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  #1  
Old 08-18-2010, 05:29 PM
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Bleeping Home Depot's recorded 'hours of operation' messages

Good Lord, when will I learn, you DO NOT listen to the recorded message that comes on initially when you call the various stores for the hours of operation. I'm in a bizarre situation of working over vast stretches of the Bay Area. I go to about 8 Home Depots on a semi-regular basis, and about 4 or 5 others now and then. I guess that could be called market penetration. Only one Lowes in my range, maybe one other somewhere else. I go to smaller, locally owned stores when possible but the late hours of HD are handy.

Therein lies my beef. Lately, some - about half - of the branches are open til 10, M-Sa and 8 on Sunday. The others til 9, and 7 on Sunday. One branch just south of SF is open til 11 and 10, respectively. Complicating matters, some of them go to shorter hours during winter months, or have in the past anyway.

Oh well, you can just call and ask them right? The key phrase there is "ask them" because the recordings have been wrong way too often. At least 5 times I've shown up at 9:05 only to be disallowed entry. I object, mention the recording, and they say, "oh yeah, we're trying to get that changed (!?). First time I experienced this was a few years back. For the longest time, I'd press zero as soon as the recording picked up and asked the operator. Then it began to seem as though they had gotten it together.

Last night, I was lying on my side, working on a leaky main cutoff valve, the one on the house, not the meter valve of course, about 8:45 pm, I'd had a full day but this lady is a good client and it was leaking pretty bad, so I called the nearest HD, listened to the recording - 10 pm it said. So I go down, easier just to do it then, owner was home, would pay me on the spot. I must have gotten there about 8:59, I didn't notice anything, then at 9:05 I hear an announcement, "we will be closing in 5 minutes," I'm "WTF? Closing at 9:10?" A guy walks by, I think he was the manager, I asked him, he said "yes, 9 pm," I tell him about the recording, he says "yes, we're trying to get that changed."

I about lost it, erupted, saying this happens way too often; I had $h!t taken apart at someone's house, I needed about 15 minutes to gather all parts, and WITF can't you people get something so simple together??

Then he got pissed, I calmed down, we talked some more, I did manage to get the parts and land on my feet but holy crap, who needs the aggravation?

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Last edited by cmac2012; 08-18-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:33 PM
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I feel your pain. The proper response would have been: "My apologies, I'll keep the store open long enough for you to purchase what you need and I'll change the message before I leave tonight."
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:34 PM
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Stuff like that shows how lazy the managers are. It would take one e-mail or a few minutes on the phone to change it, but they never do it.
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
I feel your pain. The proper response would have been: "My apologies, I'll keep the store open long enough for you to purchase what you need and I'll change the message before I leave tonight."
The manager did get a little pissed that I was fulminating so while he was trying to tell me I would be allowed to complete my purchase. What he doesn't get is that with plumbing, you often need to really carefully sus out the parts you need, find what will work, etc. That was true in this case as they were out of the part I wanted, a 1" sweat ball valve. I was able to get the same valve threaded and copper sweat/thread fittings but I couldn't find a couple of other small items and I didn't appreciate the pressure of knowing that they were tapping their foot, waiting for me to get out.

And, if I'd gotten there at 9:10, would have been SOL, having just made a 4 mile street traffic trip to HD. This lady lives way up in the hills. Probably should have just gotten the parts the next day, in the morning, more leisurely, etc. but then I'd have to track her down for payment, crap my work can be stupidly complicated, but times are tough everywhere.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:52 PM
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The Lowes by my house has the same problem. I moved into a bank repo about a month after the Lowes opened. needless to say, I'm a very very familiar face to all the employees at Lowes. They were open til 10pm. Seeing that I have a day job I was remodeling the house every night after work and would close the place down on a regular basis. then one day, without notice they changed their hours to closing at 9pm.

Their newest thing is to be completely incompetent. I've walked out of their mad the last 4 times I've been in their because the new batch of employees have no clue what they are doing. example, I was in their last week looking for some 3" corrugated, slotted pipe to make a French drain. should be easy. They had rolls of 4" corrugated, slotted pipe in 100ft and 50ft lengths, and 4" corrugated pipe (no slots) in 100ft and 50ft lengths, 3" corrugated, (no slots) in 100ft and 50ft lengths, and a sign for 3" corrugated, slotted pipe in 100ft lengths. I ask the guy, "do you have 3" corrugated, slotted pipe in 50ft, I don't see a sign for it" reply "ummmm, well?? is their a sign for it?" I start to get mad, "ok how about the 100ft roll you do have a sign for?" reply "yeah its right here" and points to the 4"... "NO, 3"..." reply "yeah... oh... ummm... let me call someone" and he walks off. 15 min later I left the store.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
Stuff like that shows how lazy the managers are. It would take one e-mail or a few minutes on the phone to change it, but they never do it.
Hard to say, I have heard 3 times that they had been trying to change the message. Somebody somewhere is being lazy not to mention stupidly inconsiderate, that much is certain.

Like I said, you'd think I would have learned by now not to trust the message. I said that at the end of my conversation with the manager, "Never trust the message, always hit the button for the operator" and I could see in him a sort of painful realization that this was a stupid problem all right.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:01 PM
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The Message

Who records the message? Is it done on an invididual store basis or is there some centralized corporate beaurocracy to negotiate?

- Peter.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Oh well, you can just call and ask them right? The key phrase there is "ask them" because the recordings have been wrong way too often. At least 5 times I've shown up at 9:05 only to be disallowed entry.
Sorry for your troubles, but I'm having a tough time figuring out why it took at least 5 times of getting screwed, for you to figure that out.

Fool me once...yada yada.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:20 PM
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:27 PM
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Having worked breifly at a Lowes I can see it from the otherside. 90% of the people out their are morons, and annoying. I gave up trying to explain to people how to do something right, they didn't want right they wanted cheaper than cheap.

But I'll give you a tip, if you ever want to talk to the manager at a Lowes and cut through all the red tape do this. When the operator picks up simply say I need to talk to the MOD. They think you work their and put you right through.
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2010, 09:36 PM
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This is but one saga in the inevitable decline of customer service and the need to provide any shred of customer satisfaction.

HD is the absolute bottom of the barrel. I really don't understand how they stay in business. The stores are an absolute disaster and the employees are non-existent.

My latest beef is with MS. Decided to pay $50. to have some very technical questions answered with regard to Outlook. I pay my $50. and what to I get..............some moron girl in India that knows less about the software than I do.

I'm doing a chargeback on the credit card. They can go screw themselves.

It's everywhere............however...........you're on your own.
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
Who records the message? Is it done on an invididual store basis or is there some centralized corporate beaurocracy to negotiate?

- Peter.
Every store's message has the same ultra happy, sing songy lady's voice doing the message. It's like keeping their corporate happy face up is more important than getting it right.

I'm getting sick of the lady's voice. That's what I hate about advertising, that forced, phony, excited happiness in the voice.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Da Nag View Post
Sorry for your troubles, but I'm having a tough time figuring out why it took at least 5 times of getting screwed, for you to figure that out.

Fool me once...yada yada.
Well uhhhh . . . I've been asking myself the same question. I don't need to call that often and I did always click for the operater for quite a while and then I started listening to the recorded message first, and then clicking for the operator to see if it checked out. For a long period, it always checked out. And sometimes you have to wait a long time for the operator.

For the next several years, I'm going to do both. It's too stressful. This lady lives up in a toney section of the Oakland hills, the drive to by far the closest HD is about 4 miles through some of the roughest parts of Oakland, narrow streets, gangstas driving like maniacs, if I'd gotten there at 9:03, I think I might have started throwing stuff.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
This is but one saga in the inevitable decline of customer service and the need to provide any shred of customer satisfaction.

HD is the absolute bottom of the barrel. I really don't understand how they stay in business. The stores are an absolute disaster and the employees are non-existent.

My latest beef is with MS. Decided to pay $50. to have some very technical questions answered with regard to Outlook. I pay my $50. and what to I get..............some moron girl in India that knows less about the software than I do.

I'm doing a chargeback on the credit card. They can go screw themselves.

It's everywhere............however...........you're on your own.
HD has achieved near total market penetration in these parts so if you don't like it, not much other choice. The only store that comes close is Orchard Supply Hardware, open til 9, 8 on Sunday, at least every branch is the same, no guessing. There are about half or so as many of those as HDs, and inventory is usually always quite a bit smaller, no real lumber to speak of. Only one Lowes is remotely in my travel path and it's not near to any of my regular clients.

There is one great Ace Hardware store sorta near to some of my clients that stays open to 9, M-F.

But it's sorta my fault, as I've allowed HD to seduce me with these long hours. W/o them, I'd work more normal hours and do the 8 to 4 or 5 thing that most of the tradesman supply shops keep.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:07 PM
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I find it best when I have had a problem like that to ring the state manager the next day & give him a serve. It has resulted in obtaining several things for free to make up for my inconvenience. Normally when you elevate a problem, eventually you get to talk to some one who figures that they have people who are meant to deal with these things & they want to know from them why they havent solved your problem.

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