Home Depot Won't Let You Buy Stuff Without Knowing What You Plan To Do With It

Reader Helen went to Home Depot to buy some various and sundry items, but left empty-handed after the self-checkout refused to let her complete her purchase without disclosing what she planned to do with her items. Helen says:

On Sunday, May 4, 2008 I went to the Home Depot on Joppa Rd, Baltimore County Maryland. My purchases includes several plants, pots, and tile sealer. I went to the self check-out line because of the speed and scanned my items. Before I could indicate I was paying by cash the machine wanted me to enter a zip code, I entered 11111 because it’s really none of their business. The next screen wanted me to key in if my items were for home or business use. I had no ability to bypass this screen even thought I did not want to answer this question.

I requested assistance from the employee assigned to the area because again I do not feel I need to report to Home Depot where I plan to use items I purchase. I was told my transaction would not be completed without providing the information requested. I left without my items.

What next? Is “big brother” going to screen my cholesterol levels before allowing me to by diary products at the grocery?

I have e-mailed my concern over this interaction to Home Depot and all I have in response is some statement about sending this on to someone else in their system. Clearly, most individuals who utilize the self-checkout want to get out quickly and do not stop to question the invasion of privacy issue. If this is an attempt by the Home Depot to collect information as a survey, I would hope they would have the sense to request an individual’s cooperation.

Thank you for the forum where I can at least vent to a group who seems to care.



Yuck. You already emailed the store, but if you’re really concerned about letting Home Depot know that this stupid survey cost them your business, feel free to launch an EECB (executive email carpet bomb). The CEO’s email address is Frank_Blake@homedepot.com. For more information about launching an EECB, click here.

What do you think about “surveys” like this one? Do they affect where you choose to shop?

(Photo: cmorran123 )

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.