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Archive for October, 2011

I must be slipping…


My THD At-Home Services status shows the installation date

My THD At-Home Services status shows the installation date

…because I just noticed that my installation date appears on the job status page along with “Step 5” (see https://homedepothomeservices.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/its-magic-im-finally-at-step-5-lets-party/). Unclear as to whether it was always there and I was just too excited about finally getting updated to notice it, or if it was added later. The status says:

Projected Installation Date: Nov. 19, 2011

This is an estimated date only and is calculated from our past experience. Your installation date will be confirmed with you by your project coordinator and is subject to change regarding individual job circumstances.

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The Home Depot Sales Manager fibbed about the installation date

The Home Depot Sales Manager fibbed about the installation date

This is the date that Tom the Sales Manager gave me for when my windows would be installed (see https://homedepothomeservices.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/heard-from-a-manager/).  According to him, they would be in my house and functional 4 weeks from the date I signed the contracts, which was back on September 29th. Of course since then I have found out that this was a total fabrication.

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Checked out the contractor

Checked out the contractor

…and from what little I can find, I guess all is well. Joseph’s license checks out with the State of Connecticut, but unfortunately they don’t say how long someone has been licensed, only whether they are currently. His license expires on 11/30/2011.

I also looked at the company he operates under on the Better Business Bureau site, and it has been BBB accredited since 09/21/2010 and got a grade of “A-“. The BBB says that the rating is due to the “Length of time business has been operating.” That makes me a little less comfortable, since the company website (just a single page that doesn’t say much) claims “40 years of experience”. I also wonder about The Home Depot At-Home Service’s claim that all of their contractors have been with them for “a long time”.

In any event, I searched everywhere online for complaints related to either the company or Joseph and was unable to come up with anything, either positive or negative.

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Got the installer’s licence info


The Home depot Grade Goes Up Again!

The Home depot Grade Goes Up Again!

Mike at The Home Depot had them UPS the license information for Joseph the Contractor to me. Good job Mike! Raising the grade again.

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Venting about customer service, unrelated to THD


some general griping...

some general griping...

THIS HAS NOTHING WHAT-SO-EVER TO DO WITH THD AT-HOME SERVICES

Except I may currently be a little more sensitive to customer care issues than usual.

Maybe I annoy too easily. Or I just expect too much from people. Maybe it’s partially my own fault.

I am changing jobs and now need to find my own parking in a reasonably large city. I called around, and most places have long waiting lists.

  • Noon: Found a place with one open space for monthly parking. He says I can email the application, which I did
  • 12:30 PM: Called to see if they got my application. They say the guy isn’t there, and to call back at 2PM
  • 2:00 PM: Called back, they say to call back at 3:00. Yes, I should have left my phone number at that point.
  • 3:00 PM:  Called again, they say to call between 4:30 and 5
  • 3:05PM: Sent another email to see if they got the first one (of course if they didn’t get the first one then they probably won’t get this one either)
  • 4:34: Called back and they say he had been there for about an hour but had left 10 minutes ago.

At least the last guy took my phone number…..

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Suggestions for THD At-Home Services

Suggestions for THD At-Home Services

…for THD At-Home Services when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Looking back on how this project has gone so far, it seems that the 2 areas they should concentrate on are:

  1. Ensuring that accurate information is being given to customers
  2. Ensuring that emails/calls are returned, and returned in a timely fashion

ACCURACY

Regarding accurate information, I was given incorrect estimates on how long it would take to get the windows installed (unless the problem was in fact a delay in ordering my windows), and I was given incorrect information about whether or not the installers are subcontractors. This problem can be easily solved through adequate training.

RETURNING CALLS/EMAILS

As for ensuring that calls/emails are returned, a lot of my frustration stemmed from this:

  • September 23: Called Jim the in-home Sales Dude and left him a message saying that I had some additional questions before signing the deal.
  • September 26: Jim never called back (he later said his phone didn’t actually record the message), so I ended up having to call the main number and have someone else contact him.
  • September 26: Jim the Sales Dude called me back, and said he needed to check his schedule and would call me back “tomorrow” (September 27)
  • September 28, 9:30 AM: Jim never called back (again), so I shot off an email through the online system. Heard back from a bunch of people, & finally got my questions answered and my new appointment.
  • September 29: Had my appointment with Jim, and Tom the Sales Manager said that he would get Joe the Inspector out to my house tomorrow (Friday, September 30)
  • October 3: Despite Tom saying he would expedite things and have the inspector to my house on September 30, I didn’t hear from Joe the Inspector until today, and can’t get an appointment until October 6.
  • October 6: Told Joe to check out the blog and to find out about my status updates. He never did either.
  • October 8: Sent an email about the online status, and got a call from Tom the Sales Manager. He said he would call back in “a day or 2” but never did.
  • October 10: Emailed Tammie the project Coordinator to see if my windows were actually ordered. she said she’d have Joe contact me. He never did.

Seriously guys, is that any way to do business? Any company I’ve ever worked for would fire me for such a lack of response.

If The Home Depot At-Home Services would implement a decent CRM system that included Smart Phone Apps, then all calls and emails could be funneled through the software. As a result, a record of customer inquiries would be kept with a time stamp, and a workflow would be set up to automatically remind THD employees to respond, and would allow customers to view their issue status online. If the response time is exceeded, the automated workflow would escalate the issue to someone else. Having Smart Phone Apps would guarantee that no Home Depot employee would ever tell a customer “I’m not near a computer”.  All employees should also receive training in using the systems to guarantee that they know what to do with them. By funneling all customer inquiries through this type of system would also allow the THD At-Home Services Technical Writer to populate an online Knowledge Base that could provide customers with accurate answers to commonly asked questions.

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Home Depot At-Home Services

Home Depot At-Home Services

This morning I got an email from Mile the Production supervisor at THD At-Home Services, which helped to clarify some of the questions that I had in my previous post (see https://homedepothomeservices.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/so-heres-a-thought/)

In it he said:

The Field Inspector, FI, on duty will stop by in the morning for a job start. His schedule will determine how long he will stay but he will ensure the job proceeds as planned. The FI is a Home Depot employee.

Tammie will get the installer name and license numbers to you before the install. All workers on a crew are background checked and have a pictured badge identifying them as THD subcontractors.

Time to bump the grade up another notch, as the information was provided quickly and was actually useful.

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