Blacklisted from Home Depot

We are in the middle of a semi-DIY remodel.  It’s only partially DIY since my husband is working alongside our contractor.  We’ve purchased all the materials ourselves and pay our contractor for his labor.  While there are times that I think my spouse may slow down the process, he’s in home improvement heaven and has learned a tremendous amount of skills that should earn him some sort of Handy Man badge at the end of this.

A week ago, we finished two bathroom remodels.  Rather than keep the leftover materials from the bathrooms, just in case we’d need it for the kitchen, I decided that it made more financial sense to return the materials to Home Depot.  For one, it’s the holidays and the refunded money could be used for the small Christmas we’re planning.  But more importantly, there was a possibility that we wouldn’t be able to meet Home Depot’s 90-day return policy if we held on to things for too long.

Armed with a binder full of over 100 receipts and a truck load of materials, my husband set off to our local Home Depot to begin the returns.  I didn’t think it would be a problem since we had all the receipts.  Everything that we were returning was return-able in Home Depot’s return policy.

My spouse and a Home Depot clerk spent nearly two hours making the returns.  The clerk went one receipt at a time, even if there was only one $2.99 item to be returned, charged that back to our credit card, and started on the next receipt.  They were down to a few item remaining that they just couldn’t find on the receipts.  Every receipt was there… but when you’ve purchased nearly five thousand dollars of materials over the course of six weeks, it can be hard to keep track of it all.  All the big items were accounted for and credited.  But the small things, the 49 cent bolt or the two dollar hinge were harder for them to track.  So they put those things into a pile and decided that it would be easier to just get a store credit on those.

And that’s when it happened.  When the clerk went to return the last items, he got a system error.  And this *lovely* little novel spit out on receipt paper with an explanation that we had exceed the number of returns Home Depot allots for a customer.  My husband would be blacklisted from making any Home Depot returns for a period of 90 days.

It didn’t matter that we had receipts.  It didn’t matter that these items were all eligible to be returned under their policy.

My husband talked to a store manager who told him there was nothing they could do.  My husband would be blacklisted from Home Depot.  We would have to call in 90 days to get removed from their naughty list.  At least Santa gives you coal in your stocking if your naughty.  On this list, I’m stuck with materials that I already purchased but ultimately don’t need.

Mind you, this limit on the number of refund transactions isn’t posted anywhere at the store.

With a return policy of 90 days and a blacklist of 90 days, Home Depot is forcing us to keep their merchandise whether we want it or not.  Well played, Home Depot, well played.

While we plan our kitchen remodel, we know we can’t rely on Home Depot to be our supplier of choice.  I guess now we’ll have to shop at Lowes.

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  1. December 6, 2012
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