Reader Aaron was trying to buy a toilet from Home Depot, but they, like other retailers, would not price match their own website — that is until Aaron told them he would just go to Lowe’s and have them price match Home Depot’s website.
Home Depot takes a page from Best Buy, won’t price match their own website.
Last night I went to Home Depot to buy a new toilet. Shopping online I had found exactly what I was looking for and for a great price; $88 for the American Standard all-in-one elongated, sku 959953.
I called my local store to check that they carried it, and got confirmation. At the store, the toilet was actually at the front as part of the featured items display. They had another one that at first I mistook for the one I wanted because it was posted for $88. Then I saw the one I came in for, except it was priced at $98.
I looked over both of them to see what the difference was, figuring if there was none I would save myself the inevitable argument over a price match. It turned out that the other toilet wasn’t an ‘elongated’ model. And any guy will agree that the elongated bowl is preferred.
So I load the toilet into my cart and go to checkout. But at 5:30 Monday evening, the *only* lanes open are self checkout. (Something that’s common at this HD, and a huge pet peeve of mine.)
At checkout I mention the price discrepancy to the one guy overseeing the 4 self service lanes. But before he can respond, a woman named Judy appears and tells me they don’t price match their own site. I persisted that they really should, and she replied firmly, and in a tone that said in no uncertain terms, they would not honor the price on their own website.
This is always baffling to me, but Judy took it a hair further by adding, “We’ll match a competitor’s price, but we will not match the Home Depot website prices.”
And that was that.
Not being one to give up so easily, I wheeled the toilet over to customer service and tried again. The woman there was quite a bit warmer, but still told me the same company line. In response, I twisted what Judy had just mentioned and told her that I would go buy the item at Lowes and have them price match HD’s website, since that seems to be a valid option. She went and talked to another guy, who could have been a manager and seemed to give approval, then she came back and rang up the toilet at the $88 price.
It completely baffles me that companies will pull this on their customers so often. The policy seems hypocritical and detrimental. (I would have gone to Lowes, even if just on principle if they hadn’t honored the price.) But moreover, it’s not like they were totally unwilling/unable to honor the price. It was just a matter of finding the right argument to make them concede. Which they’re probably counting on most customers just giving up and paying the higher price.
That was some quick thinking there, buddy. We have to wonder if this policy is really worth the frustration it causes. We’re sure there’s some metric that shows that its worth irritating a certain percentage of customers and driving them elsewhere for their future toilet shopping needs. Or something.