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Home Depot casts out handyman from paradise

(Note: this story is categorized under "Dumb Criminals," but "Dumb Crime" might be a better description.)

Home Depot sounds like it could learn a lesson from banks: if you don't want your pens and pencils taken, chain 'em down.

In Methuen, Massachusetts, a contractor went into a Home Depot to buy some supplies. Michael Panorelli paid over a hundred bucks for some lumber, then left. He was stopped by security, however, and brought back in, when it turns out he had taken more wood than he had paid for.

Namely, a well-used pencil he had borrowed from an employee, then pocketed.

Mr. Panorelli is now banned from any and all Home Depots for a year for the cardinal sin of "getting the lead out," and Home Depot will probably lose his business for far longer. The guy with him says he won't ever go back there.

And I gotta say that I'm a bit concerned about setting foot in there myself.

(It should be noted that Home Depot would not confirm the details of the story, and the letter Panorelli received merely said "merchandise" without naming the item or cost -- in this case, the pencil was worth $0.41 new, and had been used.)

Update: Link removed, as story expired. Dang these daily newspapers that wipe everything every day...)

Update II: The Wrath of Remy Logan: Another media outlet has covered the story, and Home Depot has backed down. Link to the latest developments above.


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Comments (11)

...I fear that Home Depot h... (Below threshold)
leelu:

...I fear that Home Depot has become the new Sony in terms of customer service. In the last year or so, I've seen the knowledgable folks who worked there replaced by people who don't really seem to give a s**t. Now, some of the former employees are starting to turn up at the Lowe's down the street.

Last time I went in to H.D., there were 3 people behind the Customer Service counter, and one customer. Two were helping the customer, and the third was looking everywhere except at me. I finally dropped what I was holding, and walked out.

They seem to ignore the fact that there *are* competitors who can and will offer better service at about the same price. Too bad.

LOWES!!... (Below threshold)
MQ:

LOWES!!

Ditto leelu - used to alway... (Below threshold)
sabrina:

Ditto leelu - used to always shop at HD because of excellent employees always eager to help - now the service is horrible. Seems like they all went to Lowes, whose service used to be horrible but is now what I used to expect from HD.

<a href="http://cbs4boston.... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

Link to the Home Depot story that Jay Tea refuses to go out and find for us. I'll tell ya', the customer service here at Wizbang has been going to the dogs lately. If you guys don't shape up Im a gonna take my business to a different blog.

Lowes, indeed.... (Below threshold)

Lowes, indeed.

It's now LOWES for me after... (Below threshold)
jocrazy0:

It's now LOWES for me after a HD snafu on a 10% coupon for bathroom fixtures they wouldn't honor because in the fine print it said 'bath remodel project'. Only they did not define 'project' anywhere in their ad. HD gleefully disallowed a discount on the over $200 of fixtures I was ready to buy because it didn't meet the definition of a 'project'. When asked, a project is anything over $500. Where was this in the ad? Nowhere that I OR ANY OF THEIR EMPLOYEES could find in the ad. The store manager wouldn't even budge. I left the cart with the fixtures and told the manager I would not ever buy from HD again. So far this year I have spent in excess of $3000 in remodel projects...all purchased from LOWES. How does a customer vote? With their feet. Thanks HD for your excellent customer service!

Outrageous!Shop at... (Below threshold)
jack:

Outrageous!

Shop at the neighborhood lumberyard - that probably gives pencils away.

The original owners retired... (Below threshold)
Josh Davenport:

The original owners retired, and the thing is now run by bean counters.

Hey, the bottom line is king, I don't disagree. But suits have no soul, and corporations run by them adopt their spirit.

I've been spending my money at local stores. Now don't get me wrong: Small doesn't deserve special protection just because its small. But small and local are delivering a form of wealth to me that the big boys are not; respect, customer service, knowing my name, and a sense of community.

If those are not things one cares about, that's fine by me. I'm not advocating using the coercion of the state to force it. Whenever the state does that, you lose both the price advanage of the big boys and the customer service of the locals.

But I'm playing my part. As long as Haughton's hardware down the street has great service and reasonable prices, I'm giving them my business. Screw Home Depot.

Jack,Here in SoCal... (Below threshold)
leelu:

Jack,

Here in SoCal, they're gone. We have a choice between HD and Lowes for serious quantities of lumber. After that, you have the OSH and Ace hardsware stores, who carry a few sticks here & there, but not enough for a project (even a *small* one).

If I could find one, I'd try it.

Josh.. you go, guy!

I'm another former Home Dep... (Below threshold)
Jim:

I'm another former Home Depot customer. My experience at Home Depot If I can't find it in a local hardware store or lumberyard, I'll go to Lowes. In fact, we want to put in a French door and I told my wife to look in Lowes and forget HD.

I am a former Home Depot em... (Below threshold)
J Owens:

I am a former Home Depot employee that worked at the pro desk. All of the pros that worked underneath me were systematically fired because they made too much money (80 years experience walked out the door.) They then had me computer train 3 teenage girls and promptly fired me. I discourage everbody from feeding that monster.




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