Home Depot: Take my money, please!

I don’t get it. We constantly hear that brick-and-mortar stores suffer due to Internet shopping, yet every time I go to a retail store I have a bad experience.

Take today, for example. I have a list of stuff I wanted to buy, and it should have totaled somewhere in the $250 range:

- Citrus tree. I want an orange tree. I will spend up to $75 for one.
- Lorapetalum. It is a shrub. I want 4-6 of them, and will pay up to $20 each.
- Flowering vines. I want two, and would pay up to $20 each.
- AC coil cleaner. I DIY my AC maintenance.
- HVAC Filter, 18×24.
- Ant Killer
- Wood Lattice.
- Wood Chips

Add it all up and it is a significant sum of money. How much did I spend today? About $15.

The majority of the problems are at Home Depot. They would have gotten the bulk of my money. BUT, they had ZERO orange trees. In fact, they had less than a half dozen citrus trees, most kumquats (nobody buys the fruit, and nobody wants to grow the fruit). They were all in the “50% off” section that they created by closing down the primest of the prime parking spots. They were all full prices. And they were not oranges!

I had stopped by a couple other local nurseries for an orange tree. Terrible selection on a bunch of diseased trees, or varieties that nobody wants to buy. No thanks.

For the Lorapetalum, Home Depot again failed to earn my business. The reasons are simple. The “1 gallon” Lorapetalum are actually 2.5 Quarts. Not a single 1 gallon Lorapetalum in the place. The 2.5 gallon Lorapetalum are clearly bad stock. It is not enough that the plants failed to break through their fiber pots, restricting them to considerably less than 2.5 gallons. Home Depot’s failure to maintain a clean, disease-free garden center has resulted in a collection of Lorapetalum that has spotting on their leaves. Note to Home Depot: If you place all of your plants so the foliage is touching and overlapping adjacent pots, and you water from above with a sprayer as if you received ZERO training, you are transferring disease to all of your plants. I will not buy diseased plants. In fact, I have a diseased bottlebrush from Home Depot in my backyard right now.

Since I didn’t buy any plants, I had no need for wood chips. Since they had no climbing vines (beyond some extremely diseased passion vines), I didn’t need the lattice.

Home Depot did not have my 16×24 AC filter. I have been buying them there for 10 years for around $4. Now, though, they only have upgraded filters for $11. Not only are these filters more than 250% of the price I have been paying for 10 years, but because they are better filters, they are far too restrictive. With the more expensive filter, I get a lot less cold air coming out of my vents, and my (expensive) HVAC system works much harder. I didn’t buy a filter. Amazon, here I come! Home Depot will never earn that business back.

So let’s do the math. What I should have spent:

$45 – Citrus tree
$75 – Lorapetalum
$40 – Flowering vines
$25 – Wood chips (10 bags)
$30 – Wood lattice
$10 – AC Coil Cleaner
$4 – HVAC filter
$5 – Ant Killer
—-
$234

And what I spent:
$10 – AC Coil Cleaner
$4 – Ant Killer
—-
$14

GREAT JOB Home Depot. I planned on spending $234, but your policies prevented $210 in sales from me today! That means that you received about 6% of the money I planned on spending at your store today, all because you cannot maintain stock or care for your plants.

Oh well. At least I didn’t have to deal with any Home Depot patrons bringing their filthy, unpredictable pet dogs into the store. And to think, it only took 4 complaints for them to realize that non-service dogs have no business being in their business!

That is all.