Home Depot installed the wrong carpet on my stairs. How do I get a refund?

The wrong carpet for stairs

After Home Depot installs the wrong carpet on Monica Krupinski’s stairs, she asks for a refund or a fix. But is she entitled to either? And if so, how does she get it?

Question:

I recently bought a new carpet for my house from Home Depot. After only a few weeks, the carpet on the floor started to look really worn out.

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I contacted the installation company that worked with Home Depot, which sent a manager to look at the stairs. He agreed that the wear and tear was “excessive.

I contacted Home Depot. A representative assured me that the carpet was under warranty. But he also said the carpet I had was the wrong carpet for stairs.

I still owe Home Depot $600 for this carpet. At this point, I’d like to remove the carpeting. Shouldn’t Home Depot take responsibility? I’d like the company to either remove the carpet and replace it with something that works for stairs, or refund the money. Can you help me? — Monica Krupinski, Parlin, N.J.

Answer:

Home Depot should have installed the correct carpet on your stairs. When it discovered the mistake, it should have removed the rug and refunded your purchase.

But you also could have asked me about the wisdom of covering a staircase with carpeting. It’s a bad idea. My parents decided to do it, and the results were a disaster. Stairs are heavily trafficked, so they get dirty and trampled on. Plus, we had the added benefit of a cat who decided the stairs were her territory, and marked them. So they were dirty and smelled bad.

Your problem was compounded by the passage of time. A full five months had gone by between installation and your complaint being filed. The longer you wait, the more of an “out” a company has when you ask for a refund or a do-over. Chances are, you saw evidence that the carpeting wasn’t going to work out far earlier. I would have advised you to say something sooner rather than later.

You could have climbed the staircase at Home Depot to get this case resolved, starting with the manager in charge of customer service and then following the steps up the company hierarchy, as outlined on the Home Depot executive contacts page on my consumer advocacy site.

Removing the wrong carpet 

I contacted Home Depot on your behalf. The company claims it already was reviewing your case, which means your initial contact may have worked. Home Depot has refunded your purchase. Next time, go with the hardwood floors.

12 thoughts on “Home Depot installed the wrong carpet on my stairs. How do I get a refund?

  1. I must have read this differently. I didn’t read it as HD installed the wrong carpeting so much as she chose the wrong kind of carpeting for stairs…
    “…he also said the carpet I had was the wrong carpet for stairs.”

    1. “I didn’t do my research and I want someone else to pay for my mistake…”
      At the end of the day, home depot sold her a carpet she picked out, and installed it. If she did get bad advice, I still think carpet and installation full refund is quite generous, especially if she isn’t going to go buy a new carpet. All furnishings wear…

      trying to also understand what home depot did wrong? Maybe they advised the wrong carpet for high traffic, but even that is somewhat subjective and we don’t know they didn’t offer a higher traffic vs. lower and the OP just chose the one she felt looked better. Do we really expect HD to not sell someone something they want to buy?

      1. Having just spent several weekends carpet shoppong at both HD and Lowe’s, as well as local carpet stores, I doubt HD advised her at all. They were willing to sell us whatever carpet we wanted, but offered no usage or location recommendations. The mom and pop places asked where it would be installed, traffic, pets, etc..

  2. I disagree that carpet on stairs is a bad idea. It can be a lot safer than slippery wooden stairs, especially for toddlers and older folks. You just need to select the RIGHT KIND of carpet for stairs, which Home Depot should have advised the customer about.

    1. Yes. We have carpet on our stairs that have lasted in great shape for years, and we have a cat. We disagree, Chris Elliott.

  3. I am flummoxed – how is selecting an inappropriate type of carpeting for an area the fault of the seller? Didn’t the customer do any research on the best type for different types of traffic? I certainly do when I purchase carpeting. And I do have carpeted stairs as they are safer for people in my age group. Plus cuts down on the “clomping” noise.

    1. The seller installs dozens, if not hundreds, of carpets per year. The OP might buy carpets 3-4 times in a lifetime? Who is the expert here?

      I’m a musician. Just yesterday, I purchased a guitar and a PA system for my band. I thought I had the perfect guitar and the perfect system chosen. I had a great discussion with a salesperson who altered my guitar slightly (as my ‘perfect’ dream guitar, as I wanted it, would have had issues) and completely changed my PA design. I’ve dealt with this salesperson several times before, and I trust his advice.

      Just like my music equipment purchase was trusted to my salesperson, so was the letter writer. There’s an implied level of service and expertise when dealing with a salesperson, including the trust they will say, “Hey, I see where you’re going with your idea, but it might not work. Here’s why, and here’s what you should try instead”.

      The salesperson was entrusted, and failed to live up to that trust.

      1. I get what you’re saying, but we also don’t know the extent of the conversation and what information the OP gave to the salesperson. It’s possible that other than taking up the swatch and saying, “I want Xsqft of this beige carpet installed next Tuesday” there was no discussion. Some people do not WANT a salesperson asking questions and “bothering” them when shopping. I wouldn’t immediately place the blame on the sales associate here…

    2. The title of the story is just totally wrong. Would we read it if it said “I picked the wrong carpet for my steps and want a refund?”

  4. The OP should have done more research before purchasing the carpet. Home Depot could have done a better job advising her, but the bulk of responsibility lies with her.
    And for people like me with back and mobility issues carpet is the much safer option on stairs. Hardwood is an accident waiting to happen.

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