Saturday, September 03, 2005

"Nobody at Home" Depot

I took a trip last weekend to my local home improvement store to look for a shower screen. When I say 'local' you need to understand that means a 180 mile round trip from Steamboat Springs to Avon/Vail. I found one I liked but unfortunately they didn't have it in stock.

However the clerk looked on the computer and told me they would be getting some more stock during the week. So stupidly I went back today. What I discovered was that they didn't get any more stock this week, and they were never getting any more stock this week. They had sold out of this item in mid-August and had never re-ordered any more.

That was bad enough, but that was probably just your basic careless screw up (maybe the clerk entered the wrong item number or something). What really annoyed me was that they couldn't tell me when they would be ordering some more and worse they couldn't order one for specifically for me, even if I paid for it up front. If I paid now they could hold it for me once it arrived, which would be some time between tomorrow and the heat death of the universe. Plus if I wanted the same model in a different finish (different colour metal or different glass) they could special order it for me, but otherwise it was, "we can't actually help, but have a nice day!"

How do corporations get so stupid? I can understand an organisation making a rational decision that their business model doesn't accommodate special orders for individual customers. But when you can order it for me if I want the textured glass but not if I want the clear glass then it's not the glass that's cloudy but your brain.

Shame on you Home Depot.

1 comment:

david said...

we were down there for our big project a couple of weeks ago, and it was the same thing. under-informed, understaffed employees who either didn't know what the hell we were asking, or were with another customer.

later that afternoon, my father-in-law and i went across I-70 to a locally owned and operated "mom and pop" plumbing store, where they helped us brainstorm solutions to our problem, sold us only what we needed, and were generally all too happy to help.

that's a business model worth applying.