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Hardware, Hard Way

April 21, 1991

I had a pretty decent laugh over the letter (March 17) from Kurt Piouff, V.P. Merchandising of Home Depot. He suggests that his employees approach some sort of religious zeal in their efforts to assume "the service personality of the traditional corner hardware store."

I don't know which corner store Piouff bases his statements on, but my guess is that he mistakenly wandered into some branch office of the federal government.

One of my favorite experiences with the superior level of customer service at Home Depot (other than the thrilling "It's not my department" or an eloquent shrug or two) was when I was actually approached by an apparently eager employee and asked if I "needed any help."

I was amazed, and said yes, I needed some sort of glue for two warped asphalt shingles on my roof. He didn't know what product to recommend, so he went and asked someone. Well, this second fellow proceeded to tell me that my shingles "couldn't" warp and that I needed to replace my roof's substructure. (Fortunately, I found the glue and the patient is doing fine.)

I've spent more than a little time and money at the Gardena Home Depot, and their staff is competent at restocking the seemingly endless rows of enormous shelves. (Aided by a forklift afflicted with an incurable case of the "piercing beeps.")

While the selection of merchandise and prices are excellent at Home Depot, petty pilferage seems rampant. Examine closely any potential purchase, or risk a long wait at the return counter.

So, will I shop at Home Depot again? Yes. Will I enjoy it? You tell me, Mr. Piouff.

WILLIAM STILES

Torrance

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