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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It Started with a Letter

Last week, I sent the following letter via email to several people at Home Depot, both locally and at their corporate headquarters.  I also sent several copies to executives at Milliken, a company that makes carpet tile:

To Whom it May Concern:

In  the fall of 2005, I purchased Milliken carpet tiles for use in my “kid bedroom”, as the kid in question was three years old and I figured between Play-Doh, nail polish, and the odd uncapped marker, it would be prudent to use a floor covering that could be replaced in sections.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to look so great.   But it did, and I ended up ordering a different color for my own bedroom.  A couple months later, we got around to redoing the living room.  I didn’t think the carpet tiles would be the best choice for this area, as the room is fairly large and we had a long hallway and the area around the front door to do as well.  The salesman at Home Depot assured us that not only was the carpet tile a great choice, it would hold up well to the traffic by the front door.  

The salesman was wrong.

When the carpet tile was delivered, we noticed right away that each piece curled up at the edges.  We called Home Depot but were told that it was just shipped with the cartons on their side, not flat as they should have been, and in the cold weather had molded that way.  We were assured that if we brought the carpet into the house (it was delivered to our garage) and let it sit for a couple days, it would flatten out.

Wrong again.

We wanted to send it back, but were told that since it was a special order, we were stuck. I told the person at Home Depot that I thought we got a bad run of carpet, since the other two colors we used didn’t look like this.  I was told, again, that I could not send it back.  Period.  So we cleared the room, mopped the plywood floor twice, waited overnight for the plywood to dry, ran the vacuum over it “just to be sure”, and proceeded to lay the carpet tile. 

It looked terrible.

Now, we had already used this product in two other rooms.  Those rooms looked great.  We didn’t think it was our technique, but we pulled it all up and started over.  It didn’t help.  We have a family friend who is very experienced at laying flooring of all kinds.  He agreed to come over and take a look.   First thing he said?  “You got a bad run of carpet!”  He loves Milliken carpet tile, by the way.  He said it was fast and easy to install, and a product that he had recommended many times.  But ours?  Not so much.   He checked the flooring underneath, he checked our cuts, he checked the measurements, he checked everything and advised us to replace it if we could afford to, and if not, to just tape it down.  He pointed out that we had significant shedding with this carpet, something we did not experience with the other rooms.

So I contacted Home Depot about the warranty.  They told me to contact the manufacturer.  I contacted Milliken, who advised me to deal with Home Depot for an exchange.  Home Depot reminded me that I was not eligible for an exchange since I ordered a color they do not carry in my local store.  Back to Milliken with no success.  We went back and forth a couple times, then I got cancer and my crappy looking carpet didn’t seem to matter.  Well, guess what?  I kicked cancer’s butt and now I’m back.   This carpet looks terrible.  It is matted, it sheds, oh, and that area by the front door that the salesman said would hold up to traffic?  Yeah.  He was so, so wrong about that.

So here’s the deal:  my time on this planet is precious and I will not waste any more of it bouncing between Home Depot and Milliken while y’all hope I get frustrated and give up.  I am sending one copy of this letter to Home Depot, and one to Milliken.  Y’all can go to lunch and figure out what you want to do to resolve this and let me know.  The stuff was supposed to have a ten year warranty so let me know what I need to do to claim it. 

Meanwhile, in two weeks, I will post a copy of this letter and any replies, or lack thereof, on my blog.  I will invite my blogger buddies to link to it, or copy it to their own blogs if they wish. It will take over cyberspace.  Everyone on the planet will hear this tale.   So, you know, you could come out looking like the heroes of customer service.  Or you could end up being the goats.  Your choice. 

Oh - and so you know?  The carpet in the two bedrooms still looks great.  We just got a bad run for the living room.  And I really, really wish you had worked with me when I first got it. 

As I said, I sent this via email.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting much.  I thought I might get ignored, or maybe someone would send us a Home Depot gift card with a couple hundred bucks on it.  Happily, I was very wrong.  By nine the next morning, I had two phone calls and three emails from Home Depot.  I had an email from Milliken, too, but they wanted all kinds of information I did not have on hand, such as the original purchase order number and the names of everyone I spoke to in 2005.  I have the receipts, somewhere, but I decided to start by calling Home Depot back.  I spoke with the manager of our local store, and I am very happy to report that I received a sincere apology and I will be getting new carpet for our living room, courtesy of Home Depot.  They are even going to pay for the installation.  Home Depot gets an A+ for customer service this time around.  It's going to benefit them a bit, too, as Walker decided to fess up that he hates our current color scheme and would really like to paint the walls, ceiling, and trim before we get the new carpet installed.  I shouldn't be surprised - he did the same thing with the bathroom when we had the new tub liner installed.  Funny thing is, when I asked him what he'd like to do with the living room, he said, as he always does, "Whatever you like, honey, is fine with me."  Which, apparently, isn't quite true, as I'm the one who chose the current decor.  Sigh.  At any rate, I'll be posting progress pictures as we go, and all our supplies will be purchased at Home Depot.  Because we love them.


  1. You GO girl. AWESOME letter. Never underestimate the power of the internet and a disgruntled customer. Glad Home Depot is righting the wrong. I LOVED them when they set up shop in our town. But a few years later they were gone. Such a shame. take care. Looking forward to your DO OVER.

  2. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. I think this post is awesome and I'm so happy Home Depot came through. I love that store..I want to work there because I love the smell of the wood when I walk in the door. Of course I work in surgery and it doesn't have a really great smell when you walk in, but I do love my job there...Anyway, the place makes me think I can do anything. Plus I got some charcoal for a really great price a few weeks ago. Good luck on your project and I'm coming back to see the results..that's not a threat..just me hoping to get more inspiration! Have a good weekend. Congrats too on kicking cancer's deserves it.

  3. We have not had much luck with the linoleum tiles and will never try to cover our old floors. I have carpeting in my house except the kitchen and bathroom. It was great when Joe was working, I could sneak the rug shampooer and clean like crazy.

  4. There are some products [of one company] that just don't hold up to their own standards. We had kitchen tile replaced in our home when we moved in, and it did not last long....I think this was with Lowe's. And the guarantee was worthless. Now we had a new kind installed by the same company and I can tell it's gonna work so much better 'cause of the quality.

    You go girl. Persistence pays off.

  5. congrats to you!!! so glad you didn't let it go (well, you kind of had to for a bit, it sounds like, but YAY!)

    thanks for stopping by today! really appreciate it! and good luck on that new carpet!!!

  6. Nice to meet you and I wish you all the best with the carpet. We had a similar situation once with tile. It was a real hassle but was finally resolved.

  7. I'm glad to hear you got everything resolved and that they are going to make it right for you. Good for you for sticking to your guns. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. :)

  8. GOOD for you for not giving up! I am so happy this got resolved to your satisfaction!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment today. :)

  9. Hi there and thanks for visiting my blog!
    I like your style in how you handled that carpet situation... yeah, life is too short to be putting up with that kind of offhand treatment - good on you :D)

  10. Don't you love it when customer service is a priority? Makes you want to patronize those businesses again and again.

  11. I welcome you very warmly.
    You made me great joy of his visit.
    Run a very curious and interesting blog.
    The life of every human being is the greatest value.
    It should be appreciated and respected!
    Feel free to me again. I would be very nice.

  12. I really love on how you have presented this blog of yours. You have touched my curiousity from the very start.
    Carpet tiles perth

  13. Seems like they were afraid of being tarred and feathered online, I'm glad they came through for you. Nicely done! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  14. It seems our Blogs do carry a lot of weight as far as advertising goes and of course bad reviews will not help their sales. Way to go girl friend I am so proud of you.
    I am so happy after all you went through that they are paying even for the installation.
    How sweet that hubby wants to please you so much by letting you select the colors. He must suffer from my short term memory loss hahaha
    Can't wait to see the end results.
    Wish I had carpet out here in this ole farm house. I miss the feel of it especially in the cold winter time.

  15. I absolutely LOVE how you handled the carpet issue and although I hope to never have use it will put this trick in my cap!!!

    and way to go by kicking Cancer's rear end. Very happy for you (and you're family).

  16. and I don't mean trick in a bad ill mannered way. Probably should have used the term "idea"...also, I love your blog set up!

  17. Great story, and so happy that it all turned out okay after all the frustration you endured.

    You know how to kick butt, lady!! Hat's off to you!!

  18. new follower :)

    I loved your Home Depot story!! Way to be persistent!

  19. Glad to hear that you got their attention! I'd be having an attorney contact them or the Better Business Bureau. You would think that being as the economy is in a recession, these big box stores would work harder at customer service. From the sound of it, they are coming around.


  20. Nice job on dealing with the 'Depot' in a fair and meaningful way that got things done. I'm going there today to pick up a new smaller garbage can and I'm glad to see I don't need to cancel that order!
    Thanks for coming by my blog. Yours is interesting as well.

  21. Hello there!

    Thank you for visiting my blog.......
    Have a great day!

  22. Great letter and great response...finally! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's wonderful to meet a new blogger! I love that you kicked cancer's butt!!!