Home Depot Complaint - $660 to replace a $220 water heater that is still under warranty!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I noticed for some time, a puddle of water repeatedly forming on my basement tile floor......after six months of this, I examined the floor with a strong flashlight and noticed that the bottom of the G. E. hot water heater was rusty and leaking.....Since the unit was still under warranty, I called the Home Depot store from which it was originally purchased....after calling G. E. for suggestions...which were: the heater is still under warranty and we will replace it free of charge. I was satisfied with this and made arrangements to have the unit replaced....I was told that I would have to uninstall the heater and take it to Home Depot for the swap; whenupon, I explained that I was in my mid sixties and had a small Mercedes convertible and asked if other arrangements could be made....after several waits, lost calls and transfers, an arrangement was made that I would pay over $500 and Home Depot would arrange to have someone come to my home and take out the old heater and replace it with an identical unit. I was somewhat annoyed that the "replacement" with installation.....after all, the unit was defective and leaking, after all!......was going to cost more than the original heater, with delivery and installation! I agreed to the proposal, with some reservations. So, today, the chosen contractor....sent by Home Depot, by the way......came by, immediately told me that I had to write Home Depot a check for $663(!)...which I did.....He verified the funds and proceeded to removed the old heater.......Then he told me that I needed to go to the Home Depot store and return the old heater and pick up the new one! I explained that that had already been worked out....That was why I was paying this exorbitant charge, wasn't it. He said "No"......that I had to do all of this. I was furious and felt totally ripped off, and called the Home Depot Store on Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, waited while the operator finished a personal conversation with another operator, then eventually put me through to the store manager or assistant manager. Again, I had to explain what was going on.....The manager spoke to the installation person and told him that he was to take the old unit back to the store and return with the "warranty" replacement and install it......I am currently waiting for him to return and do this so that I can clean up the muddy footprints and the mess that was made during this ordeal......AND.....the cost of all this, my time and worry.....all for a unit that was failing before its "time" ......within the warranty period.......That's why I am now determined to go to any and every message board and complaint blog and express my disapproval of how this was handled. Customer service at Home Depot has really gone down the tubes in the many years since I first began to frequent the old Sidney Marcus Blvd. location where I was always treated fairly and politely. That is no longer the case, is it?
So....I suppose Home Depot considers it fair for me to pony up over $800 to replace a $220 hot water heater.....I feel totally ripped off and intend to express my grievances on any and all message boards and complaint sites that I can possibly locate on the internet and to write personal letters to both Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, for what that's worth.....probably very little! So, I am having dinner guests this evening and NO WATER!
addendum: it's 5.40 P.M. and the installer has returned with the new unit to install it. The store manager has agreed to not charge any additional expenses (Over the $660 already charged to me and paid by me) for the replacement. I'm still annoyed and a bit disgusted by all this inconvenience and waste of my time and energy.
Sincerely, Reed Savage