Home Depot Complaint - Special Order Blinds
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLORADO -- On 4/6/10 I met with an associate about having blinds ordered and installed for 19 of our windows in our new-build home. We paid the $85 deposit for the installer and were given the sample book to take home and select our blinds.
On 4/10/10 the installer had come over to our home to measure our windows for the blinds. He wasn’t the most professional, as our home is a new-build and we have new carpet. He kept his shoes on (and did not have any kind of shoe covers) as he walked through our home.
On 4/15/10 I went in to the Home Depot in Greenwood Village (store number 1509) and met with another associate in the window/blinds department. She had said that they were running a sale on their Bali Today blinds of 30% off. She had also said that they had some in stock in the color that we were looking for, however, that we would be better off ordering them from the manufacturer because they can cut the blinds more accurately.
Originally, I had wanted to go with the real wood, but she assured me that the faux wood would have been better due to the fact that they were more fade-resistant in the Bali brand. I also wanted to go with the cordless option, but she had told me that it was not available with the blind that I was selecting. So, after discussing these items with her, I opted to go with the Bali Today brand, in the faux wood, with the cords. She placed my order and said that it would take anywhere from 7 to 14 days for the blinds to be delivered to my home. She said that most of the time the blinds tend to “trickle” in (they do not all come in one shipment), and that they typically start arriving in 5 days. I paid the full amount of $2,029.09, and awaited my blinds.
4/30/10: It has been two weeks + 1 day, and we still have not seen one single box arrive. An associate for Home Depot called me and informed me that my blinds were on back-order and that they would not be delivered for another 14 days. She said that they should be at my home by May 14th. She said that she was “sorry” and that was all that she could do.
5/14/10: It has been two weeks from the previous phone call, and we still have not seen one single box arrive. This time, I did not get a call from anyone at Home Depot.
On 5/17/10 I sent an email to the CEO as I was extremely frustrated that it was over a month ago that I had ordered and paid for my blinds, and still did not have any product. I also submitted a complaint on Home Depot’s website, in hopes that someone would be able to find out what was going on with my order. Around noon, I received a call from a corporate employee who informed me that she worked for the CEO and was responding to my email. She asked me if I had heard from the store manager. I told her no. She said that she had called him and asked him to call me in reference to the issue. She said that she would call him back again. 6:30 pm: the store manager called me and had also sent me an email requesting to speak with me about the blinds order. His email stated the below:
I would like to speak with you about your window covering order as well ensure you receive your order complete and to your satisfaction. I apologize for the time it has taken to receive your order and am currently working to find the answers as to where and when it will be arriving. Please feel free to call or e mail me at your convenience so we can discuss all the issues and ensure this is resolved immediately.
I called him back shortly after receiving his voicemail. He was apologetic in the situation and had assured me that he was doing everything he could to locate my order. I expressed my frustration and how I was perplexed that my order was so difficult to locate. He said that he would do everything that he could to make sure that we get our blinds and that we were happy with the results. I discussed discounts/rebates/compensation for the inconvenience and the time and he said that he would like to make sure that we get the blinds first and that they are satisfactory, and then he would discuss any kind of monetary compensation after that point. He said that he would call me back the following day before noon to let me know what had occurred.
On 5/18/10 the store manager called me back around 11 am and had informed me that my blinds had been put on back-order due to some issues that they were having from the manufacturer and that they had to be shipped from China. He also stated that my blinds would not be arriving to my home until June 16th. He said that if I wanted to go with a different manufacturer, then he could see what kind of a time-frame we would be looking at for delivery. I clearly stated to him that if I go with that option, then I would like either a comparable or better quality blind, that I do not want to pay any additional money for them, and that I would like them within a reasonable time-frame. By now, a reasonable time-frame to me was within 5-10 days. He agreed, and said that he would check with different manufacturers to see what he could come up with. He called me back around 2pm and said that he could offer me a Levolor blind and that it could be delivered by June 4th. I had asked him if that would be an additional charge (as I am aware that Levolor is a more expensive blind) and he told me “No, it will not be an additional charge.” Not completely satisfied, I agreed to go with that option. He said that he would have his Install Expeditor call me. He also gave me her phone number.
By about 3pm, I still had not heard from the expeditor, so I called her. She said that she had just spoken with the store manager about the issue (this was an hour after I had initially talked to the store manager). She said that if I wanted to come in and pick out the color then she could call the manufacturer to make sure that they were in stock, and we could order them. I agreed, and told her I could leave work and would be there in 30 minutes. 3:30 pm I met with the expeditor in the store, and selected a color in the Levolor blind. She called the manufacturer and they said that that color was on back-order. Becoming more frustrated, I agree to just take the sample book home and try to select another color that might be a good match to my home. She told me that if I wanted to give her a call the next morning with my color selection, then she could get the order in. She said that if she placed the order before noon, then it would be processed that same day. I agreed that I would do that, and left with the sample book.
On 5/19/10 I called the expeditor back (per our conversation the previous day) at 8:05 am. I left her a voice message with the three color selections that we had picked out and had asked her to call me back. After not hearing from her, I called her back again at 11 am. She had stated the day before that if we got my order in before noon, then it would process that same day. I was trying to make sure that my order got in before noon. I left her another voice message. I also called the store manager at 11:50 am to find out if maybe his expeditor wasn’t in. I ended up having to leave him a voice message as well. At 1:20 pm, I went in to the store to return the color sample book. I still had not heard back from the expeditor. I went to the service desk to ask for her, and the associate behind the desk asked for my name. I told her, and she said, “first and last name”? She said that she saw my file sitting on the expeditor’s desk. This was frustrating because she had never called me back… The expeditor came up to the front desk, and said that she had not checked her voice messages. She had not checked her voice messages from 8 am until 1:20 pm? Why would she not check her voice messages when she had my file on her desk and was awaiting my call? I gave her the three color selections, and she called the Levolor office to make sure that they were not on back-order and that they had the colors in stock.
After about 10 minutes, she was able to confirm with them that our first color selection was in stock. She verified with them that it would take roughly fourteen days for them to be manufactured and delivered to me. She said that they would be delivered around June 4th. Still not 100% satisfied with the delivery time-frame, I elected to go with that option. I gave her the specifics of what I needed and left the store. The store manager called me back at 2:40 pm to inform me that there was an issue with the pricing. He said that because we were going with the cordless option (which I had wanted in the first place, but was told it was not available with the type of Bali blind that I was ordering). He said that I would have to pay an additional $1,400 if I wanted to go with the cordless. This was completely contradictory to our previous conversations. I had told him that I did not want to pay any additional money. He was the one who had suggested the Levolor blind, but had assured me that there would not be any additional charges for the blinds themselves. He also did not mention any additional charges for any kind of upgrades. Not wanting to completely come unglued on the phone, I asked him if I could just call him back within an hour to figure out what I wanted to do next.
I called the store manager back at 3:40 pm and told him that I would just go with the corded option, as I did not want to pay Home Depot any more money. I also asked him if there was any way that he could expedite the shipping (as I’m fully aware that there is not anything that can be done about the time that it takes to manufacture and cut the blinds). He said that would most definitely look in to that. Then he informed me that we had another pricing issue. He said that because I was going with the Levolor blind that there was another $1,700 difference. He said that he was only authorized for up to $1,000, and that he would either need to get approval from his corporate office for the additional $700, or I would have to pay for it. Again, I did not want to pay Home Depot any more money. So I asked him to go through his corporate office to get approval. He said that he could not guarantee that they would approve it, and if that were the case then we may have to just go back to the Bali order…the one that would not get to me until June 16th. He said that he had already sent in the request to his corporate office (to the same woman that I had spoken with), but did not have a phone number to call her. I told him that I had the phone number, and gave the phone number to him. He told me that he would call her “right now” and then would call me back. He never called me back that day.
On 5/20/10 at 7:46 am I sent the store manager an email asking what the status was on the approval that he had submitted. I also asked him to please reply to me via email, as I was going to be in and out of meetings during the following two days and did not want any information to get convoluted or lost in translation. At 9:10 am I received the following email back from the store manager (he had also copied the corporate employee on this email):
My apologies… I was under the understanding that you were going back to speak to your husband and would call me back in an hour after we spoke at 3:40. We spoke to the $1700 difference in cost for and the portion in difference you were potentially going to incur. As for the partnership with Customer Care. I have only been able to leave messages for _______ at Customer Care and inform her of our conversation. I have yet to hear back from her at this time. I will be in contact with you as soon as I receive a reply.
Actually, I had called you back at 3:40 (after we spoke at 2:40) and I had already spoken with my husband. You had told me that you were only authorized to cover $1,000 of the $1,700 difference and that you were going to have to get approval for the additional $700 from your corporate office. I’m not trying to be petty here, I just do not want to pay an additional amount for an error that was not created on my end. I’m not sure if you recall, but in prior conversations that we had had, you had offered me to go with the Levolor blind because you had said that it would be shipped to me prior to the time that Bali would be able to ship my order (original date should have been 4/29/10 then it was delayed to 5/14/10 and the new date that you had given to me was 6/16/10). You had also assured me that this would be to no additional cost to me. I am just trying to make sure that that agreement is being honored. I hope that you can appreciate my frustration with this whole issue, as all that I’m trying to do here is receive a quality product that I have already paid for. Thank you for your effort and your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing back from you.
I called the corporate employee at 1:55 pm (because I had not heard back from either one of them via email or via phone) to find out what the status was on the above email. She more or less had no idea what I was referring to. She said that the store manager would not have sent the request for compensation to her, but that it should have gone to someone else. I tried to explain to her that this was not a compensation issue, but was more of an order issue. She said that she would call him right now to find out what the status was, and would call me back. She called me back at 2:15 pm with the store manager on the line and he told me that the overage was too excessive and that I would have to go with the Bali blind. That would mean that I would still have to wait until June 16th for delivery. And even then, he could not guarantee that date. He said that he could give me $500 back. I told him to just cancel my order and I want a full refund for my blind order and that I will never shop at Home Depot again. The corporate employee told me that it would take about 7 days for my credit card to be refunded. We’ll see if that takes another 4 weeks…
There are three issues here that I’m extremely upset about. First of all, I paid for a product (in full) that I never received. The estimated time frame kept on being pushed out, but no one bothered to let me know exactly what the issue was, or even looked in to it. Second was that the store manager made had offered me a product that he was not able to uphold/support. Third was that I wasted about another week’s worth of my time, only to be back at square one. Oh, and I still don’t have any blinds.