Home Depot Cancels Sale, Overnights Free Tool To Customer After EECB

SgtBeavis ordered a clearance item from Home Depot last week. The site claimed that the item was on backorder, and let him place the order. Then they canceled it. Fortunately, the good sergeant reads Consumerist, and decided to write to the CEO of Home Depot to get the situation fixed. It worked: Home Depot overnighted the item to his house for free. He and his woodworking buddies were stunned,

.Last week I tried order a new “Work Sharp 3000” sharpener from Home Depot. This tool is normally $200 but they had it on clearance for $62.25. This tool is very highly rated in the woodworking world and is rarely on sale for less than $150.

The thing is, the tool was already sold out on Homedepot.com. However it was shown as being “on backorder”. So I went ahead and order anyways. I certainly don’t mind waiting a few weeks for such a huge discount.

Fast forward to two days ago, I found out that my order has been canceled. Looks like someone screwed up by saying it was on back order. This seemed to tick off quite a few people on the various woodworking forums I frequented.

So I looked on Consumerist.com and found the email address of Home Depot CEO, Frank Blake, and wrote a quick message explaining the issue and pointing out the various forums that had been discussing this sale. I make sure to remain very polite and state that I was a regular customer and I intended to remain a regular customer. I also didn’t ask for any specific compensation, but I was hoping for maybe a 20% off coupon. I gave this advice to the guys on the woodworking forum, one guy took my advice, others kinda laughed at me saying that there was no way the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company would give me the time of day. I have attached a copy of the email which also has a link to the thread on the Woodnet.net forums as well as screen shots of my order.

Today I got two calls from Home Depot. The CEO (or someone in his office) forwarded my email to Tish in customer services. She called the manufacturer and had this tool OVERNIGHTED to my house. Oh, and it’s FREE! I offered to pay the sale price but she was having none of it.

The one guy on those message boards that followed my advice got a $150 HD gift card. Pretty much the same value as the tool I’m getting.

You can see a photo of my new FREE Work Sharp 3000 on my Flickr page.

I also made sure to inform the guys at the Woodnet forums of my success. I hope you’ll show this off on Consumerist.com.

Amazing. Of course, you can harness the mystical power of the executive e-mail carpet bomb for yourself: here’s how.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hi_Hello says:

    “I offered to pay the sale price but she was having none of it.”

    I salute you SgtBeavis.

  2. tr41nwr3ck says:

    where’s Butthead?

  3. SgtBeavis says:

    This is the text of the email I sent:

    Good afternoon Mr. Blake,

    Earlier this week I ordered a Work Sharp 3000 from HomeDepot.com (order number W118122508) after finding out that that the tool was on sale. The website indicated that this tool was “backordered online” but the deal was so good that I placed my order anyways.

    I found out about this deal from the WoodNet forums (see link below) where a number of woodworkers had ordered this tool.

    Unfortunately my order, and the order of many people on this message board, was cancelled. I contacted customer service through chat and spoke with Pam. She stated that the product was out of stock. I told her of the discrepancy on the website and she said she would pass along that information.

    I have attached screenshots of my order, the pricing page, and my chat with your customer service rep, Pam.

    I’ve been a Home Depot customer for a long time and this incident will not change that. I just wanted to bring this to your attention in hopes of getting a better resolution for myself and the members of the WoodNet forums that also ordered this product.

    Best Regards,

  4. Bativac says:

    “Some guy named Sargeant Beavis is on the phone, says he’s from Lake Titicaca…”

    “What’s he want?”

    “He keeps giggling about a ‘tool’ and demanding ‘tee pee for his bung hole…”

  5. Red Cat Linux says:

    I think this also rated the “Above and Beyond” tag. Totally unexpected freebie win!

  6. AntiNorm says:

    “Clearance” means “We’re getting rid of this.” “Backordered” means “We’re out of this.” Putting two and two together, that means that the item is no longer available. Sure, the web site shouldn’t have allowed the sale, but it shouldn’t have been attempted in the first place.

    • erratapage says:

      I don’t think it’s my job to put these two facts together to come up with the conclusion you’ve reached. Backorder does not mean discontinued. Clearance does not mean discontinued. As the guy said, he wasn’t expecting Home Depot to uncancel the order, he just wanted some real customer service. There is no reason to blame the OP. Instead, let’s congratulate Home Depot for exceeding a customer’s reasonable expectations!

    • Darkneuro says:

      And yet he got the tool he ordered.

  7. 12345678nine says:


  8. SgtBeavis says:


    Tish, from Home Depot, just posted on the woodnet forums. They are going to make this right for EVERYONE that had a canceled order..


    Now THAT is WAY above and beyond.

  9. MarvinMar says:

    Target could learn a few things from Home Depot
    My “Lord of the Rings” bluray set was showing IN STOCK when they cancled mine and everyone elses orders.

  10. coren says:

    Good for you, and that letter was pretty much perfect.

    I wonder though, how they’re sending you this tool when it was “out of stock” and appears to be something they’re clearancing out…

  11. TasteyCat says:

    Step 1: Wronged by company. Step 2: Contacted CEO.

    Did I miss something in between?

  12. RTWinter says:

    I know I’m a little late to this story, but I still liked to read it. I work at Home Depot and every month we have to do a quick, 5 minute training program on a computer. They always start off with a video from Frank Blake, and he always seemed like a nice guy to me.

  13. BigSlowTarget says:

    Home Depot’s website doesn’t link to their inventory system properly. I recently committed to a customer to use one of three types of hardwood flooring listed as available in store on the website. I call the web phone number and they say the product is in stock at nearly every store in Dallas (important because special ordering takes significant time). After I get the order I find at the store they don’t have any of the three and have not had them for months. No other store in the area has them either and no one knows what the internet guys are talking about. Apparently this is a common problem that has been around for a long time but might be fixed ‘some time in 2011 when they update the website.’

    Way to operate in 2004 Home Depot. Thanks for disappointing my customer.

  14. Bby says:

    It’s amazing to me how many people want things handed to them, as if they are entitled to them.

    Has the OP never made a mistake? You have never once stated you would do something, but not come through? Where do people get off thinking their stuff doesn’t stink?

    Obviously big props to Home Depot, but I don’t get the sense of entitlement. A complaint I can see possibly, but even to the point of asking for a coupon for your trouble is too much. How much trouble was it really? You made a purchase, it got canceled. You got your money back. Obviously it was a too good to be true situation, as you stated the price was crazy lower than normal.