Worst Company In America: Home Depot VS Citibank

Did the Home Depot not improve your home? Did Citibank mess up your mortgage? Which is worse?

It’s #4 Citibank VS #29 Home Depot:

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2009 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers, and seeded according to number of nominations. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america. Download the bracket here.


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  1. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    Am I the only one who thinks these first-round drafts are completely one-sided?

    • hypochondriac says:


      Not all of them, the Sprint vs Verizon one is fair.

    • LegoMan322 says:

      @FooSchnickens: I agree…they could have picked more even companies.

      • Illusio26 says:

        @LegoMan322: Well that’s the purpose of seeding a bracket. The first round always has the favorites going up against the ones with no hope. You’re #1 seed shouldn’t be knocked out in the first round.

    • boomersix says:

      @FooSchnickens: One sided….Um, high seed vs low seed? It’s kinda the way these types of things work. The whole “tournament format” thingamajig.

      • FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

        @boomersix: Maybe I should have added that a “league” system would be nice. Sort of a A, AA, AAA, etc type deal.

        I guess what I was trying to get at is you don’t go putting your high school football team up against the Packers and expect to get any decent results as to how either side performed.

        Also, I DON’T DO SPORTS. Sure I understand the mechanics/rules of play and will watch them if it’s going to be a good game, but the politics and numbers behind it all means less to me than the grunge stuck in the J-trap under my garbage disposal.

    • coan_net says:

      @FooSchnickens: THEY NEED TO BE:

      Otherwise you mind end up with AIG going against some other evil and you end up with a chance of a VERY BIG EVIL ending up going out after the first round. This way, hopefully more of the bigger “evil” places will make it further into the bracket.

    • Radi0logy says:

      @FooSchnickens: This kind of comment cracks me up, because last year everyone was bitching about how “OMG all the best matchups are first round! you guys need to seed!!!” And now everyone is complaining about the opposite. I guess you really can’t please everyone

  2. gtrgod01 says:

    Kind of a slight conflict of interest in this poll considering Citibank owns the Home Depot credit cards.

  3. jaydez says:

    I went for Home Depot cus Citi has never done me wrong presonally buy I have never bought anything from Home Depot that wasn’t missing parts and a PITA to exchange for a complete one.

  4. shamowfski says:

    Home Depot smells like wood.

    Citi Bank helped ruin the economy.

    Tough call.

  5. u1itn0w2day says:

    This wasn’t as one sided as it looks . Citi affected more people with their credit card shennanigans but to me Home Depot is another variation of Walmart . And their price increases over the last few years don’t help either .

    • Radi0logy says:

      @u1itn0w2day: Its kind of hard to compare Home Depot to Wal-Mart, although I’d love to hear your reasoning. And as for price increases, its a business, that hardly makes them evil. Evil is affecting the entire economy, or using child laborers, or screwing people out of pensions. Not charging 2% more than the hardware store down the street…

  6. khiltd says:

    Home Depot is great because those stupid kids at the counter don’t even bat an eye when a $30 carbide saw blade rings up as a $5 plywood ripper.

    • gover57 says:

      @khiltd: that and Home Depot doesn’t send out craptastic junk mail asking you to fill out a loan form, and also sending stuff to your house for the previous home owners who moved over 5 years ago. I can also wander around a Home depot for hours, no so with a citibank.

  7. Harlan says:

    Neither of the companies are currently worth more than 10 or 15 bucks, but I feel slightly more sorry for Home Despot, so I voted for Citi.

  8. stevgex says:

    I had to go with Citi based one thing alone. I have only rarely had to call customer service for Citi. About a year ago, the calls were routed to a US call center. About a month ago I called for a small issue and got India. The next week I changed banks to one that has US based CS.

  9. techstar25 says:

    Let’s not forget that Citibank took billions of taxpayer dollars in bailout money, then spent it putting their name on the Mets new ballpark.
    Photos here:

    • T Axel Jones says:

      Excellent point. Wasteful use of taxpayer dollars > selling knock-off imported tools from China.

      Or should that be “<“? I mean to suggest it is the worse of the two.

    • Drew5764 says:

      @techstar25: You seem to have your timeframe all sorts of fouled up. No pun intended, of course.

      CitiField as been Citi for a long longer than TARP’s been TARP. In fact, Citi put their name up well over 2 years ago.

  10. Drew Dowdell says:

    HomeDepot is actively trying, and in my view succeeding, to improve the customer experience in their stores. HomeDepot may have been bad, but it seems they’ve learned the error of their ways.

  11. TerribleDecade says:

    If it weren’t for the help of Citibank ruining the economy, my fellow Americans could’ve gone to Home Depot to fix their crumbling shacks.

  12. JiminyChristmas says:

    I stopped shopping at Home Depot quite awhile ago, while Nardelli was being paid $200million+ (yes, the same guy now running Chrysler) to run the company into the ground. My other big complaint about Home Depot: especially considering they run a warehouse-type store, their signage is the worst of any large retailer I’ve ever been in. It’s impossible to find stuff in there.

    Well, another thing about Home Depot is that their attempt to get into contractor services is/was quite possibly one of the dumbest ideas in retail. Contractors are not oblivious to the fact HD also offers “installation services”, i.e.: contracting. How much sense does it make to establish oneself as a competitor with the very same people whose business you are trying to attract?

    All that said, I voted for Citibank.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @JiminyChristmas: I agree that Home Depot makes it virtually impossible for regular people to walk in and get a part to something without a lot of confusion, even if you know exactly what you need, the signage always makes it hard to be sure.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Citibank Mortgage had the wrong city & zip for our house, and failed to send us statements for over a year – despite multiple calls to customer service to get the address corrected. Made it really difficult to refi with another company when they refused to fax or e-mail the payoff unless we paid $50. They would only mail it to us (to who-knows-where) with no fee!

  14. suburbancowboy says:

    I voted Home Depot, because while they are not nearly as bad as Wal-mart, not by a long shot, they aggressively go after mom and pop hardware stores, and celebrate when they close them. They are also a haven for shoddy products made in China. Those two factors are very bad for our economy.

    I do hate Citi though.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @suburbancowboy: I agree . I heard their strategy was especially during the boom was to over staff a new store for about 3-6 months after opening . Combine that with prices that were designed to not only compete but flat out under cut many competitors many got the first impression Home Depot wanted you to see :competitive prices and service . Throw in a new store while you’re at it how can you not leave impressed ,until you come back 9 monts later .

      Home Depot used to be worth the extra drive but now it’s not . I find myself frequently driving shorter distances for slightly higher prices becasue gas and time evens it out .

      And as much as they have increased staff you still have to go find someone frequently clustered and talking .They will help after asking . I get the impression many are killing time . I’ve known several people who work/ed at Home Depot and they neither like or hate the job : they seem to tolerate it .

      • Nicole Glynn says:

        @u1itn0w2day: It’s a boring job, that’s for damn sure. And especially if you’re a cashiers, you can’t really do anything besides stand around and talk to each other in between customers.

  15. Nicholeigh says:

    A part of home depot’s new image is putting the customer first. They are re-organizing their thinking and actively trying to kepp the loyal customers they have happy and bring new customers in. Home Depot has also started putting a focus on meeting and beating competitor prices. I for one have always like Home Depot and still shop there. I have had a few problems in theirs stores but talking to manager always fixed the problem.

  16. nudger says:

    Vanno predicts Citigroup (#414) over Home Depot (#13).

  17. vladthepaler says:

    I’ve seen a number of anti-Home Depot stories on here, but I’ve never had bad experiences there.

  18. jchabotte says:

    what’s the point?

    I call the championship to be AIG vs Citi

  19. divide says:

    Same feelings as Vlad. I’ve always had a good experience with Home Depot. They usually have what I need at a reasonable price, their return policy and process is great and efficient (have you ever returned something at WalMart???), and the people are for the most part courteous.

    Maybe not the absolute best place out there, but they’re higher in my list of “don’t mind shopping there” than most stores!

    And I don’t think it’s fair to pin your anti-world-economy sentiment on Home Depot.

  20. Murph1908 says:

    Don’t spend much time on Deadspin, eh?

  21. Lucy Bayly says:

    Shittybank is definitely the worst. Not even Octomom has the gall to sponsor a stadium with taxpayer $$.

    That said, we used to hate going to “Home Despot” with its lackluster employees….. until a Lowe’s opened up right opposite. Then all of a sudden the Despots were aaaaall over us. Stainless steel dishwasher over your budget? — Name your price. Desklamp missing some parts? — Here, take this one. Apple pie with your order?

    Now THAT’s what I call customer service. Groveling.

    Plus, they started to hand out pretty balloons.

  22. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    Home Depot seems to be making efforts to step up their customer service. I will give them the benefit of the doubt on this match up.

  23. Blueskylaw says:

    This is not really a tough one. Citi deserves it for helping to melt down our global economy.

    But Home Despot (not misspelled) also deserves a blue ribbon only if it was because of Big Bob Nardelli and his penny pinching, money grubbing, greed is good policies that permeated the upper levels of management.

    I bought a tool, it broke after five minutes of use. I bring it back to send out for repair. I fill out the paperwork and hand the tool over. The guy puts the paperwork in a file cabinet, takes the tool and starts to walk away. I’m like, excuse me, may I have a copy of that paperwork? Fast forward three months later.
    Where the hell is my tool? They say, you never dropped off a tool, you’re not even in the computer.
    Show them the paperwork (evidence) they didn’t want to give me and received a refund, after the tool guy got yelled at by the manager for taking back a broken tool in the first place.

  24. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Without a doubt Citi has become the worst, that’s why I let them hold my 26k debt. I was like here Citi, HOLD THAT. WooooHooo So relieved!

    Go CITI!

  25. knightracer says:

    I was annoyed that Citi doubled the interest rate a card that I’ve been using as my primary card for 10 years. Too bad they’re still not going to earn any additional money (besides merchant interchange fees) from me because I don’t carry a balance and always pay in full.

  26. parrotuya says:

    No upsets here!

  27. Tom_Servo says:

    Home Depot, long story short, hire real cashiers, get rid of the automated checkout machines, they never work.

  28. banmojo says:

    I’ve never had a bad experience with Home Depot, so was surprised to even see them on this poll. Hmmm.

  29. Anonymous says:

    People are underestimating the negative impact Home Depot has had on our economy. Much of the crap they are peddling is coming from overseas. How about the impact that companies like this have on the working man who doesn’t have a job because these jobs have been shipped off to people who can be exploited into working for much less then min wage in the U.S.

    Rigid, Husky, Brinkmann, Ryobi, Homelite, Charmglow….all these brands, just crap imported by some third party and repackaged by U.S. names. Its why HD has a hard time staying instock with items, its why it can be very hard to get replacement parts for these items, and its how they can give lifetime warranties on such items.
    Home Depot has been carrying Charmglow grills exclusively for a number of years now. Yet they didn’t start carrying replacement parts for these grills until this year. This is because these grills are imported by a number of different companies (Brinkmann, Nexgrill) and repackaged. They are using incredibly poor grade materials to manufacture these things, note: Stainless Steel is not magnetic nor does it rust, and those grills start rusting within months and are highly magnetic.

    So we are hurting ourselves by supporting this business model. Its sending jobs overseas, exploiting other people, hurting our economy, resulting in lower quality products that don’t last and force you to spend more often, which you can’t do because you lost your factory job.

    HD, WALLY WORLD, LOWES, TARGET, wake up everyone. You reap what you sow.