Updated - Poor service for online purchase
My condo neighbors all have the same washer/dryer set (other sizes do not fit into the laundry closet) so I purchased mine online when I moved in, since there was a special online sale. I had the washer/dryer set delivered this past Saturday (July 25) and on Sunday we did our first load. I sat in front of the machine the entire time to make sure it worked fine. Everything looked okay until it got to the rinse cycle, when the machine vibrated violently when it was on short spin. I immediately tried to call both Home Depot and GE and learned they are not open on Sundays.
On Monday (July 27), GE said maybe the delivery man did not remove the shipping bolts. So Home Depot delivery came again on Wednesday (July 29) and showed me he had installed the machines properly, and said probably it came damaged and recommended exchange. He and I both tried to call Home Depot, but I was on the phone waiting for over 30 minutes and nobody answered, even though we called at 9PM eastern time (supposedly they close at 10PM). Then I spent an hour this morning trying to get either Home Depot or GE to take care of it. Home Depot refused exchange and put all responsibility on GE, and the "manager" who called me back sounded like a high school student from the choice of words she used (lots of "yeah" instead of "yes", among other things). GE said they have to take a look first before replacement and next available service appointment is 7 days away!!! I mean if I live in middle of nowhere like I used to, I would understand, but now I live in city of Los Angeles, 7 days to wait and take off another day from work next week for something I paid $1500 for?! Plus if they determine they can't fix it on the spot, that means another delay and another day off work to get replacement. They can't possibly think I broke the machine even though we didn't even complete one cycle on it. Don't they have faster options for people who just received the machine less than 24 hours ago?! I don't understand why Home Depot is not helping me even though they are the ones who took my money.
I would not recommend shopping on homedepot.com, and I should've followed my friend's advice to purchase major appliances from a local, small, family-owned store instead.
Feeling more outraged about how Home Depot has handled the situation so far, I called Home Depot again on July 30, Thursday afternoon, this time to request return of the items, instead of repair or replacement. However after waiting 25 minutes on the phone, I received an automated message stating that they were experiencing high volume of calls and asking me to leave my name, phone number, and order number (and that they would call me back before the end of business day), and I did. I also emailed Home Depot (from website form) twice times so far, once Thursday and once the day before, and had not received any call backs.
1) On Friday, July 31, 2009, 5;38 AM, I phoned Home Depot Major Appliance Related Issues and Questions, 800-455-3869, I was connected after about 4 minutes wait, I spoke to Tracy. I was informed by Tracy that on their computer system, it shows Norma at Ladera Heights store #1061 has already been informed of exchange for the set.
2) On July 31, 2009, 6:09 AM, I phoned Ladera Heights store #1061, and asked for Norma in Appliances. I was informed by Virginia, a store employee, that Norma would come into the store at 8 AM.
3) On July 31, 2009, 8:01 AM, I phoned Ladera Heights #1061 store, and spoke to a man and asked for Norma. After being put on hold for 3 minutes, I was informed that Norma had the day off. Then I was transferred to Special Orders, and spoke to Lori. Lori said she is not familiar how to do this, so she will have to get manager to okay it. I asked her who is the manager of the store, and Lori said that there is no manager at the location, as the manager had other stuff to do. Lori promised manager will phone back before noon today. I also informed Lori that I want the broken set out of my home this weekend, as we had just moved, and this has been going on a week. Lori told me that usually they have customer contact GE. But I informed Lori, since the washer/dryer set arrived broken, I just want a replacement, not waiting for repair.
4) Only July 31, 2009, 12:40 PM, I received a phone call from Tamera (Baton Rouge area code) regarding my question about an online order. I asked if she has read my case and she said yes. She asked me how she could help me, and I told her that we had tried to call Ladera Heights store #1061 this morning but got the run around and nobody returned my phone call when they said they would before noon, so I do not want to deal with Home Depot anymore and that I want a return and refund. She said that would be fine. She asked me if I want to return the washer or both washer and dryer, and I told her I want to return everything because I do not want to deal with Home Depot anymore. She then asked me if she could put me on short hold so she could speak to my local Home Depot store (Ladera Heights), and I said yes. I waited 5 minutes and had to hang up.
5) About 20 minutes later, I received a phone call (I did not get the person's name or phone number), returning my call above with Tamera, I told her that I am in a meeting at work and asked her if I could call her back. She said she is just calling to tell me that they are still trying to get in touch with the Ladera Heights store #1061 and would call me back in 20 minutes. I told her that is fine.
6) On July 31, 2009, 1:22 PM, I phoned Ladera Heights #1061 store, asked to speak to Special Orders, I was connected to Lori again. I asked her if she had called me back because I had not received any calls. Lori said, "I told you we are coming to pick up tomorrow." I asked when, and Lori said, "They will contact you in the morning”, and then hanged up on me. I did not get to ask any more questions or speak to her further.
7) On July 31, 2009, 1:27 PM, I phoned Home Depot Atlanta office and spoke to Lisa, regarding the return of an item because of the rude attitude I received. Lisa said she is trying to phone Ladera Heights store #1061 to speak to the store manager, but was not able to. She obtained my contact information and told me she would return my phone call. She said she would have to speak to the store manager regarding this matter. When I hanged up the phone it was 1:43 PM.
8) On July 31, 2009, 2:17 PM (5:17 PM Eastern Time), I phoned Home Depot Atlanta number asking for Lisa. Lisa was not able to answer phone, so I left message asking her to return my call, since it has been 30 minutes.
9) On July 31, 2009, at 2:45 PM, I phoned Home Depot number 800-754-0688, and spoke to Cornelia. I informed Cornelia the whole situation, we tried to do 3-way calling with Ladera Heights, but no one picked up the phone. Cornelia said she would call me back regarding this matter. I also found out that the Ladera Heights’ store manager is named Cynthia. I was on hold with Cornelia for 33 minutes while waiting for Ladera Heights to pick up. I also received Home Depot Online Services number 800-430-3376 in order to make sure I will receive a full refund. I called and waited 8 minutes and 43 seconds for someone to pick up from Online Services.
10) On July 31, 2009 around 3:30 PM, I did not receive call back from woman in 5), so I called Tamera’s phone number again, and I was connected me to a woman, who informed me that she is in the plumbing department, but when I asked to speak to Tamera, she transferred me. I told Tamera my name and told her I had talked to her earlier about returning...(she cut me off) and she said yes. I told her that I had spoken to Lisa at the Atlanta office, who said she would call me back but never did, and I did try to call Lisa back at her extension but she did not pick up the phone so I had to leave a message, and still no call back and that it is past 6 PM in Atlanta. Tamera asked me to hold while she tried to call Lisa and the Ladera Heights store. She had me on hold for two minutes, then returned and said she spoke to Cynthia at the Ladera Heights store and confirms that they would pick up tomorrow morning. She said that she got the run around with the Ladera Heights store too, so she can understand my frustration. She also told me that she had tried to contact Lisa, but was not able to get hold of her. I also told her that I want to confirm that this is not an exchange, but a return. She said the computer shows that this is a return. I then told her that I want to confirm that I will get the full refund, and she said the computer shows that this will be a full refund.
11) On July 31, 2009, 3:30 PM, I received a call from Emily (Atlanta area code) and she told me that Cynthia at the Ladera Heights store told her that the store had already called me to schedule a pick-up. I did NOT receive any phone calls from the Ladera Heights store about pick-up, but before I was able to tell Emily this, she interrupted me and told me they understand that my need to know a time frame, and that the pick up for the washer is scheduled for between 12 and 1 PM, and that the store will call me after 9 AM. I said to her "washer AND dryer". She told me the computer shows only the washer will be picked up. I told her that I want to return both the washer and dryer. She told me that because the dryer was not damaged, they will not pick up the dryer. I told her that but Tamera said I could return everything. Emily said this is not their policy, because the dryer was not damaged. She said she has Tamera on the other line, and I said okay. Emily put us on three-way calling, Tamera said she asked me if I want to return the washer or both the washer and dryer and I told her that I want to return both. I told Emily, that is what I said (to Emily) before. Emily said but Tamera never said I could return both. And I told Emily that, but when I told Tamera that I want to return both, Tamera did not say I cannot do that either. Emily said she is sorry that I was not informed but I still cannot return the dryer because it was not damaged. Emily then went on to say that I have been calling all over Home Depot about this case and now a lot of people are dealing with this. I told her of course I am calling all over because the defective washer I received and that I could not even do one cycle on it. Emily again interrupted me before I was able to finish my sentence and said that "I already know your story, but it stops with me and goes no further." She went on to tell me again that they will come to pick up the washer tomorrow between 12 and 1 PM, maybe a little earlier. I interrupted her and asked her, "a little earlier?" She said yes they cannot get the exact time, so they will call me tomorrow morning to confirm. I then ASKED her, "You said they will call at 9 AM?"; she said, "Now you are putting words in my mouth, I said after 9 AM, because if I had said at 9 AM then you would expect the call at 9 AM and not at 9:05 or 9:10." She then asked me if I have any more questions and I told her not right now.
12) On July 31, 2009, 3:36 PM, I phoned Home Depot Atlanta office and spoke to Leah, all I asked for was Emily's direct contact number. I was put on hold for 24 minutes and 55 seconds to be connected to Emily.
13) On July 31, 2009, around 4 PM, I received phone call from Leah (Atlanta area code) and she told me that she is calling back because we had gotten cut off when she was trying to find the number for me. She said she will try to connect me with Emily and put me on hold. She returned a minute later and said Emily is not available right now because she is “in the queue” but she (Leah) will try to help me. Leah said that tomorrow morning, the ASM, the assistant store manager, Melinda, should call me at 9 AM to confirm the pick-up time. She asked me if I want to return the dryer too, if that is the other thing I called to talk to Emily about, and I said I would like to. She then asked me if she could put me on hold. I did not answer her question but told her that, Emily told me that Cynthia told her that Cynthia had called me already to tell me about the pick-up for tomorrow and also to schedule the pick-up, but I have NEVER received any phone call about scheduling pick up (we were only told by the corporate office about when they will pick-up tomorrow, but nobody consulted us about the pick-up time). Leah asked, “So they never called you?” and then again asked to put me on hold. When she returned, she told me that I would have to call the online appliance phone number about returning the dryer, and she gave me the number 800-430-3376. She also gave me Emily's full name, and her own extension number. When I asked her Emily's extension number, Leah asked me to put me on hold again. She then returned and told me Emily's extension number. I told her that I looked up that phone number for online appliance that she just gave me, and that I have already called that number twice today but nobody answered the phone and was not even able to leave a message. Leah told me that number is the same one they themselves have to call regarding online purchases, so I should keep trying. I told her I will try again.
14) On July 31, 2009, 4:09 AM, I phoned Online Services again, 800-4303376, was on hold 16 minutes waiting for someone to answer. No one answered, but I was able to leave a message. I was told by the message system, someone will return by phone call before the end of business today.
15) On August 1, 2009, 6:06 AM, I phoned Online Services 800-430-3376, after 25 minutes of wait time, I spoke to Oonarissa. I informed Oonarissa the only reason I do not want the set anymore is the attitude I received from the Ladera Heights #1061 store, as they are too difficult to deal with, and I cannot risk the dryer broken and having to do the same thing all over again. Oonarissa phoned Ladera Heights #1061, and spoke to manager Alex, and informed him of the situation. I was informed that as long as I can return the dryer to the Home Depot store, then I can get full refund. I asked what I needed to show, Oonarissa said she would send me an invoice letter through email, which can then be used for full refund at the Home Depot store. Oonarissa also informed me that the washer will be picked up by GE, not Home Depot, and GE will take the washer directly to their warehouse, thus the reason why the dryer must be returned to the Home Depot store. I finished speaking to Oonarissa at 6:45 AM.
16) On August 1, 2009, at 9:12 AM, I received phone call from Nancy at the Ladera Heights store, and she told me that she is calling to set up time to pick up. I asked her when they are coming, she said they are leaving now, would that be okay, and I told her yes that would be fine. She also informed me Anthony and Nick are the ones who will be coming over.
17) On August 1, 2009, at 9:45 AM, I received phone call from a man who said they are at the door. I told him that we are coming down to open the door for him.
18) On August 1, 2009, at 9:50 AM, I received phone call from man in12) again and he said there is nobody meeting him at the front door and he asked me for my apartment number. I told him that my mom went downstairs to open door for him already but I will go down to see what is wrong.
19) I went downstairs and did not seeing anybody either. So I called the man back and I asked him where he is. I told him that was my billing address. He asked for my residential address and for directions to get there.
I waited for Anthony and Nick outside and they arrived within 10 minutes. They parked the pick-up truck with Home Depot logo across the street. Anthony walked over to me first. He had a Home Depot orange apron on, with his name written on it. He was wondering about the address mix-up and I told him that the billing address was not even the delivery address one week ago. He did not understand why he was given the billing address to pick up either. Nick joined us a couple minutes later with the appliance dolly. Nick was also wearing an orange Home Depot apron.
As we were riding in the elevator to get to second floor, Anthony asked me what is wrong with the fridge. I told him, what fridge, I never bought a fridge from Home Depot. He said he was told he was coming to pick up a fridge and did not understand the discrepancy. I told him that I am returning the washer and dryer. Anthony and Nick walked with me to the bedroom hallway where the washer and dryer were located. They first attempted to push the stacked unit toward themselves. I was standing a few feet away and warned them that the dryer is connected to gas pipe. Anthony took a peek to the side of the stacked unit and said it is and they stopped pushing for a moment. Then they started pushing again and was able to slide the unit down the raised floor (of the laundry closet), I heard wood cracking sound but thought that it would be easy to replace the wood lip in front of the laundry closet. I also saw the dryer scraped the side of the closet wall but there was nothing we could do because the unit was tilting halfway down already. Anthony then tried to disconnect the various connections. He was able to pull the power plugs and took off the dryer exhaust pipe easily, but he said he needed tools to take off the rest and he did not bring any. He asked me if I had any, and I told him I have a small box of tools that I can show him, but I do not know how to use them. He picked out the wrench from the box and was about to take off the gas connection. I immediately asked, “Doesn't the gas need to be turned off first?” He said yes and then turned around to turn the switch on the gas pipe to off position. Then he continued to try to take the gas connection off, but said the wrench was just a little too small to fit. He asked me if I have pliers or a bigger wrench. I told him I would go look more. In the mean time, he took off the water connections. My mom went downstairs to bring up a tool box that was in my car trunk that had some tools, and I showed Anthony the pliers and he said that might work, and he was able to take off the gas connection with it.
Anthony and Nick got the unit onto the carpeted floor and put it onto the appliance dolly and wheeled it down the hallway and into the elevator. While we were in the elevator, Anthony told me he will come back to do paint touch up of the wall, but he needs to get the paint color. I told him that I still have some of the paint that the seller left, but I told him he does not have to come back to paint. He asked me if I am sure, and I told him yes. Anthony and Nick wheeled the dolly and washer/dryer out of the condo building. When we were at the curb, Anthony went to drive the pick-up truck from across the street to in front of the condo building garage, then he and Nick slid the dolly (with washer/dryer on top) up into the pick-up truck and laid it down on its back and tied it with a rope.
Anthony asked me if they are going to send me another set of washer and dryer, and I told him that I am not buying from Home Depot again because we spent over five hours yesterday on the phone trying to get this problem fixed, and that even though I had great experience with Home Depot when I was living in the South, I do not know what happened here in Los Angeles. Anthony asked me where I purchased the washer/dryer, and I told him I did it online, and Anthony said to come to the store next time and ask for him and he will help me. Anthony also had me sign an invoice that looked like what Oonarissa had emailed me earlier this morning. Anthony said to just sign anywhere on the paper. I put on the paper "Pickup washer and dryer. Refused paint touch up."
When I returned to my condo unit and took a look at the laundry closet again, there were several paint scraps on the sides of the laundry closet, but they are very easily fixable with paint and paint brush. I also noticed then, that the wood lip in front of the laundry closet was damaged enough that we would have to either replace it, or spend an hour hand-sanding the damage down and repaint it. Furthermore, I found a two-inch-by-one-inch hole on the tiled floor of the laundry closet. The tile inside the hole was pulverized to mostly dust, and that piece of tile will need to be replaced completely. I have photo and video evidence taken 2 weeks ago when we moved into the condo, to show that there was no hole on the laundry closet floor.
20) On the Home Depot website regarding online purchases, it states that, "A refund will be issued to the original credit card within 5-7 business days of receiving the returned item at our warehouse. Credit can be given in the form of a The Home Depot Gift Card upon request. Please call 1-800-430-3376 to request a credit via gift card." I wanted to make sure that a refund is being processed, so that on August 6, 2009, 5:09 AM, I called 800-430-3376, spoke to Jayden, at 5:13 AM. Jayden called Ladera Heights #1061 and spoke to the manager Alex, and we were informed that the store was still closed at that time and will open at 6 AM. Once the store opens, Alex will let the store clerk know to refund the money, as it should have been refunded by now.
21) On August 7 I called 800-430-3376 at 2:55 PM (it actually got through in 2 minutes this time). Renita answered the phone. She said the credit will go to the card, and it takes 3 to 5 business days. I told her, but we returned the washer/dryer almost a week ago and Alex said yesterday that he would get somebody to do the refund yesterday morning. She said understands but we only spoke to Alex yesterday, and it takes 3 to 5 business days to go through. This does not even make sense to me, because if I had not called yesterday to inquire, then there is no time frame? But I felt I would not able to get anything else out of Renita, therefore I just asked her, “So 5 business days at the most?” She said yes 5 business days at the most. I asked, so that would make it next Thursday at the latest? She said yes. She said she will put the order in for refund again and she asked for my credit card number and security code and expiration date. I asked her how much is the refund? She asked if I returned everything to the store, and I said yes. She said then it will be full refund. I asked her if I need to go to the store for refund or just wait at home, and she said I could go to the store if I want. I asked her if I would get the refund faster if I go to the store, she said I might. I asked her if somebody could call me when they have completed the refund, she said the store will call.
22) August 8, Saturday, I arrived at the Ladera Heights Home Depot store at 7 AM. I brought along three items that I found that Anthony and Nick forgot to take with them last Saturday: dryer vent pipe, dryer rack, and two steel plates that I do not know if they belong to the washer/dryer or not, but they were next to the washer tag (which I also brought along). I entered the store told the cashier that I am there for a refund on a special order refund, and she directed me to the "Returns/Services" counter. I saw a female associate doing a refund at the Returns aisle, and I was standing at the "Services" counter. After she finished, I do not think she saw me, because she walked to the paint counter across the aisle and stood there. So I approached her and told her that I am here for special orders refund, and she said she would try to help me. She got on the computer at the "Services" desk (and I sat down on the chair in front of it) and I gave her the print-out that Oonarissa emailed one week ago. After the female associate saw my case file, she said she is going to call the manager, because she did not want to give me the wrong information. She then paged Norma on the phone. We waited a couple minutes and she paged Norma again, this time, somebody called her back and she told me that the manager is coming. While waiting for Norma, I showed the female associate the three washer/dryer parts and the tag that I brought along. Norma came within 60 seconds and told the female associate to just do a refund. I gave my credit card to the female associate, and while she was in the "Returns" aisle working on the credit card machine, Norma asked me what is wrong with the washer. I told her that during the spin cycle, first it shook violently. I was going to tell her that, then the installer came and the machine would not even spin. But Norma interrupted me and asked me if I had a service call done on it, and I told her no, because we just wanted a return and refund. She insisted that I should have gotten a service call first before returning it. She asked me if I had scheduled a service call for August 6, and I said yes, but I canceled it, since I no longer had the machines by the 6th, because I returned them last Saturday. Norma said she knows. She then went to join the female associate at the Returns aisle. While there, the female associate asked Norma if I am getting the washer/dryer again, and Norma asked me. I told her "Not with you guys". They returned to the "Services" desk together about 30 seconds later. The female associate handed me a credit card receipt that showed refund of full amount and asked Norma what this is about, and Norma told her it is about the washer and dryer in the back, and that she does not know what to do with them now. Norma again insisted that I should have had a service call done. I told her that but the installer came and recommended replacement. She asked if he wrote up a report about it, and I said no, but that he said he would have his company call Home Depot. Norma said he is lying. I asked her, "So the installer company never called you guys?", and Norma said "No." I left the bag of washer/dryer parts on the desk, thanked the women and left the store. The entire visit lasted about 10 minutes.
I spent literally over 10 hours calling and talking to Home Depot in the last two weeks, trying to resolve this matter. About one-half of the time was spent waiting on the phone for somebody to answer, this does not even include the time we were put on hold after being connected to a representative, and I find this to be troubling. In addition, I feel that the managers at the Ladera Heights store do not follow-up on their promises (over the phone about giving me a refund) and lied to the corporate office (about their calling me to pick-up of the washer dryer). Furthermore, even though most of the employees at the corporate office did try to help us, they were unable to enforce the decisions and agreements they have made with us, as the corporate office informed us that once a sale is made, the money is paid to the nearest Home Depot store, thus they have no control over those matters. I used to see Home Depot as my number one choice for home improvement products and have spent several hundred dollars at the Home Depot stores over the past five years alone, while we were living in rental apartments. But this ordeal has made us feel that we cannot trust Home Depot anymore, especially when it comes to helping us take care of our newly purchased condo.
I sent an email to various Home Depot customer care addresses on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 11, and on Wednesday, August 12, I received 4 separate phone calls from various Home Depot employees.
1) Maria called at 8:30 AM. She said she's calling from Online Customer Care in response to my email. She said the email has reached their corporate division, that they have read the email in full detail, and said the time it took for repair and bad experience for pick-up was unusual, and she offered us $200 gift card to keep us as loyal customers. I declined the offer.
2) Cynthia from Ladera Heights store called at 9:30 AM. She said she received forwarded email from Lisa. She explained that she is no longer the manager and they are in transition and thus why the mess. She offered to fix or send us a check to repair the tile, I declined the offer.
3) Lisa from the Atlanta office called at 1:20 PM and said that she did call the store immediately after speaking to us and that the reason she didn't return our previously was because the store manager told her that they would call us regarding pick-up. She said usually they would pick up and replace, if the customer says there's something wrong within 24 hours of delivery, which I had done in this case. She apologized profusely and said that what happened was not normal and is not acceptable. I thanked her for calling.
4) At 4 PM, an employee from Ladera Heights called and said the manager's note said that they damaged the floor when they came to pick up the washer/dryer. I told her, we don't know if the damage was caused by the pick-up, that it could have caused by the installer, the machine shaking violently, or pick-up. She offered $100 gift card and asked me if I could go to the store to pick it up. I told her not interested.
At 11:12 AM on August 14, Friday, I received a phone call from Mike, who said he is the manager at Online Customer Care, he apologized for what happened and said they will definitely work on the wait time on the phone system and also getting store cooperation.