Home Depot (RANT)

So I wanted to replace my 30 year old deck.  And expand/redesign it to be more ergonomic.  I looked around and noticed that Home Depot here in Northern Virginia was advertising that it had people to do deck design/installation.  Great.  I’ll talk to them.  So I did.  Several times.  Finally we got a design I liked at a price I liked.  But I was never shown the actual contract even though I kept asking for it.  Finally, we had a deal and the sales guy started filling out the contract.  “No need to read it.  It just sets out the terms.”  Right.  I’ve done so many different contractor litigation cases (for homeowners and for contractors and subcontractors) that these words were a complete red flag. So I read the contract.  Wasn’t hard to read the front page:  50% up front payment on signing the contract and the other 50% due before installation.  WHAT?  What about a punch list hold back?  What about performance guarantees?  So I read the 2nd page of the contract.  NO commitments from Home Depot.  Turns out the Home Depot guys are independent contractors.  Home Depot won’t stand behind their work. All Home Depot will do is “assist” me if there is a dispute.  No provision for payment only upon completion.  No provision about mechanics liens (if you don’t know what they are, ask BEFORE you start a home improvement project).  So I asked questions. The Home Depot sales guy couldn’t answer them.  So I asked to talk to a supervisor   He said is that Home Depot would stand by me and not leave the project until I was fully satisified. But the contract says verbal promises don’t count.  The HD supervisor told me that the contractors “would not be allowed” to file mechanics liens.  HUH?  How’s that going to happen?  Again, verbal promises are not enforceable under the contract.  So, what exactly are my rights under the HD contract?  I don’t know.

O, I asked to talk to one of the HD lawyers to discuss these issues and how to resolve them.  HD supervisor promised to get someone to call me.  That was 6/27.  It’s 6/30 now and counting.  Don’t hold your breath.  I’m not. And HD is out.  I won’t do business with them  now that I understand what they think of as customer service.

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