Report: #196885

Complaint Review: Home Depot

  • Submitted: Sat, June 17, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, March 28, 2010
  • Reported By: Orlando Florida
  • Home Depot
    2455 Paces Ferry Road
    Atlanta, Georgia

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

After being hit by multiple hurricanes here in Florida, I was anxious about them. I was given a chance to purchase an emergency generator with no interest for 12 months. I thought that this was a good deal.

After paying this purchase off over the next 12 months I thought that my obligation was completed. In June of 2006 I was billed a huge interest amount. When I called to inquire, I was told that because my purchase was not completely paid off within the 12 month period they were charging me 21% interest on the entire purchase for the entire 12 months. I was not even given any credit for the money that I had already paid each month! What I was told that because I had made additional purchases on the Home Depot Credit Card, my payments went to pay for those first BEFORE paying towards this older purchase. I was told that I was advised of the terms of the agreement. I don't know what "advised" means. I guess they mean the fine print!

I think that this is imoral and possibly illeagal. I think that I was overcharged. Home Depot should be ashamed of themselves for preying on consumers in this way. How many people are even aware that they are being ripped off in this way? Many stores have stopped using this method of financing because it is so bad. I paid off my Home Depot Credit Services Account in full and closed it as of today. I will take all of my major purchases to the competitor Lowes now and I will pay cash for them. Please boycott Home Depot.

Orlando, Florida
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/17/2006 11:45 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Home Depot 12 Months Same as cash

AUTHOR: bluesky - (United States of America)

I read this article about how the Home Depot 12 Months same as cash deal is a rip off.
I have spent between 15 - 20 thousand dollars using this program, and I have yet to pay any interest.  If it wasn't for this program, it would have take twice as long to remodel our downstairs.  I am not employed with Home Depot.  I am just a consumer that uses the program to help get projects done around my house.  If you watch your statements and are careful about deadlines, you shouldn't have a problem.  I always called in my payments and told the operator that this payment was for a specific 12 months same as cash deal.  I would make sure it was applied to that deal, and I got a confirmation.

I am tired of people not being responsible for their finances.  NEVER ASSUME!!!
CALL AND ASK!!!  Home Depot is just a store, they are not the red cross.   It tells you exactly how much interest you will be charged on EVERY STATEMENT!

For twelve months you received a statement from Home Depot and they told you EACH MONTH how much was being applied and to what purchase.  As the police say "Ignorance is no defense".
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#2 Consumer Comment

This is actually a great deal

AUTHOR: Clifford - (U.S.A.)

We have used this procedure with several companies, Home Depot and Circuit City that I can think of immediately.

You just have to understand and pay close attention to what you are getting into.

We have opened up new credit cards and charged a product, then pretend we cannot use the card for anything else. Pay it off completely well before the end of the period. Check to make sure everything is actually paid off and then cancel the card.

A free loan for just paying attention. A great deal. We will do more in the future.

Read the agreements closely and you will come out ahead every time, it's not rocket science and I am no genius, believe me, but I know how to read.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Always highest interest first!!!

AUTHOR: Josephal - (U.S.A.)

Credit cards, ALL credit cards, pay your payments to the highest interest first!!!!!!!!

If you get a card that says 0% on balance transfers for a year and you transfer $1000, and then charge $800 of purchases, you will have to pay the $800 and its interest off completely first!

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Who is to blame for all this?

AUTHOR: Heather - (U.S.A.)

When you go to training, you are told to think "orange" (home depot's main color) which means to be friendly to the customers. They actually suggest for the reps to be nice and waive fees (late, finance charges) if it keeps the customer happy, however it is the rep's own choice to waive or not to waive. I, personally, was one of the friendliest reps in Jacksonville (one of the place we are housed) and I have great customer service and was willing to waive fees if the customer had a good reason, not excuse, and they made sense. After all, it isn't my money, you know what I mean? However, HDCS has a lot of reps that are rude and only care about getting you off the phone. A lot of them just pretty much brush off the customers when they are complaining about the accrued interest being added on after the 6 or 12mnth promo's, and don't intend to waive anything. I use to see (on numerous occasions) how someone only failed to pay like 26.00 on a 800.00 charge and the reps wouldn't waive the accrued interest, which is ridiculous. I hated hearing the reps say, "well if you can pay it off right now, I will waive 1/2 of the fees." Half?! Dude, just adjust the stupid fees! Sometimes I think people have power trips that they lay upon the customers.

Anyways, there are good reps that work there, and if you happen to get one that is rude, ask to speak to a Manager, which is really just a customer service rep on the assist team (like the regular rep, but they happened to get a promotion). If that doesn't work, which usually Senior Team members will back the customer unless the reason is ridiculous, but if they don't request to speak with a Unit Manager, they are the ones that manage the reps (about 10-15 per team) and they are great with customers. One last thing, if you don't completely understand the terms, just read the Terms & Agreements, which you can get on request by calling the # on the back of your card. There are certain amounts that have to get approved by managers, but 9.9 out of 10, if a rep has said they will adjust the fees, no matter how high, it will get done. I have waived upwards to a 1,000 for a single customer , maybe can be done! Have a question, feel free to ask, I am very knowledgeable about Home Depot Credit Services.
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#5 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Christopher - (U.S.A.)

While I absolutely sympathize with your plight I must however say that I too have been negligent in purchasing items and not reading all of the information that is available to me prior to said purchase. This ultimately falls entirely on the shoulders of the customer who should be concerned with the fine details of their purchases.

I assure you that there is nothing illegal with how you were charged and the misunderstanding would have been avoided if you would have simply read the consumer credit application in its entirety before signing your name and accepting the contract terms. Since you obviously believe that you are not to blame for this situation I suggest that you hire a lawyer to look into the matter but I must advise you to read their fine print first before paying them to avoid the feeling of being "ripped" off again.
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#6 Consumer Comment

check your statements!

AUTHOR: Rebuttal - (Canada)

I too take advantage of the great offer Home Depot gives us by not paying for a year. No interest no admin. fee. wow.... If you read your monthly statements it CLEARLY states what is owed on what purchase. It does make sense that if I buy something on a year deferral and then something on no deferral, your monthly balance would be paid off first in the order that the payment is due. My suggestion is "read". No other competitors offer a free defferal program. The credit companies, not Home Depot, make money of of the people that are neglegent in making payments. For the majority of consumers they get off with no interest, no payments and Home Depot pays for their customers defferal. Thank you.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Lets try this again.

AUTHOR: Impetusangelic - (U.S.A.)

Ok first it's Miss Employee not Mr. also, apparently what I said wasn't read. I said MAJOR purchase plan purchases which are over $2000 are a lower interest rate, the normal interest rate for our card is 21%. Which is typical for any departmental credit card, which is exactly what this particular card is.

This is not a home improvement loan. Home depot does however, offer those at a lower interest as well but they do have more restrictions. As far as how the payment is posted. As a customer you do have the option of calling in and telling our customer service department that you want ALL of your payments to go toward your promotion first before any revolving balance.

The reason it is set up to go to the revolving balance on the card FIRST is to help the consumer so they don't incur interest. Also, be sure you know when you're making your payment, if you purchase something for $100 for example, it is not going to be part of a promotion (because it does not meet the $299+ requirement) but if you make a payment to cover that purchase say one week later, that payment WILL NOT go to that purchase, it will go to the balance instead. The reason for that, is because the purchase has NOT been billed yet, therefore a payment can not be made on it yet. Make Sense? Really, this comes down to consumer responsibility.

If you have a credit card, it is your responsibility to know ALL of the terms. I open credit card accounts every day, and for some I stay on the phone while our customers read through the terms, some tell me after 2 seconds that they read the agreement and still want the card, others take 10 minutes to TRULY read through. That is a smart consumer, and that's how credit should ALWAYS be handled. Hope that clears something up. By the way, I am NOT an employee of Home depot themselves, I am an Employee of Citibank, we are the monetary provider for the Home depot cards.
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#8 Consumer Comment

point not missed

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

The OP wrote "I guess they mean the fine print!"

YUP! The devil is in the details. With any type of credit, it's the fine print that counts.

All credit accounts I know of (from stores) apply payments to the remaining balance, not to individual purchases.

I suspect that if the OP had had actually achieved a $0.00 average monthly balance for a one month billing period during the initial 12 months, no interest would have been applied to the initial "interest free" purchase.

Unfortunately, it seems the OP made additional purchases during the first 12 months of the account without EVER achieving a average monthly balance of $0.00.

Is this sneaky? Only if you don't read all that "fine print" on the application!

Every store credit account I've seen with this "same as cash" or "no interest for XX months" operates this way and it's spelled out in the "fine print" of the application.

Around here, some furniture stores are promoting the infamous "no payments for 24 months" nonsense that works exactly the same way. If you were to charge $5000 dollars of furnature, make NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES and wait until month #22 and pay it off before the 22nd month due date, you will be fine and would have actually borrowed the money with no interest charges.
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#9 Consumer Comment

You've all missed the point here

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

The OP stated he DID pay off the amount he originally charged at 0% interest. However, since he charged other stuff on the card, Home Depot credited the money towards those items instead of the original balance.

This is VERY deceptive. Plus, they make it very difficult to pay that balance in the time allotted if there are other purchases on the card. You have to send in the payment, with special instructions written on the check to credit this amount to the $1200, and this amount to the remaining balance.

The OP was paying on this all along, not knowing that the interest free purchased wasn't being paid down like he thought. Also, it's nearly impossible to tell by looking at your bill, how they are applying payments. They do this on purpose so that they will collect their interest.
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#10 Author of original report

Thank you Home Depot Finance Company

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

After several unanswered complaints to HD I finally contacted the Finance Company that issues the credit card. When I explained what happened they refunded the finance charges and fees. Thank you for responding to my complaint.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Mr Employee

AUTHOR: Dolphinqueen83 - (U.S.A.)

Mr Employee... You obviously Dont Know Your job Very Well. You Say You Work There and yet you have no Idea what their interest rates are. This person is saying 21% and youre saying NO? My Hudband has a Home Depot Credit Card and YES his interest IS 21%. So you might want to do your homework if you are going to continue working there.
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#12 UPDATE Employee

I work for HD Credit Services

AUTHOR: Impetusangelic - (U.S.A.)

Home Depot credit services is actually Citi Bank. We realize a lot of customers get wrong information from the store associates as they are not trained in our credit programs. They're job is product knowledge. Any time you open a credit account it is good to either read all of the terms or call the credit center itself to find out the details. I personally am in the dept that opens new accounts and myself along with all the people who work near me tell customers EVERY time they mention the 12 month no interest no payment promotion that 1) The purchase has to be $299 or more, smaller purchases made afterwards are NOT added on to the promotion..and 2) Just like most credit deals, If the purchase is not paid within the 12 months you will aquire deferred interest. It really is a good deal, it gives you a year to pay off a big purchase. If I were you, the only thing I would call in and ask about however is the interest. On our consumer card the interest rate for major purchases (over $2000) is 15.48%..the default interest is 21% to me is inaccurate. That's just a matter of who you were speaking with I believe.
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#13 Consumer Comment

12 months same as cash

AUTHOR: Shawangunk - (U.S.A.)

First of all, there is no need to exaggerate -- Home Depot does NOT charge "1,000% interest" on anything, that is a ridiculous accusation and makes you lose credibility immediately.

Secondly, "12 months same as cash" deals are the same pretty much everywhere. If you don't pay the balance IN FULL within 12 months, they backcharge all the interest from day one. This is why it is a good idea to call the bank after making your last payment to verify that it is indeed paid in full. It does not sound like you did this.

Just because you "thought" you had paid it off does not absolve you of your responsibilities. Home Depot is fair and square in charging you the interest per the terms of your credit card agreement. Be more careful and responsible in future dealings with creditors.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Boycott Home Depot!

AUTHOR: Patricia - (U.S.A.)

I have had nothing but problems with Home Depot and their sub-contractor, The Fence Company, based in Connecticut! I have refused to pay for a piece of crap they call a fence! I have told them to remove the piece of crap fence so I can have a reputable company install a quality fence properly!

So far, no one from Home Depot Corporate has listened to or believed anything I have had to say--they take their sub-contractor's word for everything! Home Depot chooses their sub-contractors, and therefore, HD is responsible for the services provided by the sub-contractors--I have filed my own Rip-Off report, which is a lengthy one, as is the title.

As far as their credit carrier is concerned, I have advised them to refrain from carrying HD's paper!! However, in your case, since you purchased additional products on your card, every credit company I'm familiar with applies your payments to the highest interest rate amounts first then to the lower ones--the additional purchases on the same card is the culprit of your problems.

Please remember this for any other purchases you may make with a no interest/no payment or no interest with payments for a specified length of time--make any additional purchases with another credit card.

Boycott Home Depot is my advice to all concerned consumers, you never know when you may be victimized by them!! Trust me, I've run the gamut, and still have had no resolution--this has been going on for just about two years now! Caveat Emptor, Let the buyer beware!

Patricia, Columbus, Ohio
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

It is NORMAL practice

AUTHOR: Angela - (U.S.A.)

You signed paperwork stating that you agreed to the terms. This is a very normal sales tactic in most stores. It is not becomming less used, it is becomming more used by more and more places. Why? Because most people will not pay of their amount and once someone opens a credit line they are more likely to continue to purchase on it. So the business not only guarentees you will shop there more, they also guarentee that the credit you would have paid to your normal credit card goes to them as well. So who is at fault? The business trying to make more money or the consumer spending more money than they can afford, and signing an agreement that they don't read? I am amazed at the lack of personal responisbility people put on their finances.

And by the way... I just brought up Lowe's website and they offer the EXACT same deal. No interest for 12 months, and guess what? Exactly 366 days after the purchase you will be charged a huge interest amount on the original purchase.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Thanks for posting this

AUTHOR: Tami - (U.S.A.)

I have considered using Home Depot's financing for some home improvements, having just bought a home that needs some minor upgrades. Thanks to your posting, I will NOT use Home Depot's financing for anything, ever. I'm sorry you were taken in by their misleading practices. I'm sure what they're doing is perfectly legal. But that doesn't make it ethical. Your experience, and your posting here, has probably saved many people from going through the same grief you have. A small consolation for you, I'm sure.
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#17 Consumer Comment

read the contract

AUTHOR: Tom - (Canada)

You should have read and UNDERSTOOD the details.

You would still be paying interest on the additional purchases you had made if they applied the payments to the 12 month no interest deal.

I absolutely hate HD ( have not been there in almost 7 years ) but I took the time to enquire as to how the financing works. NOthing is truly free and they know many people will not pay off the purchase within 12 months therefor giving them $$$ worth of interest.
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