Not so long ago I went to the Home Depot to buy a water heater. My brother being a professional plumber, we knew exactly what we wanted.
We went to the aisle, found the make, model and capacity we wanted, then sought help getting the 50 Gallon (9 year warranty) G&E model from one of the overhead shelves.
A funny thing happened, the assistant tried to sell us a different model, actually two, those at floor level (e.g. not on the overhead shelf).
It wasn’t until I was emphatic about what I wanted that the clerk left and brought back one of those triangular ladder/steps platforms instead of a hydraulic lift for the 200lb, glass lined water heater … after getting a little surly.
We explained to the clerk that we were not going accept the unit unless it was brought down via a hydraulic lift. It is too heavy and unwieldy for one man to SAFELY manage on a ladder/platform. He again gave us some lip, telling us that “we do this all the time.”
Did I mention that unit inside the 6′x3′x3′ box weighs 200 lbs and is glass lined? Yeah, imagine the losses if he slipped just once.
Finally, we found a sales assistant who, when we explained what we wanted and pointed to the unit on the upper shelf, said “no problem” walked right past the rolling platform and retrieved the water heater in a safe and secure manner using a hydraulic lift.
About the only thing that made the experience more frustrating were the Home Depot employees standing outside the loading area … I assume to aid customers load heavy objects, though in our case, they just sat there and watched as my brother and I, carefully and safely placed it into my pickup truck.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems at store 2558 in Aspen Hill Maryland (zip:20853). It has been my personal experience that many of the employees are less than helpful when it comes to heavy, upper shelf objects. Perhaps because I’m a big guy and they think I should go it alone. Similarly, it has been my experience that those helping load vehicles usually don’t unless you track them down. Some want tips afterwards … as was the case last weekend when I bought 10 rolls of sod … which by the way they sold out of this Spring in the first week.
Not a surprise, them selling-out of popular items. I’ve often found popular items sold out at that store, rarely to be restocked even though they could easily sell twice as much. You would think with all the computer barcoding that goes on there, they could quickly spot trends and adjust to them. You would also think they have a record from the past couple of years of what was hot and what was not per season. But noooo … no sod, no quick setting cement, no general purpose stones and other things people tend to buy this time of year.
Why should they care? How about lawsuits? Imagine if my brother or I had hurt ourselves loading the object at their store while employees looked on. Imagine the money lost if/when the assistant dropped the water heater, especially on a customer. How about profit? What is this apparent aversion to making sure they have what the customer wants, when they want it … and not when it is convenient for Home Depot to buy or stock it.
Here is something else Home Depot should consider: SURVEY the homes near the store. More than once, the Aspen Hill store has been out of large ticket items that are common to the area. E.g. a 50 gallon gas water heater, which is standard equipment in almost all the homes that surround the Aspen Hill store. Same too with sinks, counter tops, etc…
This is why I hate going to the Home Depot just 1 mile from home. Same goes for the Home Depot just 0.5 miles from where I work in Gaithersburg. This is why the Lowes about 10 miles away gets my business for big ticket items. Just thought I’d let you know when you get a bit frustrated with serving <SIC>”the stupid users“</SIC> who visit your church and/or charity’s website.