Andrew Pollack's Blog

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Home Depot, Bad Service, and The Self Service Register Lie

By Andrew Pollack on 08/25/2003 at 09:37 PM EDT

Well friends, Home Depot lost out on my big expenditure tonight. After spending the day clearing wallpaper from the downstairs bathroom, removing the medicine cabinet with its hideous side mounted fluorescent lights - encased in bug encrusted plastic, of course -- I went down there to pick up spackle, sanding blocks, primer, and a new marginally less hideous mirrored cabinet and matching light bar. After about 45 minutes of poking around and finding what I needed, the last item on the list was the matching Kholer light bar. It was prominently featured on the display, with a tag that said "Easy Finder: A12". I found "A" items listed in three different places on the shelves, but no A12, and nothing remotely resembling the item I wanted. Since it was 8:30 in the evening, I prowled the nearly empty lanes looking for help, and found three different people to tell me it was the guy who handles that isle that would have to help, and they'd get him. 20 minutes later I left the cart, with its paint supplies, cabinet, etc. sitting in the middle of the isle and walked out. My local Ace hardware is awesome, and they'll have nearly everything I need tomorrow -- and what they don't, I'll get at the lighting store 'in town' near the mall.

Now keep in mind that Home Depot, in an interview on NPR a week or so ago was talking about their new "self service" registers. Basically, they claim they're doing this because they're faster for consumers, and that this way they can move staff from the registers back to the sales floor to be ever so much more helpful.

Bzzzzt. Thanks for playing. Home Depot, like Wal-Mart, BJ's Wholesale Club, and others -- are deploying self service cash registers because THEY ARE CHEAPER. They need less people to run them. Of course, they're unwilling to admit there were too few people on the sales floor before and they're totally unwilling to admit they're trying to reduce payroll (unless you view their stock market reports, but who does that?). Even more amazing, is that the kind of store they are makes it nearly impossible to get out of there with any serious hardware through those lanes.


* Note: This link is actually being served by the Home Depot's website, not mine.

Perhaps it should be:

"You'd better do it, because we're no help."

P.S. -- I wonder how long it will take HD's PR people to spot this on the web? Bet I get a letter or phone call?

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Home Depot, Bad Service, and The Self Service Register LieBy roseanne on 11/13/2007 at 04:23 PM EST
I have bought homedepot products for more than 8 years since I own my own
house. I had very bad experince reseantly. I decide to switch to other store
and tell what happen to me publicly.
I bought 39 boxes of same tiles from homedepot. After the contractors install
and clean up the tile, They look totally diff. like diff. kind of tiles. I
talked to homedepot about the tile's quality, they talked to me this is
manufacture problem , and gave me manufacture phone for me to call. After I
called manufacture, manufacture said: it is homedepot response to tell
custormers the color is diff. They kick ball each other. I understand tile
color is a little diff. between lot. But the tile color should not be looks
total diff. I bought. I keep to call homedepot , no result.
re: Home Depot, Bad Service, and The Self Service Register LieBy Brenda on 11/02/2008 at 10:11 PM EST
I am a student writing a Cause and Effect Essay for my college English class.
I chose the Self Service Register for my topic and reading your experience gave
me proof that though some may find them helpful for the most part all it did
was save the store money in wwages and put a minimum wage clerk out of a job.
And provided the thief another way of causing prices to go out the roof.
Thank you.

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