Home Depot can’t install my garage shelving. Can I get a refund?

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By Christopher Elliott

It’s been four months since Brigitte Yvon bought her garage shelving along with installation from Home Depot. But no one has installed it yet.

Question

I purchased garage shelving from Home Depot last spring. The shelving, including parts and labor, cost about $10,000. 

I was able to schedule an installation for about five months later. I reached out to my contact at Home Depot to confirm the installation date. My contact verified in writing that the installation would happen on August 31 between 9 and 11 a.m. But the installer did not show up. 

I asked Home Depot what happened, and a representative said the installer “could not make it.” After some back-and-forth, we agreed on another installation date, September 12, at 9:30 a.m. The installer called at 9:47 and said he would be another 45 minutes.

At 10 a.m., I called them again and told them I had to go to work, that I was canceling the order, and wanted a refund. I had taken five hours off of work waiting for this installer at this point. A manager eventually wrote me and told me that I could either have the raw materials and be refunded for the labor — and it would not be covered by a warranty — or I could schedule for a third time.  

I refused to schedule and asked for a refund. The manager gave me the runaround, and I insisted on a refund and asked to speak to their manager. I have contacted Home Depot escalation and heard nothing. It’s been weeks, and I have heard nothing from the manager or Home Depot and I do not have the shelving installed. I also have not received a refund. — Brigitte Yvon, Encinitas, Calif.

Answer

If they can’t install your garage shelves as promised, you deserve to get all your money back.

Nothing upsets customers more than a contractor who makes them wait — with the possible exception of a shoddy job. I receive regular complaints from consumers who were left waiting by technicians and installers. They miss hours of work, and the service providers often act as if they don’t care (if they show up at all).

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I reviewed the correspondence between you and Home Depot. The contractor claimed the first delay was because of a “miscommunication” and the second one was because of bad weather.

Under your agreement with Home Depot, you had three days to cancel your installation and receive a full refund. (Related: Will Home Depot let me return this Electrolux refrigerator that doesn’t work?)

Yes, Home Depot should refund you

But there must be an exception for failure to perform a timely installation. It looks like you waited more than five months for an appointment and then misconnected with a service provider on two occasions before finally calling it a day. And a Home Depot representative told you that you could get your money back for the labor only — but then the company put you on hold again. (Related: I ordered a Christmas tree from Home Depot but it never arrived.)

I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Home Depot executives on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. A brief, polite email to one of them (using the Elliott Method) may have helped you sort this out quickly. (Here’s how to fix your own consumer problems.)

I contacted Home Depot on your behalf. It agreed to refund your materials and labor but insisted that you sign a nondisclosure agreement and release that prevented you from talking about this case or pursuing legal action against Home Depot. You signed the agreement — but only after telling me about this resolution.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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