Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Depot Warning

I'm not confident this stock will continue going up. Sure there is a need for supplies to rebuild in the USA and the Canadian market is still puttering along but when you google reviews there is a brewing discontent coming from their base. To me that is always a worrying sign.

When I research a company I always look at the base. What I am not seeing are lots of glowing reports. Instead the majority are coming from people who are very unhappy. The anger is spread out over the full spectrum of their business. Everything from service in the stores and I can attest to that one, to product, warranties, and financial services. This was not like that 2 years ago.

Even more troubling (Copied verbatim):
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! BEWARE OF HOME DEPOT IN HOME INSTALLATION SERVICES! Please don't just take my word for it. I found these when I was going through *** with Homedepot when they tried to ripp me off on a couple of installations and my elderly mom who is 82 yrs old.
If an average handyman or contractor tried to do Home Depot tried to do to me, that contractor would most likely lose their licenses and possibly be brought up on contractor fraud charges. Unfortunately they have a lot of protection with a name Home Depot and shady policys that keep them leaning over the line with out crossing it as far as a court of law may be concerned. But be very careful with them. Luckily they did not succeed in ripping me off but they came close and if I did not know better about building and materials I would have been a victim
Shame on them. If you are a contractor BOYCOT them because now they are a competitor. If your just doing work around your house BOYCOT them for ripping off innocent people.They may try to sell you a roof if you don't need one. They may try to do the bait and switch tactic and get you in on one price and charge the *** out of you for any prep work. They will try to get you to pay for prep work to be done when in fact you don't need the work done. They skip out on taking any responsibility for thesefraudulent actions by saying that they use subcontactors. But really they are hired through Home Depot are paid by Home Depot, and recieve training by Home Depot so really their subcontractors are just their so the company doesn't have to take responsibility. 
My advice to anyone is forget about using the kitchen designers to plan your cabinets in kitchens. Good chance they will get the dimensions wrong and/or screw up your order at least once if your lucky. The quality of the materials and merchandise at the Home Depot now sells has slowly but consistently gotten worse. Good luck finding someone who's actually knowledgeable about anything in the department there working. There are a few, but just a few. Don't rely on the website or rely on calling the store prior to going there to check if an item is in stock. The inventory is constantly screwed up. Good chance if you ask an employee to physically go and check to see if the items on the shelf they will lie to you and say it is, when really all they do is look on the computer. The only time you will get any kind of satisfactory customer service is when the district managers are in town. There is at least one condescending arrogant know it all in each department whose knowledge is mediocre at best. Also if you buy something on special order and go there to pick it up they say to call two hours prior to arriving so they could get the order together. Never once have they had the order ready when I had got there. Most times the order was combined with somebody else's order or missing items in my order. 

I could post an array of comments like this that would make you think twice about buying this stock. I also have my own personal experiences that suggest the company is pushing the edge of reason to get the most out of everything that they can. While this is good for the moment it heralds a catastrophe to come. Does anyone remember what TD Bank did to it's customers a decade ago? It got so bad that they had to join with another bank with real hours of service just to try rebrand itself.

Home Depot is crapping on its customers now. How long will it take before the backlash sets in? In my experience, see above, it will probably play out by the end of this year. Once it sets in it's very hard to reverse. Canadian Tire tried the TD route too. If you remember, you couldn't find a rep in a store to save your life. We all saw what that did.

I'm putting the warning out on this stock today. There is an alarming rise in the number of complaints. If you take the time to read many of them you will notice the severity of the anger is growing. In my opinion the company thinks it can get away with these abuses because of the nature of the demand situation. The problem with this is that history has taught us is that a buck today can cost you five tomorrow.

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