Home Depot Drives Away Another Customer Forever

Two months ago, Mike and his wife decided to re-do their floors. They’re expecting a child in November, so they made sure that they ordered the materials in plenty of time to get everything taken care of before the end of August. Mike even scheduled time off work and had family members come in from out of town to help out.

Home Depot promised delivery within 12 days. It ended up taking 63 days—and it turns out the coating on the material is defective. Mike writes, “I never want to buy another thing from Home Depot ever again.”

Here’s his full story. It’s long, but we thought you’d want to see just how many times Home Depot failed to deliver even a minimum of customer service during most of the ordeal.

I have had the absolute worst experience in my life with Home Depot over the past 2 & a half months. Let me start by saying I feel like I have given Home Depot many opportunities to make things right along the way and I have been very nice and patient for far longer than my friends and family have advised.

This ordeal began this past summer when my wife and I began looking for a floor to replace our aging carpet in our home. We have 3 dogs, a toddler and another baby on the way. We needed a floor that would be durable and cost effective, but that would be comfortable for everyone, too. We looked at the options available and spoke to 2 or 3 different Home Depot employees about the best solution. We came across Trafficmaster Allure as a possibility and began to inquire about it. Each time we asked about it, the Home Depot employees said it was great. They said it was durable and would stand up against dogs and kids, that it was easy to install and looked good, too. We brought home a sample and after a few days, decided that we would go with the Dark Walnut color. It was the best color match to our home’s decor. We had to wait a couple of months before we purchasing and continued to probe for other options. Every time we spoke to someone in the flooring department, we got the same response about the Trafficmaster Allure.

On August 7, 2009, I placed an order for 24 boxes of the Trafficmaster Allure in the Dark Walnut color from the Home Depot at Howard Lane in Austin. I paid Home Depot $1240.80. I was told that day that the order would be in no later than August 19th. That week, I requested some time off work to take care of some prep work and to give myself time to install the floor. We also arranged for some family members to come in from out of town to help out. This was the beginning of our nightmare. It was our plan to have the floor installed and behind us before September. Our second child is due the first week of November and getting a floor put in is pretty critical.

I was notified ON August 19th that the order had been delayed and that they should receive the order by 9/2. This completely derailed our plans to have our floor installed before September and made the days I took off from work useless.

The next couple of weeks were marked by numerous phone calls to the store, trying to determine the delivery date so that we could plan appropriately. We had to move both the date & location of our baby shower, too. When 9/2 came, I received no call. I called late in the day on 9/2 and was told that the order wasn’t there and that the daytime person would call me back. I called twice on 9/3 only to finally be told that the order had only partially arrived (13 boxes) and that the NEW expected ship date for the rest of the order was on 9/25!! I called again on 9/10 (after NOT receiving the status call I was told I would get) and was told again that 9/25 was definitely the arrival date. I explained that I would be removing my carpet and that the ship date was critical. I was continually told 9/25 and given no sign that it would be a problem.

On 9/12 – 9/13, I removed the carpet from my house in preparation for the arrival of the flooring in less than 2 weeks. This left bare concrete floors in 60% of my house.

On 9/21 and 9/23, I called both days to verify that the ship date was still valid. Each time I was told that 9/25 was the day. I had called after receiving NO status calls (after being told I would).

Friday, 9/25 came and I received no call. I called at 3p.m. or so and spoke to Jenny, who told me that the order had not arrived yet, but may come in on the late delivery. At 7:15 p.m. that evening, I received a call letting me know that the order had NOT come in and that they were expecting it on Monday or Tuesday of the following week. Needless to say, I was mad.

On 9/26, I called in and asked for the store manager. I was put in touch with Stephen, one of the assistant managers. After explaining this long and really frustrating process, he actually sounded like he agreed that this was a bad situation and that he would get someone to look into it. I inquired about compensation for the trouble. He said that he would get Megan on the issue and would have her call me back that day. I received no call that day.

On 9/28, Stacey called me to give me a status update on the order. She stated that the vendor said 10/9 was when the floor would be available!! I asked to speak with Stephen about it. She said that he was in a meeting and would have him call me back. Megan called me back. I asked her when they would know when the shipment was on its way. She said that she might have tracking info that Wednesday (9/30), but that 10/9 was when the order should arrive in store. Megan stated that she could not discuss compensation until the order had come in. She did not sound interested in resolving my problem and overall seemed like I was bothering her. After disconnecting, she called me back a few minutes later. She had even worse news. She informed me that after speaking to the vendor, the date of 10/9 was NOT CORRECT. 10/9 would be the date that the VENDOR was to receive the order. She could not say when it would arrive in store. Ultimately she was not helpful and the overall tone was that of condescension and disinterest. At no point did she provide a solution to my problem.

I called the next day and asked to speak with Stephen. He was not working. I called the day after that and explained what I had been told. He was mildly apologetic, but kept blaming the vendor for all the problems and he kept dancing around the topic of compensation. I was offered the opportunity to come in to get a different color, but after discussing it with my wife, we decided that we didn’t want to settle for a color that we would ultimately not like.

The next week or so we struggled with the decision of getting a complete refund and starting over with another company, picking up the boxes they did have and getting a different type of floor for the kitchen or waiting out the fulfillment of the original order. We ultimately decided to wait for the original order. We didn’t want to have to wait for a different product to come in and we also did not want to settle for something we didn’t want to begin with. On 10/2, I stopped by the store and explained to Stephen that we would prefer to wait for the original order. He briefly mentioned at that time “about $100″ off the order.

On 10/9 I received a call that the product had actually been delivered to Home Depot. Stephen stated that he could knock off about $100 – $150 for the trouble. I asked him if that was the best he could do. He said it was. I asked if there was anyone who could do better and he told me Mike Klein, the store manager. He was not working that day and would be in the next day.

On 10/10 I called and spoke to Mike Klein. He was not aware of the situation. After briefly explaining the situation, he said he would have to get with Stephen to talk to him about everything. He said I could pick up the flooring anytime I wanted to. I explained that I would not pick up the floor until we had agreed upon compensation. He said he would let me know as soon as he spoke to Stephen.

On 10/12 Mike called me and stated that after speaking with his employees, he could only offer me $200 off the order. He said that his employees did everything they could to get the product from the vendor. I explained that his vendor problems were his. I didn’t pay the vendor, I paid Home Depot. I had no recourse with the vendor and I couldn’t call the vendor. I was fed info from Home Depot employees that continually turned out to not be true. I was repeatedly told that I would be called and updated and was not. I asked if $200 was the best he could do and he said yes. I explained that I did not believe that was acceptable, but that I had to accept and pick up the floor. We were less than 1 month before the baby arrives.

On 10/13, I picked up the floor and was given a $208 refund.

On the weekend of 10/17 & 10/18, I installed the floor with almost no trouble and began to feel like the nightmare was coming to an end… until…

Less than 24 hours after installing the floor, we began seeing scratch marks on the floor. We initially thought they were simply scuffs that could be wiped off, but we soon realized that we were seeing marks from our dogs, as well as from shoes, toys and other daily life stuff. The marks can only be described as shiny spots that do not wipe away. We’re afraid to do anything on this floor now.

Upon looking into this issue further online, we’ve found numerous complaints / reviews about this same problem. This seems to be a giant issue for this product and Home Depot should not promote or sell this inferior floor. There appears to be a defect in the coating that the manufacturer has neglected to resolve. We want our money back or a comparable floor that lives up to the promises made by your employees.

This is where I am today. This is why I never want to buy another thing from Home Depot ever again.

On the plus side, Home Depot did give back $200 to apologize for the delay. But if the floor material is substandard to begin with, no partial refund is going to erase the memory of Home Depot selling shoddy merchandise that, for a while, didn’t look like it was even going to arrive.

(Photo: Neubie)