Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Trip To Home Depot

Mark this as another freebie day due to extremely poor customer service.

I went to Home Depot to buy some cheap 8 foot strips of wood to hold my Sissoo’s up straight. Sissoo trees that is. They need the help - they are drooping over, just not mature trees yet. I also wanted to get a big economy box of Miracle Gro; poison that kills the bees or whatever that are eating leaves off of various plants around the property and some of that green tie-off stuff to hold the trees to the posts - much easier on the bark than rope or whatever else may be laying around.

I spent considerable time in the store looking for all of this stuff. That, in and of itself alone meant nothing to me at the time - huge store and I didn’t know where some of the stuff was at.

I go to the garden checkout. The teenager that is running the register has already shut it down. The garden checkout was NOT closed, but she had closed it anyway. Now, she was trying to get it up and going again. Well, it was ABOUT to close in like 10 minutes. I waited at least 5 minutes for her to get this register going again, she finally shut the thing off and moved to the register on the other side. I wasn’t particularly amused but I said nothing about it and kept my “good graces”.

She rung everything up, I paid the bill, walaah. Done.

Not.

I ALWAYS go over register receipts. I don’t care how long it takes - such as going over a grocery receipt - I am not going to get ripped off by a computer that scans something wrong or has wrong information input into the system. I spotted a glaring mistake. The poison - which I remember clearly read at $6.79 run up at $13.99. I said in low tones to the cashier that I was going to go check the price on the poison as I was pretty sure it wasn’t anything near that price.

Sure enough, I was right, computer was wrong. So I go back. “Well, sir, you’re going to have to go back inside to the customer service counter, I can’t give refunds here”. At this point? I’m still in a congenial mood, stuff happens. I get to the counter, there is one lady running it, but there is no-one else there. I show her the receipt, the bottle of poison and then tell her about the error. She takes the receipt and the bottle. Another employee comes up - she goes across the way to show her something, totally putting me off.

I’m starting to have some time invested into this, and when I lose time to incompetency, I usually end up on the winning side - just have to be patient. She comes back to me - we start walking to the aisle where the poison is. She stops to help another customer. We start moving again. She stops to help yet another customer. I’m starting to get annoyed. We finally arrive at the poison center - bug killing stuff - and she sees the problem. There are 2 sizes of the same stuff. The stuff I bought was a quart size, the stuff that it rung up as is almost a gallon size. Problem was, BOTH of them were QUART containers. The stuff I bought was above the $6.79 price, the other containers were at the $13.99 price, even though they had no more quantity than the 32 ounce stuff. In other words, there were 2 problems going on here.

Regardless. We go back to the counter. Another individual is waiting at the counter. Instead of taking care of my situation first - my money back for the error, she starts taking care of this guy!! Now I’m getting to the “get management” phase, in my mind if nothing else. She spends a couple of minutes dealing with this guy and then comes back to me. At this point? I have already determined that a conversation with whatever highest level of management is available the store will occur before I leave.

But, I play the game. She tells me she is going to give me back the difference. I ask about whether there’s a scanning error policy. Nope, she says, there is not. Somewhere around that point, I asked to see a manager. She decisively tells me that she is a supervisor and can take care of whatever I need dealt with. “No, ma’am, you can NOT, you have put me off 4 times now in dealing with other customers while you were supposed to be dealing with me, I do not like your particular brand of customer service and I want to speak to the store manager.” “Well, I can call her, but she won’t be coming up here right away, it’s going to be quite a while before she gets here”.

I didn’t quite understand THAT statement, but I was firm - I will wait. I waited all of about 3 minutes. A lady shows up. I tell this lady what this other lady had done - all of it. “Is this your idea of customer service?” NO, it is NOT, she flatly stated. I then asked her about the scanning policy - same thing. I then asked for the name of the general manager, I have dealt with that person before at the store. “Well, he’s away on vacation, how can I help you?’” We go back and forth. I’m not being rude, but I am being firm.

I finally said - after her repeated asking and my repeated statement that I just wanted the name of the GM and the date this individual was going to be back - that I wanted a discount for all the time I have wasted in trying to get anything done here. She said fine and walked behind the counter. She scanned everything in my cart, proceeded to the cash register and proceeded to hand me cash - $34.04 - for the entire order.

I looked at her and stated that I still wanted to purchase these items - the money I was looking for was concerning the product that scanned wrong. No, she says, this is what I’m doing for you. I said thank you - heartily - have a great day and tried to leave. I say try because when I went to go out through the garden center - it WAS closed at this point. I turn around and go back - and see the manager giving both the cashier that spent forever and the supervisor that told me “she won’t be here for a lonnnnnnng time” absolute HELL. The kid cashier started mouthing off to her - she put an end to that in a lightning’s flash of time.

I got FAR more than I expected out of the “deal”.

Will I go back? Of course! You can’t ban EVERY store for poor/piss poor/abhorrent customer service, if you did, there wouldn’t be many places left to shop!

ben

3 comments:

  1. I certainly am glad to see that the manager was doing something about the situation with her staff. I have found that many managers will be nice to your face then rip you up one side and down the other once you leave.

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  2. Yeah, I tend to believe that as well - but who knows for sure. That's just one incident where I actually saw and heard some of what she was unleashing on both people that were involved. She was clearly unhappy that any of it occured in the first place. The supervisor's attempt to keep me from talking with the store's manager not only failed, but backfired in her face. It's one thing to be told on the phone that a manager isn't available, totally different story when you're standing there in person...

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  3. It's such a huge pet peeve for almost anybody. Unfortunately, the only way a company changes it's policies is to hit them in the profit.

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