Home Expo Complaint - Public Humiliation
EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA -- I am writing to make a formal complaint regarding your Oakland, CA store. The is event occurred I believe in mid December 2007. I went to your store to make a purchase for my bathroom and had no problem. When I went back about a week later to make a return this is when my shopping experience became a nightmare - for me.
This was a Saturday as I walked through the doors the alarm went off. It startled me and I threw up my hands with my bag in the other hand making it clear I didn't steal anything; I had my package with me coming into the store. The clerk, which I later found out was the Assistant or Dept Manager smiled and assured me this happens sometimes and asked how she could assist me. I told her I was looking for towel bars and other things for my bathroom. She paged a lady to assist me. I made an exchange and purchase that evening.
The next visit was on Sunday. I had decided what was to be returned and brought the items to the store. As I walked through the doors the alarm went off. A woman at the register started questioning me about my package and insisted on taking them from me. She kept asking me - did I want to make a return and I told her not now. There were not that many people walking in the store but nevertheless a couple walked passed me and the man nudged the woman and said, "looks like they caught one" (which I found very deeply humiliating). She made it clear I couldn't go any further unless I gave her my bag;I had nothing to hide - so I did reluctantly. This woman never asked me for a receipt (which I still have today).
After I was allowed to go into the store, I asked for a manager to make a complaint. The person I spoke to was the same clerk from Saturday evening. I told her what happened and she clearly wasn't interested. I came back later in the afternoon and spoke to the general manager. This meeting was more demeaning. The general manager was displaying tolerance when I told her what happened to me. She said, "I have never had any complaints about this employee; this is the first time I have ever had a complaint about her."
The general manager cut me off mid sentence and also made it VERY CLEAR she will review the videotape and then will determine if I was telling the truth.
First of all, I have NEVER stolen anything in my life. When I spoke to another supervisor she seemed very aware of the employee's behavior, and so were two other salesclerks. The general manager seems to be unaware of the activity and treatment of the customers in her store. She also handled my return and gave me the DISTINCT impression I was just being tolerated and to leave. I have not completed my bathroom and don't feel comfortable to come back in the store knowing a clerk can treat me as she pleases and get away with it.
I've contacted and written to the customer complaint department of Home Depot parent of Home Expo and was told the district manager would contact me. He Did Not Contact Me.
Their (customer service)disposition doesn't seem any better than the general manager and the salesclerk involved. I thought I take a chance and write just the same. I hope someone will look into this matter. I have been reluctant to go back into the store. It's too late to return the items. I've never been in trouble and don't feel comfortable to go back and return the items.