The Home Depot Sucks


Before You Go
Tips on surviving a trip to the Home Depot

So you either HAVE to go or WANT to go shop at Home Depot (sorry... THE Home Depot). Following are some tips that will make your visit a little smoother.
  1. Go as early as possible. You'll avoid long checkout lines, and "associates" will have more time to help you with things if you need it.
  2. If you're looking to save money, buy your fasteners somewhere else. Especially galvanized bolts, carriage bolts, lags, washers and nuts. How big a difference can it be? A 1/2 x 5" carriage bolt sells for $1.87 at HD, $1.25 at my local lumber yard, and a 4 pak at Orchard Supply Hardware for $3.29 (or 82 cents each!). May not be a big deal if you just need a handful of fasteners, but if you're say building a deck where you'll need 50 or more bolts, that's a considerable chunk of change!
  3. Do NOT under any circumstances purchase Glacier Bay products at Home Depot. These are products manufactured specifically and ONLY for Home Depot. That means if you ever need to get parts for it, you'll be stuck with the most moronic jackasses you've ever seen trying to get the part. You won't be able to order it over the phone, online or through any other company. You will HAVE to walk in to a Home Depot and deal with these morons face to face.
  4. Home Depot has a nice little thing going with small "incidentals". That is, sure, you can get a brand new toilet for $50, but when you go to get the teflon tape or the escuchion plate or a brass pipe nipple, you're gonna get burned BIG TIME! Case in point... I'm installing two pedestal sinks, so I needed 5 1/2" escuchion plates. They list them at $1.98 ea. [update 4/20/06 now $2.12 each!) Luckily they were out of stock, so I went to my plumbing supplier down the block. 42 cents each! Muliply that times 5 and you get $2.10. If HD had them, I would have been paying a whopping $9.90 for the same exact thing! Watch out for those little things.
  5. Lumber can be hit or miss. The positive is that you can pick out good pieces yourself. The bad is that the pile can be picked over or often times non-existent. Waiting to get a new bundle pulled down can literally take an hour or more. Another negative is the lack of variety. If I need say 2 4x4 posts 5 foot each for a fence I'm building, I'm stuck buying two 8 footers since they don't sell 4x4's in anything but 8' lengths whereas a lumber yard will likely stock them in 2 foot increments and I can buy my 10 foot section and cut it in half. No wasted money. [Submitted 2/2/06] the Homedepot sells 8's 10' 12' &16 just look arond . Unless you need someone to hold you'r hand while you shop.
  6. Don't deal with the heavy stuff like concrete at HD. Your local lumber yard probably sells concrete for pennies more than HD. At HD you have to load it on your cart, wheel it around to checkout (often very difficult given the quality of their carts and the cluttered aisles), then load it into your truck. Load 10 - 60 pound bags and you're actually handling 1800 pounds! On the cart, onto your truck, off your truck. At the lumber yard, they load it for you, so you're just handling 600 pounds off the truck. That's worth an extra buck to me!
  7. I can't stress this one enough. Triple check the part you just pulled off the shelf. It may "look" like the part in the tray it's supposed to be in, but often is not. Things like copper couplings with and without a stop, PVC elbows with one side threaded look identical. Read the barcode of the item and make sure it matches the sticker on the shelf.
  8. If the shelf price is different than the actual price when you go to checkout, don't argue. You'll simply lose. The wrong shelf price guarantee while displayed prominently on banners around the store is in actual practice a myth.
  9. Oftentimes supply houses (plumbing or electrical) are significantly cheaper and almost always more efficient than Home Depot. Do a tiny bit of research so you know exactly what you need and what to ask for.
  10. The layout of every HD is different. Some (like my local High Street Oakland) have TWO plumbing departments about a 1/4 mile apart from each other. You just have to learn whether the plumbers putty is in the faucet/supply line/waste line department rather than the copper/iron/PVC section.
  11. Face all your lumber with the bar codes in one direction, and for the love of peace make sure there IS a bar code on your item. This will get you checked out faster. Yes, I know... it's not YOUR job to check these things, but do you want to get out of there or not?
  12. Use the garden center checkout. If the front lines are busy, this will *usually* be a time saver. There is the chance of someone with a cart full of plants with half their barcodes missing.
  13. In the paint department, try specifying what brand you'd like. They automatically give you Behr Premium (because that's their highest markup). Do some research on the pricing and quality. I've had really good luck with Glidden and saved a few bucks.
  14. Be nice to the cashier. As frustrated as you are over the long waits and the problems at checkout, these people for the most part actually hate being there and are being treated like shit. Next time you go, smile and ask them how they're doing. The hell hole that is Home Depot is not their fault and you'll be surprised how fast that bad attitude disappears!
  15. Don't use any of their services (i.e. roofing, furnace installations, etc.). If everything goes smoothly, you got lucky. The problem is when there are problems. Judging from the HUGE amounts of negative responses we've received on these services, when things go wrong, you will have a very difficult time getting things straightened out IF you ever do. Very, very bad idea.
  16. If you need something custom cut (i.e. wire, chain, tubing, lumber, etc) go to a lumber yard, small hardware store, or OSH. THD is NOT the place to go when you need that kind of help. You'll be pulling your hair out.
  17. Home Depot is NOT the place to purchase appliances. Trust me. For one thing it's highly likely you'll be able to find anything in stock. And if you do, and there is any problem whatsoever, you're going to regret it. Check out the forum here. There are TONS of appliance nightmares in it. Go to appliance stores or Sears. The prices are similar if not better, and the service is significantly better.
  18. [Submitted 6/18/05] When you enter a cashier line, make sure that the items you have are CLEARLY ticketed. In the event that they are NOT, you WILL be asked to go back and get another one. It is not our job to price it for you. [So it's the customer's job to write out tickets? Interesting.... let's see... 1000' of romex... 5 cents]
  19. [Submitted 6/18/05] The tool rental registers are also a nice alternative to waiting in line. There are typically not too many people waiting in line to rent tools. This only works, however, with a few items. They will send you to the main registers if you have a cartfull.
  20. [Submitted 6/25/05] If you need something in the overhead dont bother asking an employee to get it with a lift. Climb up there yourself and you'll save a lot of time. Grow some balls!
  21. [Submitted and altered (sorry) 6/25/05] Do NOT take your little boy or girl into a Home Depot. The place is dangeorus enough for adults what with garbage all over the place, carts over-loadedwith 16 foot stacks of lumber, metal banding all over the place and other hazards.
  22. [Submitted 7/13/05] If you are planning on getting a large quantity of lumber, bring your own loaders. Most likely there won't be any one around to help you and if there is, don't expect much out of them.
  23. [Submitted 7/13/05] Do not expect the people in the departments to know everything, many of them are hired because the sales floor needs people, not for their experience. Though this may be true, be nice to them and most of the time they will be as helpful as possible.
  24. [Submitted 7/13/05] Be prepared to wait in line for cheaper prices! If you want to be held by the hand and not wait in line, then pay for it by visiting the mom and pop store.
  25. [Submitted 7/13/05] Take your frustration to the District Manager, don't kick and scream at the store and look like an idiot because you waited "30 minutes" when it was actually 5. Be a reasonable complainer, be calm and avoid using them to vent life stress to get results.
  26. [Submitted 7/13/05] Stupid People. Don't you realize that most of the child abductions are from Home Depot stores? You're busy salavating over some drill bit, and little Susie or Bobby are nowhere to be found. 1/2 hour later, and NOW you're panicked! PAY ATTENTION!
  27. [Submitted 7/18/05] When you illegally smuggle a plant into the US from Hawaii, Don't insist on speaking to the garden ass. who is in sch with a focus on environmental hort and expect him to tell you how to grow said plant.Use printed sheets brought from net idiot
  28. [Submitted 7/18/05] If you live in the Northern Californa area visit the Fremont store. You will be suprised it's an excellent store.
  29. [Submitted 7/18/05] My opinion of home depot is low, I can say from personal experience if you go to a local lumber yard you will save money on some of your items and a ton of money wasted time. Home Depot can eat up 2 hours picking up simple items. I banned it.
  30. [Submitted 7/27/05] You can get bags of mulch, soil, and sand, really cheap if they are broken, ask an associate for a broken pallet of one of the three. They are about $6.
  31. [Submitted 7/27/05] Ohio they are getting rid of anyone that knows anything its like give the new hires a test if they flunk they are great anyone with a brain will get out and go to a real home improvement store LOWES
  32. [Submitted 7/30/05] Watch out for special orders. They measured my doors through their "Home Services and I still got the wrong sizes. And the "fancy" front door shipped with the "fancy" glass and no door!! Taking as long as original order to be straightened out!
  33. [Submitted 8/2/05] Remember that most people come to the Home Depot because something is broken. DON'T take out your anger on the cashier. That is what makes them quit and gives you the long lines. Try to be nice to the cashiers. They have it hard enough without you yelling
  34. [Submitted 8/11/05] rememeber when you are talkimg to Sales person you get more with kindness than Anger. Battery is battery whether is on a custormer or a employee;neither is worth jail time (vocal or physical)
  35. [Submitted 8/16/05] Save yourself all of the headaches of dealing with Home Depot, pick up your phone book and find a small independent local hardware store and go there instead of these corporate monsters, that extra penny or two you'll pay just means that you may actually get some help or advice when you need it, or someone who knows what the hell they're talking about! BOYCOTT HOME DEPOT!
  36. [Submitted 8/16/05] If at 9:30 Sat night, you ask the Garden Center folks to find you a cart, load 5 measly bags of mulch, and put it your car while you watch, don't expect them to be excited about it, as you will be the 1000th lazy person that day. (Unless you're elderly.)
  37. [Submitted 8/19/05] Stay out of the mens rest rooms. They are nothing but pick up places for married men. Wives beware!
  38. [Submitted 8/19/05] If customers are assholes, employees are gonna be assholes right back at you. Don't climb the ladders, you're not allowed [just run around looking for someone to help you for an hour]. Don't be an idiot and cut your chain and slice your hand at the same time, it says 'employees only' on the cutter [just run around looking for someone to help you for an hour]. And stop whining because you didn't get help right away, people are busy. Or maybe you smell.
  39. [Submitted 9/20/05] If you plan on building anything more than a birdhouse DO NOT buy your lumber from homedepot, the lumber is indoors w/no access to moisture. low moisture content = dry cracked wood. dont be stupid!
  40. [Submitted 9/20/05] When returning items please have your receipt, especially when returning a
    high dollar item! Returns associates have certain questions they are required to ask;don't get mad at 21 yr olds for doing their job. I am tired of getting yelled at by grown men!
  41. [Submitted 9/20/05] Get your cart when you come in from the parking lot. It is not the job of the associate to get the cart for you. [You learn something new every day... I thought it WAS the job of an associate to pull the carts in from the parking lot]
  42. [Submitted 9/20/05] Associates are nice to costomers who dont scream at them about how much the store sucks before they are asked a real question and dont get pissed when they offer to send you to someone who may know more about a product
  43. [Submitted 11/23/05] Bring a pin and paper with you. Double check that your item has a sku or upc, if not write down the sku # on the white price tag. This will save you tons of time cause cashiers have to call that department for a price check and no one will answer. No one!
  44. [Submitted 11/23/05] The Home Depot motto is "You can do it. We can help." It is not "Tell us what you want and we'll do it for you."
  45. [Submitted 11/23/05] Don't go to Home Depot. But if you must, when you buy a plant from tha garden center, always check it for bugs and or fungus on it. A lot of their plants are not always as healthy as they look.
  46. [Submitted 11/23/05] PLEASE be patient if you have a problem at the self-check out. The person running it sometimes has to help 4 people at once when the machine only allows you to help one person at a time. And for Goodness sake if you "Hate self check outs" please do not go to them and DON'T tell the person stuck running them they're "taking away jobs." It's not like the cashier hand picked the people they needed to fire to afford a self check out machine..........
  47. [Submitted 2/2/06] Remember the associates are there for a job only, most are not life employees just there for a check. Even though HD as a compiny does not care for its workers they pay a little better then most other places for the same work, just be kind, we will help!!
  48. [Submitted 2/2/06] 90% of installations go well and the other 10% can partially be HD fault or installers, or vendors...it happens everywhere...also the people answering the phones don't need details, just where to send the call
  49. [Submitted 2/2/06] When shopping for doors and or windows, make sure you know your measurments. (preferably Rough Opening) There is no "standard" sizing. If you are unsure how to measure, ask. Double check special orders before you pay. A 15% restocking fee applys to S.O.
  50. [Submitted 2/2/06] When ever you go to a Home Depot and you ask an employee to direct you to the merch that you need, make sure they take you to that isle that they say it is located.8 out of 10 times they will be wrong and you can prove them wrong walk with them to isle
  51. [Submitted 2/2/06] Avoid the holiday season, many employees get screwed out of holiday pay they earned and will quit or clock in and go right to the break room. Mangers will not help you, they will just pawn their job off on a kid making less than $8 an hour.
  52. [Submitted 4/20/06] If you need help loading concrete, the associates will help you. But if you are a healthy man there is no reason you can't load 10 bags on a cart yourself. Don't expect us to load it with a forklift; that will take far too long as opposed to taking one minute out of your time to load them. If you need 20 bags it's still quicker to load it by hand. Ask for help. Someone will help you. But don't stand there and watch them do it. We are there to help you; we aren't your servants. If you need 30+ bags then a forklift will usually be used. But be patient... it takes time to get the gates in place and make sure the aisles are clear, especially when it is busy. Don't wait outside in your truck for half an hour. Get some initiative and start loading them on a cart. You might actually lose that beer gut.
  53. [Submitted 4/20/06] Never walk up to a cashier and say "You looked bored. I thought I'd put you to work." No, I wasn't bored. I was busy working my brain trying to come up with a better job idea so I don't have to spend the rest of my life as an f*ing cashier at Home Depot.
  54. [Submitted 4/20/06] Find yourself a "hook-up." Pick a person or 2 in a certain dept. and make sure that you only go to them everytime. You will develop a trust, and learn all the neat secrets. I promise.
  55. [Submitted 4/20/06] I shop at Home Depot and maybe employees should have a home page on all the ASSHOLE CUSTOMERS that are out there................ liars, cheats, and thiefs. O have been inline behind a few of them. You can't imagine the lenghts people go to.
  56. [Submitted 4/20/06] When entering HD take your own cart in, we are not your slaves. When at SCO have patience, it's a virtue. Its no problem to return items with your receipt, but if you lose your receipt its your problem not ours.
  57. [Submitted 4/20/06] If you have only a few items self checkout is the way to go, just scan and set on the scale. Don't pick it up until you are paid. If you get a error message, don't touch anything the cashier will clear you quickly, so you can move on. It's too easy.
  58. [Submitted 4/20/06] The very best way to voice your oppinion about a HD store is the login and password on your receipt. Store Managers are graded on Voice of the Customer. Give names of good and bad employees and they will be dealt with, I assure you.
  59. [Submitted 4/20/06] If you can't seem to find it in you to take your used, empty buggy/cart to the cart holders, leave your buggy at the door or in the store on your way out. This prevents buggies from rolling through the parking lot AND HITTING MY CAR! Thank you.
  60. [Submitted 4/20/06] stay away from flooring they hire day labor installers ( better off with a blind and a blind seeing eye dog
  61. [Submitted 4/20/06] Dont use the toilet displays if you have to go to the bathroom... Home Depot does have bathrooms taht you can use and most of the time they are clean...unless some decides to crap their pants and then throw their dirty underwear all over the mens room.
  63. [Submitted 4/20/06] The self check out is lousy. Most of the time it will tell you, Please remove the non scaned Item in the bagging area. It seems the person running it spends more time with it not working properly. They need to get rid of it.
  64. [Submitted 4/20/06] They never have enough carts. I always end up spending Five To ten min waiting for some one to come out of the store with one of the large metal carts that you need to carry 2X4'& plywood on, They never seem to have enough of them even when business in slow that day.
  65. [Submitted 4/20/06] Dont order anything special Order, You will be old when it arrives
Sorry, no longer accepting submissions.