TEXAS -- In May 2004 I requested a roof estimate from Home Depot. I had already received numerous fly-by-night roofing company estimates whose round figure was about $4,000. I have a 2-story 3,000 square feet house, but since I was brought up with the "Sears" warranty service of the 1980's, I decided to go with a solid company who would warranty their work.
So who did I call, (big mistake)..I called Home Depot. We set up a date and the "salesman" arrivd at my house. We went over a beatifully crafted flip chart that he brought over and we apoke about the different styles of shingles, grades, and so forth. At which point, we began discussing the meat and potatoes.
Granted a I have a recently new house (5 years), built from the ground up, so we discussed the 'pitch' of the roof, the famous 'slide-ruler' that claims that I had 8 less vents and needed 3 more whirly-birds (turbines). I was pratically led to believe that my house was built wrong for some reason.
As we continued and we went over the numbers, when the 'salesman' began adding up 'the extras' I had a $9,057.00 quote!!!!
I told him he must be out of his mind. I told him to put that in writing and he said that he could not unless I was ready to do the job. Well I explained to him that my insurance company had only provided me half of the estimated cost for a previous hail claim and I was not about to fork over $4,500 out of pocket.
He advised that I would not be forking out $4,500 since I could (and he pulled out a credit loan application) to cover the remaining balance. As a salesman myself, I saw I was not getting anywhere. So I told him unless I get an estimate in writing, I could not show my insurance company to see what they would cover. In all reality, I could have cared less about the job at that point, I WANTED THAT QUOTE..proof of what this company is doing!
After he graciously handed me the quote, I told him to get out...To make a long story short, I tried Lowe's. They quoted me $4,700.00 and didn't even bring a salesman...the actual contractor came out, measured the roof and advised me that Lowe's would get in touch with me and they did. I got what I wanted.
The sad story is that I talk with a fellow co-worker who lives by me and guess what? He was getting the same shaft from Home Depot another $9,000 quote and wanted him to get a home improvement loan (similar to same loan application they offered me). I referred him to Lowe's who again undercut their estimate by half. The guy was so thankful that he gave me a huge restaurant gift certificate for saving him about $5,000.
As you can see I am still pretty upset about this incident. I am well versed in home inprovement projects and I was a die hard Home Depot customer. Until my wife opened my eyes and sold me on the Lowe's environment and customer service driven policies. Since then I have never and will never go back.