VS.I don't care how much you say you shop at both of these big box stores, deep down in your heart you're either Blue or Orange when it comes to home improvement stores. We here at the Pecan Street Lengacher house are most definitely Team Blue. We truly believe they have more quality products and much better customer service. We're not judging if you don't agree - it's just our personal preference. To each their own.
The other day I did make a stop in at the other place and after the experience I had, it only made our loyalty to Big Blue grow stronger. I don't normally do so, but it was on my route and I just needed to pick up a few generic items like screws and wood filler. Of course my favorite 4-legged companion was with me - she always gets to come along on our home improvement field trips. We had been to this particular store several times before, right after we moved to Charlotte (and hadn't located our local Lowe's yet). We even purchased our new front-loading washer and dryer from this very store. With each and every shopping trip, our little helper has been with us all the while. Now apparently the pet policy it up to each individual store so I always ask before we take her in, which I also did again this time. Several greeters told me it was no problemo, and off we went to pick up our necessary items and do a little price comparison in the appliance department (not for our house, but for the rental unit in PA).
During the 15 or so minutes we had wandered around the store, several dog loving employees had stopped us to give the girl a bit of attention (which she so lovingly accepted). It wasn't until I got to the paint aisle that things started to go downhill. I was eyed up by a crabby looking female employee and asked the "Can I help you with something?" question in a rather rude way. I responded with "No thanks. I think I know what I need." She went on her way, but about 10 seconds later she approached me again and scolded me for bringing Mia into the store. I responded that I had asked if it was okay at the front door and had done some before, but she kept at me saying that they would allow me to stay, but next time my 4 -legged friend was not welcome. Biting my tongue big time, I replied that I understood and moved along my way.
In the next aisle over, another female employee (who must have been listening) approached me to "apologize" for her co-workers behavior. I simply tried to clarify with her exactly what the store policy was, but she wouldn't directly answer my question, instead she just kept going on and on about how she (and certain other employees) didn't personally care, but others did. Again I tried to clarify exactly what the store policy is, as it became apparent to me that she didn't even know. I explained to her that I was happy to oblige whatever the store policy was, but that I was confused because several other employees had permitted me to enter with the dog. And furthermore, she was very well behaved. The part that I didn't appreciate was the way I was approached and scolded. Very unprofessional. (Remember that poor customer service I referred to?) After that I had intended to continue with my shopping but I was so hot and bothered that I handed my shopping basket to "the apologizer" and promptly left the store, but not without informing her that this one the very reason we preferred Lowe's to Home Depot and that we would never, ever return to this particular Home Depot again. (Take that!)
I mean seriously, who wouldn't love this face?
And it's not like she acts up or anything. Geesh!
Still worked up out in my car, I decided that I didn't care if our favorite Lowe's was 7 miles away, I was going to go there now! Of course I called Ben on my way to fill him in on what had just happened. He encouraged me to share my experience with the manager on duty at Lowe's (they all know and recognize us) because they are in direct competition with HD and anything they can do better will only help them in the long run.
Upon entering the store, we were of course greeted with smiles and doggie love. Word must have gotten around that Mia was in the house, because a few minutes later the manager on duty found us. ( A little background. One of the managers, Charley, absolutely loves Mia. Mia knows this and seeks her out each time we are in the store. We can't leave until we get a belly rub from her, completely with moaning from Mia, which she only does for a very elite few!) I spilled my guts to Charley about the experience I had just had at the competitor, apologized for going there in the first place, and pledged our loyalty to Lowe's from then on out. Our blood truly does bleed blue.
So long story short - Whatever, Home Depot. We live in a forever long project house and purchase supplies at least once a week. You're the ones who are losing out. Go ahead and keep your crap - and your bad attitudes too. We'll go spend our money where we're appreciated.....all three of us!
Go Big Blue!