Home Depot, I am done with you!

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    I thought I would give H.D. another chance today, but, alas, they let me down again.

    I have a broken collarbone. I needed to get out of the house and shop for some paint supplies and a new garden hose. After finishing shopping, I looked for an open check stand, only to be routed to the self check-out. And after being made to feel like a lazy ass, one of the H.D. people finally checked me out. Asking to speak with the manager, I was told he was at lunch. Great excuse.

    Is it so damn hard to run a store with a regular checkout?



    The regular check stands are almost always closed…so annoying!



    I’m with you: I hate those self-checkouts and it is one more reason I do not go to QFC. But HD, in particular, is problematic because the system is designed for you to scan an item and put it in the bag. Even if you don’t want the bag, it wants to see you put it in the bag. But about 50% of they sell does not fit in the bag. You can’t put a 2×4 in the bag! Bad HD, bad.



    I hate the HD self checkout too. I try to only use it if I have small items like lightbulbs but they usually only have the self checkout open.

    I like the self check at Fred Meyer, it has an option. “oversize return item to cart”



    I don’t mind it at QFC, in fact I prefer self check out there because lines are always so long. But even there, there almost always ends up being some dumb reason that I have to wait for help anyway…often times the computer doesn’t believe I scanned my last item, even when it shows on the screen and I put it in the bag…grrr.



    I really get irritated when there are ZERO normal checkstands open and only self-check is available. Some people, like the OP, need assistance. Also, some people (like me at times) take FOREVER to use the SC because of produce or having to swipe items upteen times before it actually scans… and in the end it takes 2-3x longer than if a clerk checked me.

    SC should be there for people with limited items (5 or less) that can breeze through the line and get out of the store. It should be a convenience to the customer, but 9/10 times it’s a hassle.



    I talked to the store manager at Home Depot about this same problem two years ago. He sympathized, but blamed it on HQ for not giving him enough staff (i.e., cost cutting.)

    I wrote the central office, explaining that they should always ALWAYS have at least one or two manned checkstands open.

    —Never heard back.

    They’re Home Depot.

    They don’t care

    They don’t HAVE to care.

    (They buy nails by the container-shipful.)



    Home Depot’s self-checkouts are particularly poorly designed. And the massive inventory of a store like that easily overwhelms them and makes them sluggish at best.

    So instead of the added efficiency of having four additional checkouts without the labor cost of four cashiers (great for Home Depot’s shareholders), you end up with four customers waiting at a terminal that says “Wait for Attendant” while one over-worked clerk has to run around solving problems. From a customer perspective, it really doesn’t seem like the best way to serve me. But I guess these are the consequences of the universal race to the bottom on prices.



    Just a tip…there’s usually someone at the garden dept. check stand outside (at least in my experience).



    Home Depot blows…which is why I shop more local…I love the No self check at Alki Lumber…They will always provide hands-on & direct service to their customers…decidedly low-tech too…

    The pencils, order ticktets, and calculator option may be “slow” to some…but the computer will never go down there…



    This is why I go to McLendon.



    Last time I asked someone in the garden department at the Delridge HD to help me he threw himself down on a chair and had a baby tantrum because he didn’t want to have to help customers. It was unbelievable.

    The self checkout thing sucks. Safeway just installed them, and they have cut employee’s hours as a result. Yesterday the checker begged me to use the human checkouts so that they could keep their jobs.



    It’s interesting about the Safeway checkouts. Do you remember years ago they tried them as ‘early adopters’? I guess they didn’t go over well with the customers and the store took them out. I kind of like them when I only have a few things or no coupons.


    I love mcLendon’s and try to shop there as much as I can. The only reason I went to H.D. was I knew they had a “heat gun” and “hose reel” on sale.

    No matter how much I save, it still will not make up for customer service and knowlegable staff.



    Love McLendon’s too!! They are always so helpful ;) As busy as Safeway was this weekend (all lines, regular and self) and as long as the lines were, how can they even think of getting rid of people!? Crazy. I dig the self check out as long as it works properly, which so far is hit and miss wherever I go. But ya, the all self check out at the Depot blows!



    Oh ya, and if that employee at HD ever reacts like that to me for requesting they do their job and help me, he better get ready for the customer from he’ll…MB don’t play that!



    365stairs: and, as an added bonus, the guys at alki lumber make you feel like an idiot and a rank amateur – even if you’re a professional!


    i’m only half-kidding. some of those guys are pretty surly.



    Ahhh, remember the “olden days” when QFC was independent and they would open a new cashier any time there were more than three people in line? Sniff, sniff…



    So we all agree: Just say no to self checkout.

    PCC, Metro Market, Morgan Thriftway are all cool with the # of checkers vs. # of customers.


    tom kelley

    I often use the self-checkout at HD and really appreciate it for saving me from dealing with the incompetent people who work there.

    My biggest complaint, however, is spending a half an hour picking what I need only to find an item critical to the completion of my project to be out of stock. Infuriating!!! For example; 1/2 to 3/8 valve, 1/2″ copper coupler, 1/2″ conduit connector. These are basic items. I once asked an employee where could I find visquine. “Is that a kind of wood?”, he asked. I have been going into HD since the week it opened and have never been acknowledge as a returning customer or anything other than a stranger or nuisance. This in spite of the fact that I have learned the names of some employees’ and address them routinely by name.

    In keeping with WSB guidelines I should mention that I have taken my complaints to management and was listened to with indifference. I e-mailed their corporate HQ and received no response.

    I know someone is going to post, “Well you don’t have to go there.” True. But it’s less than four minutes from my house and I’ve mastered the self-checkout so I’m in and out, dealing with no one.



    Generally, I absolutely love self checkout. I can’t stand watching cashiers pack my items in 8 bags when I could do it in 2, packing cans on top of eggs, etc. I am faster and more efficient in packing, so I’d rather just do it myself than bitch at the job that they did.

    That being said, I don’t think HD is the place for self-checkout as a rule. Many of their items are large and unwieldly, need special attention, and then you can’t even continue through the lane to exit, you’ve got to back up (through the line of people waiting) to get out of the store. Very odd setup.



    i don’t like going in HD, either. i’d rather keep the dollars local.

    but, sue, what do you mean back up? you take a hard right through the self-checkout lanes, past the ends of the regular check stands, and out the exit.



    redblack, I’m always parked near the other entrance/exit (since most of my purchases are from that side of the store), so I don’t want to keep going out of my way to the other exit.



    i used to spend a fair amount of time in home depot but stopped when they stopped supplying checkers.

    Occasionally i visit a home depot on the other side of town that still has checkers…

    but for the most part i find i don’t miss them.



    that’s funny, sue. i was going to mention that i always park by the exit, and walk farther to the entrance – or use the lumber entrance – since i might be coming out with stuff. you know, stuff from the “guy” end of the store. stuff like concrete. and bolts. and 10′ long pressure-treated 2×8’s.

    feel the testosterone!

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