the machine didn't work. It planed about 6 boards and then after that it basically stopped working. He went to go talk to his manager and we waited and waited and waited.

He finally returned. He said that because it was purchased over 30 days ago and that's their return policy that they couldn't return it. Wait, what? 30 days? I'm pretty sure Home Depot's return policy is 90 days, EVEN FOR USED ITEMS. I asked politely why that was the case because it says 90 days on our receipt

He got really defensive (and turned into kind of a dick) and said he was just telling me what the manager said. Chris and I said (politely again) that we understood that, but how come it says 90 days on our receipt but you're now saying it's 30 days? Again, Defensive Dick was dickish and so we asked to talk to a manager.

That took FOREVER again. And when she finally came out she went straight to the return counter to LOOK AT THE RETURN POLICY. Yes, that's right: the manager didn't know the return policy and so she had to come out to look at it. And let me show you what it says

(click to make it bigger)

But do you want to know what this idiot told us after she read the return policy she didn't know even though she's the manager of the store? That it was after our return period because power tools have a 30 day return policy. We said, "your return policy says 'gasoline-powered tools' ---" to which The Idiot interrupted and said, "no, gas and power tools." Really Idiot? I think I can read punctuation, and this hyphen...

...does not mean "Gas and power" IT MEANS "GAS-POWERED!"

And, the other thing, it is also covered under DeWalt's own warranty in their manual. Idiot.

That's right, 90 days WITH NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

I was so pissed off. Chris gave me the stink eye so I kept my mouth shut and let him calmly tell The Idiot that she was indeed an idiot and that we bought a product that doesn't work, your return policy indicates that we can return it, the person we spoke to on the phone said we can return it, and the warranty in the manual says we can return it.

Finally, after over an hour and a trip back to the house to get the manual (because they insisted they couldn't take it back without it) The Idiot and Defensive Dick finally accepted the tool for a return that their return policy and DeWalt's manual told us we were allowed to return. Fuckers.

And once all the frustration subsided we were finally able to mourn the loss of the planer. Sigh. We really wanted it to work (especially at a great price and with gift cards that we had from Home Depot that helped pay for it), but sadly it didn't. We've got nothing against DeWalt, and as I said before, we normally love their tools, but unfortunately this one didn't work for us.

We resolved that if we wanted to get another planer we would have to get one from another brand. But those suckers come in at a hefty price tag. But we really really really wanted one and that table really needs one (reclaimed lumber would be just a
tad difficult without it). And now that we're getting better at building we've got lots of plans for stuff to build: a hallway cabinet, multiple laundry room cabinets, a room wide cabinet/hutch thing in the TV room, a bed, possibly a banquet in the nook... So Chris shopped around online and settled on a Makita one

It came in steep: $550. Yikes. But whenever we work on other projects for other people we put the money aside into a joint bank account to save for a rainy day or a possible vacation, and we decided this was that rainy day. It helped that out of 116 total reviews 108 of them were 4 and 5 stars (and 84 were 5). Plus, a very helpful reviewer had came back multiple times after using the planer for years to give updates on how it was holding up and he'd used it for thousands of board feet and it kept on kicking. So that's how our bank accounts are now $550 lighter and why I'll continue to always hate Home Depot. Lowe's, could you please open a location close to us? (there are over 5 HD locations closer than the nearest Lowe's) PRETTY PLEASE?

16 comments:

Heather said...

This made my blood pressure rise, just reading about it. That totally sucks.

It's funny, I've always preferred HD because their return policy is so good; this surprises me.

You should totally write the CEO: http://consumerist.com/2009/11/call-home-depot-ceo-frank-blake.html

They respond *very* quickly and maybe they'll retrain the manager at that store so they don't treat future customers so poorly.

meryl rose said...

Thanks for the support AND suggestion Heather. I think I might just have to do that: to do list for tomorrow! :)

Reuben Collins said...

dicks!

Your house looks like a little castle from the outside. I like that.

meryl rose said...

Thanks Reuben :) It's actually called a Storybook Home
http://www.amazon.com/Storybook-Style-Americas-Whimsical-Twenties/dp/0670893854
All the houses on our street are of similar architecture and there's a similar street in a town just west of us called Alameda. Also, the city of Berkeley has some and LA has a bunch too.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I also hate HD. I just went there and got cash back ($10) at the self check out because no one EVER WORKS THE ACTUAL REGISTERS THERE and then my pregnancy brain took over and I forgot to grab my money, came back 3 minutes later and it was gone. There was no one in the store, and the lady working there said there was 'lots of people through that register'....mmmm hmmmm....she probably took it herself. Bitch.

Robin @ 3 acres & 3000 sf said...

I hate HD too. Their employees are idiots and you can never find one when you need one. Their prices are higher on every single stinking thing we buy and their receipts don't give enough description to tell what is what. We don't have a Lowe's nearby either but we have oh so many Menard's. Love them!

meryl rose said...

Sara - THAT IS SO LAME! I can't believe how terrible that is. And it is so unbelievably true: NO ONE works the registers, grrrr

Robin - I always hear such good things about Menard's! Alas, I just looked on their website and the closest one is in Wyoming...that would be quite the renovation road trip :)

meryl rose said...

Oh! And I just wrote Frank Blake, the CEO, I shall update if I hear a response!

Anonymous said...

Was this at the Emeryville HD or the Oakland location? I have never had them hassle me on a return at Emeryville. I wonder if they allow you to return items at another store -- might be worth a try next time.
And another point in favor of Emeryville, I have been pleasantly surprised that there are quite a few knowledgeable employees working the floor there - sorry to stereotype but the older employees are the ones who really know the products and can help you find something or make recommendations.

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

That is infuriating! As with Heather's experience, we've always had great service and no issues at all with returning things (even without a receipt). If this doesn't warrant a note to the HD CEO, I don't know what does!
Good luck.

meryl rose said...

It was at the Oakland one. Maybe we'll try the Emeryville one next time. Anything for better luck, sigh. And yes, as terrible as it is to stereotype, I do agree that the older employees have tended to be more knowledgeable, and if not at least more polite. We definitely know the employees at the Oakland one (it's way closer for us) that know what they're talking about and try to seek them out. Unfortunately they're few and far between.

Thanks Carrie! I wrote on Friday morning and I definitely be updating on this here blog if I hear a response.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed how you express yourself, telling how you really feel. Sometimes, when the occasion demands, I just don't wanna be nice about it!

Yeah, I get the stink eye too.

Anonymous said...

I agree they should have taken it back, no questions asked, BUT, if you read the return policy, it states "UNOPENED", so in all actually, they were following their return policy.

meryl rose said...

I completely understand that point, however when you open a tool you spent $300+ on and out of the box it doesn't work after 10 minutes and the warranty that comes with it states NO QUESTIONS ASKED WITHIN 90 DAYS and you make us go through everything we did, they are not following their return policy. Plus, we called beforehand to make sure and they assured us and told us to bring it in.

Anonymous said...

I recently returned a plant that died. Since it was past 90 days they issued me a store credit for about $10. I later used the store credit towards a purchase of $200. I didn't use all the material and a few days later tried to return $40 of the material. My return was denied. They said that since I used store credit the system denied the return. No one in the store could explain why. I was given an 800 number to call. I called the 800 number, was on the phone waiting for 1 hour, then finally after 1 hour wait I got a voice recording asking me to leave a message with the details regarding the deny.

So, $190 was put on my credit card. $10 was store credit. I want to return $40 and I'm denied. This is insane. Even the manager, who can not override the system, could not understand how a $10 store credit would block a return since clearly 95% of my purchase was put on a credit card. Common since would have allow me to return the first $190 back on my credit card before ever considering the use of a a $10 store credit.

I had my drivers license, original receipt, credit card, and none of the items were ever opened. I wasted time going to the store, standing in line, calling 800 number and could not get my money back. The whole reason for going to home depot is to save a few dollars. However, my time and gas end up costing more than I saved had a just went to a local hardware store or Lowes or Orchard. I understand they are trying to prevent fraud but my case is insane. I think HD is using a few fraud cases to make it difficult and frustrating for ALL returns. They like you to buy but hate for you to return. This really sucks because I usually buy more than I need because I don't want to fall short of materials while performing a repair. I'd much rather return (later) any unused materials.
December 28, 2012

meryl rose said...

Oh man, that SUCKS! It just amazes me the stupidity of return policies. You should really write to the CEO, the link to his email is in the first comment to this post. I wrote and heard back within 4 days. The people in the stores are idiots, but after I wrote that email they were actually pretty helpful. I would try it at least. Sorry for the headache :( I totally know how you feel :(