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  • #16
    The wages aren't the best. Here in NY's Southern Tier, the wage is between $10 and $18/hr as I understand it. However, that isn't really an excuse for having the store such a mess, nor is it an excuse for not knowing what it is that you are supposed to be selling. But that said, you really can't blame the typical sales associate. In almost every case, the poor situation reflects on management, either at the dept. or higher levels. Probably anyone who knows their stuff will be in the trades, unless they are tired of it all, retired or close to it, or perhaps just interested in part time work.

    Actually I find the typical "new" person willing to help beyond their ability or experience and will make a concerted effort to contact someone who can help. The so-called "experienced" types will usually blow you off, or tell you an untruth and then get peeved if you call them on it. There are exceptions of course! I've had too many experiences with HD to elaborate here, but I've come to know that you best not count on HD to give you any good information.

    Still, around here anyway, they have the best tool selection. So, one needs to do their homework and hope that by the time you need service, it won't be as bad as it is reported here.

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    • #17
      TYXLC, let me respond to your post concerning where you said you would rather be shopping at lowe's instead of HD if there was one there.
      My personal opinion is both outlets don't have alot to be desired, HD for the reasons expressed here in this thread and Lowe's for exactly the same.....but even worse.
      I'll explain by telling you what happened to me at my local Lowe's recently. I work for a contractor and I LITERALLY buy thousands of dollars worth of supplies at Lowe's monthly (we have an open account with them). One day I went in to buy several hot water heaters for a commercial installation......time was of the essence as the customer wanted them in pronto. Low and behold when I went to get them checked out, one of them was'nt marked for price and since they were not the same they had to send someone to do a price check. He disappeared while I'm waiting in line at the contractor's check out. 10 minutes goes by with no response and the cashier starts ringing out the by now frustrated guys behind me. Then another 10 minutes. I walk up to the assistant manager and ask her what the deal is. She says in a snide manner that he should be back soon. Mind you I have already spent a good chunk of my morning getting these and picking out fittings, lines, etc so I'm already running a little late if I hope to have these installed by today. Finally after waiting a half hour for this bozo to appear with the price, I lost it. I asked her if this was her opinion of customer service, and she arrogantly looked away from me and did'nt bother to even respond. Finally I said I'll just take the one heater so I can go and I left. The next day my boss tells me in the morning that he got a call from some lady at Lowe's complaining that one of his employees was abusive and rude and that she's unhappy with that. He laughed it off after I told him I was NOT abusive in the slightest and that I was only getting frustrated because of time (he actually liked the fact I was in a hurry, LOL). I marched in there that day and talked with the head manager and asked him if it was Lowe's policy for thier employees to be calling customers offices and spreading lies and expressing what she did about me. He immediately apologized and said no she was totally out of line and that he'd have a talk with her. To this day she still works there and still gives me snide looks everytime i shop there. WONDERFUL customer service, especially for someone who throws the kind of $$$ around I do in there.
      On top of all this, they recently did a renovation and redo of the aisles and moved stock back and forth to constantly differing spots to the point that not even the employees knew where anything was at anymore, and this went on for over 2 months. Noone knew where anything was at, finding it was a exercize in futility even for several employees (for common supplies even like pipe fittings and tape!). Yes I love my local Lowe's. I love them so much that half the time I just bite the bullet and spend the extra money and pay the higher prices to shop instead at the local plumbing supply house.....at least there I can find someone who knows what the difference is between a male and female fitting, knows where it's stocked, and does'nt treat me like I'm wasting thier time.
      D.M.

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      • #18
        David, I've had nothing but good experiences at the Lowes in my area, it is a very well run store. The HDs around here are poster children for bad service. I had a particularly bad experience once, here is a link to that story: HD bad experience .
        www.TheWoodCellar.com

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        • #19
          It varies from place-to-place. Where I live, I much prefer to do business with HD. The Lowe's people are of much poorer quality than the personnel manning the HDs around where I live. And the lumber is better quality at my local HDs than at my local Lowes.

          And as for David's comment about how we "get down" on these people because of the wages that these people make, that should not matter. They have a job to do. They accepted the job offer for the pay offered and they should take pride in their work and do the best that they can. They're still rich compared to people in a lot of other countries and if they don't like the job, they are free to go somewhere else for work -- also a freedom/luxury denied to many in the world. And they're free to get financial assistance to get an education or training at a tech school to make more money if they are willing to do MAKE THE EFFORT rather than sitting around *****ing about how unfair life is and expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver platter by the government at someone else's expense!!!

          The Constitution guaranties that you have the freedom to PURSUE happiness and prosperity. You don't come into this world with a guaranty that happiness will be provided to you tattooed on your butt!

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          • #20
            George, don't hold back.....tell us how you REALLY feel!

            The fact of the matter is, many people who work at Lowe's CAN'T find work elsewhere. Some are disabled (ever been disabled and looking for work George?) and I know one Lowe's employee personally who can't even drive a car because he gets tunnel vision among a host of other maladies associated with a disorder he has.....he does the best he can and is a great guy, never complains about his lot in life and will go to great lengths to please a customer, including being right there when you are carrying out a heavy load and need some help, no asking required. But he does'nt know diddly squat about anything they sell, and has no construction experience whatsoever....surprise surprise.....and despite that I would never have it in me to talk smack about him because of it. I just figure it's a discount home improvement box store, much akin to Wally World, and again, I get what I pay for.
            Is bad customer service excused by the fact these people don't make anything there? As I said in a previous post, NO. But that's the way it is.....welcome to capitalism. Comparing the wages these people make to others in third world countries is'nt a fair comparison. They happen to live here and happen to probably in many cases hold the only job they can find and the experience you should expect from such a store should be no surprise to you whatsoever. If you don't want to deal with it then get out the crowbar and open up that wallet a little wider and go shop at a specialty store where you'll get top notch service and materials.....for a price.
            D.M.

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            • #21
              David,

              I just like stirring the pot now and then. [img]smile.gif[/img] That's is one of those nerves that I get touchy with.

              I am not slamming ALL people who work at places like Home Depot, Lowes, or Wal-Mart. In fact, I am very proud of and appreciate the work of the cleaning crew here where I work. At least they have a job and are trying to make it by as best they can. I treat them with kindness and respect because they are at least working and they do their job well. I know there are people who are doing the best that they can.

              But far more are capable of being a lot more and achieving a lot more if they want it bad enough and work hard enough for it. The opportunities and assistance are out there waiting. But far too many sit around complaining about how unfair life is and how they should get a break (again, at someone else's expense) when they are perfectly capable of improving their quality of life but are just too lazy to try. Hey, as long as they can vote for someone that promises to take care of the cradle-to-grave, why bother? Right?

              Some are in subsistance-wage-boat and are unable to improve their lives through education or training at a tech school because they are raising kids and are having to hold down more than one job. But the odds are, some of that group made bad decisions in the past that put them in that situation to start with. And again, they shouldn't complain.

              And I see a lot of younger people (especially during the summer months) working in those places that display a behavior clearly indicating that they just don't care about their job or what the customer wants or needs.

              We both agree that low pay doesn't excuse bad customer service or lack of effort in learning their job and the products that they are supposed to be selling. I just better not ever hear one complaining about it when they are capable of doing better if they are willing to work for it.

              And as for them making subsistance wages and comparing to other countries being unfair, if the American workers who are working on subsistance wages still go home to a dry appartment, trailer park or ramshackled home (even one infested with mice and roachs), they still have it better than millions around the globe.

              Anyway, enough of this thread. Let's get back to making sawdust.

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              • #22
                $10 - $18/hr. is subsistence wages? I started at $15 as an aerospace engineer in 1989. Starting engineers probably don't average more than $20 today. Then they expect you to donate 5 - 10 hours overtime a week. Annual increases will be no more than 5%. Trades are no better around here. Apprentice electricians make about $10/hr. I'd like to get my license, but I'm not going to work like a dog for 4 years at $10/hr just so I can write the journeyman test and make $18. People in this country better get used to the idea that $10 - $20/hr. is good pay. The number of hourly jobs that pay more is dwindling fast.

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                • #23
                  "The number of hourly jobs that pay more is dwindling fast."

                  Agreed, much of it due to outsourcing overseas of tech jobs and moving manufacturing jobs overseas, leaving only service jobs that can't be exported, the skilled trades, and the fat cats who run the corporations and get million+ bonuses for breaking the backs of their employees or saving money by by squeaking more work out of their non-exempt professional employees by getting them to give 'professional time' as you state. I see my friends who are engineers suffering under these conditions and worse. Yes, they still make a decent wage compared to elsewhere in the world but that is not the point. Their buying power and net income has gone down just like everyone else's has over the past dozen years or so. they are 'asked' (required) to give 10 hours of 'professionsal time' a week, what a crock. What that really boils down to is 50 hours work will get you 40 hours pay(if you received an hourly wage, not a salary), or in other words you are now working for 80% of what your paycheck should be. with the recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (www.flsa.com), we will see more people in this situation.

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                  • #24
                    Being in the service industry all of my life I've made as little as $1.25 per hour on up the scale.
                    I don't think that your wage should have any bearing on your willingness or ability to provide good customer service. You really can't expect everyone at HD or Lowes to know all there is to know about their department. They might not even be in their department that day, but if they don't know the answer then they should reply,"I'm sorry I don't know the answer but let me find someone who can help." In my line of work I don't always have the answer, but I will find out. Come on people, is it really that hard to smile and say "Can I help you?".

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                    • #25
                      low wages or high wages doesnt matter, thats beside the point. the point is, customer deserves no less..

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                      • #26
                        I agree customer service should be at a premium no matter how much you get paid. But do keep in mind that these employees have a million things to do...first they must help customers and that is number one. They also have to stock the shelves, clean displays, take product that you or I have moved from its original place and moved it because we were going to buy it then changed out mind, they have to deal with the customer who want 10% off of a purchase because they think since they order $1000 in tools that they are something special and important to this store, they have to deal with theft and watching people who weekly come into the stores and walk out with $1000 in product stolen, they have to deal with all of us who ask them 1 million questions on this lifetime warrenty when we dont realize that it is not Home Depots Warrenty but Ridgid's. In additon to all that they have to keep inventory, order product, handle returns, clean the store and collect buggies from the parking lot. Needless to say these things are easy to do and do not take long but when you have people asking you one hundred questions and can take a while. so give these people a break...if you have a problem talk with the manager and let them know what is not to your liking and also tell them what is to your liking. and hopefully over time they will make changes

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                        • #27
                          The "tool guy" at my local lowes knows me, my grandpa, and my dad by first name. He saw us alot, and helped us alot, and we became friends. He knows what he sells, and im very thankful hes there to help. At my local HD, i see a new "tool guy" every time i go into the store! They couldnt get to know me even if they tried! And they wouldnt be very helpful because they usually dont know what they're talking about (as has been discussed above)

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                          • #28
                            RS:

                            Your experiance with Lowes and Home Depot is not new I am willing to bet that most people across the country can attest to what you said and some people will be lowes and some will prefer Home Depot

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                            • #29
                              just to add my 2 cents. If you want to deal with knowledge over price, then go to a local supply house. The problem with all of us is we want the price and the service. In many cases you can't have your cake and eat it too.At my local HD, I have 2 electrical guys that are the best. They are retired and work their for the benefits. There is also a great landscape guy there too, but he is too helpful and smart to be there long. I know this and accept it. I guess when I go in to the large chains, I expect low knowledge with low price. The only thing that does anger me is when no one is around, or displays are empty, but yet I can see the item 3 stories up. Any monkey can keep a shelf stocked with supplys already there. Thats where I blame poor management. There are plenty of people out there, that will do monkey business with low pay.
                              Lastly, I have been told that the power tools at the hd/lowes stores are made with cheaper inner workings than at the small stores. Does anyone have any input on that.

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                              • #30
                                Bob Heard that before as well and It is simply not true. It is the small stores way of getting you to buy from them because they can not compete with HD and Lowes with the buying power these two companies have. It simply is not cost effective for a Manufacture to do that.

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