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Tag Archives: bad customer service

Home Depot, You Let Me Down

6 Oct

October 11, 2018

I think my love affair with Home Depot is coming to an end.

There’s really no better place to go and browse. They have power tools! Hand tools! Huge crowbars, giant sledgehammers, and stuff to slice off your fingers if you aren’t careful. I’m a tool guy. (No, I’m not a tool, guy. I’m a tool guy. Let that be your lesson in the importance of the mighty comma.) I can shop there for days and buy all kinds of stuff and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a use for some of it. I’m the type of guy who will walk in for a tube of caulk and walk out with a reciprocating saw and three or four new hammers just because, you know, I can’t resist them. My buyer’s resistance drops perilously low at Home Depot. I admit that I’ve never bought an arc welder or a blowtorch but I was thisclose more than once.

This will be me one day!

But this time was different.

I was there for some Venetian blinds. The wife and I are in a new apartment and though I put up curtains months ago I’ve been slow with the blinds. So it is either curtains shut and no light at all or curtains open and the neighbor across the driveway can see straight into my kitchen. And she has both curtains and blinds yet closes neither. I’m pretty sure she wants us to see in because (NOTE TO MY WIFE: Stop reading here. Um, to be on the safe side, maybe I should stop writing here instead and move on.)

See? You get the point and I didn’t type a single word.
NOTE TO MY WIFE: This is a perfectly innocent Seinfeld clip that has absolutely no relevance to this post. Yeah.

Normally I’d have jumped at the chance to put up blinds. I could use my tools! Charge up my power drill! Get out my work gloves with the magnetic patches to hold the screws! And… and… that’s it really. Maybe a screwdriver and that’s no fun. You see. not only are blinds just too simple to put up to get excited over, but I’ve done so many of them over the years it’s actually gotten boring. Give me a job like re-roofing a garage, or building a chimney anytime. OK, I’d probably call a professional, but at least I could stand around and stare at the hacksaws and miters. That’s man stuff right there.

But putting up blinds gave me one thing that got me grooving: I had to buy the blinds. Not exciting? I’m going to buy them at Home Depot!

So last weekend the wife and I went to my little slice of Heaven. I know the place week, know the layout. I fist-bumped the greeter at the door (confusing him to no end since he never saw me before and walked no, strutted into the store like George Jefferson.

I boogied past the  ceramic tiles and moonwalked through the garden hoses. And then I got to the aisle with the blinds and stopped dead in my rhythmic tracks. It was almost empty. Sure, they had the really expensive motorized blinds, and the really cheap paper stuff that you stick on with an adhesive until it either falls off or catches fire from a candle or even the sun, but the normal stuff? Nope.

Or to be precise, yep, but not in my size. I’m used to that while pants shopping (they don’t call me Mr. Big Pants for nothing) but Venetian blinds? Seemed like they had plenty of every size but the one I wanted. (Or the eight I wanted, to be exact.) I needed a simple 31 width. No biggie.

I looked at every box, every single stinking box in the blinds aisle. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I eventually did what no man wants to do, especially in front of  his wife. I am ashamed to be writing this, and embarrassed to admit this, but I… I…

…asked for help from an employee.

He was walking past and wearing an orange apron so he was either a Home Depot worker or a Halloween chef. I told him the problem and started to bring him to the aisle but he took out his phone and opened the app to find where in the store they have the blinds. And it only took him 6 minutes to discover they were where I was going to bring him 6 minutes ago. Thank you technology!

He went to the aisle and again got on the app. I could see his phone so no, he was not on Tinder or Instagram or playing Red Dead Redemption, he was actually doing something relevant. He poked his phone for awhile then walked away. Simply walked away and never came back, just rode off into the sunset.

This metaphor works because the sunset is Home Depot orange. See the thought I put into this?

Soon another guy in an orange apron came over. Picture a guy who you’e never expect to see at Home Depot but would look right at home on the internet debating if Kirk could beat up Picard, and this was the next employee to help me. I explained to him that someone else was helping us.

“Did he look up the numbers?”
“Um, he bent down and read the label on the shelf, and looked at this phone for a long time.”
“But did he look up the numbers?”
“I don’t know… he read the labels……. um……”
“But did he look up the numbers?”

This guy asked me that over and over and over and I still have no idea what he meant. But eventually he got to work. What did he do? bent down and red the label on the shelf, then looked at this phone for a long time. Then he simply walked away.

Again!

I fully expected this to be a practical joke and soon I’d be all over the internet as “man who can’t get blinds” but no, this was real. I was not about to leave without the Venetian blinds, regardless of whether or not they existed. I was going to take them off some guy’s windows in the building next door if I had to. But as I was looking for a manager to yell at, the second guy came back, pulling a ladder. That had to mean that he knew where to get the blinds, right?

Wrong. He pulled the ladder into the middle of the sales floor, nowhere near the blinds section, and walked away. This had to be a joke, right? What the heck was he doing?????

I never did find out the point of the ladder but he did come back, with no blinds and no clue about where to find them. But he was determined! After complaining about “the girls” who work in this section and how “those girls” never tidy it up, and how “those girls” never stock anything, and how “girls really don’t get it” he asked me to give him a few more minutes. I looked over at my wife who, God bless her, had not rammed anything down this guy’s throat, and looked back at the guy.

“No.”

He stammered a little and then I cut him off, said we were going, and hoped that the next store we went to had the blinds, or at least employees who know what they are doing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not walk out empty-handed. I bought a flashlight and some sandpaper. (I have nothing to sand but it was the very fine grade so I had to have it.) The cashier was kind enough to look up from her phone for a few seconds to ring us up. I got a look at the Instagram page she was on and let’s just say the “the girls” she was looking at would have given the last guy a heart attack.

I have never left Home Depot so let down.

 

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Spotlight: Anam Shah

31 Jul

July 31, 2012

Spotlight Week 2012 continues with Anam Shah. Anam writes the blog My perception and then yours, which you can find in the sidebar or just click the image below. Take a second, it is worth a look around. Among the things you’ll find there are some intriguing literary analysis and also some interesting personal insights. She has a very interesting point-of-view and sharp insights into the world. I hope you find her as engrossing as I do.

Anam has done something a little different for Spotlight Week. She’s homed in on one of her recent experiences and described for us one of life’s too-common annoyances.

Rite Aid should be called Band Aid

It’s laughable how easy it is to find a job in the sales industry and yet the lack of actual customer service is so daunting. I don’t know about you guys but I pride true customer service. I was part of that industry and I had always exhibited the best.  To find it and be shocked into speechlessness is how often I come across it. Besides the fact that the title rhymes; the horrific experiences that I’ve had at this Pharmacy chain is beyond belief. Now one “W” is very prominent. “Why do you go there?” I will answer that question in due time. So don’t slip in your puddle with your lack of patience or pee in your pants.

     It all started in the month of April and yet the confrontation is still fresh in my mind. It was unwarranted the harassment I faced just to buy bottles of shampoo and boxes of soda. Instead of being heralded as a great customer, loyal to the extreme that spent over 100 dollars at this store; I was treated worse than a shoplifter.

     The sale was to buy three boxes of soda of 12 oz cans for 11 dollars, which was a great deal, but the real reason I was there was to buy overpriced shampoo bottles that were on sale. Rite Aid was the only pharmacy that I found to have John Frieda on sale for “Buy one and Get one for 50% off” with a 5 dollar cash back option if you bought shampoo for more than fifteen dollars.

     Then the notch count against the common people began. First the soda cans that were on their shelves were expired. Then there was only one person on the floor who had a clue about the sale. Next, their sale stickers were all old and no one had bothered to put the new ones up. Then I went up to the counter and found out that the cashier had no clue which soda brands were on sale. He was asking me, the customer, if I knew. Worse, he went ahead and charged me for the soda that I didn’t want even though I repeated a zillion times that I didn’t want the product. Annoyed, I was a bit short with the guy and I told him this is his job to know the current prices in the store not mine.

     After the horrendous trial of just paying, I was catching up with my ex-roommate that I had happened to bump into while at Rite Aid. She had worked on Wall Street and had recently been laid off. We mentioned our various occupations, the economic downturn and lack of jobs. During this time the incompetent staff was privy to our conversation and I didn’t know that it would escalate into a situation where I would personally be under attack. I was about to leave the store and I mentioned to the security guard that I would need to take the shopping cart to my car since I had so many purchases that would make it hard for me to carry. He grunted and said as long as I bought the cart back to the store it was fine. I said farewell to my roomie and went to the car. When I turned back and wheeled the cart back into the store I found the guard outside and the first thing he said “You gave the cashier a very rough time.” I frowned in confusion and responded “Well he didn’t know what he was doing.” He agreed but then he prolonged the conversation and he tried to turn the tables and said “You should have been nice to him.”  Incredulous I was like “I am just returning the cart, unless you are the manager of this store why are we having this conversation?”  Then the personal attacks began; I was bitter ……. I had problems… Did I even have a man………he was just talking to me. Who cares if I just spent an easy 50 dollars on one transaction?  At this point I had enough. I gave him a really good backlash which included losing my temper and giving him a good dose of the true Brooklyn language. The manager was not there and the guard’s name tag was turned around. Very sarcastically I said “So that is why you make sure your name is so inconspicuous.” I laughed in his face and I said “You are a waste of my time. I will be making a few phone calls and filing an online complaint with Rite Aid.” During this time a crowd had gathered and one customer actually came and asked me what the whole scene was about. My response was I should have called the cops and pressed charges for such harassment of the verbal kind. Plus I should have just left the cart in the parking lot instead of being courteous and returning it to the store.

               I got home and filed an online complaint. The next business day, I called the company using their 1-800 number open to the public. That very afternoon I got phone calls from a 718 number. No voicemail, just hang-ups. This made me raise my eyebrows. Finally, I found that it was the Regional Manager of Rite Aid. Why didn’t he leave a voice message which would be the norm? He apologized for my experience. During this time I was not allowed to talk and mention my grievances. He blamed the easy target: the cashier. My complaint was with the security guard. Then he mentioned policies and procedures like I was a two year-old. Like come on, even if you worked at McDonald’s there are policies and procedures to follow. There was no talk of reprimanding the security guard.  The apology: a band aid. Useless when wet and came off easily.

            The next time I went to that Rite Aid………………… the cashier wasn’t present but I did see the security guard. Oh and by the way he was telling another female customer ahead of me, quite candidly, how stupid he thought she was. She responded with a smile. Did they know one another? I don’t know. Was it professional? No. As a customer I believe once you’re on the job your personal life should be out the door. He saw me looking at him and I believe he refrained from using perverse words of another nature.  I was highly irked with these new tidings and the outcome of my complaint which had been so easily disregarded. I sent the Regional Manager an email. It said the following:

Dear Richard:

Not that long ago I went to that location again. I was horrified to see that you still have that atrocious security guard working there. I see that the customers opinions are considered null and insignificant. His inappropriate remarks are generously rewarded. Considering that factor I was not surprised to overhear another inappropriate remark with his then present conversation with another customer.

I used to work for a Rite Aid as a teenager, but if  he had did what he verbally did with me at my current firm which  I work for, he would have been terminated for his lack of professionalism. I am surprised that you keep on such employees when he is from a third-party and probably a dime a dozen.

I will take my business elsewhere and trust me when I say that word of mouth is very powerful. I was willing to consider the Rite Aid employees being written up or given a verbal warning because I understand that procedures differ at each company. For you to keep on a security guard that intimidates customers is horrible. Your lucky that nobody has called 911 for his harassing behavior.

Since I am an Accountant and well versed in the business world I will tell you this. I will make sure everybody that I know in the immediate vicinity will not go to that Rite Aid or any other. I will even post my bad customer service experiences on my blog. I hope you will enjoy that since I can see how much you care about customer service. I will take all my prescriptions and my family members to CVS. I will also promote CVS and tell everybody I know or even briefly acquainted with why I don’t go to Rite Aid. Competition is lovely thing isn’t it? Especially in the private sector.

I hope this has given you food for thought. I am disgusted that I have to mention my background for you to take me seriously.

Regards,

Anam Shah ……

The Regional Mangers response to my concerns about a security guard that harassed female customers?  There was none. Great Customer service! My only regret, I should have called the cops and filed a complaint against that bloke of a security guard when I had the chance!
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