Home Depot and Inferior Beaulieu Carpet
Flooring - Complaint
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- We purchased enough carpeting to cover approx. 2200 square feet in 2003 at our local Home Depot store in west Knoxville at a cost of almost $8K for the carpet, premium padding, installation and moving several large pieces of furniture.
I contacted the local store within months regarding shading variations in rooms and that we were still getting a lot of "fuzz" each time we vacuumed. We have large rooms and alcoves in our bonus room so we have several seams. The installers also cut separate pieces to complete the closets so we have seams there as well. Home Depot sent the installers back to deal with the issues. We were told the fuzz would stop after 3 to 6 months. To deal with the seams being very visible, they trimmed them down with scissors and pounded them with a rubber mallet. Of course next time we ran the vac, they were visible again. They came back 2 more times to try and deal with the seam issues. They stated that the color variation was normal and due to the exterior lighting from windows in those areas. We also had enough excess carpet left over from the job to probably do an 10 x 12 room.
About a year later, I contacted the local store because the carpet on the stairs was beginning to pack down very badly. We were also still having seam and fuzz issues. They sent an outside inspector from a company called All Floors to review the situation. This inspector seemed to look and comment on every aspect of my home except the carpet. When he submitted his report, he stated that their was nothing wrong with my carpet, installation or product wise. He also stated that my expectations regarding carpet seams was unrealistic and if I did not want visible seams, I should purchase shag carpeting! At this point I hired an outside certified flooring independent flooring inspector who pointed out that the carpet had been "run" in the wrong direction on the stairs which was causing the crushing pattern when walked on. He showed me there were arrows on the back of the carpet so that it could all be installed in the same and correct direction. This was also the reason for color variations in my alcoves because they weren't installed in the same direction. I had similar problems in all of the closets. He also pointed out that it was not necessary for them to have cut the carpet at the closets, it could have been one continuous piece. He also stated that the carpet should not be shedding after this amount of time. I presented all of this information to my local Home Depot. I also sent a sample of my carpet to Beaulieu for inspection along with details of the issues. Beaulieu responded nothing was wrong with their product.
The local HD manager offered to reimburse me for having the carpet on the stairs replaced. He had also checked and my carpet color and style was no longer available. I did not want to have mismatched carpet on my stairs, nor did I feel this addressed the multitude of other issues, so I declined his offer. I contacted Home Depot Corporate in Atlanta with my issues. They were very delinquent in responding and keep switching me over to different representatives due to training schedules and vacations. At this point I submitted a complaint to the BBB. This prompted a more frequent response from corporate, but still no resolution. They keep stalling and gathering more information while still telling me they were going to do everything they could to resolve the issue.
Suddenly, when we reached the one year mark from when I had filed the most recent complaint to the store manager, corporate informed me they would send me $500.00, and use the excess carpet I had in my basement to redo my stairs but I would have to sign a waiver against any future complaints. They also stated that I had not notified them of the issues in a timely manner. This was sent to me in the mail and followed up by an email. They also sent this to the BBB as their final resolution. Even though I never accepted any of this, all parties involved now considered my case closed. When I contacted corporate, they stated that was all they were willing to do, that the local store manager had authorization to provide different resolution if he so desired. When I contacted him, he refused to discuss it with me since I had contacted corporate and the BBB. After that neither corporate nor the local store manager would even discuss the issue with me any further stating that whether or not I accepted the resolution, my case was closed. And the clincher from the very beginning of this ordeal is that my warranty from Home Depot states that I have a lifetime warranty in regard to product defect and installation.
Home Depot states that they changed this policy within a few months of my purchase and refused to honor my warranty. I even hired a lawyer, but he advised me against pursuing it because Home Depot had strung me along until I was past one year of them being notified of the issues prior to me seeking legal representation.
I still have this carpet in my home and I have paid to have it stretched two or three times. I also have it cleaned by an outside source which makes it look better for a short period of time until it packs back down. The seams look horrible after this amount of time. The shading and fading also continue to be a problem. And it still sheds fuzz each time it is vacuumed. After the last professional cleaning, it needs to be stretched again. For what good it is worth, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have personally boycotted Home Depot for the last 8 years anytime it comes to making a major home improvement purchase or renovation.