Big Box Stores – how to complain

I love Home Depot. I just do! This big box store has everything you could possibly need for any home/cottage or rental project and more for that matter. By the way I don’t work there! 🙂

I want to share with you that no matter how big the business is, or how big the big box store is, how to complain and how you complain is essential in resolving any issue that may arise with any store or business.

My wife and I chose Home Depot to purchase our kitchen and have it installed out of all the other big box stores. Our kitchen looks amazing if I do say so myself. We love it!

I have learned that in life if something goes 100% smoothly then that is a lucky day. Be thankful. That doesn’t mean I’m always expecting the worse, I remain positive until there is cause to complain or negotiate a resolution.

Our kitchen experience did not go 100% smoothly but we still recommend Home Depot because of how they made things right. I will add my complaint letter I sent to Home Depot at the bottom of this post for your reference on how to complain effectively.

Sometimes people, I have found, just settle as they don’t think complaining will work, or they just aren’t that good at how to complain. Hence my website as I don’t want people to settle. I want to help you! I want any big box store, big business or small business to get better as people complain. This helps us all.

Many of my friends and family have often shared their own stories about poor customer service or products. I ask what they did about it. Some complained but the majority settled!

In the case with our kitchen there was a couple of issues while it was installed and delivered. These issues were not the end of the world but I said why should I just accept these issues. We were spending a substantial amount of money, so why settle?

I sent an email to Home Depot. (see below) Take note that I followed my 5 essential rules of how to complain as follows :

  • Ask yourself, “do i have a valid complaint?”
  • Know what your goal is.
  • Know who to complain to.
  • Make detailed notes and log conversations.
  • Be polite, professional and use your manners.

Home Depot stepped up and sent us an additional 45 feet of crown moulding. No charge!! Thank you Home Depot! 

Take note please that in the email I mention I am prepared to cover the cost to complete the crown moulding. I was prepared to do that and planned to, but I didn’t as friends did it, so I was not out any money.




From:  my name and email
Sent: February 11, 2011 1:47 PM
To: 7024, Expeditor
Subject: name- Re: my name and address
Hello xxxxx:
First of all I would like to comment on our experience with Home Depot since we started in planning and installing our kitchen.
Xxxxx was professional and knowledgeable from the very beginning. She was patient with changes that we made during the planning stages and made many good suggestions herself.
Setting up timing for the install with you was easy, efficient and seamless.
The install itself was professional as well and installer’ name Xxx was polite to deal with and for the most part paid very close attention to detail.
At that point in the process I would recommend Home Depot for kitchen purchases and installations 100% by way of positive word of mouth business.
The quality of Kraft Maid I feel is very good. It is unfortunate that initially 3 cupboard doors were warped and as a result we were inconvenienced through the delay in getting new cupboard doors shipped out and then installed again. Once that occurred there still remained 2 replacement doors were still warped. Again a further inconvenience until it was ultimately reshipped and finally installed by a Kraft Maid agent.
Understanding that Home Depot does not manufacture the doors or cabinets it still is a negative reflection on Home Depot as clearly they choose who supplies their stores. This was an inconvenience; however, we accepted it as part of the process and Home Depot did their best to expedite the solution to the problem.
The issue with the installation of the crown mold at the ceiling and the joining of the crown mold over the 14′ span is a further issue. Speaking to trades people/installers/carpenters and from personal experience a mitre cut joining two pieces of trim is almost always preferred as opposed to a butt cut. Why Xxx installer’ name  chose the later I don’t know or understand.
I understand the ceiling is not perfect and that the crown molding did not sit perfectly. The gap to be simply filled by numerous coats of caulking until it is filled is unacceptable. Over time the caulking will deteriorate especially being so wide. My understanding is that there are techniques in adjusting angles cut on the crown molding to eliminate or minimize the gap to the ceiling thus minimal caulking is required. Why Xxx installer’s name does not know these techniques or chose not to use them I don’t understand.
Your offer to replace the crown molding for the 14 foot span where the butt cut is is appreciated.
Your offer for Xxx installer’s name   to attend and do the mitre cut and finish/repair the gap is appreciated.
We have spent thousands of dollars with Home Depot and thousands of dollars with our contractors. Our kitchen is perfect, save and except the above two listed problems. These problems are an eye sore and quite frankly looks like a do-it-yourselfer mistake. I don’t have the confidence that Xxx installer’s name  will repair this to our satisfaction based on the initial installation.
I am prepared to use my contractors to ensure the kitchen is finished to the same level as the rest of it. This of course will be at my cost, a cost I should not have had to incur. Ultimately to be satisfied 100% it is something I feel we must do.
The time frame that has occurred since this has been brought to Home Depot’s attention leaves a little to be desired as again we as the consumer are unnecessarily inconvenienced through no fault of our own. I do appreciate you do take days off and aren’t always around to respond but perhaps there is some sort of practice to be put in place to expedite such problems.
What is Home Depot prepared to do, taking everything into consideration, to restore our confidence in the entire process? We want to share positive word of mouth business for the entire process with family and friends as we entertain in our kitchen.
Xxx  you advised on the phone that you already were ordering two 8′ sections of crown molding to repair the butt cut area. Thank you, I think that is reasonable.
The piece over the sink will need to be replaced as we will not just fill it in with caulking, we will have it cut with different angles. As a result another 8′ section needs to be ordered.
Finally as we are incurring additional installation costs and inconvenienced, I think it is quite reasonable for Home Depot to order an additional amount of crown molding to complete our kitchen. On the surface this may seem to be overboard. I would disagree as by taking care of a problem and doing the right thing ensures our loyalty, repeat business and positive word of mouth business.
Forty five additional feet of crown molding at Home Depot’s expense is not an everyday occurrence and nor should it be, in this case I respectfully suggest and request it is reasonable.
Please let us know.
Thank you,
Xxx xxx