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  • The New Home Depot.....

    My entire experiance with Home Depot until recently has been in the west including Oregon, California, and Arizona. I loved shopping there. As a retiree who has been purchasing and rehabing old houses for resale I appreciated their expertice and get-er-done attitude. HD staff were generally knowedgable and had the desire and independence of action to come to a positve resolution of problems.
    I have been in the east for a couple of years and have recently started shopping at a newly opened HD in this area. This is a whole new corporation and not in a positive way. I have found most people I have been dealing with in the tool department to have very poor product knowledge and a beauracratic approach to dealing with questions. They seem to have no independent ability to make decisions at the local level.
    I recently purchased the Rigid 24V LI four tool set. That process was more difficult than it should have been. One of the tool salesman told me they did not carry the Max/Select jig saw and in fact "had never heard of it". After leaving the store I called to determine if their inventory planning showed the product on delivery schedule. Customer service checked and informed me that they had 5 of the jig saws in stock.
    On another visit a lady working in the department tried to sell me the extended warranty package that Home Depot sells. She would not believe me when I informed her that all Ridgid tools carry a Lifetime service agreement.
    Today I walked into HD and was very happy to see a large Ridgid tool display extolling the virtues of Ridgid Max/Select tools. This display included a very large sign listing the Max/Select tools including the R8823 Impact Driver which I had been anxiously awaiting. There were boxes of saws, planers, and jig saws, but alas no Impact Drivers.
    I asked the tool department guy who proceeded to walk me to a 18V set containing a Impact Driver and tried to tell me they are the same tool. I walked him to the large Ridgid display and showed him the sign and explained the nuances of the Max/Select tools. I'm not making this up. He had no knowledge about the features of the Max/Select tool line.
    I went to customer service who found the R8823 listed on their inventory tables but informed me that there was a notation in their computer records showing they no longer carried this product. I informed him that this was a brand new product that they had never carried before. He called the tool department manager. She checked the computer and told me that the R8823 impact driver was a they no longer carried. I told her it was a new product and walked her out to the giant Ridgid Max/Select display and pointed to the large sign talking about the introduction of the R8823 Impact Driver. She was totaly unfazed about all this and told me that if the computer showed the R8823 as discontinued then it was discontinued. I suggested that sometimes computers made mistakes, and wasn't there another way. She demonstrated no knowledge of the point of the whole Ridgid Max/Select program. She said she could special order R8823 and asked if I would like her to do so. I replied in the affirmative. She called a number and gave them the information for ordering R8823 and informed me that the product was not available in that stores district and therefor could no tbe ordered. At that point I gave up on poor old R8823.
    I then asked her when she would have extra batteries available for the 24V LI products. She said she had no idea. When I responded in a stunned and incredulous manner she informed me that all products in her department were controlled by a plan from some higher level and she had no input regarding products nor knowledge beyond what they send her.
    I remember Home Depot reps breaking up sets to replace a tool that had broken. I remember Home depot reps talking about ordering in extra quantities of a product due to local conditions. I remember Home Depot reps who had used most of the types of tools in their department. I remember Home Depot reps calling a supplier and arranging special handling of a needed product. I spent a lot of money at the old home Depot.
    I had heard that there was a new Home Depot, but didn't belive it until today.
    Its very disapointing. I don't know if I have the time or patience to spend much money at the new Home Depot.
    Why am I ragging on Home Depot on a Rigid forum? I had always believed Home Depot and Ridgid were partners in the tool business. Ridgid might be interested in how their products are supported in the new Home Depot. Sorry about the spelling errors. Couldn't get spell check to work.

  • #2
    Re: The New Home Depot.....

    Wow, your letter needs to be heard at H.D. You should copy and paste and send them an email. I have noticed this same thing at Menards, and as far as H.D. goes, I deal with all my stuff at the contractors area, because they are not new there, and always willing to help. Its almost like you get more respect there than you ever would with some one around the floors who are new and don't know didley squat. Thanks for the letter I most certainly see this happening at all giant stores now a days...
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The New Home Depot.....

      Your not alone!

      You do not need any qualifications to work at Home Depot. These people are from all walks of life. Renters, students, self proclaimed experts, etc.. I am not bashing people in these categories, I am just saying that generally they do not know anything about home improvement. Funny, I know, especially at home improvement store. That is the problem!
      I have been forced to do business with Home Depot for the last 8 years because Lowes was not in my area until last year and because they are the only supplier that carries Ridgid power tools locally. I have experienced the same unfriendly, unhelpful and unknowledgeable staff at almost every Home Depot I have visited. Not to mention it seems that Home Depot sells junk. Almost everything I have purchased from them doesn't fit right or just falls apart. Currently, I try to only do business with Lowes, huge difference in the knowledge of their staff and product quality. Unfortunatly, you can't buy Ridgid at Lowe's.
      Your post is in the right place because indirectly it is related to Ridgid and the promotion of their products. Maybe Ridgid will be more strict with their contract guidlines with Home Depot.
      Not to get too far off the topic, here is the link for the current line of max select tools http://ridgid.com/Tools/Dual-Voltage-Tools/index.htm and I have seen all these max select tools at Home Depot except the impact driver which Ridgid reps have confirmed this tool will available.
      http://www.cgiconnection.com/download

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The New Home Depot.....

        I feel I need to add my $.02 here.

        I first started working at HD in 2002. When I applied they took my knowledge from working as a cabinetmaker, and my retail experience from working in tools at Sears and gave me a VERY decent starting wage. I was amazed at the amount of experience the other aprons had. We had a professional plumber (in the plumbing dept) a pro electrician (in electrical) and several other real world experience pros in their proper depts.

        I quit for awhile and came back. Gone were the pro's. I managed to get back in at my last wage, which is much higher than most others who are working their now. HD is hiring bodies. Un der Bob Nardellis time, he introduced a profit sharing plan, that got all the managers hot and bothered to show more profit. Where does most of this profit come from? Lack of knowledgeable employees (the good ones cost too much money) and by cutting down the hours.

        Now we have a new CEO, and we will see what happens. So far not too much has changed, a few more hours given out but that is all.

        Ive said it before, but you should use that customer survey at the bottom of your receipt. By doing so your comments go through Atlanta and back to the store. They get read each month at a meeting, and the employees that get their named mentioned on a positive note, most often get entered into a drawing. Last Christmas our store gave out 3 - $1000 (after taxes) checks to employees that were mentioned in the surveys.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The New Home Depot.....

          Another HD employee chiming in here:

          I've worked for HD since 2003 and have worked for 3 different stores in that time. I have heard and seen both horror stories and amazing stories or customer service and understand that a life long opinion can be formed by one bad experience. I have heard of these stores where the employees do not know much product knowledge but i have yet to see one in the stores that i've worked for. When i first began in the hardware department I was 18 and knew the basics from working in the local hardware store all throughout high school. My department head spent almost 2 weeks with me taking me around training me and teaching me all about our products and pros/cons/features of each one. He did this with every new employee and it helped me greatly shorten the learning curve. This happened throughout all the departments in the stores where i worked for and it was expected if you were asked to work a department, management would make sure you knew your stuff or at least knew enough to get by with the intention of you quickly learning all aspects of your department.

          As Orange Apron said in the past 2 years or so this approach was weakened which is a really sad thing to see. They implemented measures to cut hours severely, many times leaving only 1 associate in each department at any given time but in peak weekend hours, which to say the least is hard when you have 2 or 3 customers needing your attention at a time and the phone is ringing. But besides all the hour cutbacks I still have monthly training sessions i have to attend as well as make sure i communicate with the vendors about new upcoming product. This is done with every associate in my department. I still can't understand how this lack of basic product knowledge can go up the chain of command to the department head but i'm sorry that that was your experience.

          Also as orange Apron said, PLEASE fill out the customer survey on the bottom of your receipt. It may seem like a small thing but management buts a ton of weight on what actual customers say. The use of names, positive or negative, is even better. HD had a program where the highest scoring stores would win prize money on every month based on overall satisfaction or most improvement form the previous month. This was a great program as is drove the associates to really care about the customers. I strive to take care of my customers, and our store won that customer service award 3 times, twice giving $1000 each to 3 associates and once giving away $2000 each to 3 associates. I even won that $1000 which was pretty awesome.

          Well sorry to keep babbling on but hope i answered some questions, and if not I'm more than happy to share my experiences and knowledge of the behind the scene at HD.

          Also to help you on your quest for the Max Select Impact Driver, in the HD computer system it is stated as 'inactive' which just means that it is either brand new and hasn't shipped yet or REALLY old. The impact driver is the former and my Ridgid rep has told me to expect them by spring but he's told me twice before about estimated ship dates so i can't really put a lot of weight in that but i want them to come in since i get asked about them on a weekly basis.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The New Home Depot.....

            I have met a few good guys and gals at HD, and being very sincere and not political about it the few on this forum seem very with it, HOWEVER, you are often better off asking a pastry chef about tools than a guy in the tool department at HD.

            A very nice guy came up to me to help me while I was looking at the Bosch 10 volt lil driver and I and I asked if he knew when the impact version was due out. He told me it was an impact driver. I explained further with sound effects and he said I must be thinking of a hammer drill. I feel bad correcting someone in that situation, especially since I didn't need anything from him in the first place, but I felt it rude not to as well.

            One time on the phone, when asked about DeWalt biscuit joiner blades stock status a guy told me I could just turn it over and use the other side.

            When I asked if they carried food grade tubing they told me to check a restaurant supply store.

            When I was looking for a hardware template for cabinet handles the guy told me I had to check in the tool department downstairs...I went about two feet down the aisle I was in toward the escalator and there it was in his section. (I even described the color to him, and he came up to ask ME if I needed help, I didn't seek him out to send me on a wild goose chase)

            I was looking for a replacement filter for my wet dry. I told the guy the model number of the filter. He asked for the model of the vacuum. I thought he must know a special secret compatability between brands. Nope, he took me to the vacuum and said here it is. I said I needed the FILTER, I already have the vacuum. He said, "oh, we don't have filters" and turned his back and walked down past the whole shelf of filters.

            This is only in the last four months (except the biscuit joiner blade story but that is my favorite)
            A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The New Home Depot.....

              I have had very few positive experiences shopping at HD in the past 4 years.

              I refuse to use their automatic check out ever since I was double billed for material and they refused to admit it to my credit card company (Two sales for exactly the same products at the same date/time on their bill, but I had to pay)

              Their quality of lumber is now junk and the service is nonexistent.

              Lowes is a little better but not by much.

              Unfortunately, down here, they are the only game in town. I am setting up a "company" to gain access to the few wholesale lumber yards in the area.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The New Home Depot.....

                Originally posted by billmoy View Post
                I have had very few positive experiences shopping at HD in the past 4 years.

                I refuse to use their automatic check out ever since I was double billed for material and they refused to admit it to my credit card company (Two sales for exactly the same products at the same date/time on their bill, but I had to pay)
                The problem with your credit card is the credit card company not HD. Any card company that would side with the vendor over a customer with an obvious double charge is ripping you off. I would toss the card not the self serve check out.

                I had a dispute with a company over a legitimate charge and the minute I complained the credit card company took it off my bill and deducted the cost from the company. The company that I had purchased it from had to come to me for the money, we worked out our differences and I paid them.

                The credit card company refused to be an arbitator and I'm told the always side with the card holder. If yours doesn't, like I said I would toss the card.
                Rev Ed

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The New Home Depot.....

                  Wow!!! Almost everyone has had the same horrific experiences. I guess it was not just at my region.

                  Home Depot was able to dominate the market for so long because they were the only major chain in every corner of the market. Similar to Microsoft Windows, you have little or no choice but to do business with them. Therefore, they can cut back on service, wages and training and people are basically stuck to do business with them. The problem is that when a company is publicly traded they have a duty and legal obligation to return a profit to the shareholders. Orange apron, who stated he worked at Home Depot, shed some light on this when he said the former CEO started offering incentives to maximze profit. Welcome to America, the home of the free? The land of opportunity? Sound familiar, only if you have billions of dollars can you be a major player in this so called free enterprise.
                  Lowe's is quickly expanding hopefully we will see some healthy competition in the home improvement chain stores. Can you say price war.

                  Every Empire in history has dominated for a period of time, but does not last forever.
                  Last edited by onlycordless; 03-06-2007, 12:31 PM.
                  http://www.cgiconnection.com/download

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The New Home Depot.....

                    Home Depot knows how to do it right because I know from direct experiance several years ago when they DID have trained, experianced, motivated personnel. These guys had experiance from doing the work, they knew what the needs of contractors are and thjey worked hard to help you. All they have to do is return to that system........

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The New Home Depot.....

                      Well, hopefully Josh will point this thread out to some RIDGID execs and maybe, just maybe they will see there is a problem that is costing RIDGID money as has been said here time and again by myself and many others.

                      I think it's time for RIDGID to tell HD; "It's sure been swell but the swellings gone down. See-ya".

                      Time to move on RIDGID, and don't look back, HD is not doing your reputation any good when the represent you in this way to potential consumers.


                      ---
                      As far as the forum spell check not working, you need to have an add-on spell checker installed that works with your browser for the spell chack to work. It's not part of the forum software, it's an extra to your web browser. Take a look at www.iespell.com as one example. It's free for personal use and works well.
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                      ---------
                      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The New Home Depot.....

                        The thing is I am sure happy to have one near by when I need some fasteners or epoxy or something, and here in the Bay area I am never more than ten minutes from one. That is no exaggeration, they are like mushrooms along the freeway here. Now that I know their general layout and system (better than a lot of the employees) I just go in and get what I need, only to be frustrated and held up by my wandering eye in the tool coral.

                        I mentioned that there is a HD "PRO" store in my area, but it is the only one I have ever seen. Have any of you run into one? It is good because you don't have 14' inflatable snow-globes or patio furniture in the way, or the people who are looking for those items in the way.

                        My experience with LOWE'S hasn't been any better BTW, though less frequent and sometimes less successful in finding what I want at that.
                        A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The New Home Depot.....

                          After reading all this Home Depot bashing I have to say that I find both Home Depot and Lowe's about equal in service and employee knowledge. I have good days and bad days in both establishments, at various locations.

                          And I'm not convinced [yet] that removing all stationary power tool displays is a horrible idea. I understand what some are saying; I like to see tools before I buy them, too. But the truth is that I bought the TS3650 in spite of, not because of, the display models I saw at HD stores. The displays I saw all had wobbly legs, broken or missing parts, etc. The reason I decided to buy a TS3650 was because of reviews and comments I read on forums like this one. Since the poor appearance of floor displays was more a hindrance than help for me in making a purchase decision, I suppose a reasonable argument could be made that no floor display is better than a wobbly, broken, partially stripped display.

                          What would be ideal is a well maintained floor of Ridgid stationary tool displays...my garage would do nicely...

                          - djb

                          I guess the floor display comment should have been posted to this thread instead of here...
                          Last edited by djb; 03-07-2007, 12:38 AM. Reason: post comment
                          sigpic

                          A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                          Restore the Republic.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The New Home Depot.....

                            How Home Depot Gave Me Beer Money for 2007, Made Me Angry at Ridgid, and Made Me Shake My Head in Bewilderment

                            Having just lost my last two rants as I clicked "post" I will try to be brief. My closest HD has replaced knowledgeable staff in the tool department with pure frustration embodied in several unhelpful employees. I now travel 25 minutes to another one where the head of the tool dept. is knowledgeable, helpful, and goes way beyond what you would expect and is a joy to buy from. I have to say that a new Lowes, near my house, has awesome, customer friendly staff, goes beyond and has changed my opinion of that chain.....

                            But since this relates to HD and Ridgid (and I hope someone reads this thread) I had an experience in December that is summarized in my headline. HD's website had the RIDGID portable table saw...reconditioned...for $280..love the saw, the quality, love the price...then I saw how expensive the shipping was (and btw, way above HD's stated policy for shipping costs)...it was close to purchasing a new saw at the store...I couldn't believe it. The next day I called corporate customer service and asked if what I saw was true...yes...so I asked since it is a RIDGID product and only you guys have it locally, can you ship it to the store for free...like Lowes offers for its customers...or various other retailers..."NO". Can you ship it to the store at a reduced cost..not free but not the $$$ on the website as this is a RECONDITIONED TOOL...not the NEW one!" No.

                            I went to my local store to ask about price, shipping options etc. and was told by management..yup all true..."we don't deal with the website (different business and we don't match prices) too difficult and customers always complain about that". So I mentioned that I was buying a Ridgid product..or trying to..not makita etc. No matter. Basically buy new.

                            So I called corporate again..I WANT TO GIVE YOU MY BUSINESS, MY MONEY..HELP ME! I was told "Sir, your local stores may carry reconditioned Ridgid tools"..which I have never seen so I asked her to look it up..."no, your district doesn't sell recondioned Ridgid tools...some do but not yours." (I am in SE PA). Since that was the case, I went over the shipping ideas again...not new but hey, you have my sale, you don't have to give me free shipping but meet me half way...nope.

                            I was sooooo angry...great tool, wanted it, sale was made and it was like a bad movie....customer service only had a script, local presence not a help and I had wasted 4 hours of my time.

                            Ridgid, if you are listening, what about convincing HD to offer a slightly reduced shipping cost if they are selling off reconditioned power tools?

                            So, I have cash for beer all year but no saw......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The New Home Depot.....

                              I just plane don't like Home Depot real name "Huge Disappointment". I go in there for the company I work for & once in a while for me after all the other stores are closed.

                              One of the thing I don't like is Huge Disappointment comes to town & runs other long time small retailers under. The small retailers have products that HD refuses to carry so when the little guy is gone we can no longer get these products locally & have to search far & wide to find them.

                              Its terrible that Hugh Disappointment is such a rich retailer & still such a poor retailer.

                              If HD left town tomorrow I would not be Hugely Disappointed.

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