Much to my surprise, I received a call from friendly Kurt at the Home Depot on Sunday afternoon (a customer service call on a Sunday!).
I calmly and rationally explained my experience, and told Kurt my major disappointment was in the fact that they couldn’t do a straight exchange for the item, requiring me to a) subject myself to further inconvenience with the shipping company and b) wait 3-4 weeks to actually receive my (hopefully undamaged) product.
Kurt listened politely and we chatted and settled a few things.
1. The shipping company (contracted by UPS) is supposed to offer everyone a 30 minute delivery window up until 7:00pm Monday-Friday. Not mentioning that and then showing up over an hour late is completely unacceptable. Home Depot just dumped Purolator for similar issues, and will be launching a formal complaint with UPS because of this.
2. My feedback on their return policy has been recorded and will be passed on, for whatever that’s worth. They are currently working on an inventory interface that will allow homedepot.ca orders to be facilitated through local stores, but they’re not there yet. Fair enough. Because of my feedback and situation, Kurt assured me that though it’s not their policy at this time, they’ll ensure my exchange is quick and easy (and not requiring multiple shipments) or facilitate the pickup and issue me a credit for the order.
3. As an additional good faith measure by Home Depot, I have also been offered 10% off my next order online up to $100. When all I was expecting was for someone to hear and acknowledge my complaint, and to fix the situation, the additional offer to incent me to shop again at homedepot.ca (and hopefully have a better experience) was unexpected, welcome, and really smart on their end.
And how did I manage to complain my way into this? I had a valid issue, I politely and immediately asked the lowest rung on the call centre ladder to either speak to someone, or have them call me back as soon as possible about my issue, and I stuck to the facts, rather than the emotion behind my the delay in having my precious yuppy wine fridge (because even I wouldn’t take me seriously if I were whining about that). There’s no point in trying to deal with the person who answers the phone, and sometimes the person with the decision making power to help you isn’t available right away. The more polite you are in trying to get to the right person, the faster that usually happens, and the more amenable they usually are to talking with you.
So far so good Home Depot. You’re nearly forgiven. We’ll see how this all plays out and I’ll update again with the final resolution.