Monday, June 14, 2010

Martha Monday--Home Depot vs. Lowe's

Recently, Martha Stewart introduced a new line of paint available only at Home Depot stores.  This latest product lines joins a wide variety of other merchandise sold there, including outdoor furniture, rugs, cleaning products and organization solutions.

Sigh. I'm not pleased with this...I'm not a big Home Depot fan.  I prefer Lowe's.

In past years, the TMI household shopped at Home Depot quite a bit not because we were huge fans of the chain, but because of the proximity of the store to our home and the wide range of products they offered. The customer service has never impressed us. 

Since we've moved to Aurora, we now have options:  the Home Depot and Lowe's are the same distance from our house. In fact, the two stores are right across the street from each other.  Product-wise, they both offer pretty much the same type and quality of stuff.  The stores are also pretty comparable price-wise.  However, the customer service at Lowe's is a gazillion times better than at Home Depot, at least in my neck of the woods. 

At Home Depot, the employees practically run away from customers and when you do catch one to ask a question, they say it's "not their department" and shuffle off to find someone else who will be equally adept at avoiding you.  At Lowe's, the employees are knowledgeable, friendly and eager to help. 

Example:  last March, we had a ceiling fan installed in the family room.  Our family room is large (20' x 20') and almost as tall.  Being creatures of habit, we went to Home Depot to shop for a fan.  After an excrutiating time of waiting for a salesperson in the fan/light department, we finally found one guy who seemed confident in his knowledge of the product. We picked a fan and asked the salesperson if we needed to buy an extension rod to distance the fan from the ceiling. 

"No need for that," the salesguy explained.  "It's included in the package."  He assured us that everything we needed was there, and all we had to do was install it.  Long story short: we did need an extender, which I didn't find out until the electrician was in my house to install the thing.  I had to run out in the freezing cold with my toddler to Home Depot, leaving a complete stranger alone in my house with my possessions and my dog, only to discover that Home Depot DIDN'T KEEP EXTENSION RODS IN STOCK.  I ran across the street to Lowe's, where they not only had extention rods in stock but the two salesmen took the time to match the color and get me all the parts I needed.  They were so helpful and very nice.

Of course, I'm leaving out the part of the story where the ceiling fan light cover had to be ordered, which the Home Depot people said they would take care of and have it shipped to our house, only to have it delayed for weeks because at first no one ordered it, then they said we hadn't paid for it, even though we had a receipt saying we did, and then it was shipped to the store instead of our house, and no one bothered to call us to let us know where it was.  This experience was so bad that we made a conscious choice to buy the foyer chandelier at Lowe's. 

Since that unfortunate incident last March, I've avoided the Home Depot. Sure, I stop in now and then for a particular sale item, but my major home improvement purchases have all been at Lowe's.  I'm greeted as I walk in the door, employees will walk with me to find the items I need rather than just pointing in the general direction and wishing me luck, and they are all knowledgeable within their departments.  

Martha, please, reconsider your store partners.  Give Lowe's a try.  And after you've made that switch, we can talk about moving your crafts line from Michael's to JoAnn Fabrics.  Trust me, will be a very good thing.  


Anonymous said...

huh. It's just the opposite with the stores here in Peoria. We still go to Lowe's but only when we know exactly what we're doing and buying. L

Amanda said...

Same here... The Lowe's in Schaumburg is awful. All that I needed were bolts and nuts for my picnic table. I just needed someone to show me where to find them because I had the old one with me to match it. It took me ten minutes to get someone to help me because four different people behind the hardware counter looked at me and ran away as I started to ask my question. The guy I did find was lame, but at least I got what I needed eventually. I only went there because I don't know where the Home Depot around here is. Before I moved it was the only store I would shop at.

And I like Michael's. The new one by Woodfield is awesome... although I'm a Hobby Lobby fan too :)

HomeDepotJean said...


My name is Jean and I work at The Home Depot. I came across your blog post on Martha Monday – Home Depot vs. Lowes. I was sorry to hear about the experience you had buying a ceiling fan and the customer service you’ve been getting at your store. Could you give me the location of the store you shop so I could give your feedback to the store manager?

I would love to see if we can fix some of the issues and earn your business back. Especially since we will be announcing even more Martha product this Fall that I would love for you to see.

Please feel free to email me at

Amanda said...

Laura and Amanda, how odd! Maybe I've just had bad luck with Home Depot. Still, in the Aurora area, my preference is Lowe's.

Jean, I will be emailing you soon. Thanks for looking at my blog! :)