Friday, December 9, 2011

A Home improvement shopping nightmare

I've said before that customer service is almost non existent here. Well let me say it again.
Last Saturday, we went to a large orange home improvement chain store on Empress St. OK, let's not pussy foot around it... Home Depot.
We were shopping for blinds. We selected a number of sizes "close" to the sizes we needed and were about to ask to have them cut when we noticed the sign. "Blind cutting machine not working". Lovely. We left and headed to McPhillips.
At the McPhillips store, they only had 3 of the 8 sizes we needed, so we had the three cut, and then headed to Kenaston. That store only had 1 of the remaining 5 sizes, so we had it cut and asked them to check stock at the other two stores. Fortunately the remaining 4 blinds were all the same sizes.
Apparently the computer said that St.Vital had 8 and Regent had 4 of the sizes we needed, so we headed to St.Vital. They had 3, not 8, so we bought them and did not have them cut since we had been told, "You can buy your blinds at any store and have them cut at a different store if you like.
Off to Regent where we discovered that they had none of the size we needed AND their blind cutter was not working. What bliss!
I asked to see the manager, who listened to my tale, but offered up that it was all out of her control... there was nothing she could do. They make you manager, and you're completely incapable of any sort of customer satisfaction? Methinks they need to expand their employee search a tad.
Back to Empress, where I bought the remaining blind, then off to McPhillips to have the last 4 cut.


The blind cutter doesn't work today. I'm beginning to get mad. The staff member offered up that the machines are provided by the manufacturer, and they have had all sorts of issues with the machines. "They are crap" she said. I went to Customer Service and had a manager paged. He listened to my sorry tale, and repeated the, "It's out of my control" line, but to his credit, he did ask how he could make it right.

I suggested that he likely couldn't compensate me for my time or fuel, but maybe all the stores could scrap their blind cutting machines and put up a sign telling people they are unable to offer any cutting. That way I won't get suckered into buying a few blinds here, and a few there, thinking that eventually I might get a whole house full of blinds... a rather small house... 8 blinds... none of them inordinately large. He listened, apologized, and I left, thanking him for allowing me to rant.

Off to Kenaston to have the last 4 cut.

The ordeal started Saturday and didn't end until Monday. Should it be this difficult?

I did fill out the online customer satisfaction survey, but the whole think is run by some third party marketing company in Boston. I did use all 1000 characters in the comment section. We'll see if I get a response. I didn't bother entering the "sweepstakes", since buying blinds at Home Depot was more of a "mistake" than a "sweepstake".

Next time I'll buy the cheapest blinds I can find at Zellers and cut them with my miter saw... Home Depot is officially OFF my list of places I'll go to "gather" supplies as a first stop, but really, this is an on going shit show.

Go to Rona for a 5" heating pipe. Nope... got none. No heavy gauge, no light gauge, no 3', no 5'... NO 5" pipe. This has happened numerous times with items that have a "Minimum quantity on hand" label on them. I asked if the fact that they had NONE on hand earned me a free coffee. Nope.

I don't know if these stores are run by zoo keepers who have no idea what the monkeys are doing, or if virtually all decisions are made by management located in an office in Toronto, but the ordering and inventory is typically terrible, and very inconvenient.

Back in the day, before I started driving for 2 hours and buy everything at Menard's, it was typical to have to visit at least 2 stores to buy enough doors for a house. After all, we get pretty picky with doors. We want the correct sizes, and the correct hand, (left or right). I think I'd spend as much time driving around town for 5 or 6 doors as I now do driving to the US and getting virtually everything I want, and saving upwards of 30%.

I think it's great that Home Depot is a corporate sponsor of the Jets, and that Rona supports the CFL, but until they can look after me as a customer, I'll be spending my money somewhere else, and they'll be the stop for "incidental expenses" and "sundry supplies".


  1. Home improvement is predominantly triggered by the desire to own a comfortable home. Home improvement can be slightly difficult, if your financial position is tight. This is where home improvement loans have a function to perform. Being a homeowner you could not have been in a better position to apply for a home improvement loan.


  2. Sorry, I don't see the connection. How would a "loan" help me obtain items they didn't have in stock?
    BTW... I had no difficulty in PAYING for the items I wanted. I had difficulty in SOURCING the items that should have been regular stock. Lending me money to be able to buy something they don't have to sell me won't fix the problem.