Home Depot Investigated For Scammy Remodelling Services

After hearing confessions from former employees and customers, Joel Grover undercover investigates Home Depot’s remodeling service, and found some shady business practices.

Home Depot claims you won’t have to deal with subcontractors, but they do use subcontractors. When something goes wrong, and consumers complain, Home Depot avoids or ignores their repeated phone calls and letters.

There’s no accountability for the services they are selling.

Home Depot should develop an accredited subcontractor system, or employ the workers guys directly, or not sell home remodeling services at all. — BEN POPKEN

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  1. William Mize says:

    As someone who’s used Home Depot’s carpet installation service, I can say that it was the crappiest work I’ve ever seen. Busted up baseboards, late workers, uneven cuts, poor stretching.
    What did I get for my complaining and trouble?
    A $50 gift card as shut the hell up money.
    Never, ever again.
    Six months same as cash my ass.

  2. ljauss says:

    Not suprised, ran into the same thing at Lowes. Took 6 months to get a carpet installed (took them three times), ruined my baseboards. So much for their satisfaction guarantee.

    I could never get someone on the phone, managers mysteriously left the store. It was horrendous and very upsetting. We even documented everything calmly, and the letter was sent back to the store to deal with by corporate. Scary.

  3. Sudonum says:

    Jeez, where do I start. I am a contractor who did a kitchen remodel for a friend. The friend wanted to do some of the “work” themselves to save money. I gave the friend the name of the granite fabricator I use and told her to call him and mention my name so that they would give them a good price and I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Well the friend decides that they can go to Home Depot and get almost the same price, but they can charge it on their Home Depot card and get interest free for 6 or 12 month.

    This kitchen had a floating soffit with cabinets that were installed over a bar top seperating the kitchen from the family room. The bar opening was about 10 feet total, kind of “U” shaped. She wanted the cabinets removed and track lights with pendants installed in the soffit The soffit and cabinets were quite large and were supported by struts hanging from the ceiling. She hated the struts and wanted them removed. I told her we could do that but would have to support the soffit with small columns that would go through the bar to the foundation. Columns were installed and everything ready for HD to install the granite tops.

    I was at another job site when I get a call from one of my men at that site. HD has come and gone and installed the granite. But they cut the columns so they could slide their granite under them! The soffit was already starting to sag and crack! I called HD numerous times spoke to the manager, the sub, everyone. No one would take responsibility! In the mean time these columns are flapping in the breeze and the soffit looks like its going to drop any second. The worst part is that my friend couldn’t understand what the problem was. She wanted me to support the columns with the granite counter tops, 2cm with no sub-base! Told her it couldn’t be done it would crack the granite. Well apparently the HD granite person had told her it could and it would make his job easier. The other thing I don’t get is that they templated the job with the columns in place! I was there when they made the templates. I cut holes through the granite myself, re-ran new columns through the tops and hit her with the extra for my time and trouble and told her to collect from Home Depot. Do you think the extra was more than she “saved” on the interest?

  4. Demingite says:

    Home Depot has a truly systemic problem on their hands.

  5. Roadgeek says:

    I work inside a Home Depot. Every comment made in the investigative report is true. One of the biggest problems within the organization is that of accountability: this sort of crap involving sub-contractors just goes on and on and on despite repeated complaints from within and without.
    The appliance delivery service is also a joke. There is absolutely no accountability in that arena either. I suspect any appliance specialist in any store in the chain could share horror stories about problems with deliveries.
    One instance illustrates the systemic lack of respect for the customer: a customer bought a package of kitchen appliances on 8-15. He paid full price. On 8-22 a gift card rebate program began which would have netted him $200 in gift cards had he made his purchase then. He called assuming he would get the credit to his account as a goodwill gesture. To his shock and dismay, he was told that he didn’t purchase within the time-frame; he doesn’t get the credit. Slimy, slimy behavior which definitely does not recognize the long-term gain in keeping a good customer happy so he will come back again and again…..
    Morale within the stores is at rock-bottom. The merchants who founded the company retired in 2000 and made way for a glorified bean-counter who was passed over at GE…he has brought aboard a coterie of accountants who don’t know how to sell or please customers.
    Here’s something to note….LArry Johnston, the asshole who ran Albertson’s into the ground and worked with CEO Bob Nardelli at GE, is on the Board of Directors. Connect the dots….the brain who destroyed Albertson’s is helping run Home Depot.
    I don’t understand people who buy or build homes ranging in price from 300,000 to 3,000,000 dollars who then decide to have Depot do the kitchen. I really don’t. The logic escapes me.
    I could say more but I think you get the point….

  6. SexCpotatoes says:

    Every single consumer should just sue Home Depot. There seems to be plenty of evidence against them, even if it were just in small claims court (the one around here has a limit of something like $2000 or so…) , but take that 2000 and multiply it times 10,000 pissed off defrauded customers, and you might think a 20 million dollar hit would be noticed by these fuckers. That’s not counting the people who might be able to afford more than that to hire an actual lawyer to take them for complete fixing and remodeling the damaged homes. Fuck class action, people need to go after them individually, with no chances for them to combine lawsuits or otherwise dodge compensation. Will $2000 compensate for a $23,000 kitchen that was botched, no, but if you can spend $23,000 on a kitchen, you have the money for lawyers.

    A good idea would be to start a “homedepotsucks” website and coordinate your attack, get the people to sign up promising to sue the bastards for what they did, and launch a good number of attacks all at the same time. The consumers would get a lot more than any pissy little class action suit would pay out.

  7. kepster says:

    I went through the whole process with Home Depot last year of getting an estimate, picking out fixtures etc. for a bathroom remodel. On the day I was due to sign the contract, I got a call telling me that “management” had just decided to raise all prices 30% and, despite that fact that I had a written estimate, I could not get the remodel for the price promised.
    Reading these comments, I don’t feel so bad about my crappy old bathrooom anymore.

  8. CTSLICK says:

    I was the lucky one…from reading these comments maybe the ONLY lucky one. Must be luck of the draw. Used HD to purchase and install some cabinets in our basement that we were finishing. Out of 15 or so units two arrived damaged, both were replaced quickly without issue. The sub who installed them did a very good job, in fact my contractor asked for his card so that he could use him on another job later. I feel very lucky now.

  9. broke says:

    I am seeking help to bring a class action against Home Depot on behalf of small business owners. I was harassed by an employee while I was shopping for my business. Management response was unprofessional. In attempting to avoid a second encounter with the same employee, I tripped and broke my shoulder in their lot. There have been unprofessional and even illegal actions by a Home Depot manager who then harassed me in the Emergency Room of the hospital.

    I have engaged a good lawyer and I do NOT want to hear from all the idiots who believe there are “free lawyers” all over the place. The only thing “free lawyers” do is file the papers for insurance you can file yourself. As soon as there is a fight, they charge $$.

    I DO want to hear from small business owners who must surely share my concern about the ability of Home Depot to allow its staffers to harass independent business owners.

    Please contact me:
    deniseantiques-aaattt-yahoo-dot-com

    I have paid the first retainer to my attorney.

    I cannot pay for this fight myself, at this point. My broken shoulder allows me to type, but not to make wooden items such as my business needs. My attorney has described a cost of building the case with my witnesses (many!) and this includes his travel to my home town, where the incident happened.

    I need a fight fund of about $3500, which is the equivalent of the ER bill that Home Depot is using unethical tactics to avoid paying. (As if I WANTED a broken shoulder, I was buying lumber and garden plants, sheesh!!!) I am doing everything I can to raise this money ASAP.

    Anyone who has had a run-around from Home Depot in trying to get normal coverage such as an injury or dealing with unprofessional behavior could probably benefit from helping this suit, especially if the behavior impacted an independent business owner’s work or reputation. I am not a lawyer so I don’t know how it all works, but I have an idea that what happened to me was waaayyyy beyond excusable negligence or whatever they may claim, and I have strong proof it was a result of Home Depot’s trained management behavior style.

  10. sashazur says:

    The process of finding a good contractor is straightforward but not always easy: Look at their work at other homes, ask the homeowners how things went, get bids from multiple contractors, check with the BBB, then cross your fingers and sign on the dotted line. I always do things this way and it’s never cheap (in time or money), but I’ve never been unhappy either.

    If you just pick the cheapest guy, or the first installer you find in the phone book or in a big box store, the sad truth is you will most likely get unsatisfactory results.

  11. skyblue says:

    Contracted with Home Depot to shingle my roof. The salesman was great,explaining all the features like, background checks on the workers,inspections by HomeDepot managers and an installation check by GAF when the roof was complete. The roof failed the GAF inspection which I had to initiate. One and a half years later and the retention of a lawyer threating a law suit we finially settled. Never again will I use Home Depot for services.

  12. theboys says:

    Try working for the company! They steal from their employees! If you are an At Home Services sales person and any part of a job gets screwed up they come back and take your commisions without even telling you. If the sub screws up, the salesman pays the fee. If your sales manager lies to a customer and customer care gets involved they take your commissions. All the top guys get paid and you get screwed. I lost over 4K in three weeks. If you complain they threaten to fire you or they take more $. Try being traped in Home Depot!

  13. salesman says:

    The report from NBC in LA is just the beginning. I was a salesman for HD. On roofing jobs they had us charge for re-flashing chimneys, skylights and alon walls and dormers but according to the porject managers 90% of the time they just reused the old flashing. It usually amounts to $500 or $600 per job. This is all going to be exposed in the coming investigative reports from NBC. The problem is nationwide. It’s stealing pure and simple and similar things are done with siding and windows.

  14. emohtoped says:

    I dont understand the people who say that was the worst install ruined this and that and Id never use them again. Im exspecting 100% or 200% back on a $8000 laminate floor install which I paid for in June of 2006 and its March of 2007 now and its not done . Mainly because thier people which is actually another co. do the installation could not have done a worse job, if only theyread thier own instructions on how to in thier books or how to seminars they show you how to do it yourself. Also, to all the people who have problems with management and 800 #s to call customer care all these people I see run this same game in starting off the conversation after you tell them youve been done wrong, everyone says “I want to apoligize” thats there exact words over and over, anyway what they do to wear you down is when you call back the next day to add something you forgot or you said you would get them the next day or week is right away say can I help you, and if you insist on speaking to the same person they are on break the first time you call and not there the next time if not the first time but now what are you going to do with that information you are calling to put into the file so maybe it will add up to a refund because at this point maybe you believe that I apologize BS. What I see happen to me is this new person always having to deal with dilutes your whole problem because this person says customer called to say the delivery was on Jan 5. why is that important in its self it means nothing, but sinse the mgr or the install team is saying they came on Jan. 4 and nothing was ready and thats the customers fault bla bla bla. They play a game with thier coorp. phone service. its bs and anyone who wants to hear more contac me.

  15. AZWillie says:

    $14,000 for a new A/C-FAU installation prompted by a display in the Prescott, AZ HD. Installers failed to convert to propane which resulted in a melt-down of the FAU. Winter had set in and a new furnace was needed ASAP. $4,000 later and a call to HD had them optimistically saying I would be reimbursed. That was 6 months ago……no $$$ yet. No answers to my calls to Atlanta HQ. Brandon…..where are you? I shop at Lowes or my local hardware or furniture stores now!!

  16. GenOttawaOnCanada says:

    Hello,

    We just had our kitchen completed after 42 weeks since initial purchase of our cabinets. Cabinets was the only problem with our kitchen reno. Subcontractor, counter top from Silestone, sink& faucet from Blanco, all were great!! However, our cabinets took forever with continual delays,damaged doors etc… we were without a functional kitchen for over a month due to the mis-management of our account … the whole ordeal was extremelly frustrating and stressful. We have been told that we would get some kind of compensation for all the issues concerning our reno. We have faxed numerous letters to Head Office in Atlanta and the store in our area. We were able to get information on the manufactuer of our cabinets (no help from HD- they did not want to provide the info) and we will be contacting them, hopefully this will help our cause. Anyone dealing with Fabritech (Maxx kitchen before Jan2007) be aware….great looking cabinets – terrible service.

  17. cat714 says:

    I also would NEVER use Home Depot for installation again. Purchased carpet for stairs and also terrible workmanship! When questioned on odd install the contractors blamed it on the type of carpet which they said should not have been sold to us for our type of installment. To stiff, but to late now. These men spoke very little english as well. As time went on its looking worse and worse. I am sure it will hurt my resale value. No cash to replace it yet. Have had issues with every special order placed – not just carpet (3). We had ONE positive install with an Anderson patio door.

    Order your own do it your self stuff – OK – Do not trust Home Depot to back up or follow up with shotty sub contractors.

  18. cat714 says:

    @sashazur: We are having issues with the contractors that Home Depot send to install the products we purchase from them. We do not choose these bad contractors – but make the mistake of trusting Home Depot to choose for us.

    Your advise is good. Perhaps we should just buy the product and choose our own contractors to do the installation. That way we know what we are getting and if the product is junk we can return it.