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When you encounter a product .....

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When you encounter a product .....

Postby LeeInEdmonton » Sep 09, 2012 6:08 pm

that is impossible to open without damaging the plastic package.... unless you have bought it on previous occasions & are familiar with the product don't buy it. I used to think that those iron clad products were packaged in that manner to prevent pilfering. Ive changed my mind & now think it is to prevent the customer from returning a poorly designed & or a crappy product. I have been suckered a couple of times & all were encased in heavy duty plastic ....so no more. I am either able to closely examine the product or it can stay with the retailer & I will do without but my money still in my wallet. :lol:

Lee
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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby Heidi S » Sep 09, 2012 6:42 pm

Lee, Darling, you are stuttering! Not that I haven't double posted myself, tee hee!

On your topic, I happen to work at Home Depot, and we always accept returns even if the packaging has suffered a meltdown or explosion, if you have the original receipt and bring the damaged packaging with you. We do not blame the customer for a lousy package design, in my experience. Hopefully other retailers are the same!
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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby LeeInEdmonton » Sep 09, 2012 8:14 pm

Hi Heidi: Ive had a couple of bad experiences with Home Depot. I bought a thickness planer while in the process of re-organizing my garage/workshop. It took me longer than I anticipated & by the time I got to setting up the new thickness planer it was a couple of days beyond 3 mos. after I bought it. Guess what.There were parts missing & the store did not have them. Did I get a refund..no. I got a credit to purchase a replacement. Problem is....the replacement they had in stock was a couple of hundred bucks more than I paid for the one short of parts. I'm quite certain the money that I paid them 3 mos. previously did not go bad or was suddenly worth less. Have never bought a woodworking tool there again.
Shopper's Drug Mart are not gracious about refunds....almost make you feel like a criminal during the refund process.
Lee Valley Tools should put together a book on customer relations & sell it to outfits like Home Depot & Shoppers Drug Mart, or Super Store(especially).

Lee
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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby B_BQ » Sep 09, 2012 9:02 pm

I no longer give Shopper's Drug Mart any business. Their customer service is the pits, at least at one store here where I live. I've written to the head office, with a copy each time to the store in question, and I've had all the usual responses, but nothing ever changed. They don't get our business any more and I've let them know. Whether their service is any better I don't know, but I doubt it. I'm sure that my piddly couple of hundred dollars a year has no impact on their bottom line.
You're right about Lee Valley. Let's hope they don't get so successful that they don't give a d*mn! So far so good. They are a breath of fresh air.
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South/Central Ontario

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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby Ron Evers » Sep 09, 2012 9:38 pm

No disrespect for Lee Valley here but I do think their profit margins cover the exceptional customer service.
Ron.

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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby LeeInEdmonton » Sep 09, 2012 10:07 pm

With respect to Lee Valley I have found some things more expensive but other items less expensive. When more expensive is involved the quality of the product is often better than elsewhere. An example of less expensive...Myrt is a quilter & of course uses a rotary cutter. The LV cutter blade is $ 4.95 & of better quality than those sold elsewhere for almost double the cost. So it is hard to compare because the comparisom is not apples to apples.

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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby Eeyore » Sep 09, 2012 10:28 pm

Lee, whenever you encounter a situation such as missing parts and the seller can't or won't help contact the manufacturer. They are usually quite willing to provide the missing parts.
Lyn
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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby LeeInEdmonton » Sep 09, 2012 11:12 pm

That is usually the case Lyn however this was Home Depot in South Edmonton Common & they were totally enamored with the fact that it was a couple of days past the 3 mo. limit that Home Depot has set for a cash refund. I suggested that they order the missing parts from the manufacturer but they could give no time frame as to how long it would take. They were also pretty negative throughout the discussion & were hardly helpful. Typical of U.S. owned box stores. Now when I want hardware I go to Rona where the quality is quite good & the pricing competitive.
I will give you another example of Home Depot customer service. I wanted some 1 x 4 pressure treated boards. The flat at floor level was empty however, another flat was stored on the upper topmost shelf & needed to be lowered by forklift. Nobody available that was certified to operate the forklift. I went to Home Hardware to fill my needs.Another reason I don't darken the doors of Home Depot stores. Why go there only to have to go elsewhere to fill your needs ?

Lee
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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby Heidi S » Sep 10, 2012 2:00 am

Well, Lee, in the store I've been working for, we do our level best to solve our customers' problems, so I am sorry to hear of your troubles.

I went to work for my store, after being a customer for the eight years since it opened. I didn't find everything I needed in every case, and continue to purchase stuff elsewhere when I find I cannot get what I need in my store. But overall, I have been satisfied with the experience both as a customer and as an employee over the last 2 years.

I do know we replace or refund (in cash or by credit note), items that are not complete or functional after purchase. We look in our online stock to solve out-of-stock issues ( we are a remotely-located store - nearest one to us is Kamloops which is 500 km away) and even make recommendations to customers for other businesses in town who might have a better solution or product if we can't solve it. The most recent shift I worked, I helped a customer who had a problem with a missing bolt package from a product - we found the list of bolts from a complete carton,gathered all the bolts and nuts from our own stock in the hardware aisle - wrote them off and handed them to the customer so he could assemble his purchase.

The difficulty with our ordering missing parts, is that IF we can actually order them (and often we are told by the manufacturer the stores can not) they will eventually filter through the shipping system to us, but we have absolutely no control of how long it takes. This is the method all product is shipped, and the store does not have any ability to alter it. So we literally do not know when the part will arrive. It works similarly in all large chains of any product type. Believe me, it frustrates us at the store too. That is one of the prices you pay to have lower cost items on the shelf. Centralized purchasing and shipping to keep costs down as low as possible.

Another poster is correct however, and we do suggest this to our customers, calling the manufacturer directly often works better and quicker than us trying to do it for you. Literally, the customer gets better service than we do from the manufacturer.

There is no consumer legislation that I am aware of in this country that says businesses have to give you a cash refund at any time. If product is faulty, stores can repair, replace or refund (by cash or credit note), at the stores' discretion. Every company has its own return policy and 30 days is most common, others up to 60, 90 or even 120 days. Unfortunately, you discovered your problem later vs. earlier. You did get a credit note - so you have not lost your money - lots of stores never give cash refunds even one day after your purchase.

So vote with your shopping dollars and go to the store that makes you feel right about your purchase - but realize there is always the other view to the story. Retailers work on very tight margins to serve their customers. The store I work in listens carefully to customer comments on our on-line surveys, performs mystery shops continuously and tries hard to find solutions for customer problems. And remember that all stores are run by us humans, and we humans sometimes fail to meet everyone's expectations 100% of the time.

I really do hope you have found the solution to your tool problem! Me, I have had problems getting stuff right from Lee Valley up here in Northern BC. They are pretty good most of the time, but when they blow it, they can come right off the rails too! These days, if I really want something from them, I wait til I get to Vancouver and try to get it from the store itself, that way I can get the problem solved before I hit the road back home.
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Re: When you encounter a product .....

Postby LeeInEdmonton » Sep 10, 2012 7:16 am

I agree with your comments Heidi & hope Home Depot appreciates you. However, Edmonton with a market of over a million people seems to have retailers that treat their customers shabbily & because of this Edmonton must be the retailing armpit of North America. Of course the customer's themselves must share the blame. For years, Edmonton has been the dumping ground where National Retailers dump junk that has not sold well anywhere else. When I had occasion to travel on business you could for example walk into a Sears store in Vancouver & not help but notice that overall quality of merchandise was better than that in the Sears Stores in Edmonton BUT no more expensive. No wonder the parking lot at Wal Mart stores are almost always full in Edmonton. Ditto for Dollar Stores. If your going to be satisfied with junk products then by all means shop at those stores....at least they are not demanding top dollar for their junk & your expectations should coincide with where you have chosen to shop.

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