E-Mail To Home Depot CEO Resolves Month-Old Problem In 12 Hours

Consumerist reader Jim was feeling a little frustrated with Home Depot. He’d ordered some parts online for his chainsaw, only to find that one of the two boxes was completely empty. This was just the beginning of a month of misleading assurances, conflicting instructions and overall dissatisfaction for Jim. That is, until he penned an e-mail to Home Depot’s CEO.

Using info from this Consumerist post, Jim sent off the below e-mail to CEO Frank Blake:

Mr Blake,
Thank you for taking the time to read this email. In early November, I ordered online from Home Depot.com two parts for my chainsaw, which was purchased at Home Depot, in Gainesville Ga. They weren’t on sale, but there was FREE shipping which made it convenient for me as I am 45 minutes north of your nearest store. UPS delivered 2 packages to me, both sealed and in fine shape. However, upon opening one package which should have had a chainsaw bar in it, the package was empty, except for some bubble packing material. The box was taped, however the bar is very flat ( like a small lawnmower blade ) and all I can think is that it slipped out around the tape ( there was enough room ) or someone was distracted while packaging and simply forgot to put it in. This is not an expensive part, but I still needed it and so I called Home Depot.com customer service. I had to order a second one, and I was now charged for the shipping (which had been free ). I needed it, and didn’t want to argue, so paid the shipping charges. I was assured I would be credited for the missing part and I hung up satisfied.

A few days later I received an email asking me some further questions , which I answered and received a Return Authorization # and a note that said I would be reimbursed in 5 -7 days.

I waited for 3 weeks and called back. I was told that there was a note on my account to tell the customer he would have to DISPUTE the charges with his credit card company. I am shocked. We are talking a $39.00 part with shipping, and the customer service agent would not let me speak to anyone else about this. I was NEVER contacted and told this information, and had I never called back to inquire, I guess they were hoping I would just forget about it.

By being honest and saying I received a closed, yet empty , box, I guess I am assumed guilty of theft, fraud or whatever the customer service department has decided. I am upset, not so much about the money, but that I should be made to file a dispute with my credit card company.

This ” guilty until we see how much he screams ” policy is unacceptable, and I guess you know that I won’t risk shopping at Home Depot again. I am grateful that this wasn’t a hundred dollar or more item.

Anyone can make a mistake, Mr. Blake, and whether it was a distracted employee or a poor taping job, I would like Home Depot to be reasonable in this matter. A check on my shopping history will show you I am a frequent Home Depot shopper and have spent hundreds of dollars on Home Depot.com in the last year, with no other problems. I don’t understand why I would be judged a liar or thief on this small item. Thank you for your attention, I have attached the correspondence from HomeDepot.com showing my RA and the message that my refund was coming shortly. Sorry this was so long winded…

And lo and behold, within 12 hours of sending off this e-mail, Jim received two follow-up e-mails and a phone call to let him know that the problem was being fixed and that he’d be receiving the refund on both the re-ordered part and the shipping cost.

Says Jim, “Thanks Frank Blake and thanks Consumerist for making the CEO’s email available!!”

To which we reply, “No problem.”