Round 19: Dell vs Home Depot

This is Round 19 in our Worst Company in America contest, Dell vs Home Depot.

Dell: Formerly the king of direct to customer PC sales, Dell now has a well-deserved reputation for abysmal bad customer service ever since they outsourced their Home and Home Office customer service departments (secret trick: always order from Small Business, it’s US based and the reps and techs still know what they’re doing). Horror stories of botched warranty repairs abound. Just Google “Dell Hell” and you’ll know what the company is so reviled.

Home Depot: Got rid of all the nice retired electricians and plumbers on its floor staff and replaced them with surly low-paid workers who didn’t know a brick from a brace, and didn’t care. They let their in-home installation business line be contracted out to incompetent unprofessional local contractors and then didn’t hold those teams accountable when egregious mistakes were made and seemed to make it a policy to, at the store level, ignore customers who complained. Perhaps because these were the same guys whose business Home Depot was trying to attract by focusing on the lucrative contracting and construction industries.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Sears vs Citibank, Wal-Mart vs TJMaxx, Mattel vs ATT, Capital One vs Video Professor, eBay/Paypal vs COX, Apple vs SallieMae, Diebold Vs Pfizer, MTV vs TransUnion
CompUSA vs DirecTV
Target vs Best Buy
Allstate vs Verizon,
DeBeers vs 1800 flowers, Starbucks vs United Airlines,
Exxon vs Crocs, Google Vs Sony, Ticketmaster vs Wachovia, Facebook vs The American Arbitration Association, Comcast vs Menu Foods


Edit Your Comment

  1. KyleOrton says:

    Is the Home Depot record in bold an attempt to influence the results? Cuz it tooootally worked.

    Actually, Dell’s done alright by me. Even the outsourced CS.

  2. scoosdad says:

    Home Depot for sure.

    These are the guys who took four tries to get my living room carpet installed, coming by three times with defective carpeting. They sent the same defective roll out to my house twice, and before the third try the installation coordinator in the store swore up and down that the new roll had been opened and checked in the store before it was brought out– lies, it was still sealed in the factory bag and it, too was defective. The first two installation crews spoke no English at all, and one of them cut himself on the tack strips and wiped his blood all over my freshly painted walls. And the first crew came out with someone else’s measuring and cutting instructions, and no clue how to get the right ones. I called the store and had it faxed to my house so they could get started.

    And I’m looking for someone now two and a half years later to come back and reinstall it correctly since it’s rippling all over the place from not being stretched and anchored properly in the first place. Bastards.

  3. Nighthawke says:

    I won’t factor in the fine timing posting it before the “hairy laptop” scandal, I’ll vote Dell all the same. Some of their models have had inherent design problems (Optiplex 270, 280, 745) that range from overloaded power supplies, to bulged filter caps on the mainboards. Even the replacement mainboards have the same bloody issue! Then you got the shocking laptops with poorly grounded power packs (insist! on 3 prong adapters, take no, or offer any quarter), to the Sony battery disaster.

  4. startertan says:

    Dell has been alright with me too so I’m throwing in for those assbags at Home Depot. The place is dirty, poorly maintained, and most of the sales people are morons. I’ll stick to Lowe’s.

  5. AceKicker says:

    Yeah, Dell has the ability to pull of some pretty retarded stunts, but unlike my experience with Home Depot, they actually have a few redeeming qualities as well.

    I’ve never really gotten the impression at Home Depot that they give a damn about what I need. Especially when the area is also surrounded by Lowes stores.

  6. nerdette314159 says:

    After spending 5 years of my life working for home depot (they offer tuition reimbursement….sweet sweet college tuition money), my vote will go to home depot. I can’t even begin to describe the horror stories. 8000$ cabinet orders being ordered wrong…3 different times, then blaming the customer for the designer’s mistakes. Installers faulty wiring their kitchen leading to electrical fires, basement flooding, not honoring warranties (extended or normal 90 days), not honoring signs….sweet jesus I could go on forever.

  7. mantari says:

    Home Depot certainly did a number on me when it came to installing two external doors on my house. They got them both crooked, and one had a gap so large that the wind blew through it. The guy spent 2-3 days trying to install them, even staying until 4am. He was CLEARLY incompetent. He brought his girlfriend/wife with him to nag at him.

    Home Depot’s solution? No, we won’t look at it to see if it was done right. But we’ll be happy to send the same guy back to do even more work. Oh? You refuse to let him work at your house ever again? There’s nothing more I can do. Okay. I’ll mark this job as “complete”.

    Yes. For real.

    BONUS: The crackpot installer, I am told by two people at Home Depot, was promoted to the position as an installation manager in Arkansas.

    My further folly: A year or two later, I paid Home Depot to come look at the mess (which they agreed was f’ed up) and then they charged me $300 to fix it. “Because I didn’t complain while it was in warranty.”

    Of course, I complained and complained when it was in warranty. Even wrote a letter to the store manager (who never replied and then was replaced). But their only solution was to keep sending the incompetent fool back out to my house.

    I’ve since switched to Lowe’s for everything.

  8. Booji_Boy says:

    This is awesome!! I work for both of them. I work for a call center company and Dell is our biggest client. Also I worked for HD several years ago and never really got around to quitting and still put in a few hours most weekends.

    Not to quibble but at the HD I’m at we have both a master plumber and master electrician. A lot of our contractors are truly awful, but at our store the policy is to do whatever it takes to fix the problem. Our store manager has personally gone to customer’s homes plenty of times to supervise and make sure the customer is happy. I’ve also gone to customer’s homes to help install appliances that were just left in people’s driveways.

    For me this is an easy vote…

  9. AaronZ says:

    I had a really bad experience with Home Depot this winter.

    I bought some carpet from them to be installed. It was the nicest stuff I found for what I wanted to spend. I was given a rough quote based on my own measurements (46 sq yards) and set up dates.

    I was told they’d match an installation price from Lowes. Then after they came out to measure (for which I paid $50 just for that), they told me they *wouldn’t* price match, because it was different carpet. (Lowes doesn’t carry that exact model.)

    Then they tell me that although I have 46 sq yards of space, but they must sell me 56 sq yards of carpet (and 56 sq yards of padding!), because it comes in rolls. At this point if I wanted any carpet installed before Christmas, I had no choice and had to pay the inflated cost, and did.
    But HD will never get another dime from me again.

  10. Raignn says:

    Home Depot because they take advantage of people who think they are the experts (or at least semi-qualified) and don’t know any better. Their asshattery affects a lot more people in much worse ways.

  11. aka Cat says:

    Isn’t Home Depot the one that sent a contractor, who was also a registered sex offender, to a female customer’s home?

  12. joebobfunguy says:

    Home depot sells it’s lumber at loss when it comes to town to put local competitors out of business. As soon as they close up shop, prices skyrocket. Dell just sells crappy products cheap, but not at a loss.

  13. sparklingpink says:

    I’ve never dealt with Dell myself so Home Depot gets my vote. Ive only had one good service experience and that was from the door greeter who did his best to help me find glue (the actual guy who KNEW where it was didnt bother to help me after pointing it out.

    “Glue’s right there, its all the same, bye”.

  14. m1k3g says:

    “replaced them with surly low-paid workers”.. Boy is this ever true. We have completely given up going to HD for anything. The people working there are total morons. They don’t know how to do a damn thing and they act like you’re bothering them when you try to order something that’s not stocked…Bunch of f*ing idiots!

  15. Pro-Pain says:

    Geesh, I never realized Home Depot was so bad. I never had to do business with them other than simple purchases. I feel sorry for those that did though.

  16. Never did business with Dell, nor had any significant issues with Home Depot. Will vote for Dell because of what I’ve heard about garbageware, offshoring of CSRs, etc.

  17. rmz says:

    Voted Dell purely because of the slide their reputation has taken. In the mid-90’s, they used to have good service and provide quality products for a good value. These days? Horrific outsourced customer service and not giving a damn bout their customers. In other words, they’ve become just like every other shitty computer manufacturer.

  18. wackyvorlon says:

    I haven’t been impressed with Home Depot. We deal with a local business that chiefly serves contractors. More knowledgeable, and better selection.

  19. MrEvil says:

    @Nighthawke: Dell wasn’t the only company to have the cap problem. Abit, HP, and Gateway all bought those same defective caps too. And in four years of doing warranty repairs for Dell I haven’t had to visit an Opti 270 or 280 for bad caps twice. Dell replaced the defective boards AND even replaced a bunch of them for systems that were out of warranty (all of them I’ve done the past year were out of warranty). The bad caps issue is a BS argument since Dell was fixing systems even when it didn’t have to. Yes, they made a mistake when purchasing components, but they have corrected it….What more do you want? The other companies with bad caps wouldn’t do squat for customers that happened to be out of warranty (I tried getting help for some HP customers) I have a stack of motherboards with bad caps on them that weren’t from Dell systems either.

    I’ll give you the two vs three prong issue on the Inspiron power bricks though. It was an extremely poor move on Dell’s part since I doubt the grounded AC adapters cost much more than the 2 prong. However, my Latitude D820 came with a 2 prong and it carries no stray voltage, neither do the newer systems.

  20. plustax says:

    I’m not a fan of Dell since that’s all we have at work but that’s IT’s problem to deal with.

    I always dread and look forward to the chaos going to the 24 hour Hollywood Home Depot on Sunset near my house. What’s always fun is driving into the parking lot in a pickup truck. It’s like you were Britney Spears and the hoards of day laborers are the paparazzi. There’s always the one person there who speaks English acting kind of like the pimp of the crowd. These guys loiter in the parking lot there’s even guys in pickup trucks selling fruits and vegetables from the bed of the truck. It’s quite an experience even before you walk in the door.

    As far as service and appearance on the inside, it’s typical HD as we see everywhere else in America. I bring a good book along with me while I stand in line to buy even the smallest items. The self checkout is usually out of order but I don’t mind being checked out by a human, at least it keeps someone employed. As much as I don’t like HD I don’t get angry at them. I have low expectations walking in and they usually don’t disappoint. If I ever had a real repair or maintenance issue I’d never use them, I’d use a smaller independent and respected contractor who has great referrals. In the same way people find me as a CPA and not using H&R Block.

  21. sgodun says:

    Home Depot for me. I switched to Lowes over a year ago specifically because of the abysmal state of Home Depot.

  22. milk says:

    Working for UT means I have to buy Dell computers for my department. Even calling the Government/HiEd customer service is a pain in the ass as it’s not in the US. For the second time in a couple years, they started mailing invoices for all of the departments in the University to me. I simply forwarded them along because it wasn’t a big deal. After a while the silliness of it started to bother me, so I called them up. I was talking to an Indian gentleman with broken English for at least 20 minutes just trying to explain the situation. How complicated is it to grasp that a University community of over 70 thousand students and staff has more than *one* PO box? He eventually said he understood and would take care of it, but the invoices kept coming months after the fact. Finally I wrote a sales representative and told him to make it go away, and it’s been a couple of months since it’s happened. Fingers crossed.

  23. forgottenpassword says:

    Well, due to the fact I can often hardly find someone on the salesfloor at HD to help me find something in their GIANT WAREHOUSE OF A STORE….. i am voting HD.

    I have had no experience with dell.


  24. says:

    Haven’t you biased this a bit by running a Dell Laptop Covered In Pubic Hair story today? ;)

  25. JustaConsumer says:

    I hate them both. But Dell is evil. Michael Dell is a neocon supporter of Bush and got the government to buy only Dell’s based on a contribution to the RNC. Not only that, but Dell is crap built to barely outlive the warranty. Dude, don’t buy a Dell.

  26. k6richar says:

    I had to vote for Dell because of their pricing of the ubuntu PCs. They charged 50 dollars more for a free OS, then when people complained the fixed that and gave $225 worth of free upgrades only on the windows computers.

    That and Home Depot hasn’t screwed the pooch in canada, yet.

  27. Learethak says:

    Amusingly enough in Alaska I had the same evil experiences everyone else has has with Home Depot and had started exclusively shopping at Lowes.

    However, moved to Montana for school and it was like entering Bizarro world. The local Lowes is dirty, poorly stocked, and manned by surly unhelpful slope brows.

    Shopping at the local HD has actually been… pleasant.

  28. scoosdad says:

    @AaronZ: Yeah they do charge you for the wasted carpet that has to be cut from the roll. That’s pretty standard procedure for a carpet install, I found.

    The moral of the story is, don’t measure the room and hallway yourself and assume you can get away with buying just that amount of square feet/yards. It depends on the width of the carpet roll itself and how much they have to cut off and/or splice back in.

    In my case [comment above] the first installation crew was sent out to my house without the diagram showing them how to cut and piece the roll to make it fit most efficiently. Without that, they probably would have cut it wrong, and would have needed more carpet than they were sent out with. I had a wider than normal room, with irregular corners, and two flights of stairs to cut out of what they sent.

  29. fuzzymuffins says:

    hell hath no fury like home depot. one step below wal-mart in their community destroying behemoth-ness.

    2 local hardware stores & 1 home/garden store are shuttered since HD came to town…

  30. elanne says:

    For the last two years I’ve used Dell hardware, a PC desktop and a black and white laser printer. Gotta’ say, they’ve been great. Only recently did I have to make a call and I got top notch service. Yes, the fellow was in India but he was really expert and a joy to deal with.

    Home Depot – well I guess I never expected more out of them than a DIY superstore. A few neighbors in my condo complex have horror stories to tell, especially with entry door installation. But then, again, I guess we probably only hear the horror stories. Still, when needed I’ll look for a local contractor/handy person to do these kinds of jobs. In the long run, I doubt it costs more.

  31. Trai_Dep says:

    Dell, since Home Depot is a lost cause.
    In theory, Michael Dell cares – at least says he cares – about customer service, so getting his attention by having Dell make the final rounds might make a difference. IMO, Home Depot’s a wasted vote for this reason.

    Oh, and for having the most convoluted, consumer-ugly buying process ever seen online. Several dozen clicks at, along with a promo code needed to be purchased from an eBay seller (requiring a PayPal acc’t), sent to a valid email address*, all so you can spend $1,700 to run Vista. Such a bargain!

    Getting a “free” iPod online seems simple, reliable and transparent in comparison.

    * Four – FOUR – sites needing registration and visiting, for those keeping track.

  32. DrGirlfriend says:

    We placed an order for a Dell PC last year. It was backordered, but they don’t tell you that until after you place your order. We found out because we noticed that the expected delivery date was way different on our order confirmation page. They just change the expected delivery date on you stealthily, so that you go, “Waaait, that’s not what the website said before I ordered it!”. We look online to see if anyone else had this problem and voila, a huge list of people upset because the same thing had happened to them. So, this was a known issue for Dell.

    We call Dell, and their first reaction was like, “too bad, so sad. It will be an extra month over what the website originally said. Happy waiting and thanks for calling Dell!” After several more phone calls and escalations, Dell was kind enough to give us a $100 coupon for a future purchase. Which hey, nice, but we had to really fight hard for them to even give a crap.

  33. unclescrooge says:

    Dell…they went from being the image of what is right with corporate America to being the poster child for how to run a business and the goodwill towards it into the ground.

    I work in IT and it’s been my experience that their PC’s are not reliable, more than 20% of their boxes have failed at my company and they are less than 2 years old, they make you pay extra to talk to American tech support, they try to convince inexperienced users like my mother-in-law to install replacement components instead of sending out a tech, and they are now taking away much of the personalization options that they have been known for.

    Shoot…knowing this…I’ll never buy another Dell until they change their tune.

  34. ionerox says:

    I’m torn. I hate Dell and the fact that they make printers that won’t ever work with another computer. But I also hate Home Depot, because they just suck a heck of a lot more than the Menards and Lowes nearby.

    I don’t expect a lot from my mega-hardware store, but a proper lumberyard is useful.

  35. Dell has been on a slide since they fired the dude.

  36. JiminyChristmas says:

    I had to vote for Home Depot, primarily because of their former CEO Robert Nardelli. He has to one of the worst when it comes to the “heads I win, tails you lose” style of corporate leadership. He’s the one primarily responsible for turning Home Depot into a joke.

    His stupidest idea was the effort to get into contractor sales. So long as HD is selling ‘installation services’ that makes them direct competitors with the local contractors. If I were one of the latter, why in the world would I do anything to help HD’s bottom line.

    Last but not least, you have to admire Nardelli’s diabolical genius: he was able to walk away from his legacy of incompetence and mediocrity with over $240 million in compensation. Like I said, “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

  37. TechnoDestructo says:

    Voted Dell because they’ve fallen farther.

  38. NotATool says:

    Home Depot for me. Just this weekend, it took them 40 minutes to check in a rental sod cutter I was returning. The problem? The guy had thrown in ramps “for free” so I could roll the thing in and out of my van. However, the “free” ramps ended up being $8, a charge which they didn’t show me until the contract was “closed.” It took them about 35 minutes to figure out how to open the contract back up and delete the cost of the ramps.

    When I was renting the sod cutter, they had 2 in stock, one with a full tank of gas and one empty. They tried to push the empty one on me. WTF???

    Oh, and the previous time I rented equipment from them, the guy tore up the door gasket in my van, then proceeded to swear at me for his decision to help me load the equipment. Home Depot’s insurance paid for a new gasket and I got an apology from the guy’s manager for that one.

  39. Ciao_Bambina says:

    I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Dell for the last five years. E.g.: When the power supply on my one-year-old Inspiron laptop went t.u. mid-afternoon about a month ago, I got on the phone with a tech in India. Yes, he was a bit difficult to understand, but we went through all the diagnostic stuff and determined that it was definitely a bad part and not the wall socket.

    I was still under warranty and so he said he could send out a new power supply unit by two day mail. Since I work from home quite a bit, I was a little panicky because I only had about 15 minutes left on my battery. I pleaded with him and then his supervisor to overnight it, even volunteering to pay the extra costs myself so that I would be able to work the next day. They wouldn’t promise me anything, but would see what they could do.

    At 9:30 a.m. the next day I had the brand new part sitting on my front porch – how cool is that?

  40. RickScarf says:

    My last trip to Home Depot was to involve getting a piece of material cut, only to have a nice old man tell me that the cutter is broken and he has asked management to get it fixed for weeks now and he is pretty sure that they will never bother to fix it because that would cost money. At least he was honest!

  41. CyberSkull says:

    The managers at Home Depot are little more than gatekeepers. They just open and close the doors, they have no real authority. Everything is micromanaged from Atlanta, even the air conditioning is tied to the weather there!

  42. rachaeljean says:

    Oooh a close one finally!

  43. President Beeblebrox says:

    Home Depot, definitely. I had them put on a new deck on my house last year. They outsourced it to U.S. Remodelers, which in turn outsourced it to a shady local contractor that used what were likely undocumented workers to do the job. The initial sales pitch should have been enough to scare me off; the U.S. Remodelers guy approached the sale like he was a starving encyclopedia salesman. To say it was high-pressure would be an underestimate.

    Anyway, I’ll spare the gory details, but give it to you by the numbers:

    Windows broken during installation: 1

    Weeks taken to repair said window: 4

    Weeks to complete deck installation: 15

    Complaints filed with BBB: 2

    Upper-level managers who told me they were taking my complaint seriously: 3

    Number of states with whose Attorneys General I filed consumer fraud complaints: 2

    Certified letters sent: 4

    Number of empty soda bottles left by contractors on my property during 12-week hiatus in installation: 20

    Amount of HD gift card given to me as mollification upon final completion of deck: $200

  44. yevarechecha says:

    I had a mixed experience when Dell repaired my computer after I spilled soda on it. Having to wait over a week to get the damned shipping box because two separate CSRs forgot to tell me I needed to call DHL myself (they took my shipping address for what reason, exactly?) was pretty annoying, as was getting the computer back quickly but with no hard drive and no optical drive, essentially rendering it a useless paperweight until they shipped me the rest of the hardware. And I had accidental damage coverage, so none of it cost me a thing. I would probably have been much more irritated if I had been losing money as well. Given the things I’ve heard about Dell, I got lucky. Once they got the freaking box thing straightened out, it was reasonably fast. They also had a new set of Windows XP system disks and drivers in my mailbox a mere 12 hours after I told tech support that I couldn’t find mine. That was impressive.

    Still, Dell it is. I’ve never had anything to do with Home Depot.

  45. scoosdad says:

    @scoosdad: Forgot my own “Dell Hell” story… about two years ago I ordered a new PC from Dell, and while waiting for mine to show up, a big Dell box showed up at my door. I thought it was mine arriving a bit early, but inside instead was somebody else’s order (for a much nicer computer than I had ordered). The box had my name and address on it, but the paperwork inside the box said it was for another Dell customer.

    I spent the better part of two days trying to convince Dell that they had shipped me someone else’s computer, and throughout they insisted that no, mine hadn’t been built or shipped yet and there was no way I could have received someone else’s PC. I finally rang the phone number of the person listed on the paperwork, and asked, “are you waiting for a PC from Dell?” He had ordered expedited delivery, and was still waiting of course, and boy was he pissed. He had already called Dell to complain that he didn’t have his PC yet, and Dell didn’t have an answer for him as to where it was. Of course they didn’t, since it was shipped to me instead of him, and Dell’s tracking said it was still in their shipping department somewhere. They had already built and shipped him a second PC before I called him.

    When they finally figured out what happened, Dell made him send back the second PC they built for him, they had me ship his first PC back to Dell in Texas, and only after they had received the second PC back from him would they ship him the first one (the one that I got and returned) back to him. Talk about a f**ked up system. I tried to get Dell to let me just ship the original one directly to him, but they said no no no.

    When I eventually got my own order, the shipping label was identical to the one on the first guy’s PC, even down to the weight and the tracking number. Best I can figure, they somehow printed out two labels for my shipment, and accidentally stuck one of them on his box. I know, I should have kept my mouth shut and kept the guy’s PC, but I figured that Dell would figure it out eventually through some kind of audit, and probably charge my credit card for both PC’s.

    (BTW, all the return shipping was through DHL… let’s not go there, the basic story was bad enough.)

    But even after all that, I would still vote for Home Depot as worst company. I got my own PC on time, and it was fine.

  46. Instigator says:

    My vote goes to Home Depot, if only because its stores in Central Florida haven’t banned con man/handy man Jim Metts from trolling for victims in its aisles. A link to the latest development in his saga is here, courtsey of the Orlando Sentinel:


  47. Wubbytoes says:

    I tried to order a laptop from Dell last year and their customer service was absolutely awful, so they got my vote.

  48. sleze69 says:

    I’ve been buying Dell Computers since 1990. I have had a few problems but all of them were resolved.

    Home Depot definately is going downhill wrt the people they hire. Home Depot for the win.

  49. alulim says:

    WIN WIN WIN… sorry its my first bracket without a bad word for either company… i’m happy…

    actually, my parents have had a great experience with dell. yes, you get a flier every month but they have bought 3 good pcs from them.

    *disclaimer, i have never bought a dell but have been tempted.*

    i’m no techno geek but they do provide a steady service; my monieter is a dell…

    ..actually mad inputs…



  50. alulim says:

    knew a guy who once worked for RS now he’s on plumbing… yeah he kinda built the part…

  51. wildness says:

    Here’s a similar secret (to buying from Small Business) for Dish Network customers: when you need customer service SELECT TECH SUPPORT because, unlike customer service which has been outsourced to someplace where English is second language, Tech Support is answered in the United States.

  52. JustaConsumer says:

    If Dell doesn’t “win” this one they should be put in a special loser’s bracket. This was a case of two “number 1” seeds meeting in the first round. This was just bad bracketology. Dell is definitely in the top ten worst companies.

  53. DeafChick says:

    Don’t shop at Home Depot but do have Dell computers at work and they suck.

    Dell it is.

  54. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    wow, i click this right after reading a story about the Pube laptop….

  55. photoartist says:

    HOME DESPOT is the winner here. Yes I mispelled it deliberately. I would not let one of their phony ‘contractors’ into my house to save my life.

    Dell might have crappy customer service, but at least they make a decent machine. Not as good as a Mac, but Apple has problems of their own I won’t go into.

    I work in advertising, so to me this problem is not limited to just Home Depot. It’s American big business in general. American corporations reduce customers to sheer numbers. The individual consumer is meaningless. Stock price is all that counts

    Rather than spend a God damned dime on customer relations, companies will instead spend billions on asinine TV and print ads touting how wonderful they are and how they LOVE their freespirited customers.

    All their ads use the same basic formula: HAPPY HAPPY CHEERFUL INTELILGENT employees who in turn are EAGER top help and serve HAPPY HAPPY CHEERFUL customers.

    If you, the individual, don’t have the same HAPPY HAPPY experience in real life, then YOU are the problem. Probably because you hate America. It certainly couldn’t be the fault of our company. Heaven forbid.

    Rather than build a company’s reputation on solid customer care, quality and service, most companies find it more economical and profitable to create the ILLUSION of customer care, quality and service through expensive TV ads.

    This is true of Home Depot, Best Buy, McDonalds, Verizon, Blue Shield, etc.

    In fact the Bush administration is a glowing example of a presidential administration using a corporate playbook. Why spend billions rebuilding New Orleans when you can have a well staged PHOTO OP in front of a BIG BANNER that says WE CARE or some other meaningless slogan. TV propaganda in lieu of real solutions.

  56. Lambasted says:

    I cannot vote for Dell considering it is the only computer company remaining that still offers Windows XP for those of us who would rather sell our first born than use Vista.

    I am probably going to buy a Dell laptop now just so I can get it with XP, as I have yet to find a set of instructions to remove Vista that is not riddled with “proceed at your own risk” cautions about one thing or another.

    Dell is the worst when it comes to customer service. They stopped providing Resource CDs opting instead to partition hard drives to store the reinstall backup software. I almost returned my computer when I discovered about 20GBs missing and found out why. At the time their website did not disclose their partition practice in an obvious location. My computer only had 130GBs to start with. If I had known Dell was going to snatch 20GBs for its own purposes I would have purchased more. 20GBs was a lot to lose.

    I also almost returned my last Dell computer when I discovered it didn’t come with a printer serial port–also not disclosed on their site. I was told new printers use USB connection and I should buy a new printer. (This was back in 2005 when USB printers had just become the norm). I have an old but perfectly functioning laser printer that uses a serial connection and I had no intention on spending over $200 to replace it.

    A couple of customer service managers later, they agreed to send me a $90 multi-port station (for free) so I could connect my printer. Three years later, I am still using my perfectly functioning old printer that is connected to my much appreciated port station.

  57. CrazyRedd says:

    First of all, the pubes thing! Secondly, the last Dell I bought was shipped with a broken keyboard. As soon as the excitement of a new computer that supposedly worked right out of the box died, I vowed this would be the last Dell I ever owned. Well, that’s being a bit harsh. What sealed the deal for me was when I attempted to call Dell about the broken keyboard the fourth time and was eventually transfered to someone on the shipping dock who of course had no idea why they were getting my call.

  58. I’ve never had much of a problem with my Dells… There’s 4 of them down here. 3 Optiplex’s and 1 Precision. All work fine, save one optiplex which had bad RAM (Easily fixed). I never need to call Dell for customer service. Whoever came up with the idea for the LED’s on the back of the mother board, by the way: GENIUS.

    As for Home Depot…

  59. @Lambasted:

    I cannot vote for Dell considering it is the only computer company remaining that still offers Windows XP for those of us who would rather sell our first born than use Vista.

    Not quite sure about the whole first born thing but I’ll second that.

  60. pasayten says:

    wanna hear more good news about home depot? out here in the pacific northwest home depot is using general contractors who refuse to hire union workers. specifically, carpenters. guess lower wages are the reasoning behind the former ceo’s 300 million dollar golden parachute, right? don’t know about you but i no longer shop home depot, period.

  61. cds619 says:

    I work weekends at HD, where we’re forced to use 19th century (or so they seem) Dell computers. Both suck, but I voted HD because our equipment is always broken, we carry far more products than we can reasonably fit on the shelves, and we’re severly understaffed. Today, I covered 6 departments.

  62. insideHD says:

    I have worked for the Home Depot for a number of years. I voted for the Home Depot, and I hate Dell. HD stores are completely understaffed, and it might get worse. This is a bottom line issue for corporate. I once inquired at a district meeting as to the problem of having only 5 associates covering an entire store during the hours of 6-9 am. The response from district leadership was to respond to my question with a question “How many customers do you help between the hours of 6-9 am?”. You early morning shoppers are NOT important to the business.

    TRUE: Stores replaced master electricians/plumbers/generally useful retired workers with underpaid kids who don’t give a frack if you leave unhappy.

    TRUE: Since the replacement of Bob Nardelli, stores have been required to rehire one experienced plumber and one experienced electrician per store. My store fulfilled this requirement with 2 kids in their late 20’s who studied in each trade, but never made master.

    But my biggest problem with the Home Depot is their hypocritical stance about going ‘green’. Over last weekend we handed out earth bags and pamphlets about how to save the earth. Tomorrow we are celebrating earth day.

    TRUE: Today we threw away a cart load of brand new sockets, socket extensions, and other brand spanking new hand tools that were on clearance that wouldn’t sell. Because it is better to put them into a landfill than donate them or sell them on the cheap. This happens EVERY DAY. Light fixtures, ladders, tile, wire, virtually anything in the store, if it doesn’t sell, we are forced to put it into a dump rather than donate/sell at a significant loss.

    Today a woman asked me to get a yellow tagged discounted fountain down for her. It was marked ~$50. When she got to the register, it rang up .01. ONE PENNY. The cashier asked me what to do, and if I had followed company policy, I would have denied her the fountain she wanted, taken it and put it in the trash. That was the ‘Right’ thing to do, according to THD. I gave a generic sku and charged the woman $20. It was originally $299.

    But honestly, many of the complaints I am reading here are just bad luck with bad people, possibly with bad moods. I am not without sin. On a day to day basis, I am either the best associate you can encounter, or the biggest prick you have ever met. I will cut you deals that you won’t believe, or I will make you feel stupid and inferior if you rub me the wrong way. We are instructed to discount merchandise if customers mention they want to look elsewhere. I was commanded to do this by a “Senior Merchandising Executive” for the company. If we are out of a product, and you are told you can come back and get it in X number of days, that associate is not doing his job. We are supposed to offer you the next best product for the same price you wanted to pay. If you mention you want to go to Lowes/other local competitor to shop around, we are instructed to discount merchandise, even if it is only comparable, not exactly the same.

    FRAK THD and every money grubbing, faceless multinational earth-raping corporation. FRAK Capitalism.

  63. JustaConsumer says:

    Dell should go through to the next round. Home Depot should have gone against Monster Cable.

  64. RoderickHummingbird says:

    Comment on Round 19: Dell vs Home Depot You think Home Depot is bad??? Lowe’s has them beat…..we initially
    purchased kitchen cabinets on 4/7/08 and they were delivered
    4/9/08…it is NOW 5/8/08 and guess what…we are still trying to get
    the correct cabinets and sizes to do the kitchen…oh yea…by the
    way…we tore out all of the old cabinets and went 3 days without
    water due to their screw ups…..I DO have a temp sink base now…
    but they keep apologizing….how nice…..I have such a HUGE file on
    this company it is ridiculous….
    so off to Lowe’s we go tomorrow to try to get our money back and go
    somewhere else who maybe gives a crap about their customer
    satisfaction….maybe I will go to Home Depot!!!!