Bad Retail Experience Part I: Home Depot

Hey Home Depot,

I just got back from your store.

I have a project that, according to my math, works out to about $250. I was planning on buying all of my supplies today. Instead, I bought nothing. The reasons are two-fold, and here they are:

1. Lack of Employee Knowledge. I had to ask five– F I V E– Home Depot employees where I should go to find SKU 755578, Master Flow Water Based Mastic Half Gallon Tub. The first guy didn’t seem to understand the word “mastic,” and sent me to the very far corner of the store, where I found buckets of roofing compounds. No mastic in sight.

The two ladies over there both told me it was in plumbing. That didn’t seem to make sense, so I asked another guy on the long walk back to plumbing. He was confident– Aisle 7, left side, near the end, eye level. Nope, no mastic in sight.

I headed to customer service. The nice lady was able to look up the product, and walked me right over to it. For the record, it was not by roofing, not in plumbing, and not at eye level Aisle 7 on the left near the end. It was eye level, on the right, at the other end, and in different packaging than is shown on the website.

15 minutes to find mastic. 3 tubs in my cart.

2. Poor Stocking Procedures. My project requires a respirator. The first guy I asked knew exactly where respirators were. I looked up the respirator I wanted to buy online– SKU 674580. It is specifically listed as a Demolition respirator, safe for use around insulation. Looking at the display, I find the spot where the respirator I want is supposed to be sitting. There is one respirator in the box, and it is the wrong one.

At this point, I go back to customer service, and ask for her to locate one of these masks. I learned my 15 minute, across-the-store-and-back lesson with the Mastic. She says they have 19, and we head over to where I just was. Sure enough, there are none on the shelf. I located a box of these respirators by the hand-written SKU. The lady gets a ladder, and gets down a box.

The respirators are listed as Lead Paint respirators, not Demolition and Renovation respirators as on the website and the shelf sticker. Nowhere on the packaging does it say it is safe to use with insulation. Either they are listing this respirator incorrectly on their website, or the SKU was hand-written on the incorrect box. Any way you look at it, I will NOT trust a respirator for insulation use that does not specifically say it is safe for insulation use on the packaging.

At this point, I had spent nearly 30 minutes in Home Depot. I had successfully acquired ONE of the ten or so items that I needed to purchase for my project. The item I was not able to acquire is essential to start my project.

I left my cart at customer service. I won’t trust a respirator based on the hand-written SKU by the same Home Depot employees that sent me on a wild goose chase to find a product that they should have located the first time I asked.

Home Depot got ZERO dollars from me today, and it looks like Lowes will be getting my money for this project.

That is all.

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