• Report: #1108072
Complaint Review:

Home Depot

  • Submitted: Wed, December 18, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, December 18, 2013

  • Reported By: Tony — Los Angeles California
Home Depot
1675 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, California USA

Home Depot Is Home Depot's return policy hurting loyal customers? Los Angeles California

*Consumer Comment: response to the guy who says simple solution is keep your receipts

*Consumer Comment: MyLowes is not a solution to HD return woes

*Consumer Comment: Just how...

*General Comment: Its called BUSINESS!!!

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Two days ago I tried to do an exchange on a damaged product.  I did not bring the receipt.  They swiped my ID and they received a message saying DENIED.  They could give me an explanation but told me to call the number on the receipt.  I was told that my product return patterns were highly suspect and that I was blacklisted from doing more returns to HD.   I found myself a victim of the one eyed, one-sided company called The Retail Equation.  Why one eyed, because this company only looks at your returns not your purchases.  In other words if you are an infrequent, non-loyal customer of HD this will not happen to you.  If however you are a loyal customer that frequents HD several times a week or month, be careful.  

This experience bothered me, so I did some investigating. Here is what I found out, but first a little background.

Have you every done a small home repair (fix a toilet or faucet) with one trip to HD?  If you are like me, I did good if it only took me 2 trips.   Now imagine a contractor or someone like me that has been rehabbing 2 homes and 3 apartment buildings for the past 3 years.   I would buy about 5 to 10 percent more material than the job requires.  Why? Because it costs money to have hourly workers standing around waiting for me to run back to HD for one more piece of drywall or a pipe fixture. The average trip to HD is about an hour (if you are lucky). So buying a little extra material allows for unforeseen events, plan changes and errors in calculations.  

As I am rehabbing I have several jobs running concurrently, plumbing, electrical, flooring, drywall, building material, fixtures, etc.  Even with over buying I was still making several trips to HD per day.  So here is my first mistake:

Say I bought initially $5000 in material.  Then during the course of the job I would run back to HD and return some of the used items and purchase more needed items.  I sometimes would not bother with receipts because I might be returning $30 in material, knowing I going to buy another $300.  Store credit seemed like a clean and easy way to go.  Now in the past year I purchased about $35000 in material and probably made (guessing) 10 to 20 returns amounting to about max $1000.  Now kick in The Retail Equation, it appears that they do not look at my purchases, only my returns.  If you were only looking at one side of the equation it would certainly appear as if this customer might be abusing the return policy, perhaps stealing and returning.

Problem is my purchases are not taking into consideration, if they were I would not have been placed on this Blacklist.  I tried talking with several employees of HD, including the manager.  I also talked with the Retail Equation folks.  There does not appear to be a review process, no warning is given, and nowhere did I see any notification given about using HD store credit.  You are just blacklisted period.

My recommendation would be that is you are a loyal customer of HD. Do not return items for store credit.  In some cases where you paid cash and you have the receipt, insist on getting cash back.  Remember anytime they ask to see you ID your information is being put into The Retail Equation database.

Needless to say, I have since then switch my loyalty to Lowes.  They have a program called MyLowes that keeps track of all my purchases and makes it very easy to do returns.  No receipt is needed if you use the MyLowes. 

In my continued pursuit of clearing my name I spoke with someone in HD Corporate.  She told me that I could not be removed from the Blacklist but I could use my HD Pro Account upon checkout.  Using my Pro account upon checkout might be similar to the MyLowes.  I really don’t know I haven’t tried it.   I just find it disturbing that no one in HD every asked me for my Pro account number nor explained any of this to me.





This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/18/2013 02:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/home-depot/los-angeles-california-90057/home-depot-is-home-depots-return-policy-hurting-loyal-customers-los-angeles-california-1108072. 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.

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#1 Consumer Comment

response to the guy who says simple solution is keep your receipts

AUTHOR: benny14800 - ()

I have found myself in a similar situation as the person writting this initial article. The person who responded the simple solution is just keep your receipt is correct. However it's not as easy as it sounds. He also mentions "are you buying in all cash?" Even if you were it's not a crime to use cash. I myself have found it benificial to purchase Giant Eagle gift cards with my credit card. I usually turn in my receips to my accounting staff after the purchase,and it's a minor process to get them back if I need to return something. I have set up a pro account to help with tracking of my purchases. However it doesn't work as flawless as they say. When I signed up they told me all I had to do was give the cashier my phone # at checkout and it would automatically be logged. Any Home Depot across the country could find it. Turns out there's problems with store systems being linked to each other. Also if you make a purchase over the weekend when the pro desk is not open it may not log. I know they are trying to prevent fraudulent activity,but it ia also alienating the better customers.

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#2 Consumer Comment

MyLowes is not a solution to HD return woes

AUTHOR: Corporate_Insider - ()

I'm just chipping in what I know... you don't need to present an ID to get an in-store credit for returned merchandise.  If the employees there know you (since you are in there all the time) then get them to help your cause.  

I work for Lowe's corporate and the information in MyLowe's is not secure.  Definitely not as safe as your credit information.  So would you want someone to know everything that is in your house on top of that?  Lowe's (and other companies) want to analyze your purchases and link them to you for a reason.   Be careful... if (and when) that data is hacked then all that information is in the hands of thieves and criminals...

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#3 Consumer Comment

Just how...

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 So if you don't keep your receipts just how do they know you are a loyal customer?  Just how do they know that what you are returning was purchased from them?   How do they know what you paid?  The answer in all cases they DON'T. 

You have your business methodology of buying more than you need and returning extras.  Why don't you just do what other contractors do and save it for the next job?  No you do it because you have determined that is the most cost effective way too handle your business.  Well guess what....Home Depot figured that they were loosing a lot of money on "no receipt" returns and had to put in certain procedures as part of their procedures to cut their losses.  Those procedures include tracking how many returns people do.

So the answer is VERY..VERY..VERY simple.  Have you figured it out yet?  JUST KEEP YOUR RECEIPT.

On a side note if you run a construction busiess and apparently pay for many items in cash.  Just how do you handle all of these pruchases when it comes to the IRS and tax time?  Or do your customers also pay you in cash and you don't really have to worry abou the IRS?

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#4 General Comment

Its called BUSINESS!!!

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 If you have been blacklisted by Home Depot, then you have done more then just 1 or 2 returns a month WITHOUT a reciept. Even the BIGBOY stores like Home Depot and Best Buy will only allow you to do so many returns without a receipt. This means that your return habits have been red flagged as a possible customer fraud issue.

You can whine all you like, but it wont change the fact that YOU have made returns WITHOUT a receipt. Your receipt is a form of contract between you and the retailer. The back of the receopt tells you the terms and conditions of doing returns. IT STATES CLEARLY THAT YOU NEED TO BRING YOUR RECEIPT!! So basically YOU are blasting THEM because you were either too busy or lost the receipt. It is STILL business. For accounting purposes and loss prevention purposes that receipt protects the employees of the store against allegations that they are stealing or helping another to steal.

I understand that in your line of work you have to do returns, but after awhile with no receipt even Lowes will deny a return. Youre thinking the grass will be greener at Lowes but you fail to recognize that they are ONLY doing business by the book. You however are the one who returns items without a receipt. Just because it is an inconvenece to you to have to keep the receipt doesnt make them putting you on a return blacklist unethical, illegal or immoral. It is just business. Home Depot, much like yourself has a business to run. For a business man you seem to be ignoring some of the basic principles of business. Having your receipt is just one of them.

Much like you have to protect YOUR employees and YOUR business, Home Depot has to do the same. To blast them for doing EXACTLY what you would do is not only shady, but down right mean on your part.

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