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  • Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

    Over time, we've all had our stories of things that just seem... well, sort of illogical with our favorite BORG. I know, it is often a subject of bewilderment, scorn, and often just humorous events. Yesterday I had another one of those, so please excuse my RANT:


    About a year ago, my wife and I decided to get a HomeDepot "rewards" MasterCard. The long-used Chase card simply never offered anything beyond the monthly credit use. What started it all was getting collared by one of the orange aprons when we were buying bamboo flooring for the new kitchen. Anyway, we went through the procedure and the task was done quickly. I've been using that card since then.

    Well, here we are a year later and I'm now looking for a cheap, portable table saw, for short-term use here in Painted Post. We were talking and remembered the "rewards" and was happy to discover that we had enough "points" to pay for the Ryobi BTS21. So, we were over at the local HD and decided to inquire about redemption of those points. As I figured, the three associates at the service desk didn't have a clue, so they called the store manager who was also clueless and between the four of them they reasoned that the lack of knowledge must be because such cards no longer were offered. My wife presented the latest billing statement and from there we were directed to go home and check the internet.

    Well, on the statement they did direct us to a particular website.... unfortunately, that doesn't exsist... I tried three times! So, I decided to just sign on to my "account" even though I haven't done so, since the first day we set it up.

    Hmmmm... what's my sign-in? Is it my account number, my name, my E-mail address? After a year, I don't have a clue. I usually use my E-mail address, so I tried that.

    Now... what is my pass word.... I tried the three "usual" ones that I use, and it didn't accept it. So, I tried my account number in my sign-in name and again my three most used pass word... nothing.

    So, lets sign in again with my name and for a pass word, I'll click "I don't remember" the password.

    Okay... now we're talking... it asks for my account number. Got it.

    Now, it ask for the 3-digit security code on the back of the card... I'm there! So-far-so-good.

    Now, it asks for my "security word". Okay, I think I know what they mean, but let's click for an explanation. Ahhhhh, just as I figured... It's that question that they ask when you went through the registration process: You know those questions like, "What's your mother's maiden name." or "What's your pet's name?".

    Okay NOT A PROBLEM.... that's what most all accounts do today. I'm ready. So, what's the "hint" question you're going to ask me? Nothing! Just the blank space asking for the "security word" to the unknown question.

    So, I call and tell them I have this little problem. The Customer Tech, tells me, she can't help and switches me over to "customer service". The new "she" steps me through all the necessary stuff: name, address, age, SS#, account number... then she asked me for my "security word". So I asked her what was the "hint" question. She asks what I mean and I tell her that it's the question or "hint" that the security word is the answer to.

    She replies, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you that."

    What? Well, that's the whole point I tell her... you go through registration process and just in case you can't remember your sign-in name and/or password, many accounts, like my bank, insurance, and you HD folks, have a "hint" question for which the security word is the answer. You know like "What's your favorite food" and the security answer is "Ice Cream".

    Once again, I get told... We can't tell you the question... you should just know the answer. Yes, but my accounts all give you the "hint" question, that way they know it's me! "Well, we don't do that at Home Depot" you should just know!"

    We went a couple more rounds and I thanked her and called back... in the end, I was told to just start over from scratch and register again. Okay, let's see, it wants a sign-in name.... "CWSmith" "Sorry, that's already been used." Okay, let's try the account number...."Sorry, that's already been used!"

    So, one last time I call.... "We're sorry, we can't tell you what your sign on name is, what your password is, what your security hint question is and NO, if you setup a new registration, we can't connect you with your existing account information!"

    So now that I feel lost and helpless, I pop a couple of Xanex, go sulk for a while until I regain my composure... then I call Citibank... where I get directed to website where I simply fill out the online redemption application, including of course my account information. My gift card should arrive within ten days. Thank you Citibank and please send my regards to the idiots at Home Depot!!!!



    CWS

  • #2
    Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

    Rewards programs aren't what they used to be, and now I try to stay away from ones that are either a hassle to work with, or find ways to become "less rewarding" over time. Seems like programs that offer fixed, tangible rewards with easy redemption are the safest bet. I used to have a card with rewards miles, but it seemed like every time I wanted to cash them in, the points cost for the rewards were bumped up. I ended up using way more miles than I thought I would, and building them back up to a point where I would get a reward I actually wanted would take a long time.

    I switched to a Discover card that gives a straight forward cash back rebate of 2% that pays out once a year. As long as I keep the account in good standing and open, they can't disqualify me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

      My sympathies for your troubles CWS but ya know, it sure sounded a lot like business as usual over at good ole HD.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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      • #4
        Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

        And the former HD CEO went to Chrysler.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

          CWS...just out of curiosity, what bank issued the mastercard credit card which provided the HD rewards?
          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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          • #6
            Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

            Citibank! They're the people we called in the end.

            CWS

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            • #7
              Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

              HD would give me exactly what I give them NOTHING I would not walk into that place if it was the last store on earth. HD is EVIL
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

                When it comes to Home Depot, I try to keep my distance. I haven't had the same problem as CWS but did have some issues (and so did friends) where when we paid for an item with cash, they would not issue a refund. I (and friends) had to take a gift card. On the other hand when I have used my bank issued VISA credit card, they will issue credit back to it for returned mint condition items as long as I present the sales receipt. I did have the receipt for the cash paid items too. They (Home Depot) simply refused to refund cash, even small amounts.

                Now the main reason I don't like them is the same with other big box stores. They just haven't got a clue how to properly provide customer service, don't care and are out of stock on what I really need.
                Last edited by Woussko; 06-10-2009, 07:44 PM. Reason: Revised Post

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                • #9
                  Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

                  so it appears that your frustration was a function of asking HD to help with something that was the responsibility of citibank. not trying to defend either hd or citibank, but what prompted you to contact HD on a matter related to your credit card? HD contracts with citibank to provide credit to HD customers and issue credit cards under HD's name. i have had a number of bad experiences with my HD credit cards, but i place the blame on citibank where it belongs. the only thing HD could do regarding "their " credit cards is to move their private label cards from citibank to someone else (before citibank, it was GE credit). just trying to place responsibility where it belongs.
                  there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

                    Finer,

                    It's HD's "rewards" card. It may be issued through Citibank but all of the criteria, account access, etc. are done through and controlled by Home Depot. They are the one with the account signin, rules, tech and customer support help and they are the one who controls the account security. I really have no idea exactly what part Citibank plays, but I saw their logo on one of the forms and called them after going nowhere with Home Depot. The Citibank rep did nothing more than refer me to a specific Home Depot page, where I filled out the app and hit "redeem". Seeing that it was Home Depot's account and web page, I thought they could have done it, instead of the run-around. Actually I've been given two different website referrals from Home Depot's customer service and neither was accurate.

                    But, the point that I was trying to make was how dumb the security issue was... Not being able to reveal the "hint" question! Afterall, that is what it is established for. I'm quite familiar with a lot of security practices and it just appears to me that this particular issue was interpreted way beyond logic.

                    This afternoon I stepped through the process of setting up an account and when it gets to the issue of "security word" they actually require three "security words" and for each they give you a choice of several different questions (different for each of the three that are required). No mention of the fact that you'd better write down the questions and the answers for future clearance. So, somewhere out there in an account holder's future, they may forget their password and will then be asked for the "answer" to a question that can't be revealed.

                    CWS

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                    • #11
                      Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

                      your runaround sounds like it was extremely frustrating. my research indicates that citibank is at the root of all HD credit cards and rewards cards. in fact, when you dial the customer service phone number shown on HD's website for credit related issues, you are connected to citibank, not a HD employee. HD probably should have referred you to citibank and saved you the aggravation.
                      there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Home Depot, Sometimes I wonder!

                        its one of those runaround red tape bureaucratic thing.. whatever

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