Home Depot Sells Defective Grill, Reacts Exactly Unlike Stereotypical Big Box Store


Having rented a truck to transport his new grill home from Home Depot, R. had every reason to expect all kinds of inconvenience when the new appliance wouldn’t light. At all. But that wasn’t so. When he called to report the problem, the store reacted with all of the efficiency and great customer service that we’ve come to never expect from the big-box stores on every street corner.

I purchased a Brinkmann gas grill, rented a truck to get it home, and
found it would not light. I spoke with a customer rep who promised to
call back within the hour, and he did. (This was a Friday night, 7/6)
On Monday morning (7/9), at 8:30 a.m., the department manager as well
as a helper were sent to my home with a replacment grill. (They
determined that the regulator on the first grill was defective.) How
about that for wonderful customer service?

It’s quite wonderful, in fact. Quite.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Well, that explains the weird dream I had last night.

    Apparently I’m living in Bizzarro world now.

  2. Opdelt says:

    That sounds like Home Depot. In all my years of shopping at Home Depot, and the thousands of dollars spent there, I cannot recall a single negative experience. Of course any Home Depot location is only as good as the people working there.

    • cactus jack says:

      I end up at Home Depot in Madison, WI 1-3X a week spending about $150 a trip. Never have a problem.

      • nugatory says:

        Thats the experience I have with my local Lowes and the opposite of my local Home Depot. It really is just a matter of whos working and running each store.

        • Pre-Existing Condition says:

          I agree – Lowes and Home Depot experiences tend to vary considerably from store to store.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            This is true with most retailers. There’s definitely some with bad corporate cultures or policies that pretty much prevent bad experiences from being rectified properly. But all in all, it’s really the individuals at a given store that determine the experience.

  3. oldwiz65 says:

    The department manager will probably be fired for leaving the building while on duty.

    • Skittl1321 says:

      My husband said it was normal when he was working at home depot, if they didn’t have something in stock, but another store did that his manager would drive to the other store to pick up the item and bring it back to his store for the customer. This way the customer didn’t have to drive across town.

      • PragmaticGuy says:

        I have a friend who bought some wall tiles for his kitchen and the first HD he went to didn’t have enough so they called and then sent him to another HD who didn’t have enough who then sent him to a third HD who didn’t have any. Then at the fourth HD he finally got when he needed. Spent about five hours and 100 miles driving all over because HD’s inventory system wasn’t accurate or the people they sent to look for the tiles he needed when another store called didn’t know what they were looking at. No one offered him a discount and he ended up quite pissed.

    • oloranya says:

      Yeah, there’s actually policies in place at the corporate level that allow department managers to leave the building on the clock (using HD’s rental trucks) to do exactly this sort of thing.

    • akronharry says:

      Only if he goes over to the OP’s neighbor and saves him from drowning.

  4. cactus jack says:

    Wait, a story on Consumerist where the OP doesn’t insult the intelligence/status of an employee at Home Depot and they received good service in return? I wonder if these two things go hand in hand…

  5. Blueskylaw says:

    The time-space continuum has been broken and
    light and gravity now bend around Home Depot.

    • nugatory says:

      ahhh the explains why my local HD is so dark

      • Blueskylaw says:

        When the store closes for the day, they turn off about half the lights and turn off the ventilation system to save money, leaving the store a dark and suffocating place to work. Then the night crew comes in for their shift. :-(

  6. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    This sounds like the home depot near my house. They have always been amazing

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      True. I’ve been some Home Depot locations where the service has been absolutely great and really helpful. I’ve also been in a couple of HD stores where the service has been abyssmal or discourteous. Guess it depends on who they hire.

  7. HalOfBorg says:

    Been there. On 576 (?) going to Pittsburgh Airport. Plenty of money, no change. We searched the car, no dice. Then I noticed the machine has a coin return, so I thought to try pushing it, when I saw the coin chute there was simply LOADED with small change – way more than we needed.

    It was a quiet day so I checked the others real quick – jackpot. Came out way ahead AND left the needed 50 cents in each return – for the next poor, changeless soul.

    People must have learned because every time I go through there I look at the return and it is empty now.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      No no no no no – I was reading the TOLL BOOTH article.

      • Scooter McGee says:

        Lovely how the Consumerist update takes you to a different article after you log in, isn’t it?

        • nugatory says:

          It wouldn’t be so bad, if the system didn’t keep logging you out. The old system, you would stay logged in for days, the new one, half a day?

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Did you tell it to remember you when you log in? It’s option at the login screen.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Next time hang a left at Power Tools and continue on to the Paint Department.

      You’ll avoid the tolls.

      • Peri Duncan says:

        I cannot suppress the urge any longer. I have to tell you, Fubish, that I love your avatar, makes me smile, and I swear I think it is that possum(?) who is speaking every time.

  8. rlmiller007 says:

    Good for you Home Depot! I thing next time I’ll pass up that other large hardware retailer and shop at your store.

  9. I look at both sides of the story says:

    That’s extraordinary service.

    I must go to my HD too many times — a number of employees recognize me and we get into chit-chat. Mostly in the Home & Garden department but I received great service in other departments.

    In Vermont, I was absolutely delighted when HD came and put all of the surly hardware stores (with the exception of Aubuchons who has great customer service) in the area out of business.

    On another note, regardless of the industry, it has been proven you’re more likely to receive better service or treatment in the mornings — around 8 or 9am.

  10. jsimpson says:

    When Home Depot first came to town, I had a hard time finding them in the phone book until I looked under the letter “T”.

  11. SkokieGuy says:

    Come on people – we MUST find a way to blame the OP!

    I blame the OP because he was to friggin’ lazy to bring the grill back. Because HD caved in to his whiny-baby entitlement complex, we are ALL going to have to pay more because of the extra costs to attempt to make him happy.

    Oh, and the OP can afford to buy a grill AND rent a truck, must be a 1 percenter.

    First world problem – call the whaaaambulance.

    How’d I do?

    • Pre-Existing Condition says:

      It’s more fun to blame Home Depot.

      Why did he have to wait until Monday? Will Home Depot reimburse him for lost wages? Why did the store sell faulty equipment? Probably some minimum wage loser selling Chinese junk. Chargeback! Small claims court!

      • StarKillerX says:

        Don’t forget the famous “Well if I have to rent a truck to get the grill how then assembly isn’t free!” And of course there is the even more popular line of “assembly isn’t free if I tip the person delivering the grill.”

    • The Colonel says:

      I was thinking more along the lines of “it only takes about 10 minutes to replace the starter.”

      Also, none of this would have been an issue if they had bought a charcoal grill, which is much better anyway.

  12. Extended-Warranty says:

    I just had a rather large issue with an order at Home Depot. They resolved it rather well.

  13. Pre-Existing Condition says:

    It sounds like things were handled very well on both sides.

    I could easily see a scenario where Home Depot would blow off the consumer or where the consumer would be mad about having to wait until Monday for the replacement (missing work, etc.). Instead, everyone was professional and the issue was resolved quickly.

  14. crispyduck13 says:

    When I first bought my house a year and a half ago I was pretty devoted to Lowes. Got all my appliances there using their sweet 10% off coupons (for changing address!), like their store layout, liked the garden center selection, etc.

    However, more and more these days I find myself heading to Home Depot. Their staff in my local store is much more helpful and overall nicer than the one at Lowes, and I’m finding that HD has better selection and prices on many things. Lowes returns are exceptionally smooth and easy, so with this info I’m assuming one at an HD is as well.

  15. The Beer Baron says:

    Mm, yes; quite.

  16. RevancheRM says:

    Good on R. for sharing that positive note with us. Home Depot should be recognized when it breaks the (unfortunate) mold.

  17. LuzioFantazmic says:

    I’ve always had good luck with dealing with Home Depot. I’ve always liked their customer service.

    Lowes on the other hand, not so much.

    BTW, their Brinkman grills are terrible. Durability issues out the wazzoo

    • StarKillerX says:

      I don’t disagree, although I will add that sometimes you get what you pay for. Don’t expect Weber quality when your buying something that’s bottom of the barrel.

  18. TD99 says:

    My local Home Depot went from TERRIBLE service to AWESOME service in the past couple of years. I’m guessing that corporate was receiving a ton of complaints about how there was never anyone around to help you. At the same time, I’ve noticed a complete changeover in management and staff — sometimes it just takes all-new fresh blood to replace the bad blood.

    As for the grill itself, I’ve had my fair share of cheapo propane grills over the years. They don’t last more than a few summers. My advice: Save up and get yourself a WEBER brand grill. I bought my $700 Weber Genesis in 2010 and it still looks and performs like new even though I use it several times a month — every month — all year long. In fact, I love it more than the huge $5000 Bulls-Eye BBQ grill island I had bought and installed at my previous house!

  19. Boiled for your sins says:

    Shouldn’t the title be

    Home Depot Sells Defective Grill, Doesn’t Shrug!

  20. xspook says:

    I bought a charcoal smoker/grill with a side smoker box a year or so ago and the first time I used it, the finish peeled off. When I took it back and wanted a refund, the idiot at HD tried to tell me I wasn’t supposed to put charcoal in the grill – only the side smoker box.

    I asked him, what do you think this big tray labeled CHARCOAL pan is for?

  21. incident-man stole my avatar says:

    Had a similiar experience with Lowes and a snowblower.. arrived DOA and they delivered a new one to me a few days later and made sure it worked

  22. Buzz says:

    Try this out. A customer at a local Lowe’s bought a special ordered carpet apprx. 2 years ago. After many miss-steps building their home. They had the carpet delivered and placed on their porch to be installed later about a month ago. Well, they didn’t get around to having it installed right away and it rained a lot here. Of course it got wet. What did our local Lowes’ do? Yes, no problem, they picked it up and delivered a comparable in stock carpet FREE of charge. Many Lowe’s will take anything back to avoid customer complaints. Is this one of the reasons they are performing so badly? I would think so.

  23. miker28 says:

    Too make a long story short, after raising above the local level at my Home Depot I had a wonderful experience with the company.