Home Depot Sells You A Deck They Can't Legally Build

Robert and his wife ordered a deck from Home Depot with the understanding that it would be installed around the middle of August. It turns out that Home Depot didn’t have necessary certification in order to build the deck. Home Depot is now requiring Robert and his wife wait until around Thanksgiving while their engineer does his paperwork.

Robert writes:

I have been a long time reader of The Consumerist and I thought that this would be a good time to submit something.

In June my wife and I decided that it was time to add a deck onto the back of our house. We had 4 or 5 contractors come out to our house and give us estimates. We decided to go with the Home Depot Deck Division because of their name as well as the quality of deck that we would be getting. We signed the contract on July 2nd. We were told that the deck would be put in around the middle to end of August. We really didn’t want to wait, but figured we would have it in time for a Labor Day get-together.

We were told that we would have a measurement guy come out and measure for the deck in about 2 weeks. When he came out he told us that our home-owners association packet would be in the mail within a week. About 3 weeks later we still had not received our HOA packet. I called them to ask about it and they said that it was scheduled to go out early the next week. They also said that when we got it back from our HOA to call them and set up a time to put in the deck. We finally received the HOA packet and I sent it off to get approved. When I got it back on August 23rd I called Home Depot to let them know I got it back and to set up a time for them to come and put the deck in.

Thats when things went downhill fast. When I finally got ahold of the person I was supposed to get ahold of (Carla) I told her I got the homeowners packet back. She asked me to fax the approval letter to her so she could put it in the file. I had to get off the phone so I could fax it and I told her I would call her back to make sure she received it. I faxed it over and then I called Carla back. When I asked when we would be able to get the deck put in she said there was a problem. She said that the engineer for Home Depot Deck Division in our area did not have the County Seal. She said they had figured out this a week earlier and were trying to straighten it out. She said that it will probably take at least 11 weeks to get the seal and then another week or so to get the permit.

I couldn’t believe what she was saying. 12 more weeks before our deck could be put in? That would mean we could start enjoying our deck around Thanksgiving. In West Virginia Thanksgiving is not the time you want to be sitting out on a deck unless you enjoy 30 and 40 degree weather with snow and rain.

My wife called them back the next day and talked to Carla’s supervisor. The supervisor was really unsympathetic and said that their was nothing she could do. When my wife asked to be compensated for our time she was told that Home Depot does not talk about compensation until the deck is complete. My thinking on this is that they wait until you have the product attached to your house and then you still owe them the money no matter how much compensation they deem sufficient.

So, Home Depot knows they are going to install a deck in Jefferson County, WV on July 2nd, yet they don’t have a seal to do so in this county. They wait until almost 2 months later to even begin applying for the seal. Thus making us, the costumer, wait an additional 3-4 months to get our deck put in. What do you think is fair compensation? Do you think we should have to wait until the deck is complete before we talk about compensation? We went with home depot because of their brand name, the quality of their decks, and the lifetime warranty they offer on their decks. Now after dealing with them we are extremely disappointed with their customer service and their attention to their customers.

If you could please post this to your site I would really appreciate it. I feel that Home Depot is not doing anything to keep our business because we signed a contract.

As bad as it sounds, the fact that Home Depot’s contractor didn’t have his paperwork filed doesn’t surprise us. Here are some other people who would also not be surprised: The woman with a sex offender in her kitchen, and the guy whose kitchen got gutted and never replaced.

Anyhow, you’ll want to file complaint with the West Virginia Attorney General and the BBB.You can also call the AG’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808. You might also want to complain to the county you live in as well as the West Virginia Department of Labor.

It also might not hurt to show the contract you signed to a lawyer. Perhaps some bright legal mind can give you some advice that we can’t. If you can’t manage to avoid having Home Depot install your deck, try an EECB. When launching your EECB, be sure to include copies of all the complaints you’ve filed.

How To Protect Yourself From Home Improvement Scams [West Virginia AG]