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Archive for November 19th, 2011


Don ‘t ask what makes me do these things, but now that my windows have been installed I checked on my online job status – just for grins….

‘Nuf said…

My final online job status from THD At-Home Services

My final online job status from THD At-Home Services

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THD At-Home Service Final Grade

THD At-Home Service Final Grade

[03 December 2011] Note: I have changed my mind about this grade and think it should be much lower – have a look at this post Distinctly Unhappy Again

I’ve been thinking about this all afternoon, and I’ve come to the conclusion that The Home Depot At-Home Services gets an A- overall for the project. I wish I knew whether the project would have gone differently had it not been for the Social Media team escalating my complaints to the Production Supervisor, but I guess I’ll never know. So when I balance the headaches against everyone bending over backwards to make me happy on the day of installation, I think that the A- seems fair.

Here are my suggestions as to what THD At-Home Services could do to reduce complaints and getter a higher grade every time:

  1. Create an online Knowledge Base system on the website, and use the Social Media Team to keep it up-to-date. They are probably best equipped to handle this since they know what customers are asking/complaining about, and it would allow them proactively address issues before they end up in fire fighting mode. Everyone from the sales team, to project managers, to field inspectors should be aware of the contents of the Knowledge Base, and should ensure that all new customer questions are posted there for response. This would have addressed the problem of conflicting responses on installation times for Anderson windows and whether or not THD sub-contracts or not.
  2. Does THD At-Home Services outsource their customer support to India? Or do they really have an Indian fellow named Geoff working for them (I can only think of Discover Card’s “Peggy”).  If they do outsource, then it’s seriously time that they stop. THD brands itself as an all-American company, and as such, it’s annoying to be discussing customer complaints overseas.
  3. The online customer status system is useless. Either fix it or get rid of it. Having a status that never changes is *really* annoying. Honestly, why not develop a simple system that is integrated to a smart phone app for the folks on the road – customers could post questions there, a calendar could be updated when orders are placed or appointments are made, installation dates could be set, promises to return calls could be logged – and both THD Team and the customers would have easy access to what’s going on with a project.
  4. If you don’t have time to do something tomorrow, like return a call, then don’t tell the customer you will!  Seriously folks, customers are way more understanding than you think they are. If you say that you’re having a busy week and will get back to them in a few days, then say it. It is FAR better than lying about calling tomorrow. And for goodness sakes, make a note of the promise somewhere so you don’t forget!
  5. Don’t bother giving customers phone numbers for folks who may be notoriously bad about returning calls. It just makes for pissed-off customers.

Yeah, I guess that about covers it. I’ll add more if I think of more suggestions. I wonder if anyone at THD who is a position to make changes will actually see any of this?

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New Construction vs Replacement Window

New Construction vs Replacement Window

So here’s the difference between the new construction window (on the left), and the replacement window (on the right) – *way* more glass on the new construction, and I’m much happier!

It even look way better on the outside – because of the size of the replacement windows, they were going to have to install really wide, flat looking trim (even though Joe was able to wrap the wood with the metal to give it somewhat of a profile to make me happy) – with the new construction window, all of the existing wood trim, rotten & nearly rotten goes bye-bye & it all gets replaced with some nice solid composite material.

The "New Construction" window from the outside

The "New Construction" window from the outside

Thank goodness for Chris the Field Supervisor – so far he’s made 2 trips to the Home Depot – first to pick up the new windows, and then to pick up nails & trim. Hurray for Chris! 🙂

Chris, THD Field Supervisor and our Hero

Chris, THD Field Supervisor and our Hero

So now I have my new windows and I couldn’t be happier! Everyone really bent over backwards for me to make sure that the job was done right. I need to put some thought into my final comments on the project, and about what THD At-Home services final grade will be.

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Signature Renovations - Joe Baker & Reuben - A++

Signature Renovations - Joe Baker & Reuben - A++

Seriously, if I had known that I was getting these guys to do the work I never would have been concerned about the subcontractor issue. I hope I don’t get them in trouble for posting this info about them since they weren’t soliciting work on the side (aka poaching Home Depot customers), but I asked for their card just so people would know how great they are.

They not only know what they are doing, but they are professional, clean up after themselves, explain everything they are doing, and make sure that they are doing the job correctly. And on top of all that, they are also 2 of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet!

If the rest of the contractors who work for The Home Depot At-Home Services are even close to being as good as these guys, then you don’t need to worry!

Reuben being a perfectionist

Reuben being a perfectionist

Here’s Reuben trying to show me where there’s going to be some miniscule misalignment of the old trim (or something like that). That boy is *really* into his work & wants everything to be absolutely perfect. To be honest, I still was never able to see what he was talking about, and even though I’m not the pickiest person in the world, I don’t think anyone else could see it either 🙂

And here’s Joe, with the same happy demeanor that he’s had since he got here this morning – despite me & my angst over the first set of windows. I think he’s laughing at me trying to figure out what Reuben’s talking about.

Happy Joe Baker - Signature Renovations

Happy Joe Baker - Signature Renovations

And here’s my new buddy Reuben – he’s a artist on the side, so we had a nice chat about that – plus he offered to fix a ceiling tile that’s all messed up (too bad it’s not fixable – the reason it looks so bad was from my lame attempt to fix the problem)

Reuben - Signature Renovations

Reuben - Signature Renovations

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So Joe the Installer Guy (formerly referred to as Joseph the Installer) arrived exactly on time this morning, along with his helper Reuben & Chris the Home Depot Field Inspector. Everyone is super friendly, & it seem like they know what they’re doing. In fact, Chris just fixed the doorknob on the door to the garage just because it was bugging him (it’s been bugging me for a while too, but I was going to wait until it finally fell off) :-

Joe agreed that all of the outside trim looks pretty bad, so he’s going to replace it. The really good news is that there doesn’t seem to be any water damage to the framing – hurray!!!!! Chris the Field Inspector Guy ran off to THD to pick up the trim.

It looks like they might need to pop off the interior trim (I thought they would, but Joe the Field Inspector swore they wouldn’t), so Reuben showed me what they want to do because he wanted to be sure that I’d know they’d be careful of the sheetrock.

Anyway, so here’s the mess they are trying to fix:

The downstairs window

The downstairs window

The upstairs window

The upstairs window

Construction begins.... (or destruction I guess)

Construction begins.... (or destruction I guess)My trusty installer Joe

Oh Oh – we just hit our first snag… No one explained the difference between new construction & replacement windows to me. For some reason I assumed that if you are replacing a window that you have to use a replacement window. So even though I was replacing my casement windows with double-hungs, I thought that they’d look like my kitchen windows:

My existing kitchen windows

My existing kitchen windows

But it turns out that on a replacement window you have the whole frame to content with, plus a gap with 1/4 round moulding, so the window is *really tiny* and the trim on the outside is *really wide*

My teeny-tiny replacement window

My teeny-tiny replacement window

Here it is photoshop'd to give an idea of how it will look finished

Here it is photoshop'd to give an idea of how it will look finished

Guess what? You can put in a new construction window & it will look like my kitchen windows without all of the extra wood!

Loving The Home Depot At-Home Services Right Now!!!!

Loving The Home Depot At-Home Services Right Now!!!!

So Joe the installer & Reuben the Helper & Tammy the Project Manager & Mike the Production Supervisor to the rescue!!!!! Between all of them, they managed to find 2 new construction windows the right size in stock, & they’re going to put those in – HIP HIP HURRAY!!!! Mike had joked that we could put up plywood until the new windows come, & I said that was OK with me, but he said he’d never do that – all of a sudden I’m swimming in a sea of love for the Home Depot & all the people who work for them.

What makes this even more cool, is that the new construction windows come with their own outside trim, so now we don’t have to monkey around with wrapping the outside with aluminum, and the profile will look just like the wood on my other windows.

Sounds like they managed to catch Chris the Field Inspector, & he’s bringing them. Poor guy, Joe the Installer called him on the road to stop & make sure that they were vinyl/wood & not vinyl/vinyl which they are – not sure the screens are with them, but we can always worry about that later.

So here are my new, naked window openings waiting for the new windows to get here, and Joe the Installer & Reuben have gotten everything cleaner that it was before they got here (wow – I feel *really* bad about that)

Just waiting for the new windows!!!

Just waiting for the new windows!!!

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Unlike the USPS, THD does not go by "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night..."

Unlike the USPS, THD does not go by "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night..."

[I pre-wrote all of this when I got the installation date ]This is the date that Mike the Production Supervisor gave me for my actual installation, assuming that 1) the windows are delivered by the vendor, and 2) there isn’t monsoon weather. Let’s try to ignore the fact that Joe the Field Inspector claimed that they would do the installation regardless of the weather (I asked specifically about that, as I was worried that we might run into snow, which is why I tried to get the project scheduled early enough)

Today’s weather is supposed to be beautiful & everything is on schedule – hurray!

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I have lost the license information, but I did find the piece of paper that had the installer’s name, and sure enough after listening to the voice mail again, that’s who called me. I feel better 🙂

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