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My adult son and I recently purchased a home which happens to be located right around the corner from a Home Depot Store in Fontana California. Initially I thought this was a wonderful thing as we have a boatload of projects to work on.
I've been a Home Depot customer for over 30 years now and reluctantly have kind of accepted the overall poor customer service and the sloppy, disorganized nature of the store and product layout - UNTIL NOW.
Yesterday, I only needed to purchase 2 items from Home Depot: - (1) 3/4" water hose - (1) small shop vac
I budgeted an HOUR in my schedule thinking this was plenty of time. Both items are generally easy to find and the store is less than 5 minutes away - so I thought.
WATER HOSE PURCHASE
I easily located the water hose section but there was almost no inventory. I wanted a 3/4" commercial grade water hose but the entire selection consisted of 2 subpar 5/8" hoses from the same off-brand manufacturer that I've never of - That's it!
I was disappointed but thought, well, maybe this could be because of the pandemic and pressed on to get the shop vac.
SHOP VAC PURCHASE
After 2 unsuccessful trips searching around the store I asked for help. This is no small task in Home Depot as you have to actually hunt someone down. The fact is, you can wander the aisles for hours and no one will EVER offer to help you. I am now over a half hour into my shopping trip. I found someone at the front of the store and was, of course, directed to the WRONG section as it only had household vacuums - no shop vacs. Soo, I have to hunt yet ANOTHER person down and was finally directed this tiny section tucked against the back wall of the store. Fortunately there were a few models to choose from. I made my choice and put in my cart.
I scanned for the shortest checkout to buy my single item only to discover that NOT ONE manned register was open. The ONLY choice was self checkout and the line was practically to the back of the store!!! I was so pissed and frustrated I simply left the cart in an aisle and left the store, all the while cursing under my breath. I am well over the hour I budgeted and have nothing to show for it.
The kicker is, I ended up purchasing both items at Walmart where they had much more product selection, better quality product and it was easy to find. And I don't even like shopping at Walmart! Since Walmart did not seem to have a problem with their available supply of water hoses I guess the pandemic explanation does not apply for Home Depot. Perhaps it's just plain apathy.
In summary my quickie shopping trip ended up taking 2 1/2 hours but I walked away with these valuable lessons: 1.) Do not go to Home Depot for selection or expect to find what you're looking for. 2.) Do not go to Home Depot for price. 3.) Do not go to Home Depot for convenience as it will take longer than you would expect. Store shelved are disorganized and poorly marked. Even the employees don't know where to find things. 4.) Do not go to Home Depot for customer service of any kind. This is where customer service goes to die.
I DO get the fact that most of Home Depot's revenue comes from contractor sales. But even if I were a contractor, how I could ever trust a project to a store that seems to operate so haphazardly? After all, it's not like they've had 40 years or so to get their *** together.
Hope this helps someone else lower their own stress level.
Former Home Depot Shopper.
User's recommendation: If you value your time and sanity - go anywhere else, Lowes, Ace, Menards, even Walmart.
Monetary Loss: $75.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
Home Depot Pros: Location and delivery.
Home Depot Cons: Incompetence, Disorganized, Hard to locate product, Poor or non existent customer service, No product selection out of stock on many items.
Location: 16783 Santa Ana Ave, Fontana, CA 92337