Home Depot Complaint - Home Depot; 20% Satisfaction Guaranteed
NATICK, MASSACHUSETTS -- On September 21, 2001 I purchased and had installed a carpet by Home Depot in my family room. The carpet we chose with the advice of the carpet representative at that time (Sharon.) was a Berber. When we inquired about the warranty of the carpet, the sales representative flipped over the sample of the carpet and we noted that it was a 10-year warranty. We subsequently went along and had the carpet installed. Two years after the carpet was installed we noticed that the fibers were coming out. We called Home Depot and alert them of the problem. At that time they sent someone to take measurements and subsequently replaced the portion of the carpet that was problematic. Because the portion of the carpet replaced was not cut from the same batch of carpet installed originally, we can clearly note a difference in the tone between the original carpet and the portion replaced.
In June of 2006, we noticed the same problem on other parts of the carpet; i.e., the fibers were coming out in several places. I subsequently went to the Home Depot Store and talked to Allison Dodson (the expeditor) about the problem. She looked into the computer database and could not find any record of Home Depot having installed a carpet at my home. I told her that the installation was done in 2001. She replied that all recorded from that time were deleted from their computer because they had a new computer system. I then gave her the folder provided to me by Home Depot at the time of purchase of the carpet. She made a copy of the record and stated that she would “look into in.” A week later, because I did not hear from her I went back to the store to speak to her. She then stated that I need to contact the manufacturer and provided me with their phone number. I immediately called the manufacturer from the parking lot with my cell phone and they told me that it was Home Depot’s responsibility to call then. I returned to the store and related the information to Allison. She mentioned that she would talk to them and make a claim on my behalf.
On July 14, 2006, I returned to the store to inquire about the status of my case because once again I had not heard from Home Depot. Allison apologized from not having contacted me and asked me if I had the carpet cleaned professionally. Surprised, I asked her “Why did I need to?” She then replied that the warranty was void because the carpet was not professionally cleaned. I was shocked! I asked her, “Where in the paperwork provided to me it states this?” I also added, “Does Home Depot have a copy of these guidelines to be given to customers?” She then said she would call the manufacturer and get a copy of the warranty. She called and received a faxed copy of the warranty which she handed to me. At that point I said to her, “How do you expect me to know about the terms of this warranty if Home Depot does not even have it to give to customers at time of purchase?” Allison then said that she would see what she could do to solve the problem.
In September 2006, I went back to Home Depot because once again I have not heard from them. At this point Allison informed me that given that the carpet was not professionally cleaned, the manufacturer would not send anybody to my home and inspect the damage. I said to her that this was not good enough because from my prospective, Home Depot failed to clearly disclose the term of the warranty by providing the paperwork at the time of purchase. I again reiterate that if Home Depot itself does not have the paperwork to be given to customer, how could they expect the customers to know it. The only thing they showed at the time of purchase beside the information in the folder was the 10-year warranty sticker on the sample. So Allison said she would speak to her manager (Bill Shields) to see how they would resolve the problem.
In November, I returned to the store and Allison informed me that Home Depot would contact an independent contractor to repair the carpet. She said that the contractor would contact me. She also said that the only stipulation is I would have to pay for the repair and Home Depot would reimburse me. I added that I would have no problem with this arrangement if Home Depot puts it in writing.
In January 2007, I went back to Home Depot because I had yet to hear from the contractor. I spoke to Bill Shields who informed me that Home Depot was changing contractors and that they would not be available until February. He also added that if I wanted, I could give me a 20% discount if I wanted the carpet replaced. I then said that I did not think it was appropriate for me to pay anything and that I would accept the repairs.
In February 2007 I was contacted by the new contractor. They sent an inspector to my home and pictures of the carpet were taken. Later on, a representative from the contractor came to my home in attempt to repair the carpet. He deemed that the carpet could not be repaired and needed to be replaced. He said that he would send a report to Home Depot.
In March I went to the store again because I hadn’t heard anything since the report of the contractor. Allison said she would arrange for the measurements of the room to be taken. On March 17, measurements of the room were taken.
On April 3, 2007 I went back to Home Depot because once again I did not hear from anybody. I asked Bill Shields about what I needed to do given that measurements of the room were taken. I was convinced that given that Home Depot initiated the measurements of the room because the contractor stated that the carpet need to be replaced, they would just replace the carpet. I was shocked to learn from Bill Shields that Home Depot would only give a 20% discount if the carpet needed to be replaced. I was furious. I said that it was unacceptable and that Home Depot used every delay tactic possible to avoid replacing the carpet. And I left. On April 4, I returned to the store to speak to Allison because I was dealing with her during the 10 months ordeal. She said that Bill Shields had spoken to Jim Elder (the zone installation manager) and that the only thing Home Depot would do is to apply a 20% discount toward the replacement of the carpet. I then let her know that I would file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau about this unfair business practice, i.e., failure to make full disclosure to customers regarding the term a warranty and using a n unfair delay tactic to stonewall an issue. Allison advised me to call the corporate office before doing so.
On April 5, 2007, I called the corporate office and talked to Susan Robert, a level 2 agent. She informed me that the corporate office will back the store decision. She also said that she would refer the case to a zone manager. Again, I questioned this delay tactic. I inquired as to the ability of the zone manager to do anything given that she stated earlier that the corporate office will back the store decision. Nevertheless, I agree that she could refer the case to a zone manager.
On April 9, 2007, exacerbated about all this, I decided to speak to the store manager himself (Rich Roach) to bring about a resolution to the case. Once again I explained the case to the store manager who assured me that he would look into it. Later in the same week I received a call from Jim Elder (the zone installation manager) who stated that he would send an inspector to my home. Again I voice my frustration to Jim Elder. I told him that I believed that this is yet another delay tactic given he and Bill Shields have already decided that Home Depot would only give a 20% discount toward the replacement of the carpet. Jim Elder replied that he never made such decision. I then said that he needed to check with the staff at the Natick store, because Allison related that information to me April 4. I also said to him that the Home Depot already sent and received a report from a contractor. So I was questioning the necessity of yet another report. Nevertheless, I agree to have an inspector come to my home.
On April 20, the inspector aforementioned came to my home. Before leaving he sated that Home Depot would contact me. He would send the report within 3 days to Home Depot.
On May 16, 2007, because I haven’t heard from Home Depot I went to the store and was determined to speak top the store manager to bring a closure to this case; the case was lasting for almost a year. Unfortunately, I was told that the store manager was in a meeting and was not able to talk to me. The customer service representative suggested I speak to one of the assistant manger. I at first I was reluctant to do so because I knew that he would not be able to bring any resolution to the case given that he was never involved in the issue. The assistant manger came up. After I explained the problem he went back and returned with Bill Shields. Bill Shields then reported that Home Depot’s offer of 20% discount would stand because the warranty was void. I then told him that he was not giving me ant new information. I added that the warranty was void because of Home Depot’s failure to properly inform their customers. I told him that I was very patient however they have abused the process by using any possible delay tactic to stonewall and avoid their responsibility of failing to provide appropriate information to customers.
In the end it appears that Home Depot’s quote “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” written on my folder at the time that I purchased the carpet is meaningless. Home Depot is only interested in providing a 20% satisfactory service to their customers.