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Posts Tagged ‘home depot’


THD At-Home Services - Can You Hear Me Now???

THD At-Home Services - Can You Hear Me Now???

So after a couple of attempts to reach Charles the New England Regional Manager, I finally got through tonight.

The first interesting thing I learned (when I explained that the replacement windows looked horrible with such a large frame around it), was that sales dude was supposed to have held up little demo corners for me to look at so that I’d see what it looked like. I didn’t even know what he was talking about.

Then I told him about pricing out replacement vs new construction windows, and how the price difference per window was $200. Well, that set him off & running, with me unable to get a word in edgewise. He went on & on about how the new construction window price didn’t include the installation labor, or the warranty. I *finally* managed to get him to slow down enough to explain that I priced out *both* windows without installation, and so that price difference should be the same, with out without the installation price on both, assuming that the markup is the same.

“Ohhhh…” – I think he got it.

So then he said “Well, what do you want to do about this? A Home Depot Gift Card”? To which I gave a resounding “NO”. Then I explained that they actually have $400 of my cash. Real money. That I worked for. On the other hand, if I get a $400 gift card (assuming a markup of 33.333% over cost, which I am guessing is on the low side), I end up buying stuff that cost them $300, and they get to pocket the remaining $100 that I overpaid. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

So he seemed reasonable about it (so far). I said that I would go check out the actual price difference and get back in touch with him. He, like everyone else at THD, is pretty nice.

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The Home Depot called back

I came home to find two messages on my machine, both about the window price. One was from Rob (the District Sales Manager), and the other was from Charles (the New England Manager of Installation Services).

Figure I’ll call Charles, as he sounds a notch higher than Rob…

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So I finally found a spare minute to email Tammie the Project Manager about getting a refund for over-payment on the windows:

Hi Tammie —

I’ve been trying to find a spare minute to email you, & TaDa! I finally found one

Thanks for mailing the project paperwork to be – it got soaked in a rainstorm while I was at work, but fortunately dried nicely

We seem to have a problem however. W/ all the rigamarole of swapping out the replacement windows for the new construction ones, it seems that I overpaid by about $200 (I don’t have the exact amount) as the new construction windows are considerably cheaper. What do I do about getting the refund?

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I have an unlisted phone number. In fact, I pay extra each month to have it. And the reason I have it is because I do not want unsolicited calls from anyone who isn’t a friend of mine, my doctor, my bank, etc. I’m also on the National Do Not Call List for the same reason.

So, that day I went to The Home Depot to check the prices of new installation vs replacement windows to see if I had been ripped off, the guy wanted my phone number in order to give me a printout of prices. I asked what they wanted my number for, & specifically told him that my number is unlisted and that I don’t want sales calls. And he told me not to worry, it’s just that that’s the way the system is set up and I can’t get the printout without the number.

I’m not a complete moron, but apparently I was enough of one to give it to him. So what happens? Sure enough I get an unsolicited call this week from someone telling me that the friggin’ windows are on sale.

Great. Now not only am I getting calls I don’t want, but now I know how badly they ripped me off!!!!!

I don’t necessarily blame the guy who was quoting me the prices, it could be he really doesn’t know what the number is used for. But no opt-out checkbox in the software???!!!

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Needed my THD Project Paperwork

Needed my THD Project Paperwork

So somewhere along the line I realized that most of my paperwork disappeared with whoever I was dealing with at the time. So on Sunday I emailed Tammie the Project Manager & said:

Hi Tammie —

Thanks for your call the other day.

I actually am in need of something if you wouldn’t mind. I seems that I didn’t get my copy of most everything I signed during the process – that includes the original contract, the list of materials I ordered, special instructions, thyat I was satisfied at the end, etc.

So if you would please make copies of everything in my file and send them to me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving,

She replied the next day with:

You’re very welcome for the call and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving thank you! I hope yours was great as well!

I will certainly make copies for you and drop them in the overnight so that you can have them for your records. Any questions or concerns with your install just let me know. If I don’t speak with you, it was a pleasure and thank you again for your business. We hope you will consider The Home Depot again if you have any future projects in mind. Happy Holidays!

As promised, it was there on Tuesday, but like a dimwit I didn’t find it until it had been rained on all day. The good news is that the copy paper dried out without turning into a pulpy mess…

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They finally updated my job status – 3 days after the job was finished. Guess they decided to skip Step 6 where the installation happens 🙂

THD updated my status!

THD updated my status!

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[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 thought about it last night, & realized that a final grade of A- on my project doesn’t necessarily mean that I would hire THD again.

If I had a project that didn’t need to be done in a hurry then I would certainly check into how much THD would charge and compare it other contractor’s prices.  The big advantage to THD (despite the fact that a friend of mine had to finally sue them over problems with her project) is they did actually do whatever they could to make sure that I was happy in the end. It still seems like hiring contractors is a crap-shoot.

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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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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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