August 31, 2004

Special Orders Don't Upset Us

I'm in Home Depot with the spouse. She wants to buy a new fridge and asks if I would help. Sure, why not? I'm a nice guy.

As we're looking around, I notice "Depot Direct" on a few models. Since I'm not sure what that means, I ask. The sales guy explains that these items are available, just not in stock. If you want it, Home Depot has it delivered right to your home. These items are never in stock. Keep that in mind. Home Depot does not stock them. Ever. As I wander, I notice that most of the fridges are listed as "Depot Direct", which, for those of you that missed it, means that Home Depot does not stock them. They sell them, but do not stock them . Got it? Let's continue.

The spouse finds the one she wants; side by side, filtered ice and water in the door, lots of shelves, and white. The price on the quote comes up $70 cheaper. Score! The guy double checks the make/model again and same price both times. Double Score! The spouse then decides to finance the balance using a HD credit card. She fills out the paper work, gets approved, and gets 12 months same as cash. Triple Score!

The woman at the credit approval desk then starts to explain how this works. Since we've done this many times, neither of us pays much attention. I happen to hear the words "special order" and "restocking fee" and decide it's time to pay attention.

Me: "Uh, can you repeat that part please?"

HD: "Sure. Which part?"

Me: "The part about the restocking fee and special order."

HD: "Oh, ok. Since this is a special order, we charge 15% if you decide to return the item after the first three days."

Me: "It's not a special order. You don't carry these in stock."

HD: "Right. That's why it's a special order."

Me: "Wait. You never carry these in stock, right?

HD: "Yes."

Me: "You sell them all the time, but don't carry them in stock?"

HD: "Yes."

Me: "Ok. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a special order something that's out of the ordinary? You know, something that you don't normally sell. Isn't that what makes it special?"

HD: "Yes, you're right. If it's something we don't carry, then it's a special order."

Me: "But you carry these all the time. The sales guy told us 'we sell lots of these', which would make it not special."

HD: "That's right. These are very popular. We sell quite a bit of them."

Me: "Then why is it a special order?"

HD: "Because we don't have that one in stock."

Me: "OK. What color do you have in stock?"

HD: "None. We don't keep these in stock."

Me: "You sell them, but don't keep them in stock?"

HD: "Yes."

Me: "So, you have this same exact model in a local warehouse, just not in the store?"

HD: "Yes. We can get it to you in a few days, depending on how busy the delivery guys are."

Me: "So you don't have to order this just for me?"

HD: "No."

Me: "Then why would you charge me a 15% restocking fee if you sell these all the time, keep it locally in a warehouse, and have none that I can take home right now?"

HD: "Because it's a special order."

Sigh. I gave up at that point because it was late and she didn't see the irony in it. It's no fun making fun of people if they don't know they're being made fun of. Needless to say, if the spouse doesn't like it after three days, it'll cost her 15%. Because, say it with me people, it's a special order.


Oh, you're wonderfully funny......

Posted at September 1, 2004 02:34 PM